Perhaps it’s time to explore the often overlooked, culturally important, and absolutely delicious flavors of Africa. If you are looking to expand your cultural palate, then these African restaurants in New York City will leave your stomach full and your taste buds yearning for more.
Bunna, translating to ‘coffee’, is a beverage synonymous with the Ethiopian way of life. Bunna is much more than a drink, it brings families together and sparks conversation throughout the intricate brewing process. At Bunna Cafe, baristas pay homage to this unique Ethiopian ritual by performing a coffee ceremony, after which guests receive a free cup of bunna. In addition to this delicious beverage, the café also offers a variety of colorful vegan dishes. This stop is the place to go for Ethiopian cuisine in North Brooklyn, with a dining area regularly packed with guests who are eager to try new dishes.
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A significant element of Ethiopian food is the use of spices. At Ghenet, spice is what makes the food so delectable. The cooks at Ghenet use a combination of onions, herbs, and carefully-selected spices to lovingly curate each dish on the menu, which is comprised of highly satisfying vegetable and meat-based plates. Most of their menu items are served with gluten-free teff injera, a traditional flatbread found through Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Awash Ethiopian Restaurant
Awash has three locations around New York City, uptown, downtown, and in Brooklyn, and is named after a river in Ethiopia that feeds into the Nile. Its mission as a restaurant is to provide its guests with the ‘finest Ethiopian cuisine,’ and they seem to have succeeded, considering their growth and popularity. Awash offers delicious Ethiopian dishes including doro wat, which consists of tender chicken gently simmered in berbere sauce, shiro, a dish with ground, mildly-spiced chick peas and split peas cooked with chopped onions and tomatoes, and a veggie combo, which focuses on their vegan fare.
When you enter Joloff, located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, the first thing you’ll notice is the brightly-colored walls. Joloff opens at noon and serves the finest Senegalese food you’ve tasted in NYC. Take your pick between theibou jean (a communally-shared fish and vegetable dish) and dibi (a dish of grilled meat and onions). They also offer unique juices such as bissap (sorrel and hibiscus).
Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine
Located near New York Univeristy, Meskerm serves Ethiopian cuisine with flavors akin to Indian dishes. Meskerm opens just in time for lunch, and stays open until late. Prices are reasonable for lunch, dinner, and takeout, and they also offer a selection of wines and beers to pair with your meal.
Haile Ethiopian Bistro
Haile Ethiopian Bistro offers a wealth of meat and veggie options. Located a few blocks from Tompkins Square Park, this restaurant is a family-owned business that serves traditional Ethiopian food and incorporates music and art into your dining experience for added cultural atmosphere. Prices are reasonable, so this is a fantastic option for anyone on a budget.
Café Rue Dix
Café Rue Dix is a French-Senegalese restaurant and bar located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This café serves breakfast for the early risers,and a happy hour in the evening for those who enjoy post-work drinks. Come for lunch, brunch or dinner.
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