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Since 1971, Mamoun's has been the spot to go when you need true falafel and shwarma made with tender loving care. Upon entering, Mamoun's staff is sure to remind you that they are one of the oldest Middle Eastern restaurants in the city and many locals claim the falafel here to be the best. Mamoun's has few other locations in the Tri-State area, rest assured however that each one maintains the highest quality ingredients and a strict adherence to tradition.
Opened in 1983, Cafe Mogador is a family owned restaurant that has become a landmark of the East Village. The Mediterranean and Moroccan themed eatery is decorated with lanterns, black and white photographs and small spice jars that adds a elegant and exotic air to the small cafe. Traditional dishes like couscous, charmoulla, hummus and Tagine cooking are specialties here. Mogador also offers excellent brunch options and it stays open late, perfect for when you leave one of the many bars along St. Mark's.
This tiny Israeli restaurant serves some of the best falafel to be found in the city. Limited seating in the restaurant can be an issue, so when the weather is nice, take your food outside to the benches out front. The falafel platter is a favorite, and the sauces are sure to please. Wash it all down with some refreshing iced tea, fresh lemonade or a smoothie.
Tasty and popular Middle Eastern and North African dishes are featured in an attractively decorated dining room at the inexpensive Lebanese restaurant known as Tripoli. Good service, Lebanese music and occasional belly dancing attract legions of patrons. Wall murals, booths in dark nooks and comfortable chairs and tables welcome patrons. Appetizers include hummus, falafel, kibee (ground lamb with cracked wheat), and shish kabob. Baklava is the most popular dessert. A wine list is also available.
Scrumptious babaganoush, irresistible falafel and gooey Kashkaval cheese are only some of the perfectly executed dishes at this lavish Mediterranean-influenced Lebanese restaurant. Ilili is chic, refined Middle-Eastern cuisine with sophisticated offerings like braised rabbit, lamb and plum stew, and striped bass with a ragout of clams and herbs. The dining space glows amber, creating a backdrop for an unforgettable romantic night out. Reservations are recommended.
Starting out as a humble food cart more than a decade ago, The Halal Guys today has become somewhat of a street food icon in the bustling Manhattan metropolis. Originally targeted at night-owls and workers looking for cost-effective food at unearthly hours, the food stall today attracts New Yorkers in droves thanks to their ever-popular chicken and rice with a dash of their spicy sauces. Falafels, pita, gyro and a few other choices complete the limited menu. As the name suggests, all of the food is halal. Though available at limited times during evenings and through nights, The Halal Guys have managed to give the busy intersection of 53rd Street and 6th Avenue, a heavenly aroma and food identity of its own.
The King of Falafel and Shawarma is not self-proclaimed royalty; the food stand has been the recipient of awards like the Vendy and People's Choice. The King caters to both vegans and meat lovers. The falafel, made with Freddy's mother's secret spices, is a vegan treat. If you want to grab a bite on the run, the chicken wrap and shish kebabs are for you; if a complete meal is what you want then you should definitely go for the chicken platter. This food stand really is the undisputed king of falafel and shawarma.
Rawia Bishara, chef/owner at Tanoreen believes one does not need professional training when it comes to cooking. Having a knack to cook and learning in your mother's kitchen does the trick. A mix of the traditional Middle-East with the contemporary add-ons is what her restaurant Tanoreen is all about. Every dish is prepared with utmost attention and has a distinctive flavor of its own. Lamb being the specialty of this place, you should try the grape or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and ground lamb.