13 Best Israeli Restaurants in NYC for Amazing Food

NYC is a food lover’s paradise, and Israeli cuisine is no exception.

Whether you’re looking for traditional Middle Eastern fare or something a bit more modern and daring, you’ll find something in the Big Apple.

To make your dining experience easier, we’ve rounded up the 13 best Israeli restaurants in NYC that will make your mouth water.

So, come explore the best of Israeli cuisine in NYC, and enjoy the flavors of the Middle East!

1. Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen

With a slogan like “a burst of sunshine in every bite”, Taïm brings tasty to the table across 8 locations. The OG West Village store has been serving since 2005, but they’ve expanded to fresh deliveries as well.

From salads to pitas to mezzes, the menu highlights the best of Mediterranean spices and flavors. For the best deal, opt for their customizable sets.

Pick between pita or bowl, choose your main, whether shawarma or falafel, and round off with toppings.

2. Golan Heights

Golan Heights’ no-nonsense, kosher storefront is the perfect lunch stop for something quick and cheap. If you don’t have time for a seat in their small interior, they do delivery for up to 2 miles around their location.

Popular items include various plates and pita combos, with chicken shawarma topping the list. Kufta Kebob Laffa and Schnitzel Pita are also frequent orders, though Zaidy’s Spicy Nuggets are a good call for winter.

The hummus and pita make for an awesome afternoon munchie.

3. Reunion

Planter boxes and plenty of sunlight make Reunion a comfortable dining choice for Israeli food in NYC. The owners, Eldad and Inna Mashiach, call the café a “love letter to Tel Aviv” from Brooklyn.

For breakfast, the Fatush Salad and Yemenite Pancake are light but flavorful. Transition to Moroccan Tacos shawarma for lunch; the creamy texture of their hummus and hearty shakshuka are also a call back to Jaffa’s flea markets.

Wines, cocktails and sparkling drinks are available at the bar.

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4. Rothschild TLV

Date night at an upscale Israeli restaurant in NYC can be summed up as Rothschild TLV. The moody lighting and mid-century modern décor took inspiration from Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s trendiest street.

The fusion kosher Mediterranean cuisine begins with starters like Holy Ravioly, Sweetbreads Flat Bread served with babaganoush, and Carpaccio Tuna.

Mains range from Tomahawk steaks to salmon with various sauces; greens include roasted cauliflower and salads.

Order creative cocktails to pair and most importantly – save room for dessert.

5. Shmoné

Keeping both space and menu small, Shmoné plays younger sibling to the Miznon chain. One of the best Israeli restaurants in NYC for foodies who chase new dishes, its highly seasonal menu means dishes can be created on the fly – daily.

You’ll never know what you get! Buzzy and intimate, the restaurant does offer example menus, so you have an idea of what to expect.

Vegetarian options are always included but feel free to call ahead if you have dietary concerns. Do give their absinthe cocktails a whirl too.

6. 12 Chairs Café

Among NYC Israeli restaurants, 12 Chairs Café is a Soho favorite. A neighborhood staple known of its famous tarts and generous Israeli wines, walk into either their Brooklyn or downtown New York location for a taste of Tel Aviv.

Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner – the all-day spot features sweet eats like Knafeh and coconut-milk pudding alongside hot dishes like grilled lamb pitas, chicken skewers and Moroccan fish.

Labaneh, babaganoush, shakshuka and grilled halloumi fill in the gaps. Don’t miss out on the weekend specials; winter-only Hamin is fantastic.

7. Local 92

Tucked away in East Village is another best Israeli restaurant in NYC; cozy, cheap, and a portal to the hidden Blue Quarter Bar. But before you escape into the whimsical jewel box space for cocktails, pre-game with their boozy brunch.

The brunch menu serves Israeli meatballs and signature hummus for appetizers, mains that separate into “eggs” and “carbs & stuff”, and salad bowls.

Dinner is in Mediterranean tapas-style, ranging from deep-fried falafel balls to charred eggplants. Entrées include Chicken Tagine, Local92 Cheeseburgers and Lamb Kebab.

8. Miznon

Branching out from Chelsea Market, Miznon NYC sits on the Upper West Side to cook up stuffed pitas with a local twist. Pick up your daily lunch and dinner or sit down at their grunge-meets-chic locations.

The stuffings may be subject to season, but the menu’s staple “in a pita” and “out of the pita” categories are set.

From vegetable-based inners like stewed lima beans and a whole forest, to hake fish and grass-fed cow – taste the best of Mediterranean street eats.

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9. Samesa

Samesa is a top Israeli restaurant for busy NYC tourists as they whisk contemporary Middle Eastern plates into takeaway bags. Located in Rockefeller Center, it’s dip-in and dip-out between scouring attractions.

Their signature: housemade pita and dips that are healthy and fresh. The pita wraps come with chicken shawarma, picked eggs and roasted eggplants, and chickpea seitan.

For greens, salads range between kale Fattoush, crunchy veggies and Detroit-style Greek. You can also customize it with extra sauces for $1 each.

10. Barbounia

On the opposite end of the spectrum, fancy plating and date-night vibes are strong at Barbounia. But the limewash walls and warm lighting make it a homey space, tucking you behind wooden tables with the open kitchen in full view.

Take a cruise through the Mediterranean Sea with a variety of fish and meat dishes. Homemade bread and pizzas are baked fresh, while the raw bar takes only seasonal catches.

Brunch honors traditional mezzes while dinners serve taboon roasted branzino, kofta kebabs and Lebanese chicken.

Laser Wolf Israeli Restaurant 1
Photo by Laser Wolf Israeli Restaurant

11. Laser Wolf

Counter seats and square tables line the chic, rooftop Israeli restaurant Laser Wolf. The Manhattan skyline serves half the aesthetics, though the mis-mash tiles and pops of green sure jazz up your camera roll.

At this skewer house, dinner is cooked over live coals – an array of shareables centric to Israeli cuisine.

Large plates cradle smaller bowls of sauces, sides, dips and nibbles; signatures include hummus, pita, meat tenders and vegetable salatim.

Pair with a top-notch cocktail and brown sugar soft serve for dessert.

12. Mamoun’s Falafel

For a traditional, no-frills experience, stop by one of Mamoun’s Falafel chain stores. Their unassuming Greenwich Village shop is perfect for a quick pick-me-up.

Sandwiches are served in a pita pocket, padded with tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Signatures are named after New York neighborhoods with vegan and halal options.
Plates are heftier, with the option of falafel, shawarma and chicken kebob; baklava and kataifi are newly added pastries.

Do order a specialty drink to-go, as savory sauces tend to dry your mouth!

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13. Balaboosta

Balaboosta is yet another storefront that hides some of New York’s best Israeli dining spots. Meaning “an impressively competent housewife”, Balaboosta delivers home cooking with a dash of innovation.

Whet your appetite with whipped feta and fluke ceviche; maybe Yemenite soup dumplings for the really hungry.

The wild mushroom pappardelle and branzino deliver consistently, though meat lovers may prefer the lamb neck and skirt steak.

If you’re missing carbs, order the potatoes sabzi or tahdig rice to complement.