Get a taste of the Middle East with your friends without having to travel half-way across the world by visiting these hookah bars which are guaranteed to be a favorite hang out spot all year round. By Erica Mason
Karma is a swanky lounge in the East Village with original artwork on the walls and a helpful staff. There are two levels at Karma; the main floor is open daily from 1pm til 4am and boasts a candle- lit bar, velvet sofas, relaxing music, and tables with brass hookahs. The downstairs lounge, which is only open at night, has a more intimate, cozy atmosphere. On Sunday through Thursday from 1pm- 8pm and from 1pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy Happy Hour drink specials. The bartenders at Karma are beautiful and will get your drinks and tobacco right away, while you are listening to music spun by talented dj’s who match their music to the calming atmosphere. At Karma, you an either buy a variety of tobacco flavors or you can bring your own tobacco. The best seats are on the velvet benches that face 1st Avenue. Hookah prices are determined by the size of the hookah, the favor, and are cheapest during Happy Hour.
107 Avenue A (between 6th St & 7th St)
Kazuza is a combination of a hookah lounge, bar and restaurant. Kazuza is newly renovated and is now very cozy. With over 50 flavors of tobacco, this Mediterranean Lounge on the Lower East Side of NYC has an extremely romantic and relaxed environment. The cuisine is unique with a variety of foods such as paninis, wraps, burgers, chicken and lamb shish kebobs. There are also many specialty drinks and huge range of wines. There is a live DJ every night spinning today’s hits, hip hop and Mediterranean cultural beats. There is a Belly Dance show on Fridays and Saturdays at 11:45 pm. Every day of the week, Kazuza has Happy Hours, so pricing on Hookahs depends on which day and how many hookahs and flavors you order.
162 Bleecker Street (between Sullivan St & Thompson St)
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Falucka has guest DJs spinning Medina-flavored fusion along with house and techno, and belly dancers stop in for a twirl, often accompanied by live percussionists. The house cocktails are strong and sweet, with a French martini topping the list. When the bar’s hosting a hookah night, you can sample apple tobacco from those famous tall water pipes. Falucka has Leather banquettes and ottomans, stained glass lamps and rose petals scattered on the table: This Middle Eastern-themed club offers a leisured reprieve from a block known better for its mob scenes than its martinis. The spacious bar draws a genial, good-looking crowd of West Village professionals, baseball-capped undergrads and pleasantly surprised accidental tourists. Hookahs are priced based on size and hour you go.
184 First Avenue
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This is a Middle Eastern themed bar; you will not feel like you are in NYC when you step into Sahara East. The food is delicious, with standards such as tabbouleh and hummus. Hookahs here are very cheap, with an option of more than 40 flavors of tobacco, including yummy apple and mango. The best part? Sahara only charges $10 per hookah, which is considered cheap in Manhattan.
183 Orchard Street
Kush is most famously known for its lively and luxurious Moroccan décor, candlelit tables, and over-sized plush pillows, which sets the scene for some intense smoking. Kush has a small bar with delicious cocktails that mix well with the apricot or mixed-fruit tobacco, to name just two. Moderately priced at $15 per hookah, there is a “happy hour” on hookahs priced at $5 on Mondays!
211 East 4th Street
This hookah bar is not only known for its tobacco but for it’s great food and menu. Most people indulge in the six-course feast offered, including kabobs and moussaka. After or even during dinner, you’ll want to experience some tokes from the water pipe because although there are only five flavors of tobacco on the menu, the strawberry tobacco is apparently delicious. At $15 per hookah, they are moderately priced, considering the location and the food that comes highly recommended by many Mamlouk goers.
142 Montague St.
Perfect for summer, Kapadokya has an outdoor patio where you can try unique tobaccos such as rose and honey. Inside the bar, they serve traditional Turkish cuisine such as lamb and creamy eggplant. On Thursday though Sunday nights, there are Belly-dancers performing all around the diners and smokers. Hookahs are $13.95, which is well priced considering the neighborhood and outside patio perk.