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Top Five Hookah Bars

The sweet aroma of fruit-flecked tobacco will soon be outlawed from these fragrant Middle East havens. Inhale legally while the law is still on your side.


1. Sahara East
Dine on Middle Eastern standards like tabbouleh and hummus; after you eat, choose from about 40 flavors of tobacco (like apple and mango). ($10 per hookah; 184 First Avenue; 212-353-9000.)

2. Mamlouk
After indulging in a six-course feast, including favorites like kabobs and moussaka, you’ll want to top off the experience with a toke from the water pipe. There are five flavors of tobacco on the menu; strawberry is the crowd favorite. ($15 per hookah; 211 East 4th Street; 212-529-3477.)

3. Kapadokya

Actually, you don’t have to get in a last puff this week: There’s an outdoor narghile patio here, where you can try rose and honey tobaccos. Till it warms up outside, content yourself with traditional Turkish dishes like lamb and creamy eggplant. Belly-dancers Thursdays through Saturdays. ($13.95 per hookah; 142 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights; 718-875-2211.)

4. Kush
Vibrant Moroccan décor, candlelit tables, and plush pillows set the scene for serious smoking. Sip an exotic cocktail, and try the apricot or mixed-fruit tobacco, to name just two. ($15 per hookah, $5 on Mondays; 183 Orchard Street; 212-677-7328.)

5. Egyptian Coffee Shop
For the real deal, look no farther than Steinway Street in Astoria, where Middle Eastern businesses dominate. This welcoming café is for the hard-core hookah lover: bare-bones, with coffee-sipping Egyptian men watching television, pipes at their sides. ($3 per hookah; 2509 Steinway Street, Astoria; 718-777-5517.)


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