Sahara East Restaurant

(212) 353-9000

184 1ST Ave, New York, NY | Directions   10009

40.731378 -73.982266

Open Hours

Monday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Tuesday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Wednesday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Thursday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Friday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Saturday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

Sunday 11:00 AM - 3:00 AM

 
Restaurants, $$, Food Delivery  more

More Tags: Outdoor Dining

Payment Methods: Cash, Debit Card

Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village

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Sahara East Restaurant
Sahara East Restaurant
Sahara East Restaurant
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Reviews for Sahara East Restaurant

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

Vomit. – Sahara East is dirty and has horrendous service. When we sat down, one of our friends immediately said it smelled terrible. The rest of us didn't smell anything, so we went ahead and ordered our hookah and a pitcher of sangria. I soon noticed that there was vomit in the bathroom sink, and told our waiter. After half an hour, my sister noticed that they still hadn't cleaned it up. A little later, the girl who had initially smelled something decided to leave early, and I moved to her seat. I noticed that there was something slimy under my feet and began to smell more vomit. Sure enough, there was a puddle of puke under our table. We were really grossed out, but didn't make a scene because it was very busy. They quickly moved us to another table. Later, the waiter suggested that we had done it! I wasn't sure if he was serious or joking, but I assured him that this was not the case.

When we got the bill, nothing had been comped. We told them that we had expected some kind of compensation, but they said nothing could be done because we had already smoked the hookah and drank the sangria. Both the hookah and the sangria were almost finished by the time we noticed the puke and moved tables! I tried to explain this to the manager, but he talked over me the whole time and I don't think he even heard me. They claimed that once something had been rung into their system, they couldn't remove it. That's ridiculous considering that if a waiter makes a mistake, surely he has the ability to remove it.

I've waited tables before, and I realize that bad things can happen that are out of your control. What I don't understand is why a busy restaurant would have a problem accommodating well-behaved customers who have had a terrible experience.

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

Good hookah but pushy service – I used to really like this place but now I am a little disappointed after last night.

We came on a Saturday night around 10PM. Some guy greeted us at the door and said he would sit us down ASAP. So he found a table for two but we had 4 people. It turned out the backyard garden is under construction so they only open the front area, which is really tiny.

After we sat down, they told us we had to order 2 hookahs or 1 premium fruit hookahs even though one of us was not going to smoke. They said coz we technically had 2 tables while we occupied 1.

Then during the time we were there, they made us moved to another side twice so they could accommodate more people without really giving our opinion any consideration.

Finally, they charged us 18% service fee automatically. The hookah turned out great and the sahlab, Egyptian custard drink was special but I was really disappointed with their service last night.

While there are so many Hookah cafes in East Village, they really should consider providing better services.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Great place to relax with friends – Me and my friends went to the city for a day and searched for some Hookah bars to go to. We ended up at Sahara East, and good thing too. Relaxing atmosphere and incredibly friendly servers, as well as great food. I would suggest getting the lamb off the dinner menu, it was incredibly tasty. We ordered 2 Hookahs, one with pineapple flavoring and one with mint, they were both incredible. Our server filled the base of the pineapple hookah with sangria wine and lemons which made it taste that much better. We stayed for about 2 hours since the hookahs really lasted us, and they replaced the tobacco free of charge. I can't stress enough how friendly the staff was, one of the waiters actually came out and sat with us and smoked with us for a bit. The bill was about 125 dollars for 5 of us, and that's with food, drinks, and appetizers. Definitely worth the money, and I can't wait to visit the city and Sahara East again!

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

Best Shisha Bar in Manhattan – I have been coming here for a few years and the place has only gotten better. My initial visits were nothing out of the ordinary but in the last couple of months the place has really changed. I came here as a group of five and we had to get two hookahs and a one drink minimum per person, a bouncer at the door made sure we did not get any alcohol but thats alright. Drinks are a bit pricey at 5 dollars for anything from tea to soda. The hookahs are exceptional though and the music is great, late at night you get to choose some of your own songs. The best part of the night were the new waiters.

They now speak english and are very memorable and attentive. A young man named Mike was very helpful, chatting with us, promptly offering service, and most importantly SPEAKING ENGLISH. He talked us through all the hookah flavors and recommended his favorite, (lemon mint), afterwards he played us a couple of requested songs.

All the new waiters they have are definitely the most enjoyable and attentive staff. The surprise came when we could not pay with credit card, a fact I found out only tonight, all other times paying with cash which made a very unpleasant run to the ATM machine a necessity (a block away). But all in all, great service, great hookah, great fun. I recommend this place to everyone and anyone.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

The Worst Place!! Awful Food and Service – I went there last night and I've never had such an experience where I have felt the urge to write a review. I had a friend with me who loves their Lamb Shawarma so that's what we ordered. The menu's description is "thinly-sliced lamb" while the lamb dish was filled with hunks of lamb that was undercooked. Further it was served with fries that just the same type of fries, you can get from the frozen food section of the grocery store. Zero rice and they served pita bread that was dry and I guess you were supposed to eat alone. We talked to the server and he didn't understand english and didn't offer anything. I talked the manager that my friend said that he had this dish plenty of times before and it just wasn't made the same and the manager just blew me off with a shrug.

Lastly, FYI this place had the audacity to charge $13.95 for the dish that I wouldn't even feed a dog, but then for 2 ppl they added a service charge (gratuity) into the bill. I'm an atty and gratuity is optional it's for the SERVICE. Zero service was provided and the food was inedible!

I will not be returning to this place - restaurants in NYC should learn that if you serve disgusting food and give poor service - well there are inordinate amount of other places to patron! Go at your own risk!

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

the atmosphere is awesome! – I went there a month ago for my friend's birthday. So admittedly, the drinks are really pricely, $7 for a juice is really stretching it. I'm no expert on Middle Eastern cuisine and I opted for a chicken cutlet, but it was tasty. The waiters aren't very good, they don't speak English well and they didn't really get what we were asking them. There's nothing phenomenal about the decor but it seemed fitting. I have to say that the music was amazing! I expected it just to be Arabian, but it was a lot of club/pop/hip hop/rap, it really set the tone for a good Sat night out. Unless you're there to be alone and boring, DEFINATLY get seated in the back. So overall, our waiter didn't understand us, it was snowing so the roof was leaking on us, the bill was way more then we could afford, there were really annoying girls across from us that kept screaming and I STILL had a really good time. The best thing is they don't rush you out at all, we must have been there for over 3 hours. If you're high strung and high maintence and need to be treated like a princess don't bother going. But if you're chill and really just want a relaxed good time, I really recommend this place.

Doesn't Recommend
2.0
over a year ago

Below-Average: In Quality and Service // Descent Establishment // Price: Expensive, waayy too overpiced even for Manhattan – IDK if these people who rated 5 Stars got fed cr@ck in their pipes but the Hookahs are not that good, in comparison to other places. They overprice everything and even water is charged for..5 dollars off the bat. Don't be fooled by its external appearance (the entrance that appears to have been painted by little kids using water brushes working on a low budget) the inside is fairly descent. The atmosphere is alright. The service is below average and the quality is meager. Overall, if you have a high expectancy THIS IS NOT the place for you. However, if you like overspend and could careless about quality then definitely hiit this up. that's all there is to tell. thank you, hopefully this will be helpful.

Recommends
4.0
over a year ago

worth your money and time – This place is welcoming. Try and get a table in the back where your roof turns into a Middle Eastern rug. It's not as fancy as any of the other hookah places i've been to, but the service is 10 times better. I'd definately sacrifice ornate walls, pretentious wanna-bes, and pillowed couches for this friendly and welcoming environment. In the 6 times that I have been there, I've rarely encountered rowdy high school kids. About the $5 water that everyone seems to be complaining about: There's more on that menu than water, such as fruit shakes and sahlab (which are worth $5). The hookahs are cheap (last time i went $15) and there are plenty of flavors to choose from. The bathroom is art, uniquely personalized by past customers. By that, I dont mean that there is s**t on the walls. It is just drawn on and colorful. I've met so many interesting people on line while waiting for the restroom. It truely is a fun place to be. The service is great; I've never had a problem! Overall, I'm satisfied!

Recommends
5.0
over a year ago

Really authentic – I went to Sahara East on an afternoon with a friend who had a hankering for the hookah. The two of us opted to sit in the front, away from the crowds. When we asked the waiter what sort of drinks they had, he rattled off some horrible domestic beers. Then we asked about wines, to which he responded, "red and white." The two of us laughed, and ordered a glass of red, and a jasmine hookah. They brought the drinks and hookah to our table. The two of us sat around chatting for two or three hours, and ordered a couple more drinks. The only time that the waiter had to interrupt our talking was to refill the charcoal on the top, so that we could keep smoking away.

When one of us did want something (water, more wine, whatever), we'd simply have to make eye contact with the waiter, who was more than happy to fulfil the request. You're not going to get the cute trendoids hanging out here, nor are you going to get a lot of frills (like liquor, or wines with a pedigree), but that's not what you're here for. Go for the ability to smoke a nice hookah with your friends for as long as you darn well please, while being waited on by friendly and amiable staff.

Doesn't Recommend
1.0
over a year ago

DO NOT TRY THIS PLACE – I only have two bad things to say about this place, besides the outdated decorations.

the place charged us $5 for a can of soda, 1 can for 5 bucks. The 2nd problem is the filthy bathroom that both men and women use. If the bathroom is that dirty, can u imagine what the kitchen looks like !!!

DO NOT GO TO SAHARA EAST .

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