Somali cuisine is stamped with the flavors of trade

Why a Somali nook in East Boston is one of the country’s best new restaurants

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Location: MA-Boston

Story Date: 9/24/2019

Publisher: The Boston Globe   

Author: Devra First

Tawakal Halal Cafe is located on an East Boston corner in a burgundy building not much bigger than a garden shed. Inside is the homiest little space, painted ochre and festooned in festive tinsel garlands, the windows lined in bowls and baskets and other artworks. About half the room is taken up by the kitchen, walled off behind treescape murals; the back wall is a chalkboard filled with messages in different languages from customers and staff. One, top and center, is written in Hindi with an English translation overhead: “Very Good Food.” The restaurant smells like the best spices in the world commingling, with back notes of incense and something floral. From the kitchen come the sounds of conversation, laughter, and cooking. Each time there’s a sizzle, a fresh waft of spices fills the room. Is that your food being cooked? You hope so.

Place Category: Food & Drink

Story Category: Top/Best/Coolest Lists