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Watch amNY TV: Safari Restaurant in Harlem offers incredible Somali cuisine

A plate of canjeero with beef liver and Somali-style crepes at Safari Restaurant in Harlem.

Safari Restaurant, the only Somali dining establishment in New York City, has found a way to keep its doors open during the coronavirus pandemic and throughout the reopening phases.

Mona Birjeeb, owner of Safari, told amNY TV that after weeks and months of donating food during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are doing delivery and takeout as Phase 3 of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan draws near.

She is also hoping to apply for a food truck that will help bring their food to the people considering the small restaurant cannot accommodate six-foot social-distancing regulations.

Opened in May of 2015, the restaurant located at 219 W. 116th Street in Harlem provides its diners with a rare Eastern-African culinary experience that is as authentic as one can find in the tri-state area.

“[People think] we only have beautiful women and pirates. There’s more to it, there’s culture behind it,” Birjeeb said. “Somalia is the land of spices. When you think of Somali food, this is what you think of — all these warm spices.”

Those ingredients, which come directly from Somalia,

Most spices come from Somalia, bringing Birjeeb back home.

“Every time I cook, it reminds me of my mom, my sisters,” she said. 

Safari Restaurant, 219 West 116th St., Harlem. 646-964-4252, instagram.com/safariharlem. Open 7 days a week.

Watch the video above about Safari Restaurant on amNY TV to to learn more about their incredible cuisine.

Click here to watch more episodes of amNY TV. 

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