Encompassing the cuisines of countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Middle Eastern food is vast and diverse—so too are the restaurants specializing in this food. Here are the best spots throughout New York City to enjoy the cuisine.
What Our Inspectors Say: "Housed in an old glass factory, the beautiful Glasserie is colorful, rustic and industrial, with many original details, including a welcoming bar and small door that peeks into the bustling kitchen. Add to this lovely setting a straight-up delicious Middle Eastern menu from a wildly talented kitchen, and you begin to understand why the crowds are flocking to this hot spot."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Chef/owner Melanie Shurka traveled to Israel to learn the art of making kubeh (dumplings) from the immigrant women of Kurdish, Iranian and Syrian descent. Taste the results of her education in this lovely respite, which showcases fresh, wholesome food, including a heartfelt rendition of its namesake dish."
What Our Inspectors Say: "This Fort Greene charmer delivers a one-two punch of good looks and great food. . . . Chef Tomer Blechman puts his own stamp on the ancient cuisine of the Middle East with hit after delicious hit."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Tel Aviv’s Meir Adoni has made a big splash with this culturally adroit restaurant. Its appetite-whetting cuisine is nuanced, with plenty of influences from the Middle East and Northern Africa."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Bring friends because this midtown marvel's menu is best enjoyed by grazing the list of zesty meze like house-made scallop and crab sausage shakshuka with poached quail egg, or a wild mushroom bread pudding with creamy taleggio and romesco."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Appetizers are numerous (grape leaves are a lively sure thing), but don't miss the mansaf, a homey dish consisting of braised lamb doused in creamy yogurt and served over a mound of fluffy rice. Like so many of the other dishes, it's massive, so come hungry or armed with friends."
What Our Inspectors Say: "Diners may end up arguing about which of Timna’s appetizing and complex Middle Eastern dishes is the most memorable, but almost everything whipped up by Chef Nir Mesika will have you buzzing."
Photo by Kathryn Sheldon.