These Westchester Eateries Dish up Enticing African Cuisine

Expand your culinary horizons (or revisit food from home) with just a taste of this vast region here in Westchester County.

Finding African cuisine inside the county’s borders can be quite a sleuthing project for foodies who want to introduce their palate to the vivid flavors the cultural dishes often offer.

That’s especially true after Lalibela, possibly the only Ethiopian restaurant in all of Westchester, closed in Mount Kisco in 2021. Tagine, a French-Moroccan restaurant and wine bar in Croton-on-Hudson, closed in 2018.

Even so, we pressed on in the search for some representation of this continent’s diverse cuisines. Africa does have 54 countries, after all. Alas: We found some Ghanaian, Moroccan, and a single dish labeled as Egyptian. (But we welcome your finds too!)

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Ofori’s World Cuisine

982 Main St, Peekskill; 914.402.1072

As its name suggests, this restaurant serves more than African cuisine. A Food Network Season 35 “Chopped” finalist, Chef Lawrence Ofori’s cooking is also inspired by Mexican, Italian, Indian, and Caribbean cultures. But growing up in Ghana and influenced by his grandmother, Ofori has a penchant for cayenne, allspice, curry, and ginger. Ofori previously operated via food truck near the Jefferson Mall until his full-service restaurant opened in March 2023.

What to order for the most Ghanaian experience? Consider the ashanti fufu (mashed plantains) with spicy goat peanut soup and fresh mackerel, or the adabraka kenkey, a steamed ball of fermented corn dough that has a sour and slightly tangy flavor served with fried red snapper and hot sauce. The Mama G Oxtail is “slow-cooked, African style,” and the Ghana-style jerked chicken is marinated in a spicy blend. Yes, there are tacos, pasta, and Caesar salad here. But there’s also the Ghanachanga, a Ghana-style fried burrito with jollof rice, cheddar or jack cheese, and a protein choice of chicken, beef, steak, brisket, veggies, or shrimp.

 

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Tasty Budz

61 Gramatan Ave, Mt Vernon; 914.363.9713

This casual neighborhood spot serves traditional Ghanaian dishes, plus some other dishes from across the continent. For a true classic, try the jollof rice with chicken, a dish packed with flavor and spice. Typically, jollof is long-grain rice cooked with tomatoes, chilies, onions, spices, and sometimes other vegetables and/or meat in a single pot. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the goat soup with fufu is a popular traditional West African meal. Traditionally, fufu is boiled and mashed cassava, yams, or plantains made into a dough-like dish. The spot also serves juices and smoothies to give a health kick to the already good-for-you meals.

Argana Restaurant & Bar

325 N Main St, Port Chester; 914.612.4440

Argana in Port Chester transports you to a world of Moroccan hospitality without having to leave the county. Appetizers include traditional dips like hummus and smoked eggplant, but the eatery also introduces new flavors to the region with its unique Mia Octopus, which comes with Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and cannellini beans. The entrees include two tagines (a North African dish named after the clay pot in which it’s cooked): beef meatball simmered in tomato sauce and soft egg or vegetarian, which is vegan and includes couscous. Other entrees include kebabs, roasted branzino, and chicken B’stilla, a traditional sweet-and-savory Moroccan pie. For dessert, try bastille au lait, which has orange blossom pastry cream and roasted almonds between the flaky layers of phyllo dough.

 

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Hash-o-Nash

441 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.630.7310

Self-identified as a Middle Eastern country kitchen, this Mamaroneck eatery serves at least three dishes inspired by Moroccan cuisine, and one calls itself Egyptian, so you could argue this restaurant includes parts of northern Africa. The Egyptian moussaka is a hearty eggplant lasagna-like dish with tomato and mixed vegetables, with olive oil and pomegranate molasses. Order the Moroccan cigars as its own dish, or part of the Moroccan platter to savor pan-fried phyllo dough stuffed with kashkaval (semi-hard, yellow cheese made from cow milk, sheep milk, or both), feta, and herbs. The platter also includes chicken and vegetable cigars. And finally, the Moroccan tagine with prunes and dried figs can be enjoyed with lamb or chicken for a sweet, spicy stew topped with sesame seeds and fried almonds served over couscous.

 

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Related: 5 Family-Owned Westchester Restaurants for Comforting Dishes

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