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About Braai

Enjoy an exotic South African dining experience right in New York's Theater District at Braai. Its enchanting decor features reed-thatched ceilings, warm lighting and faux tree trunk-lined walls. Owners Tanya and Reshma Hira opened Braai for locals and travelers to experience the flavors of South African cuisine. This restaurant has a prix fixe menu for lunch hours with flavorful dishes like chicken bobotie with rice and lamb with mango chutney sandwiches. Dinner entrées feature plates of herb-crusted ostrich filets with curried coconut potatoes, oxtail stew and more.

Braai has a full bar that serves wine and various cocktails. There is a private room for hosting events such as parties, business luncheons, receptions and more. This South African restaurant also offers catering services and welcomes reservations.

329 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
African, Global, International

Hours of Operation:
Brunch: Sat-Sun: 11:00am-4:00pm
Lunch:Mon-Fri 12:00pm-4:00pm
Dinner: Daily 4:00pm - 12:00am

Cross Street:
Between 8th and 9th Avenues

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 315-3315

Website:
http://www.braainyc.com/

Parking Details:
Parking lot on the block.

Public Transit:
C & E trains to 50th Street and 8th Avenue.

Executive Chef:
Armando Martinez

Private Party Facilities:
Brandy/Private room available for bookings up to 12 and main dining floor accommodates private functions and corporate events.

Private Party Contact:
Tarita: (212) 315-3315

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Braai Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.8

Overall Rating

based on all time ratingsThis restaurant has not received enough recent ratings to display a current ratings snapshot
food

3.9

service

3.6

ambience

3.8

value

3.7

Noise

Moderate

81% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (932)
Neighborhood Gem (876)
Romantic (536)
See All
Good for Groups (468)
Notable Wine List (450)
Special Occasion (354)
Great for Brunch (272)
Hot Spot (178)
Great for Lunch (160)
Great for Outdoor Dining (150)
Late-night Find (124)
Vibrant Bar Scene (98)
Kid-friendly (45)
Scenic View (10)
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904 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined on May 29, 2016

It was a nice place to go with my family. I don't know that it's really authentic South African cuisine. The food was great though. The service was slow, but the servers were nice and recommended wines to go along with your meal of choice.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on April 24, 2016

Good unusual food, good service. Worth going to.

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food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on March 26, 2016

We decided to try something new while Visiting my daughter .
We are glad we did . A very relaxing time. Food was excellent . Staff was attentive
Definitely will eat here again

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 24, 2016

This place deserves rave reviews. Five star service, food, drinks and ambience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 22, 2016

I visited this place with my South African girlfriend on our trip to NYC. She was thrilled to finally eat a restaurant that reminded her of "back home". Wow, this place was a disappointed and she was furious and embarrassed at the same time. I kept quiet because I knew there wasn't much that I could say. We were told that Koeksisters was unavailable for the night as was Boerewors. That's like going to McDonald's and them being out of burgers and fries. The food that we did have was decent, at best. The Ostrich Sliders were the bright stars while everything else fell flat. The Slap Chips were perhaps the most amazing and I don't mean that in the traditional sense; basically it was French Fries...actually it was. If you Google Slap Chips, you will notice them to be thick and "meaty" and drenched in vinegar.
The service was OK. Not exactly warm and friendly but maybe more aloof. The pricing was what you'd expect in the Theatre District. Oh well.

We thought we learned our lesson with South African cuisine and decided to double down and try Madiba in Brooklyn. Heavens me, it was worse - believe it or not! They too didn't have Koeksisters....what are the odds of that? I could see the smoke coming out of my girlfriend's ears when I bit into pumpkin fritters which were half cooked and half raw. What ensued was a debate as to which restaurant was better or worse. In this duel for last place, we voted Braai as the better place.

Sorry Braai, I really did want this to work out well....

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 19, 2016

Great for pre-show dining. Menu has unique offerings. There was an extensive list of daily specials which I ordered from. My grilled calamari over arugula was excellent. The other guests enjoyed their meals. It would be nice if they had more vegetarian offerings.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 16, 2016

Sparse decor but interesting menu and great service.

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food4
ambience3
service5

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on March 12, 2016

South African food is one of my son's favourite cuisines, so we decided to take him to this restaurant for his birthday dinner last Saturday, 12 March. After we ordered drinks and food, I discreetly ask Keame, our server (not sure if I spelt her name right) if she could arrange something special for my son as a surprise. At the end of the meal my son was presented a piece of their local desert cake with a fountain candle sparkler while the crew sang the birthday song in Afrikaan language. That just did it! On top of that we were very satisfied with the excellent food . I had the oxtail, my husband ordered seafood potje, my son had bobotje). Overall, the decor, ambiance and atmosphere made it a perfect setting for our special celebration. The wine selection slightly pricey but we found something familiar and to our liking. Thank you for the effort and gesture and for a memorable night! We be back next we're in NY!

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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on March 5, 2016

We went here for dinner last night and the food was delicious!
I had the avocado and rock lobster salad and my fiancé had a baked brie salad, both delicious.
For our entrees we had the steak and ostrich special, both delicious.
This is the second restaurant in a row we've been to (Medi, last weekend) that has an outdated menu online both for food and wine. Online they have an extensive South African wine list, with bottles starting at $30. At the restaurant, they only offered 10-15 bottles starting at $45.

The service was slow, our waitress forgot our wine, but the food was delicious. Do not go if you are in a rush.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 21, 2016

Braii has always been my go-to weekend brunch spot in the city. Whether you're just with a friend or in a group, the outstanding atmosphere, service, and South African cuisine is hard to beat! They also have a generous mimosa special for brunch!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2016

Food was great as was the recommend wine, however the front door kept letting in cold air, making it no choice but to eat with your coat on

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food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 13, 2016

We booked a table at Braai, through Opentable, to celebrate a birthday on Saturday night. We are South Africans living in NJ and we're hoping to take American friends to experience South African food .

The restaurant phoned us a few hours before our booking to say that we couldn't have our 7pm reservation as they had booked the restaurant for a large group. They offered us 5pm or 9pm. Neither of these times worked for us - we had child care arrangements and travel considerations.

The person who called us from the restaurant made no sense whatsoever in terms of the reason our booking could not be honored. No common sense or intelligence.

This was the poorest customer service and handling of an issue I have doe ringed in a long time.

We felt let down. Shame on you Braai.

I will go out of my way to let others know not to bother with Braai (and we are often asked by people where to exception good South African food).

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 13, 2016

Amazing food and very attentive staff! Would definitely recommend and come again. Many interesting new dishes to try outside your norm!

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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 6, 2016

This was a great brunch place. The meals are a great value and the bottomless "exotic fruit" mimosas were a real hit with me and my friends. It was only about half-full when we met for brunch at noon on a Saturday. The servers were attentive and the food came out quickly. What I really appreciated was that my group wasn't rushed out after we completed our meal. The servers honored our 2-hour bottomless and continued to refill our drinks long after they cleared our plates. I'd definitely go again.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2016

I really like the menu. Always hard to pick from what to eat from their menu. On this most recent occasion, I received my entre and had thought, incorrectly, that I was getting a side I had seen on the menu with a different entre. I remarked to the waitress that I was disappointed I had made a mistake not thinking anything of it. When she came back she brought the side I wanted, no charge. That is reason itself to come back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 21, 2016

The branzino special was overcooked and did not taste fresh, and the broccoli rabe was mushy. Not a good value for the price, but worked for a quick pre-theatre meal. Staff were helpful and efficient, but then the place was not busy at all. I thought a South African restaurant would know how to do fish, but maybe it's not their strength. I might return to try the ostrich though.

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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 18, 2016

We came here specifically for the ostrich filet my boyfriend wanted for his birthday dinner! Well, turned out they were out of ostrich filet but the consolation appetizer of ostrich sliders then his entree (shrimp with peri-peri sauce) didn't disappoint. I asked for a suggestion, wanting to try an authentic South African dish, and was brought oxtail, which was deliciously prepared and a pleasant surprise! At the end of the meal we were brought a taste of a cream liquor which was perfect to satisy our sweet craving. Although the decor seemed a bit sparse and on the shabby side and the music left something to be desired (was a bit clubby) all in all I was happy with the experience and would consider going back to try the ostrich filet!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 17, 2016

Braai was packed for Sunday brunch at 1:30pm and we could barely get in the door. However, since we had a reservation we were promptly seated. Only problem, it was a table for two people and we were three and it was very tight. Braai seemed overwhelmed with the large crowd and we sat at the tiny table for about 20 minutes before one of us finally had to get up and find a server. We ordered some exotic fruit mimosas and they eventually showed up. Based on my first hour and Braai the service was super slow and unfriendly. For my entree, I ordered the Ostrich Benedict. Although, I am unfamiliar with how ostrich should be cooked, I could tell the dish came out very under-cooked, so I sent it back. The menu said the dish had sliced ostrich, but mine came out as a ground ostrich patty. Overall, the flavor of the dish was good once fully cooked, but it was misrepresented on the menu. At the beginning of brunch it was very hard to get a refill on the mimosas, but as the crowd diminished closer to 3pm the drink refills flowed more regularly. Towards the end of the meal, the server admitted to us that this was not normal for brunch and they had a much larger crowd on this particular Sunday than anticipated. Hearing this helped me understand why the service at the beginning had been so awful and I appreciated the honesty from the server and her trying to turn things around as the crowd lessened. I would give Braai another try and hope the service would mirror what we received towards the end of our meal.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on January 17, 2016

Fantastic wait staff....wonderful can do attitude

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 8, 2016

Honestly, the food was amazing. The ostrich have sliders, empanadas, and eggplant and goat cheese rollatini were all delicious. I was blown away by all of it. The unfortunate part? Our waiter... He was a young, arrogant kid who didn't write anything down and as a result, messed up our order, forgot my drink, and then argued with us that he didn't mix it up. After my husband replayed the conversation to him and how he agreed to bring us extra sauce for our wings did he see that he made an error. No apology or anything. Then he forgot my lobster and avacado salad entree. After we finished from the tapas menu, we asked for the check because he clearly was not paying any attention to us, nor was he taking care of our orders properly, so we thought it best to leave.

I think I'll go back, but if he's our waiter, I will unapologetically request another one. His service was terrible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience4
service2
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 2, 2016

Lovely south African dining, versatile menu items, chief very accommodating. Seasonal & traditional selection. Very intimate setting/romantic

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on December 31, 2015

The nye experience at Braai was just amazing, we were expecting great savory food with a quiet atmosphere and an attentioned staff.. exactly got what we expected. I totally recommend it!

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 31, 2015

Food was good but as a South African I was disappointed in the South African dishes. If the menu didn't say babotie then I would never have guessed that it was babotie and the koeksisters were more a waffle. Atmosphere is great and the service was great.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 24, 2015

I've been here three times and it's never disappointed. The first 2 times I went with friends because my girlfriend didn't seem to want to try it, but I finally got her to come, and she LOVED it. I can't speak for what she had but my Rum Punch was great, and then we split the Rainbow Plate w/Lamb Chops, Grilled Octopus, Truffle Mac N' Cheese, Deviled Livers, and the Portobello. Everything was amazing and we were stuffed afterwards. I'd say the Lamb was not as good as I was expecting but the Octopus was among the best I've ever had and I liked the Livers a lot. I also liked that you got garnishes/sides with each selection even as it came in a nice presentation with everything on one large plate.

Service was super-quick, and I wouldn't be surprised if we go back next week and order the same thing (maybe with Ostrich Sliders replacing the Lamb Chops). Highly recommended!

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 12, 2015

The food was excellent. Our large party managed to try probably 70% of the offered menu items. The Oxtail was the hands down favorite with the ostrich slider a close second. One member enjoyed her ostrich steak so much she didn't share it with anyone.
The servers were pleasant, and food came fairly fast. I felt bad for the staff as they were clearly understaffed. I only saw 3 servers and a hostess for the 100 or so seats in this restaurant.
If you are in a hurry, this is not the place, but if you can spend some time, I highly recommend the food and the people were also nice, even though they were overwhelmed.
Have to say their Birthday celebrations are fabulous!!!

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food5
ambience4
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 6, 2015

Convenient location, affordable, with great atmosphere and wonderful food. The staff is friendly and accommodating. It's the perfect place to drop in with a friend, have a romantic date, or bring a party. I celebrated my birthday with a large group of friends and family, after returning from SA. I was very pleased with the experience.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 2, 2015

What was placed on the OpenTable site were different elements of what might have been very promising. We understood after a while that the restaurant was being refurbished, the food lacklustre, the service slow pacing (for a while the staff were more interested in their conversation then service) the wine was the best part.

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food1
ambience2
service2

 
 (Vancouver)·Dined on November 15, 2015

Came to Braai after the theater on a Sunday evening with a party of 8 to celebrate a milestone birthday. None if us had been there before and the restaurant was recommended to me by other friends. My guests were skeptical about the food at first but got into the variety of the choices. We had 10 out of the 17 tapas choices, oysters, and 4 different entrees, red and white wine, the malva pudding and custard tart between us. All the food was very tasty and enjoyed by most. The ambience was intimate and friendly, and the wait staff were very attentive. My guests were very pleased with the restaurant choice I had made.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2015

The service here is pretty bad and unorganized. No one in the restaurant but we had to constantly flag the waiter down. They forgot one of my dishes and I told the bus boy and nothing happened! No one came over to ask how the food was. I again told the bus boy they forgot part of my order, but I didnt want it cause meal was over. 10 min later he brings the food?! I was bad. They gave us free champagne and desert to make up for it. Food is good for most part. Every time i go here the service is bad all yhe way around.

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food4
ambience2
service1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 30, 2015

If you are a vegetarian, make sure to ask what is on the food since there seems to be an add of meat to certain dishes that isn't reflected on the menu at all. And if you are hoping to surprise someone with the extravagant birthday presentation, pray no one else has a birthday going on right before. The decor is totally different and looks nothing like the website. Does not look African at all.

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food2
ambience1
service2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 25, 2015

I had an amazing experience here. Our waitress, Kayla, was super attentive. We came during brunch and the wait staff never let our glasses go empty. The crowd was also fun. My date & I ended up chatting with the couple at a neighboring table well past brunch hours. And the restaurant didn't rush us out the door.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 24, 2015

Delicious food. Very flavorful. Worth going with a group and trying multiple dishes. Would recommend the pinotage red wine, prawns peri peri, salmon curry with roti, and eggplant goat cheese.

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food5
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 17, 2015

My husband and I had a great night out at this restaurant. The food was good and the service was excellent.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on October 16, 2015

We were pleasantly surprised by the ambiance of the restaurant. The wait staff was very pleasant and the menu was intriguing. That said, we felt the food was just "good enough" and didn't live up to our expectations.

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food3
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 4, 2015

1st time there .... Loved it

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food3
ambience3
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 4, 2015

Everything is amazing!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 3, 2015

We were very big group and the table was available and organized when we arrived. All dishes were really tasty and got compliments. Service was patient and professional! We will
Return!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 27, 2015

The truffle mac and cheese was my favorite!

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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 21, 2015

The Food was Amazing and Authentic...The service was sincere and caruing....We will be back

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 20, 2015

Unique twists on old favourites, like Ostrich benedict and exotic mimisas make this quiet, local spot one of my "must take you there" places for out of towners.

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food4
ambience4
service3

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