Balade

4.5
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757 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
An Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that is a genuine addition to New York City’s diverse International cuisines. Specializing in Lebanese cuisine, Balade is a quaint neighborhood destination in the East Village with a warm and hospitable setting. Owned and operated by Roland Semaan (Hilton Hotels, NYC; B.R. Guest Restaurant Group, NYC) – Balade, which means Local, when describing produce of high quality in Lebanese, is the true culmination of his heritage and impressive hospitality background and experience.

Voted Best Middle Eastern on Zagat 2015-2016

Dinners Choice Winner Open table 2013- 2014 - 2015
What 757 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MS
Orange County
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this place! Delicious food, gracious staff and fun crowd. Putting on the faves list.

B
Chicago
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service2ambience3

Used to be a much better value. Food was okay but unfortunately also downgraded (while prices upgraded)

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food was very good. Dinner for two was only about $90, including tip(4 small shared plates, 2 desserts and coffee). Service was lacking (we were often left for stretches of time without being checked on), although they were polite. Ashta (homemade Lebanese) I’ve cream was awesome. We would definitely come back.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday/Baby Gender reveal

OT
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible, authentic, and very affordable

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

We had to wait for like 15 mins in spite of getting there on time for our reservation. They had enough empty tables but our guess was that they didn't let us sit because those were 4 seater tables and we were just 2. Making us wait for a 2 seat table to clear up so that they can seat their "yet to come" 4 guest group doesn't seem fair. Now to food we ordered all vegetarian dishes (3 small plates, 1 pizza). Food in general was okay to taste. I felt it to be a little bland to taste. One positive thing is their falafel was tasty. Service was just okay and they seemed to rush everything even before we finish eating from our small plates. Overall just an okay place.

D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Balade is absolutely fantastic. A definite must if you’re looking for great Lebanese food in NYC.

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great Lebanese food for reasonable price

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience3

This place has gone downhill since last year. We ordered the mixed grill platter to share and received raw/tough chicken, soggy French Fries drenched in oil, greasy rice, and a mush tomato. I have never had greasy rice at a Lebanese restaurant, is this something new? The last time I was here that it was not greasy at all. So I quickly let the waiter know and he was happy to replace the mixed grill platter. I just asked him to toss the rice at this point, which he still charged me for. When he brought out the new mixed grill platter, I quickly noticed the French fries were drenched in oil once again. At this point, I decided to just eat what I can. As I asked for the check, the waiter asked how was the platter this time and I immediately let him know that the fries were bad yet again. He responded by saying yeah it’s something with our fryer... I mean I couldn’t believe he actually admitted it but hey they’ve been selling French fries drenched in oil all day. No longer will return here. I used to visit this place all the time.

S
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic and delicious- my fourth visit and will be back again! All the food was flavorful and fresh, and everyone was happy! If you are looking for Mediterranean food - look no further! You will not be disappointed!

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Balade is really a special restaurant. The food is really beautiful, and presented in a way that you keep wanting to order and try more things. The staff is completely available to care for guests and are very real and professional in their demeanor. Every time I have dined there I left with gratitude!

ST
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal! The ingredients were fresh and everything was delicious. We had gone there for lunch about a month earlier and wanted an excuse to go back for dinner — they did not disappoint.

LH
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

I wasn't impressed with this food-the tomatoes in the tabbouleh were "off"/acidic. It should've been evident to our server that we barely touched it and there was a problem but she was too busy literally having a 10 minute conversation with another patron.

U
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food4service2ambience4

The food was very good but they gave us the check while we were midway through eating our meal which I thought was very rude. They came back for the check twice and both times we were still eating so we didn't out our credit card in yet.

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food at Balade is superb. From their melt in your mouth pitas to everything I have ever ordered there. It is truly one of the best Mediterranean restaurants in the city in my opinion. A hidden gem.

d
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Balade was just what we were looking for - an affordable Lebanese restaurant with incredible labne!

S
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience4

I'll start off with the positive -- the food at Balade was excellent. Everything was beautifully spiced, portions were sizeable, and the quality remained consistent across a variety of dishes at the table. This one trip to their restaurant was worth the delicious beef shawarma and hummus, plus a lovely selection of small plates. However, the service was absolutely atrocious. Took 15 minutes to get out mimosas, and the coffee we ordered never came (although thankfully they didn't bill us for it either). The second half of our party showed up a few minutes late and were never given menus, so we had to pass them back and forth while waiting for someone to come attend to us. The server was engrossed on the phone while we waited for someone to take our order, and made no effort to check in with us after the food runner brought out our food. And we were one of only two full tables at the restaurant! Will not be back.

TA
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food was great. Wasn’t a fan of the waiters hovering and pushing us out though.

D
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service, food everything great!

m
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We ordered 5 assorted mezza platters to share and they were all very good. The waiter poured a very generous glass of Pinot Grigio which was also very fine. Service was attentive despite a it being a very busy Sunday evening. We've been back three times and will return in the near future.

c
New York Area
129 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Ballade is a cozy and appealing Middle East restaurant with a varied menu. The food is quite tasty and the service is attentive and welcoming. An overall positive and affordable dining experience! I look forward to returning ;for more delicious shareables!

ND
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We got the sea bass and chicken cubes. Both were excellent, rice was creamy and delicious. Fish almost melts in your mouth. Service was prompt, we were checked on regularly, food and apps came out quickly. Would totally recommend this place for a date or special occasion.

L
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Food is delicious, service is friendly and attentive, and the price is reasonable. We keep coming back.

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious, as always.

PM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a remarkable little neighborhood restaurant with nuanced but flavorful Lebanese cuisine and attentive and polite service. On a Saturday night it can get loud but it’s due to the intimate space and people clearly enjoying the place.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved the food. Place was very tight. Was bumped by staff all through the meal but will go back. It is Manhattan, big rents mean you need to pack people in. Staff was amazing and food was good.

TE
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolute best baba ghanoush in the city. The other appetizers are great, too. There are many vegetarian options, but the Sultana El Shawarma pizza is a delicious great deal for meat eaters.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fantastic meal. Our party of 9 enjoyed mezzes and desserts. Will definitely add Balade to our list of fun restaurants.

AC
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So grateful for the fine people and food at Balade! We had a family celebration dinner and everyone was from out of town - Balade was perfect. Service was excellent, atmosphere unbeatable and everyone was very nice. We're from the west coast and we eat Middle Eastern cuisine a lot so we know good Lebanese food: this is EXCELLENT Lebanese food. 10 stars.

CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and great ambiance!

SA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great mezze and friendly staff. I have been coming for this place for about five years and the people I bring with me always love it.

S
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience3

Good vegetarian options.. great for a get together with friends.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Balade was more than I expected in all the right ways! Our reservation got us seated in minutes, we had menus and service right away, and appetizers came out what seemed moments after ordering. All the portions were wonderful, and our family of four was able to share everything without breaking the bank as badly as some places in NYC. Fantastic dining experience.

B
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excellent food. It is very tasty and very upscale, authentic.

M
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Headed to Balade while searching reviews for Mideast food downtown. Spectacular food but waaaaaay too loud, everyone shouting not sure why. The service was super friendly but was a bit disconnected- The timing on apps (hummus) was strangely long so I assume they forgot to send it. When it finally came we had to stare at it bc they didn’t send the bread at the same time. Then we had no utensils we had to wave someone down for them. But the place was lively and overall we enjoyed the evening. The food was great, the tea with mint and Turkish coffee was perrrrfect.

AS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall2food4service3ambience4

I came here because it was recommended by my coworker (she's Lebanese), and I was not disappointed by the food! We ordered hummus, grape leaves, lahme baajin manakeesh, and balade mixed grill, and everything tasted great. The service was well-timed, and we were having a good time; unfortunately, our experience did not end so well. My coworker recommended ordering dessert, so when the host came back with the menu, he told us that he had another reservation and that he needed the table. He offered us free dessert at the bar as an apology, but I was so confused because we had only been there for an hour and I had made a reservation too! We informed the host that we were disappointed and confused, and all he said was "sorry" and shrugged it off, as if he couldn't do anything else about it. So we asked for the bill and left - we really didn't care for free dessert, and they needed to know that this was not OK. I would like to think that this isn't a common occurrence at this restaurant, but I hope that they're able to better manage wait times and table turnover.

i
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Balade and am always happy to go there. We had a group of four and got the mezze sampler and 2 mixed grills. It was both delicious and gave us a a great taste of so many different things.

f
New York Area
189 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall2food4service3ambience2

EXTREMELY tight quarters. I am very used to NYC-level crowding with tables an inch apart, but this was really extraordinary. The two-tops were arranged with seating at right angles with the adjacent table's chair back up against the side of the table. Plus cacophonous noise level. Plus not cheap. Food was good, but the other qualities were not good and I would not return.

AR
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Balade was wonderful! The food was delicious and great alcohol section. The host accidentally dropped my leftovers and they came out with a full dish to go (which they absolutely didn’t have to do!) and we had a great time.

JL
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Generous portions. Willing to serve dressing on side for person needing less salt. Waitstaff very pleasant. Food delicious.
I

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