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Best Burger or Shwarma in NYC?

We are coming to NY for a visit again (we're former New Yorkers) and really (REALLY) miss the kosher food places. Can you recommend your favorite glatt kosher place? We are staying in Williamsburg with family so the city is the closest place for us to go to. However, if an awesome shwarma exists in Queens or Bklyn we''ll make the extra effort to go. Thanks for any advice?

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  1. Cafe Classico and Wolf and Lamb, both in midtown, have the best burgers, I believe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: craigcep

      I've never had their burgers but their food is otherwise great: Gottleib's in Willy.

    2. Prime Grill has some great burgers on their lunch menu - I'm partial to the porcini burger and the waguy sliders. I also really like kosher deluxe's shwarma.

      1. I like the shawarma (and the falafel!) at Golan, in Washington Heights. It mostly caters to YU students and isn't the slightest bit fancy, but the food is really good.

        1. Shwarma: Pita Off the Grill, on E 2nd St just off Ave P. (F train)
          Famous Pita, cnr Coney Island & Newkirk Aves (B/Q train or B68/ B8 bus)
          Olympic Pita, Coney Island Av btwn J & K. (Q train or B68/B6/B11 bus)

          Burger: Burgers Bar, Coney Island Av btwen O & P (B68 bus)

          Tell me where in WIlly you're staying and I'll give you public transport directions :-)

          7 Replies
          1. re: zsero

            My burger vote goes to Clubhouse Cafe.

            1. re: Kosher Critic

              So i hear, but I've never been there because of the problem with the Le Marais hechsher.

              1. re: Kosher Critic

                where is the clubhouse cafe? and what problems with the mashgiach?

                1. re: ravenport

                  Clubhouse Cafe is at 155 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Aves. It is under the OU. There were issues several years ago with Le Marais, which is across the street and has the same owner. Do a google search for it. A mashgiach accused Le Marais of taking certain improprieties. The OU never pulled its certification.

                  1. re: craigcep

                    I have spoken w/ the mashgiach at Clubhouse and have no reservations about eating there. BTW, to be consistent, if one believed there were an issue one would need to avoid all OU items (which I know some do to a degree). Top notch burgers! Maybe I will have one next week :)

                  2. re: ravenport

                    The chef has a long history of problems. And the owner values the chef more than the hechsher, and is perfectly willing to lose the hechsher rather than the chef. He lost the OK rather than fire the chef, so he went to the OU. Then the OU mashgiach (R Yitzchak Biton, who is an extremely trustworthy person) said he caught the chef deliberately making the food treif, but the OU ignored his warnings so he resigned and went public. If I were the new OU mashgiach and I saw something untoward I'd be hesitant to report it unless I was 110% sure, because I could not be confident that the OU would back me up. It seems they value the money from the restaurant too much. So I haven't been there since then, and I haven't been to the owner's new place either because the same consideration applies.

                2. re: zsero

                  I should have added Carlos & Gabby for burgers.

                3. I'm a big fan of this small clean ~30 seat VHQ place in Rego Park.
                  http://www.shamash.org/kosher/search....
                  under $10 you get a Shwarma on fresh lafa, fresh cut chips, and small Israeli salad bar.
                  you can even watch Israeli satellite TV while you fress.
                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/rego-pita-reg...
                  they have kebabs & burgers too, but I go for the Shwarma.

                  a larger nicer place with great bargain priced mediteranian meat dishes is;
                  http://www.shamash.org/kosher/search....
                  Hapina has an affordable "Jerusalem" lafa wrap, which is cubed meat with
                  Shwarma seasoning and Falafel style salad fillings, which I always order,
                  and it includes a wide assortment unlimited salad bar for just over $10.

                  sorry I can't help much with Burgers - food wise, I consider them too boring.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Joe Berger

                    Falafel Kitchen and Piyaz (same ownership) in Hillcrest has excellent 100% lamb schwarma.

                  2. Thank you all SO much! We're so excited to try these places. The place in washington heights sounds so so far away from williamsburg but I'm tempted to try it as well--the last time we had Shwarma (2 years ago) it was in Ben Yehuda street in Israel so the bar is set pretty high :) I will report back once we've tried some of these places. Another question I have is does anyone know of a "chumusia" --a place that serves fresh chummus with various toppings such as fool, eggs, pickles etc that is kosher? I was reading reviews of some place in Manhattan but it didn't mention that it is kosher...

                    And Joe Berger, I agree, burgers don't compare to a shwarma in a laffa but our daughter (3yo) is so excited to have the experience of ordering a burger--she saw such a scenario in a Bernestien bears book and--- so we were thinking we might as well go somewhere good!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ravenport

                      If you are in Brooklyn, you are working way too hard to find good
                      "Ben Yehuda" style food - right near you is;
                      Olympic Pita, Original Schwarma, Pita Off The Corner, Falafel Haim,
                      also Schnitzel King and Schnitzi.
                      I'd start locally first, then eat your way to the other Boro's.

                      Best advice it to pick a place that is packed and busy,
                      that makes the food fresher from the higher turn over,
                      and probably means the food is good too...

                      one warning if you are from out of town;
                      NY Jews can get nasty and competitive when they are hungry,
                      so don't be surprised if a busy place is not
                      as accommodating as you'd like.

                      1. re: Joe Berger

                        thanks joe berger, I've been to olymic many times with dh-very good food but very often had very rude service--the other places you mentioned I've never been to and we're looking to try !!

                        and as far as starting locally--strange as it sounds even though williamsburg is in Brooklyn, it's not very easy to get to flatbush from there.

                      2. re: ravenport

                        Email me privately (zev@sero.name) for public transport directions from wherever you are to the various restaurants

                        1. re: zsero

                          thanks so much zsero! no need though, I may be a bit rusty but I'm very good with using public transportation in NY

                      3. Just wanted to thank everyone again and report back. We got to go to Carlos and gabby's for a burger and were very pleased. Our 3 yo was so happy and the food was fresh and well priced. Wish we had time to go back and try other stuff but I guess that will be next time.

                        For Shwarma we wen to Pitta off the grill (or corner?) but I wasn't too delighted with it. The salad bar selection and quality was really nice but the shwarma was a bit bland and blah. Maybe because it was chicken not turkey? not sure. We also tried Olympic which was really good. again I wish we had time to come back another time for falafel or try the other places mentioned but it will have to be the next visit. thanks again for the recs!

                        1. Best burger by far is Burgers Bar on Coney Is. Ave in Brooklyn. It's fresh, its delicious, and you get all the sides and sauces known to mankind. You can get regular, spicy, homemade or lamb.

                          Best Shawarma is Pita off the Corner on East 2nd and Ave. P in Brooklyn. $11 for a pita sandwich and its enormous enough that I almost never finish it because its just so huge. In the neighborhood, there's also Schnitzel King, Shawarma Ave, Olympic Pita and Famous Pita but Pita off the corner trumps them all.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kosherinthecity

                            I love love love Pita off the Corner! I have to disagree with Burger's Bar, terrible service and quality has gone downhill. Now it's just another greasy kosher place.

                          2. Two Words: Golan Heights.

                            1. My favorite place for a delicious burger is Noah's Ark on Grand St in the LES. I've worked my way through almost the entire new burger menu they started offering a couple years ago. All were quite good but my favorite is the Brunch all Day burger. Yes, this is a sunny-side-up egg atop the burger, as well as grilled pastrami. I don't want to think about the fat calories but this is totally, absolutely, worth it.