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Diaspora Eats: 7 African Restaurants in New York City That You Need to Try

Here are seven African restaurants to check out in New York City.

It’s “No Borders” month here at OkayAfrica, which means we'll be highlighting travel and intercontinental relations between people on the continent and in the diaspora.


Food is a major part of the traveling experience, and if your like us, then you're looking for tasty delectables in any city that you might find yourself in. Good food only amplifies the traveling experience and thankfully, the diaspora is brimming with a variety of restaurants that offer savory dishes that'll make your trip even more memorable. They might even remind you of mom's cooking.

Whether you’re looking for options to fit your dietary restrictions or you’re simply looking to stuff your face with quality eats, there’s a spot in the city that will cater to your palette. Below are 8 African restaurants to check out while you’re in New York City.

Check out some of the best African food in HoustonLondon, DC, and Paris

La Savane

Located in Harlem, The Guinean and Ivorian-owned restaurant offers a plethora of West African dishes, and specializes in Ivorian classics like attiéké and foutou served with a variety of soups including okra and tomato stew with peppers.

Ponty Bistro

With locations in Harlem and Gamercy, this fine-dining establishment offers a unique menu of Senegalese-French fusion, which includes dishes like Le Poulet Tagine, a chicken dish served with diced tomatoes and couscous, as well as an extensive selection of seafood entrees.

DF Nigerian Food Truck

The vibrant DF Nigerian Food Truck can be spotted in Midtown, generally around 44th street and 2nd avenue. It's the stop if you're looking to get your fix of Nigerian jollof, fried rice, honey beans and pepper stew, suya and more.

Madiba

Located on Dekalb Ave in Brooklyn, the popular spot serves flavorful South African dishes in a colorful and casual atmosphere. You can try their beef and egg-based bobotie if you're looking for a traditional South African meal, and if you're in the mood for a meaty meal, try the classic  sausage dish, pap and boerewors.

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant

The well-known spot serves Ethiopian staples in locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Choose from their classic menu items like Shiro, Doro Wat, or Yebeg Tibs or try the Awash Special which comes with kitfo, marinated beef, lamb and seasoned veggies. It's a prime spot for vegans and vegetarians, as injera the sour-dough flatbread central to Ethiopian cuisine, is naturally vegan.

Ethiopian for dinner!

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Farafina Cafe & Lounge

Farafina Cafe & Lounge in Harlem offers an array of West African dishes, like Senegalese yassa and groundnut stew. It's appeal goes beyond just the food—get the full experience by catching some of the live performances by local talent and ordering from their extensive menu of drinks and cocktails.

Accra Restaurant

This Harlem-based eatery offers Ghanian quick-bites like fried yam served with peppers, and fried fish with plantain. If your tastes fall on the Ghanaian side of the jollof rice spectrum, then Accra Restaurant should be on your list of stops.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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