New York now has a place for Somalis after a Somali-owned restaurant was opened in the city for the first time. Somali Safari Cuisine, located along 219B 116th Street, is becoming a subject of every talk within the Somali community in the US after it opened its doors to the multi-coloured, multi-ethnic and the multi-religious population of the city that has an estimated 8,491,000 people.
“Quite frankly, Somali cuisine is among the best I’ve ever heard,” James Graham, a regular customer at the hotel said. He added that he was referred to the hotel by a friend.
“I just happened to pass by when I felt like munching cookies and this hotel—Somali Safari Hotel—happened to be the only eatery around,” added Graham’s friend, Filum.
The restaurant offers Somali cuisine, among them Somali Tea, Anjeero, Suqar and Liimo Balbeelmo. Though there are no particular areas or estate populated by Somalis, the city does not have a large population of Somalis. The management of the hotel said they target Somali and non-Somali customers in the city.
Somalis living in the United States vary widely, ranging from 35,760 to 150,000 persons, according to the 2010 American Community Survey data which indicates that there are approximately 85,700 people with Somali ancestry in the US.