We found the best hookah bars for a great bite, unique shishas and dancing until 3 a.m.
22-79 Steinway St., Astoria
Located on Steinway Street in Astoria, Teal is definitely on the cozier side. Head here for fusion cuisine, a relaxed atmosphere and the occasional belly dancing performance. The prices are dialed back too, which is always excellent. They serve Middle Eastern dishes, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a burger and French fries. Teal’s intimate feel doesn’t prevent the occasional dance party from breaking out, either. It’s known to get rowdy on weekend evenings, once the hookah has calmed everyone’s nerves.
34 St. Mark’s Place
As the name implies, the focus here is on the food (though the hookah is great, too). This Afghan eatery is a local favorite, where you can roll up alone or with a crowd. The menu is healthy, delicious and affordable, with lots of options for vegetarians. If you’re looking to diversify your palate, or miss speaking Farsi and eating Afghan dumplings, make this your next spot for a dinner and smoking sesh.
Babylon Hookah Lounge
208 E. 34th St.
This Midtown hookah bar elevates the lounge experience to an intense party with a full bar, DJs and belly dancing on weekends. Service is attentive, so your coals will never burn out — we recommend the pineapple hookah, but they offer a staggering number of other options while doing the traditional flavors right. Their space is huge and the drinks are strong, so if you come here on a weekend, it’s bound to be a popping party.
La Sultana Cafe
124 E. Fourth St.
Skip the tables in front and head to the hookah party in the back, amid exposed brick walls, red satin couches and small, colorful Moroccan chandeliers. Go for the rose and blue mist hookah and enjoy it with their exceptional, authentic mint tea and hummus. They also feature a full bar, and while their hookah flavors aren’t the most exotic in the city, they also aren’t the most expensive.
Fayrooz Hookah Lounge & Bar
28-08 Steinway St., Astoria
It’s open until 3 a.m., but those late hours also mean the music is turned way up, so come here if you want to keep the party going — as Fayrooz puts it, this hookah bar is excellent for feeling “relaxed and crunk at the same time.” Arrive ready to dance and drink.