If you’re in Brooklyn and on the lookout for authentic Yemeni food that is halal, you have to visit Yemen Café.
Opened in 1986, Yemen Café is a family-owned restaurant that has not only provided delicious Middle Eastern food through the years but has been a safe space that brings people together through deep cultural ties.
The current co-owner and manager Ali Alsubai took over for his father and uncle who started Yemen Café and he has continued on promoting the value of giving back to the community.
Continue reading to see why Yemen Café has become an icon in the Brooklyn food scene.
Open for over 30 years
Yemen Café is all about spreading their love of their culture, spreading joy, and helping others. They admire the bonding and connecting that can happen at the dinner table and love to share that with their guests.
They have commented on how, in their culture, it is common to go through several courses where everyone shares food off of one communal plate.
This appreciation for tradition and community has been passed on for over three decades and has never wavered.
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant was shut down and they were limited to takeout and delivery.
Like many, business dropped drastically, but Yemen Café was determined to continue providing food and top-quality service to their loyal customers.
Popular dishes: Must-tries
Hands down, the lamb haneeth (slow-cooked lamb) is Yemen Café’s most famous dish. It is so well seasoned, slow cooked to perfection, and served with mixed vegetables and rice.
The meat falls off the bone and tastes slightly sweet and spiced to the tongue.
Their menu also boasts a scrumptious massloug lamb—sauteed lamb that has been boiled in a seasoned mirepoix for several hours.
Yemen Café menu highlights :
- Chicken Kabsa
- Charcoal grilled chicken
- Fatah with honey
- Fahsah (Saltah with shredded lamb, served in a steaming clay bowl)
- Lamb glaba
- Lamb chops
- House made baba ghanoush
- Special Yemen Tea
Complementary offers and large portions
In addition to their drool-worthy entrees, Yemen Café offers complementary chai tea that is self-serve, as well as bread and soup.
They are recognized for giving generous portions of food, with entrees that are often big enough for multiple people.
Simple atmosphere with a family feel
Yemen Café has a great atmosphere that is warm, friendly, and embracing. When you walk in, you will face a large room with many customers, regular and new, enjoying their time and being well taken care of.
Yemen Café is open for more than 12 hours every day of the week to accommodate as many visitors as possible.
Splendid customer service
Customers frequently compliment the exceptional service they receive from the staff and servers. They are known to be remarkably helpful and welcoming to everyone who walks through their doors.
Food turnover is quick, even when the restaurant is bustling and busy. If it is your first time there, do not hesitate to ask about dishes and what they recommend!
They love to help you find something you’ll love based on your preferences and tastes.
Let’s start with appetizers. These include Yemen Café’s special house salad that features their homemade dressing, fresh baba ghanoush, fassolia, and shak-shookah (egg). Appetizers average about $15 but they are meant for sharing.
Entrees, depending on whether you opt for lamb or chicken, range from $15 to $30. The prices also depend on the time of day you visit.
Lunch hours are Mon-Fri, between 11 AM and 3 PM, and meals at this time are slightly cheaper than at dinner. Overall, you get a lot for the amount that you pay, and the prices here are certainly reasonable.
Google Reviews 4.6 /5 (2291 reviews)
Yelp 4.5/5 (570 reviews)
Trip Advisor 4.5/5 (102 reviews)
For a restaurant to have been open for as long as Yemen Café has and to have maintained such stellar reviews, it is truly something to be proud of.
It is clear that the owners have such a passion for making authentic food and giving customers the best experiences possible, so it is not difficult to see why so many continue to come back for more.
Hospitality and gratitude are at the centre of their values and serve as pillars upon which they run their business.
They have stated that their goal is “to bring the flavors of Yemen to Brooklyn”.
There are two locations
In addition to their original location on Atlantic Avenue, Yemen Café has also opened a sister location in Bay Ridge.
This spot has also received excellent feedback with over a thousand reviews and a 4.5/5 rating on Google Maps.
|Location||7317 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
|Contact Information||Phone: (718) 745-3000|
|Hours||Monday—Sunday 9 AM to 10:45 PM|
|Location||176 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201
|Contact Information||Phone: (718) 834-9533|
|Hours||Monday—Sunday 10 AM to 11:30 PM|
Frequently asked questions
Do they accept reservations?
There does not appear to be a reservation system online. However, if you want to inquire about group events and catering, please feel free to give them a call.
Do they offer delivery?
Yes, Yemen Café can be ordered on Uber Eats, Postmates, and Door Dash.
What COVID safety measures do they currently have in place?
Masks are required by patrons and staff who also undergo routine temperature checks. The restaurant disinfects their surfaces between visits. They also offer curbside pickup and no-contact delivery if you do not want to dine in.
Are there vegetarian and vegan options?
Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan options available.
Is this place good for groups?
Yes, to ensure they can accommodate your group, it would be best to call ahead of time.
Is this place suitable for children?
Yes, they welcome guests of all ages!
What forms of payment do they accept?
They accept credit cards, cash, and android pay. This restaurant does not accept Apple Pay.
Is there parking?
There is street parking but no parking for bikes.