New Yorkers all have their favorite spots for bagels and lox, but where is the best Sephardic food? The Eater’s Robert Seitsema set out to find out.
While 90% of New York’s Jews are of Ashkenazi descent with roots in Northern and Eastern Europe (where bagels, blintzes, and bialys come from), 10% are Sephardic, from Spain and Portugal. North African, Middle Eastern and Central Asian, Jews, too, are among this group, classified as Mizrahi.
Food from these regions is incredibly diverse, and Seitsema provides a regional roadmap for your Sephardic culinary journey. There’s Persian stews, Israeli falafel, Uzbekistani plov (pilaf), and shakshuka, to name a few. Speaking of shakshuka, check out our list of best places to eat shakshuka in NYC!
We definitely second the choice of Colbeh, a kosher Persian restaurant, and if we could chime in, we’d add Marani, a Georgian Kosher restaurant in Rego Park, Queens. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see Chef Einat Admony’s Balaboosta, Taim, and Bar Bolonat make the list.
Learn to make these Sephardic favorites with the following recipes:
Koofteh (Persian Meatballs) in Tomato Turmeric Broth
Shakshuka with Spinach and Lamb Meatballs
Everything Spiced Malawah with Fried Egg
Concia: a Roman Jewish Fried Zucchini Delicacy
Baklava with Honey and Cardamom
Arab-Style Tortellini (Shishbarak)
Greek Bunuelos (Donuts) with Honey
Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws.
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.