As the country slowly reopens its economies, it might feel like you are coming out of a long hibernation season. Especially if you had followed all the COVID-19 containment measures to the letter. All that stay-at-home and social distancing measures might make one long for social events bringing families and friends together. A brunch at a restaurant might be a good break from the monotony of confining yourself within your house. If you are in the ‘Big Apple’ below are some of the best African restaurants in New York City.
These are restaurant establishments that serve some of the best dishes native to the motherland. This list of African restaurants is meant for the African diaspora feeling homesick, and foodies with curious taste bud looking to try new exotic cuisines from Africa.
The Green Garden Buffet typically tops a Google Search for ‘African restaurants near me’ in New York. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that it was the first establishment in the city to serve food some of the most delicious food native to Chad. Its menu also features a wide variety of choices of dishes from other African countries. They also have quite an extensive vegetable dish list for vegans. Not to mention, the good review former customers keep leaving across various restaurant review sites.
One of the popular orders on the Green Garden Buffet is the boule (fufu). A common national dish in Chad served as a porridge-like serving. Boule is typically made out of millet in the southern parts of Chad, and maize in the northern parts. The ‘porridge’ shaped like a ball, is served alongside various sauces. The sauce might be made out of dried fish, meat, spices, and vegetables such as okra.
Other popular Chadian cuisines served at this establishment include Marrara; goal offals served with vegetables. There are also salads soups, bean dishes, rice, stews, and kebabs (brochettes) with some Arab influence.
Located in the heart of the Midtown East (UN) area of NYC, Voilà Afrique serves some of the delicious food from Africa you can find in being sold on a food truck. Especially if you are a fan of the spicy national dish from Nigeria and Ghana like jollof rice, . Some of the best dishes in their menu include jollof rice (of course), beef suya/kebab, vegan beef suya, egusi, fufu, pounded yam, oxtail stew, peanut sauce and jerk chicken.
‘Voilà Afrique’ is French for ‘here in Africa.’ The restaurant has done an impeccable job in representing amazing food from the African continent right in the midst of other international New York City restaurants from across the globe. The establishment does not disappoint whether you are a vegan or a meat-person (carnist).
Although the restaurant has made a name for itself as one of the leading African restaurants in New York. It is quite a new establishment, having opened up in March 2020. Right in the heart of the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, the establishment has taken the necessary measures including setting up outdoor seating. They also only admit customers wearing masks and provide them with free hand sanitizers. Their staff also wear masks and are constantly sanitizing their hands, tables, chairs, and utensils.
Berber Street Food was established in 2018, and located in West Village. The restaurant touts itself as based “ on the principle of traditional Africanized cuisine – the focus is simple and wholesome.” The theme around the establishment is cozy, intimate, and gives a homely ambiance.
At Berber Street Food, you can find a wide variety of West African dishes such as Nigerian and Ghanaian national dish like the jollof rice, goat pepper soup, and other spicy foods. You can also expect a national dish for Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco. Some of the dishes being infused with a flair of French and Asia. Yes, you can also get a fusion between North African cuisines and a little bit of the Caribbean.
Some of the outstanding dishes in their menu include the Camel burger made out of grilled ground Camel meat mixed with herbs and Berber spices. For bitings, you get food bites such as tapas, afro-fusion bowls, and sandwiches served with house specialties. There is also the chicken empanadas.
For drinks, you can try out their ginger lemongrass juice special. A ‘zingy’ and refreshing drink you can seep down slowly before or after your meal, and it feels therapeutic going down.
The restaurant was founded by a Mauritanian national with a Berbers root from her mother’s side and Sarakhole roots from her father’s side. She is, therefore, a matchup of Senegalese and Mauritanian culture, something she readily brings with her in the choices of African dishes served at the restaurant.
B&B Restaurant Corporation is a family-run restaurant established in 2009 with a mission of serving New Yorkers to authentic West African and Jamaican cuisines. While at the establishment, you don’t need a menu as everything is served in a buffet-style and you can get just about every dish for $6.99 per pound. You simply walk in, take a plate, and fill it with whatever you want from the buffet, and pay by the pound.
What makes B&B Restaurant Corporation one of the outstanding African restaurants in New York are the dishes popular with African American. These dishes include jerk chicken, fried chicken, baked chicken, mac & cheese, goat pepper soup, and beef stew. The meat is seasoned to be so tender, some reviewers say ‘it falls right off the bone.’
Although the establishment is set up as a take-out for fast food or a quick dine restaurant. Where you go pick your take-out or sit by your table for a quick biting. It might not be the right establishment if you are looking for an ambiance where you can stay for long; perhaps working on your laptop.
Ethiopian foods are well recognized across the world and the Awash Ethiopian Restaurant was among the earliest to bring these cuisines to the New York boroughs. The restaurant was opened in 1994 with the simple idea of showcasing Ethiopian national dish to the American public.
The dishes are holistically Ethiopian. Starting with the millenniums-old Ethiopian cooking technique and servings. The restaurant was inspired by the lack of enough representation of Ethiopian foods in New York City restaurant at the time of its establishment. It has since become one of the leading restaurants for Ethiopian dishes in NYC.
The above five restaurants are among the best African restaurants in New York, but by all means not the only. As you can see from a simple Google search along the line of ‘African restaurants near me.’ However, you will notice the above-mentioned establishment will top that list. And in other news, if you are in Atlanta, you can also check out our previous blog on Top African Restaurants in Atlanta, GA. Also, you can visit the website for all the mentioned restaurants by clicking on the titles. The above-mentioned restaurants have also in place COVID-19 containment measures including social distancing with outdoor seating, hand sanitization, and mandatory wearing of masks by customers and staff.