What were your first impressions when you arrived?
At the top of Museum Mile, at the northeast corner of Central Park, is The Africa Center and its restaurant Teranga, which is run by the acclaimed Senegal-born chef and cookbook author Pierre Thiam. Offering a culinary lens into Africa through African-grown ingredients and flavors that date back to before colonization, the restaurant is as much a place to dine as it is an integral part of this cultural center. The name Teranga translates to “good hospitality” in Senegalese, and although it’s a fast-casual spot—bowls and all—the team here is indeed warm and welcoming.
What’s the crowd like?
African restaurants are rare treasures in New York, and Teranga has draws the culinarily curious from across the city.
What should we be drinking?
A broad coffee menu offers standards like cappuccinos as well as options like cafe touba, a spiced coffee from Senegal, and moringa lattes. There are also homemade juices like bissap, made with hibiscus and mint.
Main event: the food. Give us the lowdown—especially what not to miss.
Seasonal menus focus around bowls with African grains like Liberian ruby red rice, the ancient grain fonio, or attieke, a fermented cassava couscous. Diners can add proteins like roasted salmon with Moroccan spices, free range grilled chicken, or vegan options. Bowls are rounded out with sauces and vegetables like efo riro, a red palm oil stew made with kale, okra, and fermented locust bean; and pounded plantain with red palm oil. If you’re overwhelmed by options, order one of the “super bowls” like the Yassa, Yassa, made with sweet and tangy grilled chicken with caramelized onions, red rice, spicy fried plantains, and black-eyed peas.