Melba's Restaurant

Harlem EatUp : Melba's Restaurant

Melba Wilson

Melba Wilson was “born, bred and buttered in Harlem” and proudly represents Harlem as one of the most successful African-American women in the restaurant and catering business. Her style, poise and love of entertaining have made Melba’s Restaurant a New York landmark frequented by music, TV and movie stars, New York City’s elite, locals and travelers from around the world.

After holding a variety of service and managerial positions at Harlem’s famous Sylvia’s Restaurant, Melba decided to strike out on her own in 2004. Today, she is the proud sole owner of three Harlem-based businesses: Melba’s Restaurant, Melba’s Catering and a 350-seat dining hall and cafeteria on 125th street called Melba’s 125. In 2015, Melba celebrated 10 years in business, serving more than 2 million guests via the restaurant & catering. Melba’s Restaurant has won rave reviews from New York Magazine, Time Out, The New Yorker, The Daily News, and was named Best Brunch for Kids by Time Out New York, and Best Soul Food by Zagat.

Melba has a cookbook slated for release April 12, 2016 with Simon & Schuster and has been honored by Ebony Magazine with their Taste of Ebony Award. She is the recipient of The Entrepreneur Award presented by Congressman Charles Rangel, The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Award, the Thurgood Marshall Prestige Award, and the “Shero Award 2015”. She is on the board of directors for The NYC Hospitality Alliance, World of Money and Harlem Park to Park. Melba donates to and supports many causes including Alzheimer’s, The Girl Scouts of America, diabetes, illiteracy, senior citizens causes and takes time to help community outreach organizations in Harlem and throughout New York City.


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