The original Balaboosta was a popular Middle Eastern spot in Nolita, and it recently reopened in the old Bar Bolonat space in the West Village. We like some of the modern Israeli dishes here - like the creamy hummus and the cauliflower with peanut tahini - a lot, but we’ve found other things to be disappointing and overpriced (like octopus with overly salty lamb belly and chicken with too much pomegranate, which together will run you $50). If you stick to the small plates rather than the expensive entrees, then this place works well for groups or dates.
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Olio Pizza e Piu
Olio Pizza e Piu managed to get one of the worst Infatuation ratings ever. Each pizza we ordered was a mess of rubbery cheese and crust – heavy, sloppy and unappetizing.
Marie’s Crisis Cafe
Marie’s Crisis is a basement piano bar with cheap drinks and the opportunity to sing unlimited show tunes.
CK14 - The Crooked Knife
The food at CK-14 won’t blow your mind, but the friendly staff, huge patio, and strong drinks make up for it.
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Kubeh is a casual West Village Middle Eastern spot. The soups are the signature dish, but there are great mezze dips, platters, and shakshuka as well.
Zooba is an Egyptian restaurant in Nolita, and it’s the only fast-casual restaurant worth caring about.
Suggested by our writers
Nur is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Flatiron where you can eat excellent breads and creative dishes.
Miss Ada is a small, comfortable spot in Fort Greene with great Israeli food and an outdoor garden in the back.
A falafel sandwich at Taim is the best thing you can get in NYC for less than $10 and also theoretically eat daily without disastrous consequences.
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