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Best Shawarma in Manhattan?

dani108 Aug 18, 2007 09:36 AM

I just was in Israel for a month and since I got back have been trying to find comparable shawarma- preferably lamb. Any suggestions? I live in UES and will try anywhere in Manhattan, but midtown or uptown is better than way downtown. Thanks!

  1. w
    windycity Aug 24, 2007 01:49 PM

    For you shawarma and falafel experts, can someone tell me why the Chickpea on 14th is pricier and not as tasty as the one on 3rd Ave/Cooper Union. It really puzzles me because they are both parts of the same company, right?

    (And yes, I know Chickpea is not the best shawarma in the city. But I had it from the 14th St location the other night so the question is still on my mind.)

    1. j
      josh L Aug 22, 2007 07:02 AM

      I'm a big fan of Olympic Pita. They make a pretty mean turkey shwarma on homeade laffa bread.

      1 Reply
      1. re: josh L
        a_and_w Aug 22, 2007 02:23 PM

        Agreed on both counts -- Olympic is the place to go and the laffa is awesome. If shawafel is your thing, Pick-A-Pita does a nice sandwich, too. Both places have a nice selection of toppings, including cole slaw and fried eggplant, and will put fries on your sandwich.

      2. n
        nokitsch Aug 21, 2007 08:52 AM

        Mamouns is hit or miss - when it's hit, it's the best, but I'he had some terrible ones there, too. Sometimes they will cut the shawarma even if it's not ready, just because they always have a line out the door.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nokitsch
          lisette Aug 21, 2007 09:26 AM

          Alfanoose downtown also has delicious shawarma.

          1. re: lisette
            Peter Cherches Aug 21, 2007 04:36 PM

            When I tried Alfanoose's it was dreadfully dry. I prefer the beef shawarma at Bread & Olive a block north.

            1. re: Peter Cherches
              nokitsch Aug 21, 2007 05:13 PM

              I also had a bad experience at Alfanoose. The doner kebab at Zeytuna is infinitely better. How much is it at Bread & Olive?

              1. re: nokitsch
                Jill Aug 24, 2007 12:39 PM

                I'm a BIG Bread & Olive fan. Their shawarma is delicious, but it's chicken or beef...no lamb. The sandwiches are $7.00 and the platters are $12.00. Platters come with bread, salad, hummus and rice.

        2. Nick F. Aug 20, 2007 09:41 PM

          Ali Baba's second or thirded or whatever. Be warned! At places other than them and Yatagan Kebab House, also on MacDougal, the Shawarma is actually a mixture of turkey, beef and sometimes lamb. Yuck!

          1. n
            NYEpicuriosity Aug 20, 2007 12:49 PM

            I've gotta 3rd the recommendation for Mamoun's. Having spent too much time on the run trying to make it in time for soundcheck at all the clubs in and around the area, Mamoun's was always dead on for price, speed, and deliciousness.

            1 Reply
            1. re: NYEpicuriosity
              Cpalms Aug 20, 2007 07:45 PM

              I'd give Olympic Pita on 38th a try. I have never been to Israel so i can't compare. However, they bake their own pita (and other breads that I cant name) and the place is always full of Israelis. I love it.

            2. gurmanda Aug 20, 2007 11:31 AM

              i have to say that i do not like Ali Baba or Mamoun's shawarma. My favorite shawarma place in the city it's a hole in the wall, really cheap place, on W 4St Btwn 6th Ave & Macdougal St, the name of the place is just "Falafel and More". My good friend from Israel -who is a foodie and and who visits Israel often- is the one who introduced me to this place, telling me it was the best shawarma in the city. I do not know if it is the best or not, but i certainly like it. Give it a try and tell me what you thought about it.

              8 Replies
              1. re: gurmanda
                LRS Aug 21, 2007 10:53 AM

                Oh yes, I SECOND this. Forget the rest, "Falafel and More" is The REAL thing, Great lamb shawarma!

                1. re: LRS
                  Peter Cherches Aug 21, 2007 04:37 PM

                  Sounds like a place I have to try. Hmmm, I'm going to Film Forum tomorrow night, that might be a good time...

                  1. re: LRS
                    NAtiveNewYorker Aug 23, 2007 06:37 AM

                    What happened? Went here last night and they were closed. Is it only open during lunch time?

                    1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                      Peter Cherches Aug 23, 2007 02:53 PM

                      Same thing happened to me. I ended up at Ali Baba.

                      1. re: Peter Cherches
                        LRS Aug 23, 2007 07:20 PM

                        oh, i'm sorry, at what time did you go? i'm going there tomorrow during the day, I'll ask them at what time do they close and I'll post it.

                        1. re: LRS
                          Peter Cherches Aug 24, 2007 08:41 AM

                          I was there at about 6 PM.

                      2. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                        gurmanda Aug 23, 2007 07:23 PM

                        I thought they opened until 9 pm or so....LRS please check

                    2. re: gurmanda
                      jsmitty Aug 21, 2007 08:23 PM


                    3. p
                      Peter Cherches Aug 19, 2007 09:46 AM

                      I think for pure lamb shawarma your best bets are probably Mamoun's or Ali Baba on MacDougal Street. I give Ali Baba the slight edge. Unfortunaltely the Olive Tree (same block), which is Israeli, discontinued their wonderful lamb shawarma recently. That was my favorite for years.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Peter Cherches
                        whiner Aug 19, 2007 10:06 AM

                        Never been to Ali Baba, but I used to live at Mamoun's whenever hanging out at NYU in the wee hours... Great stuff.

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