Top Ten African Restaurants In New York City & Their Respective Countries. It is the best of both worlds. Or is it three worlds? African. Foodie. New York City. Life cannot get any sweeter than this! And September magnifies the beauty of these worlds even more. Three global events take place in New York City in this month alone New York Fashion Week, The Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations General Assembly. And the world it seems, descends upon this cosmopolitan mega-city in unprecedented numbers. There are restaurants galore in New York City – to suit every palate, craving and gustatory fetish.
For most visitors and even New Yorkers themselves, the sheer number of restaurants in New York City can be daunting and overwhelming. So I teamed up with Akin Akinsanya, a fellow African foodie and founder and CEO of New York African Restaurant Week and his team to pick the top 10 African restaurants the Big Apple AAPL +1.66% has to offer its residents and visitors – the adventurous and /or those seeking to satisfy their craving for African food.
Image courtesy of New York African Restaurant Week
According to Akinsanya, there are over 50 African restaurants in the Greater New York metropolitan area alone! “While we have yet to make it to mainstream, there is a growing awareness of and love for African cuisine,” explained Akinsanya. “New York African Restaurant Week is an annual week-long celebration of African cuisine and culture by New Yorkers and people from all over the world. We invite people to taste and experience the rich, diverse and flavorful cuisine that Africa has to offer, right here in New York City. No passport needed – promise!”
The criteria we used for picking the best African restaurants in New York City was taste, service, ambiance and consistency.
Here are the top 10 African restaurants in New York City (in no particular order):
Ponty Bistro, Senegal / West Africa
Nestled away on Third Avenue, between 18th and 19th Streets near Gramercy Park, a trendy part of Manhattan is Ponty Bistro, an uber chic and upscale West African eatery. Owned by cousins, Executive Chefs Alhadji A. Cisse and Chekh Cisse, the duo fuse West African and Senegalese culinary traditions with modern Mediterranean and French techniques to serve up a menu of delectable gourmet meals that thrill the palate morning, noon, and night. The Senegalese chefs honed their culinary skills at restaurants owned by renowned chefs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Vong and Mercer Kitchen) and Daniel Boulud (Daniel Restaurant) before striking out on their own. Constantly perfecting their craft, Chef A. Cisse was the first African contestant and finalist on the Food Network’s hit-show Chopped. Not surprising, Ponty Bistro is said to make one of New York City’s best expressions of macaroni & cheese. And in August of this year, the chefs broke ground with a second restaurant, Ponty Bistro Harlem, in Harlem, New York, which is bigger and more modern. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2