Harlem’s hit fast-casual, pan-African restaurant Teranga from renowned chef Pierre Thiam is gearing up for a big expansion with two new New York City locations this year. The first of these new locations is inside Dekalb Market Hall, the massive food hall in Downtown Brooklyn, and the second is in a yet-to-determined neighborhood in the city.
Both locations are set to open “in the next few months,” writes Teranga co-founder Noah Levine, but he declined to provide any more details about the expansion. He did, however, reveal that opening more locations was always part of the plan for Teranga, and the team was particularly buoyed by the success of the Harlem location to move forward.
The hip restaurant, located within the Africa Center, at East 109th Street and Fifth Avenue, opened in February last year with a focus on the West African supergrain fonio. It’s one of the three different bases offered at Teranga, along with a bunch of protein toppings such as grilled chicken, sweet potato and black eyed-pea, and roasted salmon; sides like spicy fried plantains and a beets and fonio salad; and three different sauces including peanut, a spicy tomato broth, and a caramelized onion and lime creation.
Thiam made a name for himself in New York while cooking at Brooklyn Senegalese restaurant Le Grand Dakar, which closed in 2011. Thiam subsequently left New York to open a restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2015, only to return back to NYC a few years later. Teranga is part of a thriving — and growing West African dining scene in NYC, including another recent Harlem entrant from Eater Young Gun JJ Johnson called Field Trip.