Ali–the chef, the owner, the waiter and the resident storyteller.

(All photos by Raina Rocha for Bushwick Daily)

When I called Ali, the owner of Ali’s Restaurant, an inexpensive yet delicious Lebanese restaurant on Knickerbocker Ave facing Maria Hernandez Park, I asked him to have two dishes ready for me to photograph. When I got there, he had 14 dishes laid out on a table. This man likes to cook! So prepare yourself, these pictures might open up your appetite for lebanese cuisine.

Don’t be fooled by humble interior design. This place offers a true Lebanese feast! Expect exposed brick, and big tables for those who are feasting with friends, or table for three, for those who brought a third wheel to their date.

Alis restaurant Raina Rocha

Try some Baby Okra for starters…



You’ll be greeted by Ali right after you step into Ali’s Restaurant – he is the chef, the owner, the waiter, and the storyteller. When you arrive, he might already be cooking something and will offer it to you before you even order. You will leave this place thinking you’ve found a hidden gem.

Nom, nom, Eggplant.


The reasons why I love this place – where do I begin? Unlike a lot of up-and-coming restaurants in the neighbourhood, at Ali’s you never have to worry about a line or a reservation and you will always leave feeling fully satisfied. The dishes are very affordable – the most expensive item on the menu is $21.87. If you have any dietary restrictions, let Ali know. He will take care of you.

Cauliflower delight. It’s healthy and damn’ good! Whatever you want, however you want it. Ali will cook the same dish with our without yogurt, with or without meat, with our without gluten. And it still tastes good.




Word to the wise: This restaurant is very quiet, and there isn’t ever a huge crowd, which makes it a very intimate place. Even though there is a full bar, Ali also doesn’t like drunks, so don’t come there if you want to keep the party going. Go there to eat, and eat well.

More Lebanese food porn, anyone? Here it goes…




Ali’s Restaurant @ 280 Knickerbocker Ave, Bushwick, 4.5 Yelp stars, open every day from 4PM to 1AM. ENJOY!