Au Za'atar
Au Za'atar

Au Za'atar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.auzaatar.com/
  • Phone: 2122545660x
  • 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
  • Private Party Contact: Alex 2122545660x

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
34 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food4
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
70% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (21)fit for foodies (14)great for outdoor dining (13)good for groups (12)great for brunch (7)great for lunch (7)notable wine list (5)romantic (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)special occasion (3)vibrant bar scene (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 18 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.3
    • Ambiance3.8
    • Service4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 13 reviews are from the Au Za'atar reviews archive.
  • Wonderful!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
  • Great for friends
    Houndstoothsweettooth
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The service at Au Za'atar was fantastic, the food was delicious, and I had a wonderful time with my friend. The place was packed on a Saturday evening, highly recommend making a reservation. Prices were fair for the neighborhood and quality served. While a little noisy for a first or second date, this is great for a friend date or couple whose primary objective isn't to learn everything about the other over a great meal. Overall, I enjoyed my meal and would recommend this to a friend/return in future.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New East Village Choice for Mezze
    DanG
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    I was happy to find Au Za'atar to be a neighborhood oriented restaurant. Reasonable prices, good food, good service -- no wonder it gets packed every night! A great place to make a meal of appetizers. Also, there was an issue with the bill that was resolved quickly and to our advantage, which made me want to go back even more.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new East Village find
    EVFoodieVIP
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    The food here was delicious and the welcome warm. Many "typical" Middle Eastern dishes, but all with distinctive flavors reflecting the heritage of the chefs/owners. After our meal, we spoke with one of the chefs/owners, who was generous with his time. It's clear that he takes enormous pride in presenting recipes from his family that require a painstaking attention to detail and quality. A very satisfying meal, and we'll definitely be going back soon.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a gem!
    Maris
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    For a restaurant that's been open for six days, I was duly impressed! This is the perfect place to go on a group dinner when you want to control costs. We had a vegetarian in our party, and the expansive selection of mezze vegetable dishes offered the perfect solution for small dish sharing. We came away full and spent $36 per person--what a deal. Their flatbread, with the traditional au za'atar seasoning was soft, fluffy, and salty. So addictive for dipping in the various house dips (which were also delicious!). The only thing the restaurant could stand to improve upon was their coordination in service. At times we needed more plates, ran out of water, etc. But I am sure that they'll work out the kinks in the coming days/weeks!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Tried Au Za'atar last week upon their opening and I will definitely be back. First off, the pita bread with za'atar was phenomenal...this alone would keep me coming back. We also shared the halloumi appetizer which was one of the better halloumis that I have had outside of the mediterranean. My boyfriend had the shish kebab which was very good--great use of spice. I had the mussels (half of which were overcooked, but everything else I had filled up on was so good that I barely cared). The owner/manager(?) was very attentive & seemed to genuinely care about our experience. He also brought us a complimentary desert. I could definitely see this becoming my neighborhood spot given the delicious food, reasonable prices, and service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.