Madiba Restaurant
Madiba Restaurant

Madiba Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.madibarestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 7188559190x
  • 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: 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 WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGreat for Lunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Madiba Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
60 reviews since June 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.4
    Service4
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (47)fit for foodies (34)good for groups (30)hot spot (28)great for outdoor dining (25)great for brunch (16)great for lunch (16)vibrant bar scene (15)special occasion (14)late-night find (13)romantic (11)notable wine list (8)kid-friendly (7)scenic view (2)Show More
  • South African Hospitality
    kidsnave
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    This exotic local oozes hospitality, energy, character and great comfort food. From the firm handshake of the maitre d' and cheerful wait staff to the list of ethnic dishes, some hard to pronounce, and the native decor, you will know that you are in a special place. Very popular locally - be sure to make reservations on busy evenings. There were people waiting for tables when we arrived for our 10:00PM reservation last Friday night! But, it would be worth the wait anyway.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect birthday celebration
    MsStush
    Dined on 9/17/2014
    Ideal venue for my belated birthday celebrations. Seriously good wines, in particular the Noble Hill Sauv Blanc, flavorful food and just a really great vibe for friends to catch up. Staff were so friendly and welcoming. I really should come here more often :-)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Time Here
    AlizeOfTheJungle
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Great Food. Found this place on OpenTable by chance while booking a last minute reservation for a party. Very friendly, and very accommodating. The food was awesome! I had never had the cuisine before but am an adventurous eater and was not disappointed. Great ambience with low lighting (though one of our party members used her phone flashlight to read the menu) and a lot of cool African art and tchotchkes on the walls. The staff were all friendly, and I believe the owner is the one who greeted us upon arrival. He was super friendly and genuinely pleased to chat with people. If I lived in the area, I would come back here often. Next time I am in Brooklyn I will visit this restaurant again. Try the Bobotie! Yum!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely amazing!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    As a South African... Wanting a real home meal this place for that aspect completely!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Madiba
    lovemadiba
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    The food was very good and the service also. The décor and theme of the restaurant was very interesting and different. We live in the neighborhood and would come back.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    loveSAfood
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    I truly enjoyed coming to this restaurant. It's my favorite restaurant in Brooklyn!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    FuFu
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Everything was Wonderful. Food was delicious. Chicken wings are the best in the city!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful!
    BrooklynJelly
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I'm from Zimbabwe, so South African food hits pretty close to home. My steak was a perfect medium rare and the biltong was amazing! My boyfriend really enjoyed his fish and chips, too. The service was quick and pleasant, and the wine recommended by our hostess was really good. We had a wonderful experience and can't wait to come back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely brilliant.
    JushVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I am south African myself, and never leave reviews- but this deserves a special mention. Not only is the food very authentic and exceptionally delicious, but Madiba has a relaxed vibe and enjoyable soul- definitely worth a visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Sat outdoors (they are dog friendly) and had a long leisurely brunch. Good food and friendly staff.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic South African Food!
    SouthAfrican94
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    I went here with my mom and my sister. We're South African and had heard about Madiba from a friend, so we drove for a while to get there. It was well worth the trip! The food is authentic and delicious. The atmosphere is fantastic and the African decorations made us nostalgic. I would recommend this restaurant to all who are open to trying real South African cuisine.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious food in unique ambiance
    MMMPNYC
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Food was fantastic! Ambiance set up so that you really feel like you're in South Africa, Brooklyn. ;) Not giving 5 stars only because of service. Granted, the place was hosting 3+ group birthday parties, but it took a while to get our orders placed and my partner received the wrong dish. It was quickly exchanged, though! So, would highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, terrible wine
    vinaya
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I went to Madiba with my boyfriend for dinner and we were very excited to try South African food! The place is very casual, theres a lot of people, lot of noise, so pretty loud. We were also surrounded by children! The food was very good but we ordered pinot noir and it came completely chilled!! It tasted horrible. They did offer dessert on the house but we were very full from dinner so declined.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great crowd, great service!
    RBbedstuy
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I'm a vegetarian and there were plenty of options to choose from. The flavors were unique and I'm definitely curious about more of the dishes. Next time I'd like to go and possibly ONLY try appetizers - so many interesting and different things on the menu! The energy in the restaurant is also lovely. It's definitely got a wonderful neighborly feel to it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Home away from home
    Carms0808
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I'm South African and haven't had home cuisine in more than three years. The food was really delicious and authentic. I got my husband (who is an adventurous eater) as well as my sister in law (who is not so adventurous) to try a few different things and they loved everything, as did I. The atmosphere was very energetic and I would love to come again when next I am in NYC.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exquisite
    Drmiddkid
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Madibas holds a special place in my heart. Amazing food, service and drinks!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service a little lacking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    We were given a bottle of water when we first sat down but it was never filled. Server never checked back after meal was served and we waited a long time for our check.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • waiter,there's a fly in my beer
    beenbeau
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Yes, I found a live fly in my beer bottle and neither the waiter nor the manager seemed to think that was a problem; "A fly in your beer? Here's another bottle" was their attitude. The fact that the fly touched my lips - I almost swallowed it - still makes me shudder. It reflects badly on Madiba's hygiene and service that they were unconcerned. Oh, and the food was only just okay.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • love madiba
    rebmams
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I just love this place - the Mandela vibe is in the air everywhere. The food is delicious and the service is friendly! I just keep coming back b/c food, atmosphere, and service are always terrific!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Neighborhood Spot
    misterdega
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    First time here and loved the vibe. Great service and decent food. Will come back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yum
    Betty
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I enjoyed my fish and chips with fries. Munched on my friends curry and before you know it I was so full.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    SuzyBTVVIP
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hip, but Overpriced Tiny Portions
    muzmama
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 3rd time not a charm
    adog
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • auntieCoo1
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • enjoyed it
    Badekoya
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    remains a great neighborhood go-to. really nice, homey vibe to it. no pretense, energetic and the food is always good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor Service
    Yarakeepinitreal
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Transported to another world
    foodexplorerVIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 80 reviews are from the Madiba Restaurant reviews archive.
  • Great food, horrific service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • shamwari89
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If Only I lived in Brooklyn
    Angie
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friendly for the foodie adventurer
    MASH
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful neighborhood spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    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!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Madiba never dissapoints!
    ShashitaBK
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • problem with over booking
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • One of Irondale's favorites
    Norton
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Kid-Friendly, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    I'll never get tired of eating here. The vibe is amazing.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic