If you ask real New Yorkers where to go for the best Mediterranean food, they will probably send you to Taboon restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. If you ask them where to go for the best Middle Eastern cuisine they will most likely send you to Taboon also. They prepare most of their exotic specialties in a wood fired oven by blending in Mediterranean flavors with the Middle Eastern cuisine. In fact, “Taboon” in the Arabic word for oven. Every dish is splendid, and comes in a beautiful presentation, staring with an appetizer of falafel. Their lamb kebabs are huge, and they taste just as good as those I had on the streets of Israel. But let’s not forget to mention the décor of Taboon: authentic, authentic, authentic.
Therefore, Taboon offers a complete, unforgettable Middle Easter experience in the heart of Manhattan.
Taboon: 773 10th Ave · New York; (212) 713-0271
This charming Italian venue, called Bocca di Bacco, manages to stand even in the competitive restaurant scene of Hell’s Kitchen. Even though they call themselves a wine bar, explained by the generous selection of 40 wines by the glass and around 500 by the bottle, I personally consider Bocca di Bocca a fabulous restaurant, with an amazing Northern Italian cuisine. The space is stunning. Mostly made of wood, with brick walls, and dimmed light, this is one of Hell’s Kitchen’s most romantic spots. If you pass by Eights avenue and 54th street, you are probably not going to miss it. Their majestic wooden door made me walk in Bocca di Bacco for the first time.
New York is famous for its street fairs, and none of the street fairs are more known than the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival in Hell’s Kitchen. Started in 1973, this food festival attracts more than a million people every year. The festival reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity that is Hell’s Kitchen. Besides the standard zepplois, funnel cakes, mozzarepas, and egg creams, there is a smorgasbord of unique foods that will only be found here. From Argentinian to Cajun to Moroccan to Peruvian food, the list here goes on and on.
There are also over 200 street fair and flea market vendors selling various items. There is a stage with live entertainment on 55th Street on Sunday, featuring international music and dance like Egyptian belly dancing, Arabian scarf dancing and German folk dancing. If you’re bringing the family, there is also a children’s pavilion featuring games and activities. There is no admission fee, and the festival raises money for community groups in the neighborhood.