Zooba is a fast-casual restaurant in the same way that Bob Ross is a watercolor painter. It’s technically true, but there’s a lot more exciting context. This is the first US location of an Egyptian spot with several locations in Cairo, and it’s officially where you should be getting lunch or a quick dinner in the Soho area. The ceiling in here is covered with neon signs and it’s pretty difficult not to admire the flashing lights above you while you wait in line. But the food is more memorable than any of that. The specialty is the ta’ameya (fried balls made out of fava beans), which you can and should order spicy, but we also love the hawawshi beef patty sandwich with cheese. Most things come on a soft homemade Egyptian pita called baladi and everything costs under $15. If you work anywhere downtown - we suggest beelining here.
More spots in NolitaSee more
People are waiting an hour for egg sandwiches at Nolita’s Egg Shop. Is it worth it? Time to investigate.
Prince Street Pizza
The best slice joint in the Soho/Noho/Nolita region. Get a spicy square slice.
Checking back in on Parm, now that the hype has died down. Three years later, the sandwiches are still excellent, and the novelty still makes up for the rest.
More Middle Eastern spotsSee more
We found ourselves enjoying the food at Naya quite a bit. However, the space is about ten feet wide and looks like a high-end shower.
HaSalon is a party restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen where you can dance on tables after eating enjoyable but very expensive Israeli food.
We’re not exactly sure that New York City was in desperate need of an Armenian/Lebanese restaurant, but this stateside opening of Almayass, a Beirut-based establishment with locations across the Middle East, is very exciting for at least three or four of us here.
Suggested by our writers
Balthazar is a Soho institution - a French bistro that will get the job done for almost any situation.
A simple Italian cafe that works in tons of situations, Epistrophy is one of our Nolita go-tos.
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