The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but that it can change forms and locations. While we never understood it in high school, we think we get it now after eating at ZiZi. What Williamsburg lost when Zizi Limona (a utility spot that worked for everything from group brunch to dinner with parents) closed in September, Chelsea gained when ZiZi opened there a month later. The menu at this casual Middle-Eastern spot is almost identical, including a fantastic shawarma plate with juicy chicken and lamb over creamy hummus, and the space even looks similar, with lots of exposed brick, a small bar lined with wine bottles, and a couple of tables on the sidewalk outside.
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Da Umberto is a classic old-school Italian joint, but without some of the shtick found in other Little Italy joints.
The Ainsworth is a big, upscale bar in Chelsea where you can watch sports or drink Manhattans at 3pm on a Saturday.
Milk & Hops Chelsea
Milk & Hops is a casual spot in Chelsea with a huge beer selection, as well as some cheese, meat, and sandwiches.
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Manousheh is a Lebanese takeout place in Greenwich Village for lunch or late-night flatbreads.
Hummus Place has does casual Middle-Eastern food on the Upper West Side, and it's both kosher and vegetarian.
Zooba is an Egyptian restaurant in Nolita, and it’s the only fast-casual restaurant worth caring about.
Suggested by our writers
One of the few New York City restaurants you can count on for an excellent meal regardless of circumstance. Go for any meal or for a day on the patio.
Shuka is a crowd-pleasing Mediterranean restaurant that will save you when you need to plan a last-minute 10-person dinner.
Nur is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Flatiron where you can eat excellent breads and creative dishes.
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