Au Za'atar
Au Za'atar

Au Za'atar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.auzaatar.com/
  • Phone: (212) 254-5660
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 12:00pm; Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 11:00am; Brunch: 8:00am - 4:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Lebanese
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Delivery, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 12th St & Ave A
  • Public Transit: Take the L to 1st avenue or the 4, 5, 6, L, R, N, or Q to Union Square--14th street.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Au Za'atar
Au Za’atar is an Arabian French bistro serving family recipes from Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco. Drop in for mezze and a glass of organic wine or enjoy a romantic dinner. Our dishes highlight the best of Middle Eastern and French cooking with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients and homemade dishes. The cozy, rustic dining room features banquette seating, hi-top tables perfect for grabbing a glass of wine and mezze, and a bar. We serve boutique natural wines from around the globe, along with a variety of craft beers.
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Au Za'atar reviews from OpenTable diners
41 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
85% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (26)good for groups (22)fit for foodies (19)great for outdoor dining (17)great for brunch (13)romantic (13)special occasion (12)great for lunch (10)notable wine list (10)hot spot (6)kid-friendly (6)late-night find (5)scenic view (2)vibrant bar scene (2)Show More
  • Perfect place for hangouts when hungry!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    My friends and I were bored, looking for a restaurant we could all try. When we entered Au Zaatar, it wasn't exactly quiet, but it wasn't obnoxiously loud either. Perfect for our occasion. Five minutes after being seated, a waiter came to our avail. The menu had a good variety of options, not keeping it too little nor too disperse. The prices are pretty decent for Manhattan, nothing too much to handle. Ten minutes after ordering, our food arrived. It only took me one bite of the Lamb Shank to taste how great it is. By the end of our evening, we were all greatly satisfied with the food, service, and environment. Definitely somewhere to go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic neighborhood gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We ate here with a group of 12 and everything was top notch. They never broke a sweat with our big party and the owner and the staff took the time to recommend some great dishes and to make sure that we had a great experience. The bread was so good which is essential to me because the best part of these type of meals is the flat bread and dips like hummous and baba ganoush. Can't wait to go back and enjoy some more
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of a kind! Must try.
    Love2eatgood
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Very pleasant environment. Relaxing and romantic atmosphere with class. Excellent wines. This restaurant is a gem. Lots of nice options on the vegetarian mezze's (and meat mezze's as well). Lamb chops were cooked to perfection and were very flavorful. My friend had the steak frites and were also cooked the exact way requested. Service was very attentive and polite. My only complaint would be that it could get a bit too noisy (but I guess that's a good sign since the restaurant was full when we were there). Desert is out of this world!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vegetarian Heaven
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    1st time came here for an anniversary dinner, very romantic, vegetarian friendly, been going there ever since with my girlfriends for wine and vegetarian mezze.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great spot
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Fantastic food, ambiance & service at this Arabic/French restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As authentic Lebanese as it can get
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Went there with a group of 10 people. We kept ordering and reordering several dishes of mezze. We were full by the time the mains came but still found room for the delicious shakshukah.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • dont get it
    babydocVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    I read all the glowing reviews and was prepared for a great experience. The waiters were nice but looked dazed and confused. The restaurant was about a quarter full but it took almost 15 minutes for them to take our order. Then they tell us that at 7:15 on a Tuesday they ran out of salmon and branzino and so had no fish to offer. Huh?? The salmon arrived when we er paying our bull at 9:00. Huh?? And then the food.. with the exception of the complementary pita with zaatar everything was awful. The mezze platters were either completely bland or way too tart. Dessert of mouhallabie tasted like air freshener (I have tasted this dish many times before and it can be amazing).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love this place!
    Traveljunkiefoodie
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    I will definitely be dining here weekly! I want to eat everything on their amazing menu of Lebanese cuisine. The Mezze (small dishes) and Kebabs are fantastic. I can't wait to go back with my parents this weekend and try a bottle of delicious red wine with our meal. I've had my eye on that Bordeaux ;)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gem all around
    Wonderful
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    My friend recommended this place and we are thankful they did. The mezzes and entrées we had are not only refreshing but devine, just the right amount of everything! Wine choices are amazing and affordable. Service is exceptional and timely and friendly. The space/restaurant feel is incredibly relaxed and comfortable. Simply put Au Za'atar made our night whole and complete!! Truly perfect Lebanese dinning experience. I would recommend and definitely would return with more friends and try more dishes.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    My wife and I had dinner here. It was quite good. The seasonings and herbs used created wonderful flavors. The wine list was a bit limited, but they had a great beer list! Service was attentive. We enjoyed our dinner very much.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really great NYC restaurant find.
    Yummy
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Love this Lebanese haven. The food is delicious. Service is excellent. I went with friends and the owner was there and made us feel like we were guests in his home. He told us how all the dishes were his mom's recipes. Extra nice touch of tradition.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mom's food
    Foodieforlife
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Came here for dinner with my girlfriend on a full Wednesday night. Started out with a bunch of mezze's (appetizers). The hummus tasted just like the one I used to eat from mom's back home in Lebanon. Falafel and babaghanouge had a great taste along with the jwaneh (chicken wings). Then the stars of the night showed up; chicken kebab entree and kafta kebab entree. Chicken kebab was perfectly grilled and I am not sure what spices were used but definitely brought back memories of my mom's. She loved the Kafta kebab which was juicy and full of flavor. The owner/management made us feel at home and was very hospitable. Service was great and attentive. Will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Definitely a MUST!
    RichTaste
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Can't decide what we loved the most? Replacing the traditional bread and butter with zaatar crisps and labneh is genius! the sampler appetizer of eggplant hummus stuffed grape leaves. Yum!!!! The mixed grill was cooked to perfection, I'm not a meat fan at all but coming here I might just have to become one. It was cooked just right. As amazing as the food was the service was just as great! The ambiance is fantastic, the food is amazing, service is great absolute superb with class.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Impressed
    Wiseman
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    Came back a few weeks after my first visit-- still very much delicious. Everything about our meal was outstanding, from our server, to the zaatar bread, to the grilled meats.. We also had multiple drinks (2 beers and 2 glasses of wine?) and our bill was less than $100 after tip. This place is awesome, very laid back and relaxing. Will keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service unacceptable
    MaryVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I went to the restaurant Saturday night with 5 other people. It my first time at the restaurant and it will probably be my last. The service was so so slow and the restaurant was not even packed. It took almost 30 minutes for cold appetizers to arrive. It took what felt like forever for our main courses and they did not arrive at the same time. Our servers were nice but this is clearly a poorly run restaurant and there is a problem with the kitchen.mThe food was pretty good but in NYC there are a million other places to go to get good food of this type. I read other reviews about poor service but didn't pay attention.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Food and Service
    Perfect
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    My third time back (once for brunch and twice for dinner) Saturday night for dinner and excellent as always. Everything we had was amazing and one of our friends said it reminded him of his mother's cooking. Our apps were out of this world, our entres were incredible...you can tell everything was made with love and care. Nice wine list. From the manager at the door greeting to our waiteress were very caring and hospitable and real and service was excellent. The space is very soothing and makes you feel at ease and relaxed and very romantic. We had one request to the manager and that was if the restaurant owners can move the restaurant to upper eastside...we could be there every night!!!! We all agreed we are definately coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    Food4Life
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Based on numerous reviews by "reputable" food blogs and critics, I expected way more quality food. Would give 2.5 stars if available. Chose to go with three stars versus two to go with the benefit of the doubt. Dining partners' (three orders) lamb entres were dry and over cooked. None of our food stood out as outstanding and we ordered a lot of little dishes, as well as entres. Noise level (Friday night) was unpleasant. Service bordered on a bit of impatience and felt rushed at times.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Disappointed
    nycreviewer
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Second time visiting, first time was ok. Went again recently with friends. Food was not fresh, presentation was poor.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new neighborhood spot
    StuyTownmom
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We came here for brunch. Great menu with a Mediterranean flavor, friendly service, good coffee. I had an omelette with goat cheese, kalamata olives, herbs and tomatoes. They open early and they're quiet before 11:30. We would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just like Beirut
    NYCParisBeirut
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Having lived in Lebanon, I consider myself a good judge of food from the region. Au Za'atar is easily worthy of the restaurant scene in Beirut. We sampled several mezze. Only one, a sliced eggplant dish, was subpar (too salty). Otherwise, they were very good: hummus, loubieh bi zeit (green beans in oil), labneh, lahme baajin, soujouk (sausages in tomato sauce), halloumi cheese. For dessert, the knefe was very well done -- meltingly soft and sweet but not TOO sweet and overpowering. The wine list is a bit short and doesn't offer the best of Lebanese wines (Ixir, Musar, Massaya) but has decent mid-range options from Ksara and Kefraya. Service was lovely, and the outdoor seating looked nice for warmer nights. I will go back for sure.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 21 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 30, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 25 reviews are from the Au Za'atar reviews archive.
  • InternationalfoodieVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Some dishes were really good, but the lamb chops was disappointing. Based on the reviews I found I thought the food would be much better. And I love Lebanese food.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best food I had in a while
    Superb
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Although I cook middle eastern food and I am from the region but this food is one of the most tasty food I had in a while. I think I my husband and I have found our new hangout place.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A little taste of home goodness
    LESFoodloverVIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    I was overwhelmed by how delicious the entree salad was, I was less-whelmed by the smoked eggplant and mujadara. The pickled za'atar and avocado salad was flavorful, lively, refreshing and had depth of flavor. I took a bite of it and felt like I was getting a little taste of home in the middle east. The sumac dressing is delicious. I'm looking forward to trying other mezze because a lot of things looked good and I just happened to pick two that were not nearly as exciting as the salad. Very good spot for vegetarians and plenty of met options as well.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Terrific Food and Service
    KitKat
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    We celebrated our friend's birthday here and the service, food, wine was great. The owner was gracious, friendly and helpful. We can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Middle eastern food
    rezwan
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Top notch Middle eastern food, I've also been there for Brunch. They have great Wine list, Service was great. I would definitely go again for the food. Best Middle eastern food in NYC.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mediocre
    markivVIP
    Dined on 6/11/2014
    Contrary to the overall excellent reviews by others, our group found the food to be of average quality and the appetizer portions were rather small. Pita's were served only upon request . Will be waiting a while before we return .
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful
    NLKh
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    This new east village place is an absolute gem. Wonderful food, but more so is outstanding hospitality and service. Lamb chops and fig crostini are out of this world.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Don't waste your time or money
    catherine
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    The food was below average. There was no skill in how they put the food together No more than a teenager in the kitchen would be able to do. It was over-priced too in comparison to other middle eastern places. There was absolutely no finesse.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lebanese heaven
    SCKaboomVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    What a great place. Feels like I'm back in my mom's house. The food is great and the staff is very friendly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • tasty food
    hjsgenie
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    We arrived an hour early for our reservation and it was pouring out. We were promptly sat and offered beverages. I highly recommend the red sangria. A lot of the food was very salty. This was slightly off-putting but the kebabs were done well and the fig toasties were divine. I recommend Au Za'atar for its open, relaxing ambiance, friendly service, wine selection, and wide assortment of food.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Party of 4 seated promptly 7pm Sat.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Wonderful warm service from our waiter "Innacio" who insured good timing of all our orders. Split a mezze feast of meat & veg platters: kebbe kras, fried cauliflower,vg, labne cheese & addictive homemade flatbread. Also split a couscous with vg baby lamb chops. Being contrary I prefer Morroccan type. Shared desserts of baklawa ok, very good crepe ending with birthday candle. Sat. 8pm gets crowded and very noisy. Make reservations earlier if noise getting invasive annoys you. A happy group and will go back to this warm hospitality & homemade food made with care, reasonable prices including wine selections. Many more things to try.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great addition!
    operafan
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    This is a great Mediterranean addition to the neighborhood. Attentive service, delicious food, interesting wines fairly priced. Our party of 6 was warmly received and we would all happily return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    Highly recommended. Food was delicious and service went above and beyond all of our expectations. Will be back very soon!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/16/2014
    Great choice of food for something different. Meat was a little overdone but overall very nice
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    LauraVIP
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    We chose this restaurant based on a great review in the New York Times. The food was bland and the portions were small. A high point was the wine list, which included some very affordable Lebanese wines. Naya Restaurant is a much better choice for this cuisine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Too little & too much
    bobswife
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Au Za'atar has some of the best Mediterranean food in the city. I hope it stays a long time in the neighborhood. But, compared to restaurants in the Middle East, where I lived and ate for years, the mezze portions are very small -- especially for $8 a shot. Also, when full the noise level becomes nearly unbearable; our guests became quite uncomfortable. Perhaps sound baffles -- just a suggestion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent surprise!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Special and very good Arabian food, one of the best of New York
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for brunch, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just right. Try the pickled
    Rosie
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Just right. Try the pickled labne in a salad. Salmon was just right. The service most excellent. We will eat here often. The menu is lengthy and food of a home cooking quality. Everything fresh and tasty.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fascinating and Fun Place
    hfarbsVIP
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    We had a terrific dinner, and a terrific time, at Au Za'atar. The menu is varied and we each tried something different, but all 4 of us loved our food. I had a tasty cous cous dish with merguez sausage. The meze dishes were the best, and we tried the baba ghanoj, the cauliflower and the green beans. Each of us had a different favorite. The server was friendly and fun, but knew when to intrude and when to hang back. The owner came by a couple of times to see how we were doing. The entire staff wanted to make sure we were satisfied. I could eat there regularly and not ever be bored by the food. Can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Homestyle Lebanese
    SCKaboomVIP
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Excellent food just like mom used to make. Great ambiance and decor. Moderately priced and delicious. Try the Kibbe Naya. To die for. I've been twice since they've opened.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate