If there is anything that scares the wits out of most Africans, it is the thought of getting used to new food. Those in New York continue to search for the best African restaurants in New York where they can find their favorite African dishes.
Indeed, traveling to a different country, especially New York has a way of making Africans feel “far away from home.” From the new lifestyle that they are expected to adapt to the new meals, they struggle to eat; the challenges are many.
The saying that “African food is one of the best in the world” is not only true but applies here in the case of Africans that are looking for African restaurants in New York City.
Top 10 African Restaurants in New York
In this article, we have made a comprehensive review of the best African restaurants in New York to help you enjoy the freshness and thrilling taste of African delicacies.
1. Safari Harlem
First on our list is Safari Harlem. The restaurant prides itself to be both the first and the only Somali restaurant in New York City.
This is no small feat because it is one of the best places to hang out when you are looking to have a taste of Somalian cuisine.
It is interesting to note that the foundation of Safari Harlem is not just built on serving the best of Somali cuisine. The restaurant also seizes the opportunity to display the array of Somalian culture, via the wide range of dishes that burst with flavor.
No matter the day of the week, rest assured that Safari Harlem will have its doors open to welcome, as its staff works 24/7 to satisfy the taste buds of Africans trooping into the restaurant.
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All of the meals served here are halal and have been categorized so you can find it easier to choose the type of meal you want. For example, the menu comprises:
The list of dishes on the menu include but are not limited to:
- Beef or chicken Sambusa
- Chicken wings
- Chicken Suqaar
- Kalankal (grill Hanger steak)
- Flatbread Canjeero
- Mango Curry Chicken
- Veggie Sambusa
- Hilib Ari
- Safari Chicken Salad
- Mango Curry Veggie
2. Africa Kine Restaurant
Some African restaurants in New York do not have the option of takeout. So, most of the customers will have to eat their favorite African dishes there.
Africa Kine Restaurant does things differently. This restaurant offers both walk-in dining and takeout options, so its customers can have their fill of African dishes where and however they want.
The restaurant doesn’t lose touch with reality while trying its best to offer the continental dishes that most Africans crave. This is possible because of the insistence on using only high-quality fresh ingredients while making modern interpretations of the dishes it serves its customers.
The dishes served in this restaurant have been classified into All Day Menu, Lunch Menu, and Dinner Menu.
The All-Day Menu includes appetizers, desserts, and dinners. The dishes include:
- Fataya (meat or fish stuffed in pastry dough).
- Nem (eggrolls stuffed with vegetables and meat)
The Lunch Menu includes dishes like Foufo, Thu Yapp, Thiebu Djen (White Jollof Rice), Makhal Senegal, Thu Curry, Chicken Yassa, Lamb Mafe, Borrokhe, Fish Yassa, Boulette or Domada Djen, Thu Okra, Souloukhou, Domada Yapp, Kaldou, Thu Djen, Suppa Kandja (Okra Sauce) and Dakhine.
3. Buka New York
Thus, Buka New York recreates the Nigerian restaurant scene by moving to New York City where there is a high demand for African meals.
In the local parlance, “Buka” simply refers to a makeshift or a small shop where cooked meals are sold at affordable prices.
Buka New York is located at 946 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York. The restaurant serves “authentic Nigerian meals and street foods” and is a popular choice for many. So, whether you are looking for “swallow” (fufu) or fried yam, you can be sure that Buka New York will have some to spare.
One of the impressive additions to what this African restaurant offers is the consistency in delivering the “good, old-fashioned Naija cooking”. This way, you can be sure that the restaurant wouldn’t be overly leaning on serving the modern, and fusion cuisine that doesn’t entirely represent the African continental dish needs. For many Nigerians, it is the best African restaurant in New York.
Buka New York does not only stop at offering a 24/7 service. It also has a delivery and curbside pickup to ensure that you make online shopping of your favorite Nigerian groceries.
4. Papaye Restaurant
Papaya Restaurant takes pride in its serving the “best in African cuisine.” Indeed, a look at some of the African dishes on its menu shows that the restaurant understands the market it is playing in very well.
Papaya Restaurant started with the idea of serving Americans “good African food.” Today, the restaurant has opened its doors to hundreds of Africans who are looking to get the most out of the best African restaurants in New York.
With consistent innovation, the restaurant has stayed true to its commitment to “providing every guest with a genuine African dining experience.”
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Coming over to the menu, Papaye Restaurant has quite a lot of them to display. The list of dishes on the menu include but are not limited to:
- Banku and Palava Sauce
- Zuo Zaafi
- Banku and Tilapia
- Egusi Stew
- Emotuo and Peanut Soup
It is also one of the African restaurants in New York that open daily. The opening time is noon and it stays open until 24:00. The only exception is on Thursdays and Sundays when the restaurant opens at 11:00.
5. Divine Flavored Catering
Divine Flavored Catering is an African restaurant in New York City that promises to deliver “the best Nigerian and African food in New York City.”
The restaurant was established by Godshelter, who is better known as Divine. He is a Nigerian who has been in the business of catering for a while. Worthy of mention is that he graduated from the New York School of Culinary Skills where he added more to his expertise in cooking different kinds of meals, including African dishes.
Divine Flavored Catering has been in business since 2005. The concept is based on offering food catering services, especially as they related to African food. The catering services also include a professional waiting staff that is readily available to attend to your guests and ensure they get the best out of the event.
Divine Flavored Catering has been living true to the promise of delivering the best of African meals to its customers.
The restaurant has a wide range of African dishes on its menu. From Mini Catering to Main Catering and Restaurant Menu, it has it all.
Another fascinating aspect of its menu is the inclusion of the Food Truck Menu. The meals available here are deliverable via DF Nigerian Gourmet Food Truck.
The concept of the Food Truck was borne out of the founder’s passion to deliver the best of African dishes to Africans in New York, irrespective of the location they are in NYC.
The DF Nigerian Gourmet Food Truck is parked in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Manhattan, New York City.
So, you have the option of either walking into the restaurant location at 992 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York City or you order online and have the Food Truck deliver your meal to you.
On the menu are:
- Vegan Appetizers, such as Vegetables Spring Rolls, Puff-Puff, and Honey Beans Fritters.
- Soups, such as Goat Meat Pepper Soup, Chicken Pepper Soup, and Fresh Herbal Fisherman Pepper Soup.
- Vegan Entrees, such as Hearty Corchorus Veggie, Cassava Leaf Sauce, Ghana Light Soup, and Champion Platano Stew.
- Special Meals, such as Green Plantain with Goat, Chicken or Fish.
- Boiled Yam with Fish, Chicken, or Meat.
- Honey Beans Sweet Corn & Plantain.
- Ghana Yam & Honey Beans with Goat Meat, Chicken or Fish.
- Traditional or Local Soups, such as Gbegiri Soup, Bitter Leaf Soup, Efo Egusi (Melon Spinach Soup), Ewedu Soup, Spinach Stew (Efo Riro), Ogbono Soup, Okra Soup, and Tilapia Pepper Soup.
6. Madiba Restaurant
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela meant a lot to South Africans. He is what many South Africans would gladly call “the symbol of the end of the Apartheid Regime in South Africa” because of the roles he played and the sacrifices he made to ensure that South Africans are free.
Today, one of those South Africans that appreciate him has taken the Madiba fame higher by dedicating his restaurant as a homage to Nelson Mandela.
The Madiba Restaurant has been operating in New York since 1999, with its first outlet in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Owned by Mark & Jenny Henegan, the restaurant boasts unique African delicacies from different parts of the continent.
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Although a majority of the dishes served here are South African-inspired, it doesn’t stop at that. The Madiba Restaurant uses other African legumes, as well as Portuguese spices and Indian curries to make meals.
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The wide range of dishes served at this African restaurant in New York City ranges from Jenny’s Malva Pudding, Nana’s Milk Tart, and Koeksisters.
The restaurant also has a fine blend of drinks, ranging from herbal red tea served with a selection of South African biscuits, Espresso, Milo, Domestic Tea, Horlicks, Imported South African Teas, Scotch, Rum and Whisky & Bourbon.
7. Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
Ethiopians living in New York City now have the opportunity to relish the unique Ethiopian dishes they have grown to eat and like.
Awash Ethiopian Restaurant kicked off its African restaurant business in NYC when its first outlet was opened in the city. As of 1994, Awash Ethiopian Restaurant was focused on just “showing what Ethiopia has to offer” in terms of the varieties of Ethiopian dishes it serves.
With this in mind, the restaurant set about the task of using the traditional cooking techniques peculiar to Ethiopians. Thanks to the lack of Ethiopian-centric restaurants in NYC at the time, Awash Ethiopian Restaurant seized the opportunity to become a brand.
Awash Ethiopian Restaurant also went on to introduce the rich Ethiopian cuisines to both Ethiopians living in New York City, as well as the locals.
Times have changed and the Awash Ethiopian Restaurant has started implementing newer techniques to ensure that the rich tastes of its Ethiopian cuisines are not left out. Today, the restaurant has extended its reach beyond Brooklyn and now covers other boroughs, including Manhattan Valley and East Village.
Awash Ethiopian Restaurant serves a wide range of dishes that range from Beef, Vegetables, Poultries, Appetizers, Set Meals, and Fish.
The list of dishes include:
- Confectionery Courses, such as Rum Cake and Baklava.
- Fish, such as Asa Kitfo.
- Poultries, such as Awash Chicken and Doro Wat.
- Appetizers, such as Azifa, Sambusa, Timatim Fit-Fit, and Engudai Tibs.
You can also make online reservations at either the East Village or Manhattan Valley locations of the Awash Ethiopian Restaurant. Telephone booking is also available.
8. Joloff Joloff Restaurant
Joloff Joloff Restaurant was founded by Papa, a Senegalese who has a passion for cooking. The story of the restaurant’s beginning is quite inspiring.
The story goes that Papa, the founder, had joined his 2 younger brothers and a sister in New York City in 1990. He had come to seek greener pastures and was soon to take up a job as an attendant in a shoe store.
Haven lost that job barely 18 months after, he took the time to learn how to cook from his siblings who were good at it. He soon became as good as they were and was quick to realize the entrepreneurial opportunity in that.
That led him to explore and after a few market analyses, he started cooking meals at home and making home and office deliveries. With the help of his wife, Rama, who joined him in NYC in 1992, he took the notch higher by opening a restaurant that is now known as Joloff Joloff Restaurant.
The core value of Joloff Joloff Restaurant is to help its visitors to relish the taste of its meals, as well as discover the culture of the people of Ethiopia.
The list of meals served at Joloff Joloff Restaurant is many. However, we would inspire you with some of the dishes under the “Chef’s Special” classification.
These dishes include:
- Yassa Ganar
- Mafe Yapp
- Tiebou Jeun
- Fataya Ganar
- Thiou Ganar
- Lamb Shank
- Thiou Kanja Jeun
- Joloff Veggie
- Hacko Bantara
- Yassa Sipaakh
- Grilled Lamb Rack
9. Nomad North African Restaurant
North Africans living in New York City have found a home in Nomad North African Restaurant.
This is an African restaurant in New York that specializes in the delivery of exquisite and authentic North African dishes to its teeming visitors.
Worthy of mention is that preference is usually given to Moroccan and Algerian means. So, this is one of the best African restaurants in NYC to eat any of those country’s meals.
Nomad is much more than just a North African restaurant in New York. It also doubles as one of the best locations for different kinds of events.
For example, there is a dedicated room for parties. Dubbed the Algerian Private Room, the room is designed to accommodate up to 75 guests in a classic Moroccan party. You can also use the room for other purposes, including corporate events, birthdays, and receptions.
Generally, the environment of the Nomad North African Restaurant is inviting. This includes the distinguished atmosphere for entertaining your business clients with unique Mediterranean dishes with North African and French influences, as well as the authentic Moroccan and Algerian vibe for a romantic North African dining experience.
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Desserts, brunch, wines, and even takeout are offered by Nomad North African Restaurant. The list of dishes includes:
10. Teranga Harlem
Teranga Harlem is one of the African restaurants in New York that serve delicious and affordable African meals. The restaurant is located at 1280 5th Avenue, (The African Center), Harlem, New York City.
Different Africans living in NYC have different food needs. While some prefer to eat in a walk-in restaurant, others prefer to order online.
Teranga Harlem is ready to fulfil all your food needs via its versatile services. These services include:
- Full-service catering
- Food delivery and pick up
- Indoor dining
- Outdoor dining
The meals served by Teranga Harlem, under its catering services range from Passed Appetizers, Buffet, 3-Course Meals and Seated – Family Style.
The list of dishes prepared and served at the restaurant includes:
- Ancient Vegan Bowl
- Yassa Grilled Chicken
- Jollof Rice
- Efo Riro Kale Stew
- Ndambe’ Black-Eyed Pea Stew
- Peanut Sauce
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad
- Hot Sauces, such as Kani, Shito, and Moyo
- Juices and Drinks, such as Moringa Limeade, Ginger Juice, Iced Vanilla Rooibos Tea, Hibiscus Juice, and Saratoga Still Water.
- Cocktails, such as Lac Rose Bissap Mojito, Teranga Sunrise Margarita, Medina Ginger Mezcal Margarita, and Dakar Ginger Mule.
New York has one of the largest concentrates of African restaurants. From the list of best African restaurants in New York discussed in this review, you can choose the ones that do not only serve a wide range of African dishes but also offer them at affordable prices. You can also try out other African dishes from other countries to enjoy each country special cultural heritage.
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Which other African restaurants have you dined in New York?
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