Before vape stores set up shop on every corner in the city, New Yorkers chose shisha, or hookah, as their go-to for a flavored smoke fix. Today, many of them still do. Pass the pipe — and participate in a centuries-old pastime — at these nine bars and lounges, the top shisha spots in New York City
With its warm staff, cozy atmosphere and relaxed policies (patrons are welcome to enjoy outside food with their hookah!), Aziza Cafe & Lounge is an ideal spot to settle in for a leisurely smoking session. Far East-inspired decor and classic hookah flavors, including mint, mango and pineapple, maintain Aziza’s authentic Middle Eastern vibe.
Pergola is the shisha smoker’s pick for a more high-end hookah experience. This self-described bar, restaurant and oasis serves up a quality selection of shisha with a food menu to match. Champagne bases, bubblegum hookah, chargrilled chicken wings and baklava cheesecake all share space on Pergola’s mouth-watering multicultural menu.
Have your culinary passport (and your pipe) ready at La Sultana Cafe. Tastes of the world are what’s on the menu at this East Village establishment, where shisha comes in far-reaching flavors like Turkish coffee, mango lassi and rose. There’s also an extensive drinks menu featuring teas from Turkey, Morocco, Egypt and beyond.
Turn up while you light up at late night-favorite Falucka. Equipped with boozy beverages, a DJ and a selection of fresh fruit and classic hookah varieties, this rowdy hookah dance hall is more likely to wind you up than calm you down.
Offering Brooklynites the unlikely pairing of a sports bar and hookah lounge, Chill Bar and Hookah Lounge knocks a unique concept out of the park. While the Bay Ridge bar serves up some of the borough’s best hookah, in flavors like cantaloupe, grapefruit and apple, Chill’s true MVP is its selection of Lebanese snacks, such as kebbe balls and knafeh “made by Mom.”
Specializing in out-there original flavors, Ignited Restaurant and Lounge turns hookah on its head. Fruity pebbles, tootsie roll and even pumpkin spice latte hookah are all on the table at this Astoria establishment. Expertly executed Middle Eastern mainstays, like kebabs and rice, act as perfect pairings for Ignited’s less traditional offerings.
From pre-gaming to the end of the night, Desert Rain Lounge has got you covered. Enjoy low-key fun courtesy of the lounge’s collection of old-school board games, or let loose with friends over buckets of beer come happy hour. Whatever you do, don’t miss Desert Rain’s hookah offerings, which include fresh fruit bowls, ice pipes and bases like milk and Red Bull.
At East Village hotspot Hayaty, shisha smokers can expect no hangups, just hookah. Enjoy exceptionally strong hookah alongside live belly dancing performances, traditional bar bites and unpretentious entertainment, such as Caribbean and ’90s-themed nights.