More and more raw materials were slowly being imported from West Africa and became available in the diverse neighborhoods of New York City, such as Harlem, Clinton Hill, University Heights, Flatbush and Hollis as well as White Plains Road in the Bronx. Because of this, a number of delicious and diverse West African restaurants were born in New York City.
Here is a list of some of the top favorites:
Buka – Nigerian food, with its mashes, soups, peanut-dusted brochettes, and bean porridges, in an upscale setting at Buka, located on the border between Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy. Watch the chalkboard outside for specials.
La Galette – While most Senegalese restaurants are devoutly Muslim and offer no alcohol, the obscurely located La Galette serves wine, with a menu that elevates national standards and offers a West African take on French food, too, the way it’s made in the streets of Dakar. This is a great place to eat nems, the North Vietnamese spring rolls that caused a sensation when they were introduced to the Senegalese capital 60 years ago.
Accra – The city’s most ambitious Ghanaian restaurant (named after the capital) offers over 100 delicious dishes, which you can admire on the mile-long steam table. This arrangement also allows you to pick and choose those you like best. Go conservative with a roast fish or chicken and polished rice with relish, or go wild with slimy leaf-based sauces, okra- and black-eyed-pea-based dishes, or boiled eggs and greens flavored with dried stockfish.
Fatima – Don’t be deterred by the very modest nature of this Crown Heights establishment, which slings the very best Guinean food in town. A steam table has been installed, which allows you to dash in, select what you want, have it weighed, and enjoy. They have cassava-leaf or potato-leaf sauces, richly dotted with lamb or beef, and request the fiery scotch-bonnet sauce called Pima.
Maima’s – This cheerful spot a few blocks south of downtown Jamaica — featured in this year’s Choice Eats — is the city’s only Liberian restaurant, run by immigrants from a country founded by slaves freed after the American Civil War. Specialties you should try include “dry rice” (not dry in the least, cooked with okra and bitter ball — a type of eggplant), pepper shrimp (made incendiary with the spice called grains of paradise), plantain fufu and mixed-meat soup.