Tuesday March 14, 2023
By Gus Saltonstall
A Harlem eatery that serves up Somali cuisine was just named among the best halal spots in New York City.
An image of Safari, a Somali restaurant in Harlem. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)
HARLEM, NY — Halal food is a beloved staple of New York City, and a Harlem eatery just got named among the best in the five boroughs at making the cuisine.
Eater NY recently posted its ranking of the "29 Outstanding Halal Spots in New York."
The second name on that list? Safari, a Somali restaurant at 219 W. 116th St.
Here's what Eater NY had to say about the Harlem joint.
"Now, New Yorkers at-large demand their bestsellers: roasted goat, mango curry, and chicken suquaar (stewed chicken)," Eater NY wrote. "They’re cooked in a base of cumin, turmeric, cardamom, bay leaves, garlic, and spicy green peppers, Birjeeb tells Eater. And they all come with an addictive bisbaas sauce that’s spicy and tangy with jalapeños and limes."
Spouses Maymuuna Birjeeb and Shakib Farah opened Safari in 2014.
"We invite you to experience Somali culture — food and family — through dishes that burst with flavor," reads a message on Safari's website. "Our heat, spices and aromas transport your senses to East Africa. We welcome you."
The Safari team also works in the community by sending meals to Harlem Hospital, feeding seniors Thanksgiving Dinner at the Victory One home in Harlem, and volunteering at Goddard Riverside with more food delivery.
Outside of the meals mentioned above, the menu includes traditional Somali sweetbread, beef or chicken sambusa, sabaayad wraps, chicken wings, fresh fish, hanger steaks, sandwiches, and more.
In 2021, Thrillist called Safari "NYC's Premiere Destination For Somali Food And Culture."
The Harlem eatery is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.