Safari Restaurant NYC
219 W 116th
New York, NY 10026
Somalian food is not one you’ll find often over here in the states, but if you do it’s probably because you found Safari. Safari is a Somali restaurant on 116th between 7th Ave and St. Nicholas which might not look like anything super special from the outside, but take a step inside and try a bite of food. You’ll feel transported to East Africa. This restaurant is located in a little spot of Manhattan known as Le Petit Sénégal because of the West African and French influences. However, Safari is the exception since it is bringing food from a completely different part of the African continent.
Somalian food brings an interesting mix of cultures together because of the people that have inhabited the area over the course of history, as well as the different places nearby. Some of the dishes seem to be influenced by Indian, others by Italian, and of course there is influence from the rest of Africa and the Middle East. The owner of this fine establishment is very hands on and wants everyone to get an authentic food experience. Therefore, she goes out of her way to help guests pick dishes to try.
One of the most popular dishes are the Sambuzas which look like Indian Samosas, but on the inside have more beef and a different flavor. The curry dishes are also amazing and burst with flavor! Some of the dishes feature pasta because of the Italian colonization and that brings a unique twist to these African dishes. Nothing that I’ve ever heard of has been like this and Safari has successfully introduced Somali food in a city that was lacking (surprisingly).
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