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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Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen
The Cooper’s Craft & Kitchen in the East Village isn’t great, but the one in Chelsea is nicer, cozier, and good enough for first date.
Tao is a huge restaurant and nightclub in Chelsea with drinks and food that are pretty good, but extremely expensive.
More Middle Eastern spotsSee more
La Shuk is a casual Moroccan restaurant in the East 100s that’s perfect for a low-key date or dinner with your kids on a Sunday night.
You’re going to need an hour on the train to get to Tanoreen. But if you appreciate Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food, it’s more than worth it.
Miss Ada is a small, comfortable spot in Fort Greene with great Israeli food and an outdoor garden in the back.
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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