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looking for a middle eastern restaurants and area in Manhattan

c
cynthias Jan 3, 2013 02:54 AM

only there for 3 days - best middle eastern restaurants . if there is an area where supermarkets, bakeries middle eastern etc.. similar to Antonis in Montreal or Arz in toronto. if there is a restaurant that is comparable to Tabule in Toronto

  1. p
    Pan Jan 3, 2013 03:28 AM

    There is no Middle Eastern neighborhood in Manhattan. If you want to find one, you need to go to Brooklyn or Queens, so I encourage you to post to the Outer Boroughs board. That said, there are some places where you can get good Middle Eastern food in Manhattan, and you can find some of them by doing searches on likely terms (falafel, shawarma, Middle Eastern) on this board. I'll name a few:

    Kalustyan's is a store that sells various products from the Middle East and they make their own mujadara, which is great! It is not a restaurant, but they do have a couple of tables on the 2nd floor where you can eat the mujadara hot, if you like.

    Taim is an Israeli falafel place, mostly for takeout. I have been only to their original location in the Village. People debate about their falafel on this board; I'm a fan. But the thing I like best there is the sabich.

    If you have a reason to be on the Upper West Side, Jerusalem Restaurant serves very tasty falafel and shawarma (no sabich) and is inexpensive and super-informal.

    But really, I think you'll want to go to neighborhoods like Bay Ridge and Atlantic Av. in Brooklyn and Astoria in Queens, so do post to Outer Boroughs.

    1. m
      mitchleeny Jan 3, 2013 05:25 AM

      Balaboosta is a pretty good Manhattan based Middle-Eastern restaurant, whose owners also happen to own the Taim falafel joints/truck.

      Pan's advice is spot-on.

      http://balaboostanyc.com/

      1. Motosport Jan 3, 2013 08:36 AM

        My two favorite authentic middle eastern restaurants in manhattan are:
        Byblos and Al Bustan
        For a middle eastern neighborhood you'll have to go to Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. Damascus bakery, Malko & Sahadi for markets.
        I am not familiar with Queens altough I like MT Ararat in Bayside for bread and staples.
        Tanoreen restaurant in Bay Ridge is worth the trip.

        1. s
          Sdenred Jan 3, 2013 09:11 AM

          The best Middle Eastern area is in Paterson NJ on Main Street. If you have a car it's about 30mins out of NYC. Here's more info: http://ethnicnj.com/an-ethnic-food-to...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sdenred
            f
            foodwhisperer Jan 6, 2013 09:36 PM

            Sidenred, I agree with that. Main St. in Paterson is like being in the Middle East. The best kefta, the best falafel, I am there once a week and love it. They have a huge bakery and supermarket, right on main Street, They have several butcher shops, that make great food to eat there or take out. You can also go towards Getty Ave, and you hit a different area, more Turkish I think. Main St. is mixed with Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, and Turkish.
            Otherwise , go to Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, it used to be very heavily Middle Eastern, now there are still remnants of it with maybe 6 restaurants, a few grocery stores. I think Sahadi still has their place there. Manhattan you're just going to find, falafel places , Ba'Al is Palestinian, Nish Nush is Yemenite Israeli.
            Tanoreen is way over rated and overpriced. I was very disappointed in the food there.

          2. JungMann Jan 3, 2013 11:55 AM

            As everyone has said, Middle Eastern is not Manhattan's strongest point. Much of the community was dislocated after Little Syria was razed for the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel mid-century.

            If you're looking for a store to replicate Arz, you probably want to visit Sahadi's in Brooklyn Heights. For modern Levantine cuisine, check out ilili. Al Bustan and Byblos are good for traditional Lebanese cooking.

            1. i
              intrepid3591 Jan 5, 2013 10:27 AM

              olympic pita west 38 st

              1. c
                carfreeinla Jan 5, 2013 03:47 PM

                Agreed with the other posters and strongly suggest you visit Bay Ridge. Tanoreen, Sally and George's and the newest entry a take out place called Grapevine on 3rd Ave and 83rd st. Lots of shopping etc...

                2 Replies
                1. re: carfreeinla
                  c
                  cynthias Jan 6, 2013 07:58 AM

                  thanks everyone! Went to Al bustan and iilly- have to say not impressed by either. Heading to Brooklyn today to try Tanoreen -the reviews and recommendations sound promising.

                  1. re: cynthias
                    Motosport Jan 7, 2013 08:52 AM

                    What about Al Bustan was not good?
                    We like the food at Ilili (Proper spelling) but thought it was too much of a club like (noisy) scene for us old folks.

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