Egyptian Coffee Shop

2509 Steinway St.
New York, NY 11103
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The sign above the Egyptian Coffee Shop reads "First Hooka Lounge In America," and while that's a difficult claim to prove, this authentic hookah cafe feels a world away from the fancy shisha joints that have overrun the Village. Egyptian Coffee Shop is at the heart of the Little Egypt neighborhood on Steinway Street in Astoria, but it has become a regular hang-out for the broader Arab community and is generally welcoming to whomever. It's cheap to smoke, the coals are well-tended, and the shisha comes in a variety of flavors. Mint tea and hot, sweet, creamy sahlab are served as refreshments, but for food, one must grab a bite from a neighboring eatery. The Egyptian Coffee Shop is open 24/7, and the big screen is typically tuned in to Egyptian news while patrons chat and play relaxed games of backgammon or dominoes. However, with no phone or website to speak of, the Egyptian Coffee Shop manages to keep a low profile. --Alex Spoto
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