New York has Africans from all over the diaspora, and its cuisine is a wonderful reflection of that diversity. This October, those cuisines will be showcased at the annual New York African Restaurant Week (NYARW). Despite the name, the event will actually last much longer than just one week, spanning from October 1-22. That’s lucky for diners, who have dozens of menus, events and experiences to choose from.
This year marks NYARW’s fifth-year anniversary. Since launching in 2013, the event has grown in both scope and length, and this year’s anniversary line-up is especially grand. There are over 75 events in total over the course of the 3-week festival, including pop-ups, competitions, giveaways and tours. On October 8, a large food festival called a Taste of Africa will take place at Industry City. In addition, participating restaurants will offer special three-course prix-fixe menus for NYARW diners. Over 25 restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn will participate in NYARW this year. Expect to see both traditional and contemporary dishes from South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, Senegal, Nigeria and several other culinary traditions.
The line-up includes several notable restaurants, including Lenox Saphire, a Senegalese gem in the middle of Harlem. The menu features tons of traditional French pastries along with Senegalese favorites like Thiebu Djen, or fish and rice. Down by Times Square, Queen of Sheba is famous for its delicious communal-style dishes. Akin Akinsaya, the CEO of NYARW, originally founded NYARW to celebrate the very best African cuisine that New York City has to offer while also supporting the community. On specific days of the festival, proceeds from prix-fixe menus will go toward charities that fight to end local hunger and homelessness.
If you’d like to participate in NYARW, you can purchase tickets to an event or reserve a dish ahead of time.