Food & Drink

Get Your Middle Eastern Fix: 14 Must-Try Restaurants in NYC!

New York City is known for its diverse food scene, and Middle Eastern cuisine is no exception. With a variety of flavors and spices, this cuisine has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Whether you're a fan of shawarma, falafel, or hummus, there are plenty of restaurants in NYC that cater to your cravings.

From casual street food vendors to upscale dining establishments, the city offers a wide range of Middle Eastern restaurants, each with its own unique style and flavor.

These restaurants are a melting pot of cultures, bringing together traditional recipes from countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Israel.

One of the best things about Middle Eastern cuisine is its versatility. It's perfect for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, with options ranging from hearty lamb stews to fresh salads packed with herbs and spices.

And let's not forget about the bread – freshly baked pita is a staple at most Middle Eastern restaurants, and it's the perfect vessel for scooping up dips and sauces.

Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a romantic dinner, there's a Middle Eastern restaurant in NYC that will meet your needs.

So, if you're looking to explore the flavors of this delicious cuisine, read on to discover the best Middle Eastern restaurants in the city.

1. Shukette

230 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Google Maps)

Shukette is a bustling Mediterranean restaurant that serves up flavorful kebabs and seafood dishes.

The ambiance is lively and stylish, with an open kitchen that adds to the energy of the space. Service is friendly and attentive, with servers taking the time to explain the menu.

The labneh with fried squash blossoms and the frena with roasted garlic are excellent starters, while the grilled fish and lamb tagine are standout main courses.

Finish off with the tahini soft serve with halva floss for a satisfying ending. Shukette is definitely worth a visit for those craving delicious Middle Eastern cuisine in a vibrant atmosphere.

2. ZiZi

182 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

ZiZi is a low-key brick-walled cafe that serves modern Middle Eastern classics. Their open kitchen offers seasonal and local plates that are bursting with flavor.

The small plates are perfect for sharing with friends, and the Crazy Baba appetizer is a must-try.

Their cocktails are also worth mentioning, as they are creative and delicious. The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a great dining experience.

ZiZi is a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit for those looking for a taste of the Middle East.

3. Nish Nush

Nish Nush
88 Reade St, New York, NY 10013 (Google Maps)

Nish Nush is a contemporary eatery offering creative Middle Eastern fare. Their flavorful dishes are made with fresh, organic ingredients and are available at fair prices.

They have a great selection of vegetarian and vegan options, including their delicious falafel platter and seasoned fries.

The staff is friendly and helpful, and the service is excellent. While they don't serve alcohol, the food is so good that it's still worth a visit.

If you're looking for a tasty and filling meal, Nish Nush is definitely worth checking out.

4. Moustache Pitza

Moustache Pitza
29 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014 (Google Maps)

Moustache Pitza is a gem of a spot that serves up delicious, authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.

The freshly baked puffy pita bread is a must-try, and the well-balanced spices in the dishes are sure to impress.

The appetizers are the star of the show, but the bigger plates are equally scrumptious. The service is casual but friendly, and the cozy space adds to the laid-back vibe.

If you're in the mood for affordable, quality Middle Eastern food that hits the spot, Moustache Pitza is the place to be.

5. Omar Mediterranean Cuisine

Omar Mediterranean Cuisine
154 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022 (Google Maps)

Omar Mediterranean Cuisine serves up delicious and authentic Mediterranean cuisine at affordable prices. The menu is not extensive but offers enough choices to satisfy any craving for falafel, kebabs, shawarma, and more.

The staff is friendly, efficient, and attentive, ensuring a pleasant dining experience. The portions are generous, and the food is always made to perfection.

Expect to wait in line during peak hours, but it's worth the wait. The homemade hummus and pita bread are highly recommended, and the baklava is a sweet ending to a satisfying meal.

Whether for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, Omar Mediterranean Cuisine is a great choice for anyone looking for delicious and authentic Mediterranean food.

6. Mamoun's

119 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Mamoun's is a Middle Eastern fast food restaurant known for its authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

The lamb shawarma and falafel sandwiches are high-quality and good value. The staff is courteous, professional, and down-to-earth.

The falafel is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, making it one of the best in town.

Mamoun's is a traditional stop for Middle Eastern fare and a must-visit for anyone looking for fast and delicious food.

7. Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar

Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar
111 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011 (Google Maps)

Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar is a Middle Eastern restaurant that serves up delicious food in a stylish, comfortable space.

With a robust wine list and a menu that features classic Mediterranean sharing plates and mains, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

The service is excellent, and the entire staff is warm and friendly. The kabobs are a must-try, and the ghormeh sabzi and tahdig are also highly recommended.

If you're looking for a great Persian restaurant, Shiraz Kitchen & Wine Bar is definitely worth checking out.

8. Lava Shawarma

Lava Shawarma
57 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002 (Google Maps)

Lava Shawarma is a small, cozy middle eastern restaurant that offers delicious Mediterranean dishes such as kebabs, veggies, and falafel.

The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the service is quick.

The lamb plate is a must-try, and the vegan options are also delicious. The prices are reasonable, and the outdoor seating on the street adds to the overall experience.

If you're in the mood for authentic middle eastern cuisine, Lava Shawarma is definitely worth a visit.

9. ilili

236 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001 (Google Maps)

Ilili is a must-visit Middle Eastern restaurant. With a mix of modern and traditional Lebanese cuisine, the food quality and freshness are notable.

The menu offers a good number of vegetarian options, and the lamb shawarma is a must-try.

The restaurant has a cozy outdoor seating area and a stunning interior space with sky-high vaulted ceilings and vintage lighting.

The staff is attentive and friendly, and the cocktails are refreshing. Highly recommend trying the small and large plates to share for an upscale family-style experience.

10. Manousheh Bleecker

Manousheh Bleecker
193 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012 (Google Maps)

Manousheh Bleecker is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic, delicious Lebanese cuisine.

This small eatery serves up savory and sweet flatbreads that are freshly baked in-house. The staff is friendly and helpful, providing great service to customers.

The restaurant offers vegan and vegetarian options, making it a great choice for those with dietary restrictions.

The prices are reasonable, making it an affordable dining option in the city. Don't miss out on the muhammara manousheh, it's a must-try!

11. Sophra Grill

Sophra Grill
535 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016 (Google Maps)

Sophra Grill is a hidden gem that offers traditional Turkish and Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant is laid-back and casual, perfect for a quick bite or a relaxing meal.

The food is fresh, flavorful, and authentic. The lamb and mixed grill are popular menu items that carnivores will love.

Vegetarians will also find plenty of options, including delicious appetizers like hummus and baba ganoush. The homemade bread is fluffy and delicious, and the Turkish sodas are a must-try.

The customer service is friendly and professional, making the overall dining experience enjoyable. Sophra Grill is a great place to go if you're looking for classic Turkish fare in a cozy atmosphere.

12. Balade Your Way

Balade Your Way
144 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018 (Google Maps)

Balade Your Way is a stylish and contemporary Middle Eastern fast food restaurant. The interior is clean and modern, with a setup similar to Chipotle.

The menu features build-your-own bowls and wraps, with a variety of meat and vegetarian options available. The food is flavorful and reasonably priced, with generous portions.

The staff are friendly and efficient, making for a quick and easy lunch spot. While the line can get long during peak hours, it moves quickly due to the organized payment system.

For a tasty and convenient Middle Eastern meal, Balade Your Way is a great choice.

13. Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine

Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine
224 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022 (Google Maps)

Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine is a must-visit restaurant for anyone who loves Middle Eastern food. This place offers a wide variety of delicious dishes that are sure to satisfy any palate.

The restaurant's atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, making it a great place to dine with friends and family.

The service is top-notch, with friendly and attentive staff who are always ready to help. The highlight of the menu is the kebab, which is juicy and bursting with flavor.

The cheese pastry appetizer is also a must-try. All in all, Ali Baba Mediterranean Cuisine is a great spot for anyone looking for a delicious and authentic Middle Eastern dining experience.

14. Taboonette

30 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003 (Google Maps)

Taboonette is a counter-serve Middle Eastern restaurant that specializes in taboon-oven-baked fare.

The menu offers a variety of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes that are fresh, healthy, and delicious. Customers can choose from vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

The staff is friendly and energetic, and the atmosphere is authentic. Prices are decent for the area, and the location is convenient.

Customers can order at the counter, sit down, or take out. Taboonette is a great option for a quick, casual, and relatively-healthy meal.