What Are the Best Hookah Bars in New York?May 11, 2018 - by Regina Molaro
New York City has a ban on smoking, but hookah bars are an exception—although note that they're only for those 21 and older. Hookah originated in ancient India as a leisure activity for the affluent. This single or multi-stemmed instrument is used for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco, which comes in mint, apple, cherry, guava, and other tantalizing flavors. The vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin—often glass-based—before inhalation. Beyond its native region, hookah has gained popularity worldwide. Here are the best places to enjoy it in Manhattan.
This luxurious Midtown destination also offers a hookah lounge, dining, and a nightclub. Beyond the hummus and Mediterranean bites is an elegant hookah lounge illuminated with intricate lanterns, which dangle from the ceiling above. Le Rêve boasts an intoxicating ambience. Hookah offerings include mixed fruit, mojito (pineapple with rum, mint, and lime), bluemist (sweet blueberry with a hint of mint), as well as traditional flavors such as orange, watermelon, peach, and cherry. 125 E. 54th St., 212-759-7777, lerevenyc.com
This vibrant hookah bar pairs flavored pipe smokes with cocktails, entertainment from belly dancers, and Mid-eastern eats. Its regular blends of hookah include mango, mint, and jasmine, as well as special blends such as cognac, guava, or cinnamon. For those who yearn to go more exotic there’s the sangria flavor and Ecstasy, which includes a bottle of bubbly. Next up: Electric hookah, which will be unveiled shortly. 43 E. 1st St., 212-475-0177, cozycafenyc.com
Kazuza Hookah Lounge
This newly renovated lounge in Alphabet City offers a hookah bar with a full menu of Middle Eastern faves and hookah. Majestic Moroccan and Turkish lanterns create ambiance. 107 Ave. A, 212-505-9300, kazuzanyc.com
The scene at this intimate, two-story hookah and cocktail spot is set with dim lights and ornate Middle Eastern furnishings. Unwind in the exotic ambiance as you sit amidst paintings, mahogany furniture, and cozy couches. Karizma’s hookah menu offers out there flavors and special blends. These include exotic pink, exotic tequila sunrise, and exotic passion fruit mojito, as well as specials such as the Big Apple, which presents double apple flavor or King Tut, a fusion of orange, mandarin, and fresh grapefruit. 244 E. 51st St., 212-605-9988, karizmalounge.com