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Best Shawarma in Manhattan?

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!

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  1. 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.

    http://petercherches.blogspot.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter Cherches

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: LRS

          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

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

            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

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

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                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.

              2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

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

            2. 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

                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. 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. 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

                    Alfanoose downtown also has delicious shawarma.

                    1. re: lisette

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

                      1. re: Peter Cherches

                        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

                          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. 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

                      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. 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.)