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Madiba Restaurant
Madiba Restaurant

Madiba Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.madibarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (718) 855-9190
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday - Thursday: 11:00am - 11:00pm

    Friday & Saturday: 11:00am - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: South African
  • Executive Chef: Mark Henegan
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Madiba restaurant itself, our Catering & Event Production division
    is both a gateway and a much missed opportunity for enjoyment
    that is nothing short of ‘home’ - wherever that home may be.



    We are a New York based full-service Catering & Event Company,
    experts at making any size corporate or social function a highly
    unique event.
  • Entertainment: From the South African All Stars to local Brooklyn Artists, the bill constantly changes!
  • Special Events & Promotions: Monthly Wine paired dinners form October to March.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Carlton Ave
  • Public Transit: G to Fulton or Clinton-Washington

    C to Lafayette

    B54 at Carlton & Dekalb (west bound)

    B54 at Carlton & Lafayette (east bound)
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Madiba Restaurant
Since 1999, Madiba Restaurant has offered a unique South African experience, the first of it"s kind in the United States. The restaurant is more than the food- join us to witness love, enjoy libations, and the feeling of "Ubuntu"- "humanity" in the Xhosa language.



Fashioned in the style of a "Shebeen," Madiba offers refuge and relief to neighbors and travelers, friends and strangers alike. Come and see for yourself.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "We had been looking forward to Madiba for months— and we were not disappointed. The entire experience was wonderful. This was our first dining visit but it surely will not be our last. The atmosphere was warm and friendly. The food was absolutely delicious. I had the Mozambican prawns and my husband had the Cape Capensis. Both wonderful treats from the sea!"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Vibrant atmosphere, but service was way too slow, food okay but nothing truly special, undersized and very expensive for what it was. My friend had a veggie curry that was mainly water. They has "run out" of my dish, but I was only told when the rest of our table was served. Glad to have visited this place once, but will not return."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Its was a wedding events on that day, service was slow. We waited 1 hour for our lunch to arrived. Took 2.5 hours to finished the lunch. But the waiter's was good and polite. Otherwise its was good. I have one comment for the maitre's service on that day. He served menu to two other tables that came after us. When I showed my hand signal for service then he came over with the menu. That is not nice. The foods was great. Anyway I will come back again."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Been here twice before for pre thester dinner ( Polansky Shakespeare). Were in a rush this time. Unfortunately, both service and food fell short. Would try again, but need a breather."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "remains a great neighborhood go-to. really nice, homey vibe to it. no pretense, energetic and the food is always good."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The atmosphere at the restaurant was nice and relaxing. BUT, the service was not! Our waiter practically jumped on us to get our drinks in with our appetizers and our main course! We barely had a minute to sit down and open the menu's. He was extremely abrupt, almost to the point of being rude. Once we made it clear that we were not ready to order, he disappeared, not to be seen for another 20 minutes! Once he returned, we began ordering drinks, which he swiftly said we might as well not order because the bar was 'backed up' and the bar tender would not make the order for a further 20 minutes."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "An excellent menu with offerings cook to perfection, and a staff willing to help navigate the familiar yet somewhat strange. A great example of cultures joining and meeting over the dinner table."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Madiba restaurant is a great find! It's nestled in the friendly Fort Greene neighbourhood and with authentic South African fare to match. The restaurant is beautiful decorated with lots of cultural stuff from the saffa saga! The only downside to my experience there was the service - I really felt like I was back in Joburg. I had to wait on the host to finish smoking and my waiter was twirling his dreadlocks while serving, when he managed to get to the table. For the price, the food is worth it but the service could use some sprucing up! "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "It's a shame the service here is so appalling, because the food is very good. I would have really enjoyed my experience if the service had been professional. Instead, it was nearly impossible to get acknowledged by the host, every step of the process took a very long time, and our food arrived without silverware and we had to flag someone down to ask for it. Worst of all, as we and the tables near us were waiting for service, we watched servers eating at the station right near our table as well as smoking on the sidewalk, which was not only inconsiderate and unprofessional, but unsanitary."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Overall I had a great experience at Madiba!! Both my husband and I got a curry meal. I got the curry seafood made bunnychow style. He got the curry lamb with rice. Each came with 5 different sauces to pair with it. The bonus was wach meal comes with a glass of wine for brunch!! In addition we had an appetizer of calimari. My husband liked it so much he had a serving for dessert. If only I lived in Brooklyn, I'm sure we'd frequent this restaurant. The servers are great, the service is quick and the atmopshere is very inviting!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "If you like the chance to cross a cultural divide, this is a good place for that from the names of some sauces (monkey glands) to the native South African Owner and staff, this place is a fun experience. Dennis one of the owners was hands on and willing to answer questions and hear your comments. I was happy to find my favorite Rooiboos red Bush tea is available for sale there and to observed the customers who didn't mind the wait on Mother's Day for their turn to enjoy the food. Friendly and accomodating staff and our mothers throloughly enjoyed the atmosphere and finding familiar dishes they enjoyed."
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "My sister and I took our mother here for Mother's Day. The day was great, the food was yummy and she had a wonderful time. We'll be back for brunch."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "The food, service & ambiance: enjoyable + consistent. I love this South African restaurant & will always support it as long as it's in my neighborhood. The staff is super friendly and efficient. My fave dish is the Tristan da Cunha Lobster Tail (mango & saffron rice w/ lobster tails) and I love the prawns too. I've brought several people here & they've all loved it. Other great dishes: durban-style lamb curry, 1/2 chicken or cornish hen; Chakalaka appetizer has kick but is so yummy. Everything is so flavorful and good. I always stuff my face so much that I never have room for dessert. My favorite drink is the Obama Mama but the sangrias are also good. I'm looking forward to trying the Lupita soon. All in all this is a great place."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Had a memorable meal the other night, when looking for a spot to eat after a school function around the corner. Loved the eccentric decor and was taken by the aromas in the air. Food was delicious although the service was friendly but a bit slow in the ordering process. Was seated by host and then sat at the table for almost 20 minutes without anyone noticing we had not ordered anything yet. Once food was ordered, things came out quickly and everything was superb. We tried everything from the curry to to the calamari to the oxtail to the salads to the smashed potatoes. we all enjoyed the meal and will definitely be coming back again soon!"
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "I had made a reservation for 6:00 for five but when we arrived there was no table available. The host told us that the table he had intended to give us would be occupied for at least another 45 minutes because the party seated there had just ordered a bottle of wine. He didn't offer us another table, so we left. The restaurant was very crowded with a lot of people outside. Probably a stressful situation for the servers, but one of them was very rude to my friends and told them roughly to get out of the doorway. My friends didn't want to stand in the doorway, but had nowhere else to go."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "They where over booked made us wait over an hour and after all that sit as out side in the rain Would have left to different spot if was possible"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We love Madiba. The people who own, run and staff it are wonderful. The food is unique and the place is really fun. We send audiences, friends, out of town guests there all the time. Never had a bad meal. Always surprising and always good. Wines and beers excellent, too."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "I'll never get tired of eating here. The vibe is amazing. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Madiba is one of those special neighborhood spots that always delivers on the food, atmosphere and service. Very kid-friendly as well- their kids menu is very reasonably priced. Try the lamb curry or the ribs!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We enjoyed our visit to Madiba very much! The menu was varied and I enjoyed the Lambchops while my husband had a vegetarian dish. I loved the accompaniments. But the highlight was the bread pudding - so awesome! Wine selection was reasonable and good as well. It' crowded and the tables are a tight fit but its a fun place to spend an evening!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "it was my first time eating Southern african cuisine and I cannot complain, I really loved it, though I was the only person from our table that was completely happy with her food. My sister ordered the Lorenzo Marques prawns and said they weren't as flavorful while my brother ordered the Steak and was just ok with it. We also ordered desserts, I'm not a quite fan of sweet stuff so I was sort of scared of trying the Mom's Tipsy Tart since it stated to have dates and nuts but it was quite good, just the right amount of sweet. The Bobotie was on point, I made my siblings try it and they both agreed it was quite good. I'd definitely go back to try more of their curry dishes."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Always love their food and service! I was just disappointed that they ran out of my favorite dessert at Madiba--the flourless chocolate cake :(, which is absolutely DELISH! Tell your friends, family and colleagues about this place because you will keep coming back for more!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We love dining at Madiba with our friends in small and large (~8) groups. Recently we had dinner with the in-laws and our 1.5 year old. The wait staff and owner went out of their way to make us, and the other patrons, feel very special (and they had crayons and paper for my son to play with) . I honestly feel like its the kind of place where "everybody knows your name". And the food and drinks are always delicious. I recommend Madiba for all occasions - it just a fun place to be were the vibes are so good that you feel uplifted after every visit."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "The restaurant was very crowded and my wife had to ask for the music to be turned down a little so we could hold a conversation. The service was excellent and the food was interesting and quite good, though some of the dishes were a little salty. We will definaty be back. Possibly for lunch next time."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Recommend making a reservation which we did only a few hours in advance but our wait once we got there was pretty short (Saturday evening and the place was packed) . Great atmosphere and food. True to the South African theme. Tried the curry and ribs both excellent. Definitely worth a trip to Brookln"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My favorite restaurant -- such a friendly, warm, welcoming staff. Fulfills my craving for pap and a glass of good South African wine, the atmosphere is laid-back, funky, warm. Pls don't change anything."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Genuinely- it seems like all different types of people were there, with good reason."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I've been to this restaurant many times now but this visit was even better than the previous ones. Our waitress was knowledgable, patient, and incredibly sweet. She made wonderful recommendations and seemed so sincere. As usual, the food was delicious, service was great, and I can't wait until the next time."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Curry lamb and lobster dish were good. A little disorganized but good vibe. They definitely need a bigger place."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Every year, two of my friends and I celebrate one of our birthdays at Madiba's Restaurant. Each year the popularity of the restaurant increases and we make sure we arrive in a timely fashion to ensure our reservation. We live in Westchester County, the South Bronx, and in upper Manhattan. This year the food was extraordinary and the ambience uplifting and jovial. We have been eating at the restaurant for at least six years now, and we have never had a disappointing meal. We look forward to returning in the next few weeks."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I normally don't do this, but my experience with Madiba bothered me beyond words. I booked a 7:15pm reservation on February 25th for a party of eight on March 15. When I called 20 minutes before my reservation just to confirm that everything would be in place, the person who picked up the phone was nice enough, but told me there was no reservation under my name. On spelling my last name for Phone Person, he asked if I was a Bryan so and so, which I am not. Got to the restaurant to let the host know that I'm here with a reservation, and he told me to wait "a few minutes". These few minutes turned into an hour and forty minute wait. He seemed to have forgotten about us, and when we did sit, my party of 7 was squeezed in a corner. Don't go..."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We made a reservation on this site for 6 people at 9:15. We arrived on time, if not a bit early, and it was immediately apparent they had no clue of our open table reservation even existed. The place was beyond packed, with many people waiting for seating. Had a great vibe and smelled great, but the indifferent look from the host when I checked on our reservation said it all. This restaurant shouldn't be on this website because they clearly don't have any respect for its purpose. I should have listened to the warnings from other reviewers. Don't say you have an opening, and then tell the party who trekked out to your restaurant that it will be 1.5-2 hours to get seated. That's just poor management."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Food was slow to come out, but great food, great ambiance, friendly waitstaff. Looking forward to coming back!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Disappointed I made a 8pm reservation for a party of eight got there early had to wait two hours before we got a table.the food was worth the wait service was good.for waiting that long we should have gotten a free meal or something."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Thanks for a lovely Saturday lunch in a perfectly-decorated tribute to South Africa & our beloved Madiba. Love the drinks, too!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "My partner and I go to this restaurant more often than we'd like to admit. Whenever it's time to eat out, we inevitably pick Madiba. The lamb curry is awesome, the Lorenzo Marquez prawns are delicious, and I've had lots of other great homey South African food here. It's one of the best spots in the neighborhood. It gets crowded, and loud, and service can be quirky but that adds to the charm."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I love Madiba, and have been coming for many years. But even though I'm a VIP OpenTable member and booked through OpenTable, We got there early, and were first sat at the bar for dinner - once I said that wasn't going to work we got sat in the middle of everything at a table that was really made for 2 people, and we were 4 people. But the atmosphere was great as was the food, so we just didn't linger, which I had wanted to."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "The brothers that own Madiba are the most friendly, down to earth, loving and energetic South African guys you will ever meet. When you meet them you immediately feel like you've known them for years! My South African girl felt like she was back home in Durban. The food was amazing and my South African date attest to that. It was authentic, very very tasty and cooked with love. The atmosphere was down to earth with no pretension, nor fuss, nor frills and time just flew by enjoying the food, the good company and the positive energy. I highly recommend going to this place if you love being yourself and having a good meal and good time with good friends. I am going back there every time I am back home in Brooklyn guaranteed. Malva pudding!!!!"
    Dined on 2/2/2014
  • "The food was great but the service was excellent - enough to make me come back."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "This is one of those neighborhood spots that you just have to try. Both times I have visited Madiba I have ordered their curry. The lamb curry is cooked to perfection and my favorite part are the chutneys. And who would have thought I would like rice with raisins (golden) in it? Also a great appetizer is the salmon cake. Perfectly crusty outside and tender inside with a delicious drizzle on the plate to swipe it across. I'm glad it's a short walk away from where I live because it makes it easier to visit over and over again."
    Dined on 2/15/2014