106 MacDougal St., Greenwich Village
Photo: Un H./Yelp
Kusharista is an Egyptian spot that specializes in customized bowls built around lentils and grains. (Kushari is a popular street food that the Daring Gourmet called "the national dish of the Egypt.")
Diners choose a base with options ranging from tri-color couscous to whole grain pasta, then add on fresh vegetables, toppings and sauces.
They can also select from several signature bowls, including the original kushari with rice, whole grain pasta, lentils and golden fried onions; or the spicy fiesta kushari with quinoa, whole grain pasta, lentils, chickpeas, grilled chicken and hot sauce.
With a five-star rating out of 35 reviews on Yelp, Kusharista has been getting positive attention.
Yelper Sang C., who reviewed Kusharista - Lentils, Grains & More on February 4th, wrote: "This was my first time having Egyptian food and it was a great one! I'm a meat and potatoes guy so it was not easy trying food like this. Didn't realize that healthy could taste so good."
And Kev B. wrote: "This is a welcome addition to the block! They've got healthy satisfying bowls of Egyptian fare, lentils, grains, pasta, with sauces and meats and salads. It's tasty and filling."
Kusharista - Lentils, Grains & More is open Monday-Thursday from 11am-11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-1am, and Sunday from 11am-midnight.
Serengeti Kitchen Harlem
22E 125th St. (between 5th Ave & Madison Ave.), East Harlem
Photo: Barnie J./Yelp
With chef Doughba Caranda-Martin III--the man behind Serengeti Tea & Spices--at the helm, Serengeti Kitchen Harlem specializes in modern pan-African fare.
The restaurant features a rotating menu that changes every few months and highlights a different region of the continent.
For now, expect to find dishes like roasted guinea hen with plum tomato sauce and sweet peppers, a yellow snapper filet with West African pepper stew and the pepper escargot in a West African shito reduction, served with tuareg bread.
Serengeti Kitchen also offers a selection of teas from its sister establishment. Look for teas like Africa's Fifth Symphony Earl Grey, the Malawi white jasmine pearl and the forest bark wildflower.
Serengeti Kitchen Harlem currently holds 4.5 stars out of 11 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews.
Yelper Rachel G., who visited Serengeti Kitchen Harlem on February 7th, wrote: "This restaurant is very close to us in Harlem. I have passed by it many times but did not realize it was an open restaurant. The food was very good and different from many of the food available."
Reese B. noted: "An amazing find in Harlem! The ambience is incredible and the service is even better. The menu items are unique and the attention to detail is impeccable. The heart of palm sangria is a must try!"
Serengeti Kitchen Harlem is open Tuesday-Thursday from 11:30am-10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-11pm, and Sunday from noon-9pm. (It's closed on Monday.)
Madison African Caribbean Cuisine
23 East 108th St. (between 5th Ave & Madison Ave.), East Harlem South
Photo: Madison African Caribbean Cuisine/Yelp
Family-owned Madison African Caribbean Cuisine restaurant offers an extensive menu of African and Caribbean barbecue, jerk chicken, curries and more.
Expect dishes like goat curry, barbecue ribs, and oxtail with rice served with a choice of side like collard greens, mixed veggies, sweet plantains, or cabbage. To round out your meal, the restaurant offers several different kind of soups, including chicken noodle, homestyle red bean and cow feet. (You can check out the full menu here.)
Yelp users are excited about Madison African Caribbean Cuisine, which currently holds 4.5 stars out of four reviews on the site.
Yelper Shanell N., who reviewed Madison African Caribbean Cuisine on February 12th, wrote: "A wholesome family staff offering incredible service. Their food is going to be the next rave of East Harlem! Wonderful textures, amazing, strong ethnic flavor, you do not want to miss out!"
Nicole F. noted: "Very friendly staff...I am assuming they are the owners. Extremely nice. Food is good, seasoned nicely without being overbearing, taste homemade. You get a lot of food for a decent price."
Madison African Caribbean Cuisine is open weekdays from 7am-9pm, and Saturday from 9am-7pm. (It's closed on Sunday.)