If you are a foodie, someone whose taste buds has given them a knack for seeking out the sumptuous dishes around, then this article is for you. Today, we are going to feature some of the best African restaurants in New York City.
The Big Apple, being a mega cosmopolitan city, has restaurants dedicated to just about every big ethnic grouping in the world. New Yorkers and visitors to the mega-city are spoilt for choice when it comes to treating their taste buds to exotic dishes.
If you are out in New York and looking to try out some African dishes, Afrikagora suggests you try out any of the following African restaurants.
If you know Nigerians, then you know they like it spicy. Lukman Mashood, the owner of Buka New York, makes sure the restaurant serves authentic Nigerian cuisines. Located in Brooklyn, the Buka restaurant and lounge menu include dishes like goat pepper soup served with Red Snapper, Eba, and Egusi. A dish that simply explodes inside your mouth.
The restaurant has made a name for itself as unequivocally African. So much so that people flock the premises to have a taste of the various Nigerian dishes. That has had a downside; don’t go there if you are starving, as services can be somewhat slow. Then again, they are serving a lot of customers, especially during ‘rush hour.’ This restaurant is also one of the best known African restaurants in New York City.
Other than the authentically-Nigerian dishes, Buka has a serene ambiance and interior decor, making a peaceful and relaxing stay at the premise. It is important to point out that Mashood started as a worker at a different restaurant when thoughts of setting up a Nigerian-theme restaurant came to him.
Down for some Afro-Harlem experience? Then you should definitely try out the Lenox Saphire restaurant.
The restaurant was founded by Fall Fara, who is originally from Senegal and has served in the hospitality industry for decades. When starting the Lenox Saphire, Fara developed a menu primarily inspired by the Senegalese dishes, such as the Ceebu Jen (rice and fish in Wolof) served alongside sweet plantain.
Other dishes on the Lenox Saphire menu that have tickled foodie’s taste buds the right way include classic French pastries like petit fours, eclairs, choux pastry, croissants, French macaroons, baguettes, creme brulee, among others.
Though mainly serving Senegalese cuisines, the Ponty Bistro menu also has a fusion of other dishes from general West Africa, modern Mediterranean and French dishes. The restaurant was founded by two chefs, who also happen to be cousins, Executive Chef Alhadji A. Cisse and Chekh Cisse.
You might remember Chef A. Cisse from the Food Network’s hit show Chopped where he made it to the finalist list of contestants. Local tails in the streets of New York City has it that the Ponty Bistro restaurant makes some of the best macaroni & cheese dishes in the State.
The two chefs got their culinary skills while working at renowned restaurants owned by chefs Daniel Boulud (Daniel Restaurant) and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Vong and Mercer Kitchen). They later decided to go at it alone, by opening their restaurant centered around Senegalese cuisines.
The Ponty Bistro restaurant is located in a trendy part of Manhattan, Third Avenue, between 18th and 19th Streets, next to the Gramercy Park. The duo chefs also opened a second Ponty Bistro restaurant in Harlem. The second restaurant is bigger and more modern than the first one.
Located just a few blocks from the heart of the Big Apple, Times Square. You find the Queen of Sheba on the corner of the 10th Avenue on 46th Street, Midtown Manhattan. At this joint, you will spoil yourself to death with traditional Ethiopian meals eaten alongside Ethiopian culture and stories.
The rum cake is particularly pointed out to visitors trying out this restaurant for the first time. The decor inside the restaurant is quite deliberate; it takes you back to Ethiopia and amplifies a sense of community.
It is encouraged that you eat with your hands; that’s how the Queen of Sheba did it. First, have a feel of the flavor inside your hands, then let the pleasure explode inside your mouth. There are not that many African restaurants in New York that expect you to at with your hands, so Queen of Sheba will be quite an experience for those not used to eating without the forks, spoons, knives, etc.
While in New York, you can treat your taste buds to the exotic Mediterranean dishes of Morocco at the Le Souk restaurant. The menu is filled with delicious dishes, including Couscous Royal, Merguez, and Tagines, among other Moroccan courses.
The Bati restaurant is a small cozy restaurant that has made a name for itself when it comes to excellent customer services and delicious authentic Ethiopian dishes. The restaurant is located in the heart of Fort Greene in Brooklyn. It was named after a small town, Bati is situated in north-central parts of Ethiopia by Hibist Legesse. She is originally from Addis Ababa and now based in New York.
The above are some of the best African restaurants in New York you can treat your taste buds to, on African cuisines from across the continent. No doubt there is a handful of others not highlighted in our list above, but that’s more than enough to get you started. Especially if you have been looking for a good African restaurant around New York.