While hummus has become an “it” food over the past few years, Middle Eastern dining is now just as chic. Lebanese dishes like taboulleh and labneh are both healthy and delicious – one of the many reasons this Mediterranean cuisine is so popular. Check out these restaurants for the best Lebanese food in NYC. By Sarah Shaker.
A bit swankier (read: pricier) than most other Middle Eastern restaurants in the city, Ilili serves outstanding lamb made into makanek, a Lebanese sausage and simply seared as chops, served with a sauce made with za’atar. Looking for their food on the cheap? Check ilili out at Madison Square Eats, going on now until Oct 19. Don’t miss their popular Green Lemonade, made with mint, cucumber and ginger for a sweet and affordable taste of Lebanon.
This quant East Village restaurant offers authentic Lebanese cuisine, including their popular flatbread ‘pitzas’. Order from there long list of Mezze (or small plates) to share with your table, like the Warak Einab (stuffed grape leaves) and Fatayir (mini pies) filled with spinach and feta. For affordable and consistent Lebanese fare, Balade is not to be missed.
Head to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for authentic Lebanese food, just the way your Sitto used to make it. Le Sajj not only serves one of the best hummus plates in NYC, but they offer a long list of appetizers to share, like their fresh Kibbeh Nayeh (raw lamb with cracked wheat, raw onion and olive oil). Their homemade entrees, like the Kafta Kabob are comforting, filling and offered for around $20 or less.
Toum Food Truck
Truck Lunch: Lebanese Pizza & Spinach Pies From Toum
We recently noticed the lines are getting longer during lunch hours at Toum, as New Yorkers are noticing this delicious Lebanese food truck, usually parked in Midtown. From Kibbeh (a meat loaf of sorts) to Tabbouleh salad, this truck is serving up fresh Lebanese cuisine on the go.
Naya is a modern Lebanese-Mediterranean restaurant serving traditional Lebanese fare in a very contemporary setting. This is not your Sitto’s cramped kitchen, but a glamorous and trendy New York City restaurant. Mezze plates are offered as vegetarian, such as the always-popular falafel, and meat options, such as Kibbe Naya (Lebanese-Style Lamb Tartar with bulgar, onion and mint).
Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.