Finely shredded phyllo stuffed with a specific brined cheese, drenched in countless ladles of syrup, and finished off with green pistachios: knafeh, also known as kunafa or kunefe, is a Southwest Asian, North African, and Middle Eastern dessert that can create a lifelong yearning. Unless you have access to some awesome parents or dear aunties that would love to feed you homemade knafeh, these restaurants will feed that sweet, salty, crunchy, gooey craving.
Afandina Cafe’s knafeh, prepared in the traditional Palestinian fashion of Knafeh Nabulsiyeh, with a bright orange sheen that permeates the coarse phyllo, is freshly made to order, and has plenty of enticing cheese pull to boot. It’s ideal for sharing while tucked away inside the Northeast restaurant’s whimsical tent-like decor.
Located along the culinarily-rich Central Avenue Corridor, known for housing a multitude of Southwest Asian, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisine, Filfillah serves a delicious nod to Turkish styled knafeh, served with an unsalted cow’s milk brined cheese, in an individual portion size, that packs a lot of savory flavor.
A couple of doors down from Dinkytown landmark Al’s Breakfast, another neighborhood icon, Wally’s Falafel & Hummus, serves either half or full sized portions of their nod to Knafeh Nabulsiyeh with a side of simple syrup for an interactive experience inside, with numerous paintings inside dedicated to Palestine.
Before Fridley becomes Spring Lake Park, you’ll find Sultan Authentic Lebanese Cuisine. This restaurant serves a knafeh that is a nod to the owner’s Lebanese roots, with subtle and savory rosewater simple syrup served onto the coarse phyllo.