Perhaps the most embraced international cuisine in New York City, Middle Eastern fare has become as quintessential to New York as coffee and—dare we say?—pizza. While there’s no shortage of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean eateries in the city, only a select few boast flavors worthy of Armenian appetites. From traditional Armenian eateries to fusion restaurants, here are the best spots to enjoy Armenian food in New York City.
Restaurant, Middle Eastern, $$$
Balade | Courtesy of Balade
Lebanese fare may be the focus of East Village hot spot Balade, but it’s the menu’s Armenian offerings that often steal the spotlight. Here, juicy soujouk is simply sautéed with fresh olive oil and tomatoes, while the restaurant’s more health-conscious consumers often savor the salty laban ayran. Whether you’re familiar with or foreign to Middle Eastern cuisine, you’re sure to enjoy this upscale establishment serving up home-style cooking.
When the shawarma cart just won’t cut it, upscale Middle Eastern and “New American” eatery Boutros is here to satisfy your craving for elevated foreign fare. Riffs on the familiar, such as soujouk-fried rice, kale tabouleh, and avocado hummus toast, reign supreme at this foodie destination in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill.
At Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Almayass NYC, understated opulence is what’s on the menu. Here, discerning diners can enjoy traditional manti, sweet and sour ground beef, andArmenian pastrami canapés served with fried quail eggs in an upscale environment ideal for celebrations and special occasions. While this high-end foodie favorite is a worthy destination any time of year, Almayass offers unmissable specials during the famous NYC Restaurant Week®.
When self-taught chef Rawia Bishara set out to share her home cooking with New York restaurant goers, she captured attention (and appetites) with her uniquely fluid approach to “Middle Eastern home-style cooking” and Mediterranean flavors. At Tanoreen, hungry Brooklynites dig into hot dried Armenian sausage, whole-fried red snapper with tahini-parsley sauce, herbed fatoush salad, and much more.
For your next celebratory event—or a meal worth celebrating—look no further than Sevan Restaurant & Catering, a multi-functional restaurant, event space, and Armenian grocer in Queens. Equipped with an elaborately outfitted banquet hall and outdoor patio, it’s Sevan’s menu that will captivate your eye the most. Armenian beers, simple pilaf, and kebab platters featuring grilled meats, onions, and peppers make every outing feel like a special occasion.
You’re going to want to linger over the menu at this fast-casual eatery, where modern Middle Eastern fare is served for a steal. BLT sandwiches made with Armenian dried beef, kufta with tabouleh chimichurri, and spicy hummus are just a sampling of the offerings at the Lower East Side’s Mazeish Grill.
Are you looking for your next date night destination? Your search ends at Au Za’atar, a Lebanese wine bar dishing out flavorful Middle Eastern cuisine and wine in a romantic setting. Lovebirds flock to this Alphabet City spot to share mixed kafta platters,house-made Armenian sausages, falafel salad, and more. With candle lighting and an extensive selection of Lebanese craft beers and wine, Au Za’atar keeps good vibes flowing.
Enjoy Middle Eastern mezze at its best at Ilili, a Lebanese eatery cooking up “inspired Mediterranean cuisine.” Hummus topped with Armenian pastrami, traditional manti, and fried falafelare a few of the many dishes at Ilili that are sure to inspire its diners.
Specializing in what it refers to as “Mediterranean goodness,” Nanoosh may surprise Armenian eaters with wholesome fare that would be at home in any Middle Eastern kitchen. Hearty lentil soup, baked falafel with hummus, and fresh-made labne, or Mediterranean and Middle Eastern yogurt cheese, are all on Nanoosh’s menu of cross-cultural cuisine. There are various locations throughout NYC.
Cooking up Middle Eastern mezze staples, casual eatery Tutt Café is the locals’ pick for an affordable feast. Dig into Armenian stuffed grape leaves, tabouleh, and even Middle Eastern pizza topped with ground lamb, onions, and parsley. While Tutt’s bright environment makes dining in an appealing option, the café’s proximity to Brooklyn’s East River is perfect for picnickers.