New York Daily Photo Analytics

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


In New York City, ethnic diversity takes on different flavors. There are neighborhoods with one large ethnic group or a number of ethnic groups, and there are ethnic enclaves - neighborhoods dominated by one ethnicity. Jackson Heights, Queens, considered one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the world, is a good example of the former.

Ethnic pockets, large and small, are scattered throughout the boroughs of New York City: Ukrainians in the East Village, Jamaicans in Jamaica, Queens, Koreans in Koreatown in Manhattan, Greeks in Astoria, Queens, Russians in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Hassidic Jews in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Mexicans in Spanish Harlem, Filipinos in Woodside and Flushing, Queens, Dominicans in Washington Heights, Indians in the East Village. There are also concentrations of many older European immigrant groups - e.g. Irish, Italian, and German.

Along Atlantic Avenue near Clinton Street, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, there is a handful of Middle Eastern merchants. There are few Middle Eastern residents in this neighborhood today - there were many early in the 20th century.

Sahadi's, at 187 Atlantic Avenue, has been in Brooklyn since 1948 and is the most well known of the Middle Eastern shops in the area. You will also find others here, such as the Yemen Cafe, Damascus Bakery and Bread, Malko Karkanni Brothers, the Oriental Pastry and Grocery Company, and the Lebanese restaurant Tripoli.

At Sahadi's, you will find a place that does not pander to the tourist or outsider. This is the real deal, catering to a select clientele of Middle Eastern residents or food aficionados, all looking for authentic foods. Since there founding, Sahadi's has broadened its selection and has evolved into a gourmet shop where many other products can be found.

The company has a three-generation Lebanese family history, with its origins when Abrahim Sahadi opened A. Sahadi & Co. on Washington Street in New York City in 1895. Read the history here.
Sahadi's is now also a wholesaler, distributor, and manufacturer, known throughout the Middle Eastern community nationwide. This arm of the company, Sahadi Fine Foods, was formed in 1999 and is located in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. You can go here for a photo tour of the facility.

When it comes to my Middle Eastern training in cuisine, I have had several teachers. One of them was Sahadi's :)

Related Postings: First Oasis Restaurant, Kalustyan's, Moustache, Ful Mudammas, Mystery Meat


Naomid said...

Sahadi's is the Zabar's of Brooklyn, but it is by no means the best or most affordable place to get middle eastern foods. Its worth a trip to Bay Ridge to see why.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it is good to know about this in New York city.

Anonymous said...

It's good to know that there's so much diversity in New York. And I look forward to finally moving there in 2 years. It seems like THE place for me...because I am all about diversity. Here in Southern California, there is diversity but it is very fake and superficial. By the way, I like your blog page, I'm gonna add you to my favorites.

m.fletcher said...

Great photo! How did you manage to get a interior retail shot? Did you have to ask permission of the store manager?

Anonymous said...

Sahadi is a beautiful store. I love the old fashion look on the front. I had a fantastic baguette from there a while ago.

If you are looking for true authentic pastry only i would say go to Mansoura pastries ( They're more money but worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! You're on my favorites list! xoxo