If you are looking for the best shawarma in NYC, Azuri Cafe may be it. I’ve been to this Hell’s Kitchen joint three times and each time it has been wonderful. Here’s the lowdown.
Super tiny (I think there are 6 two people tables)
Takes credit cards
On my last visit, we ordered three items. We started with the lentil soup ($4.75). As you can see from the picture, the portion is generous. Size is not a big motivator for me, quality is. The soup is light, yet comforting and flavorful. Although it is vegetarian, any carnivore would easily fall in love.
I moved onto two versions of the same dish: the shawarma gyro ($8.50) and the shawarma gyro plate ($15.25). The shawarma gyro is in itself perfect. It starts off with the bread. This is a hearty, flavorful wheat bread that does not break apart as you devour the shawarma. It is thick and perfectly doughy. The meat inside the shawarma is fresh and aromatic. The vegetables are cut thick. This results in great texture and flavor. Azuri also adds homemade hummus to their shawarma. It is thick, creamy and delicious. Perhaps the best thing about the shawarma gyro: pickles. Sweet, tangy, delicious pickles to add salinity to the dish.
The platter is basically the same thing, deconstructed. All the same fresh ingredients on a very large platter. The bread is served on the side. This could easily feed two (although I didn’t bring leftovers home – gluttony took over).
Azuri is located at 465 West 51st St, New York City (212) 262-2920
Sunday-Thursday 10:30AM-9:00PM, Friday 10:30-4pm sundown & closed on most Jewish holidays.