Dar Yemma, a Moroccan gem in Astoria’s “Little Egypt”

April 20, 2023

Photo Credit: Andrea Pineda-Salgado/Epicenter NYC

Saber Bouteraa first came to the United States at age 16 from his hometown of Algiers, Algeria and settled in Astoria, Queens. One of the first things he did was look for a job in the restaurant industry. Bussing tables to taking orders in pizzerias, delis and restaurants, Bouteraa decided he wanted to open up his own place and call it Dar Yemma meaning “mom’s house” in Arabic. After their first year, the restaurant built a following of community members coming in to eat traditional harira, an authentic Moroccan soup combining tomato, lentils, chickpeas, herbs, and meat, Casablanca couscous with caramelized onions, chickpeas and currants, and their famous Moroccan mint tea. 

“I’ve always been in love with my culture, the North African culture and I want to introduce it to others here in New York City.” – Saber, Owner of Dar Yemma

From hosting community meals during Morocco’s World Cup run to offering a traditional iftar meal every night for their customers, Dar Yemma is making a name for itself in Astoria’s “Little Egypt” neighborhood on Steinway Street. For our #RamadanInNYC campaign, AAFSC and Epicenter NYC spoke to Saber about his immigration story, the inspiration behind opening his own business, and how Dar Yemma is giving back to the community through food. You can read the full Epicenter NYC article below.

Dar Yemma, a Moroccan gem in Astoria’s “Little Egypt”

Please also consider making a donation to AAFSC’s Ramadan Fund. Just $100 will provide a family with culturally appropriate food items to prepare an iftar during Ramadan. Together, we can step in and support NYC’s most vulnerable immigrant communities during this holy month of Ramadan.