New York has been referred to as the "Big Apple" and "America's Melting Pot", the last because of the great influx of immigrants that occurred around the turn of the 20th century and still continues today. All these different people bring their culture, including their food, with them. You can go just about anywhere in New York and find an authentic ethnic restaurant. If your preference is for Middle Eastern food, there are several locations to find that. Some are listed below; there should be one near where you live or work.
Alfanoose Eastern Restaurant
, 8 Maiden Lane
Located in the heart of the Financial District, this restaurant has been in business since 1999. It's a relative newcomer, but one that already has a loyal following. Why else would the patrons stand in a line that stretches a block no matter what the weather? When you go, you can choose from meat and vegetarian sandwiches and wraps, as well as meat and vegetarian pies. You can also choose from combination dishes, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something you like.
, 7523 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn
You'll have to go to Brooklyn to eat here, but it's worth the trip. The restaurant is the culmination of the dream that Rawia Bashara had when she was cooking for her friends and family. Not only did the opening of Tanoreen mean that Rawia had seen her dream come true, but it was also her way of expressing her appreciation for all that her mother had done for her, including teaching her how to cook authentic Middle Eastern food. When you eat here, you'll see the love Rawia has for her mother reflected in every dish that is served.
, 222 Waverly Place
This is a falafel and smoothie bar located in Manhattan. Here you can order falafels with just every conceivable filling imaginable, and a healthy smoothie to wash it down. Call in your order first, unless you don't mind waiting in a fairly long line in a very small place.
Speaking of small, you'll do well to find somewhere outside to eat, or to order your food "to go" so you can take it back to your car or office. That's because there's hardly anywhere to sit in the restaurant itself. But, that's a good thing, because it just proves how good the food is.
, 70 West 71st Street
If you like Turkish food (real Turkish food) this is the place for you. Everything, from the appetizers to the desserts, is Turkish in origin, with a little bit of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavor thrown in for good measure. This is a full-service restaurant that offers both regular dinners and "pre-fixe" (before theatre) meals. It's located close to the Lincoln Center, so you can enjoy a meal before catching one of the performances there. The combination of the two makes for a most unforgettable evening.