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A laid back Lebanese eatery that gets Stang's stamp of approval. The service is good, people are friendly, and you can eat your face off for about twenty bucks a person.

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Nearby points of interest

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About Balade

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

208 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10009
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mediterranean, Lebanese, Middle Eastern

Hours of Operation:
Lunch and Dinner: Daily: Sunday till Thursday 11:30am - 11:00pm

Lunch and Dinner: Daily: Friday & Saturday 11:30am - 1:00am

Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 11:30am - 5:00pm

Cross Street:
Between 12th and 13th Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 529-6868

Website:
http://www.baladerestaurants.com/

Entertainment:
Live Music: Oud with Violinist every thursday night!

Catering:
For all your inquiries, Please email us at Catering@baladerestaurants.com

Parking Details:
Parking Lot: 11th Street Between 1st & 2nd Avenue

Public Transit:
4,6, L, N,Q 5, R to Union Square

L train to 1st Avenue

Executive Chef:
Micheline Wakim

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
For all your inquiries, Please email us at Specialevents@baladenyc.com

Balade Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.3

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Casual (15)
Authentic (14)
Good Vegetarian Options (12)
See All
Healthy (10)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Cozy (9)
Tasting Menu (8)
Fit for Foodies (7)
Fun (7)
Comfort Food (7)
Tapas (7)
Worth the Drive (7)
Good for a Date (7)
Creative Cuisine (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Good for Birthdays (4)
Business Meals (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Vegan (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Spicy (3)
Romantic (3)
Hot Spot (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Great for Brunch (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Great Beer (1)
Organic (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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527 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined on March 22, 2014

There was so much more on the menu we want to try and the atmosphere was fun. We will definitely be going back again!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 21, 2014

Absolutely delicious. We tried different mezze and plates and each one was outstanding. Waiter gave us great recommendations and that's what we are and drank. Prices are reasonable too. Definitely will be back soon.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 15, 2014

A group of us went there for a birthday and we had such a great experience. The service was great, the food was great, and the atmosphere was great. I'd definitely recommend this place to anyone and everyone!!

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 14, 2014

Generally authentic Lebanese food, though they can do better with wildly varying portion sizes and scattershot service. They also just have too many tables for the small space.

Tags: Late-night Find
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food4
ambience2
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 7, 2014

A friend and I were going to a play in a nearby theater. We needed a place to eat, and I literally googled the phrase 'restaurants near 14th Street and First Avenue.' Middle Eastern Food is usually a safe bet, when you're taking a chance so I made an online reservation. About an hour after doing that, someone from the restaurant called me to confirm (which impressed me). But nothing prepared me for how delicious the food there is. The freshness of the ingredients, the original combinations of flavors, the presentation ... Just go there and try it. It's extraordinary.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 22, 2014

We arranged a table for 8 on a Saturday night with only 24 hours notice, which usually means average food in the East Village. This place was surprisingly good though - everything was very moreish and tasty and had a good sense of authenticity about it from the dips and breads to the salads and grilled meats. Very good place if you like Lebanese/Turkish/Greek food combos!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 20, 2014

We came for the food and music, yet you had to sit on top of the musicians to hear them (noise level). A reasonable cheese appetizer and two poor entrees: 1-a fish filet of, perhaps, 1 1/2 ounces on a small salad plate (for we recall $25), too small even for an appetizer; 2-quail, overcooked and bitter (very, very tart sauce, and this is someone who loves lemon). Very over-priced for a low-end Middle-Eastern restaurant. For us, quite disappointing except for the service; the servers tried to be accommodating.

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food2
ambience3
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2014

We had a prix fixe meal here on Valentine's Day so can't comment on their regular menu. We found the service very friendly and attentive and all the servers were so...nice! The main courses were pretty solid-a little better than okay-but the appetizers were excellent (hot and cold mezzes) and would go again just for that. Their house Lebanese wines were decent but can't comment on their selection as the house wine came with the meal.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2014

Great price and delicious food for the price, loved the Rose Wine served
for the occassion. The Ashta desert with fruit was unique and very tasty.
For anyone booking this I would fo early at say 7, at 7:30 and on it got busy.

Tags: Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 31, 2014

The title is pretty self explanatory. We made a reservation and waited a while before someone even asked our name or if we needed a table. We saw our waiter twice throughout our meal, once to order once to drop off the check. Fortunately, all 5 of us ordered wine, salads, and maybe 10 small plates and though all we very good.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic
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food4
ambience3
service2

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2014

needs better and more red wines by the glass.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 26, 2014

Love this place, always good. My 4th time there in a year.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 25, 2014

This was my first foray into Lebanese food, I am very familiar with other Eastern Mediterranean cuisine so I though it was worth a try. The food and service was excellent, we will definitely be back. We had a relatively new waiter and he was attentive and very helpful.

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food4
ambience3
service5

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on January 24, 2014

We did the 5-course chef's selection. We were told by the server that we'd get small portions, he was right. Presentation and taste were great, nice wine list. Loud, but the place was full, but that dings the ambience and noise. Great wait staff, very attentive and knowledgable. You'll enjoy.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience3
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 18, 2014

Warm and intimate and great for sharing! It's a small space so it's weird that I think it's good for groups, but you can usually get a large reservation without that much lead time and then order tons for the table to share, and I just love that atmosphere of a bunch of friends enjoying great plates of hummus and meats and such! Definitely a great inexpensive place to take friends from out of town for a different cuisine/experience!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 18, 2014

It was a stroke of luck to come across Balade through OpenTable, the ambience was casually elegant and romantic but great for groups as well. Service was excellent. We were a group of 9. We had a variety of small plates - mezze sampler,plus chicken wings, amazing little sausages and other dishes recommended by our very helpful waiter Timothy. We were not sure what to expect with Lebanese food and were pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the choices were. The delicious food was overflowing and the bill was just under $300, including 2 bottles of wine, dessert, and 18% gratuity. We dined at around 7 pm, not noisy at all.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 14, 2014

This was our second visit to Balade. The food is consistently flavorful. We enjoyed everything we ordered. The service was very good, yet not rushed. A great find!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 12, 2014

We are vegetarian and were looking for a place with variety for us....... this is the place :) as it offers a lot of options......i would recommend this place. The service was great and ambiance was amazing.....

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 11, 2014

Will definitely be back! Balade was a great Lebonese spot we found and would love to share with friends visiting NYC looking for a unique dining atmosphere.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 9, 2014

I love Middle Eastern Food. This restaurant's menu is fantastic. Everyone in my group of 4 ordered either lamb or chicken kabobs. In retrospect we should have said, to cook the lamb medium rare. Both the lamb and chicken were "a bit overdone. HOWEVER, I would try this restaurant again. That is how great there menu is. There is so much for us to try. The apps were all right on!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 7, 2014

This was amazing Lebanese food with large portions and good wine/beer. I purchased an Amazon Local deal, and will definitely be back. If you are looking for great Middle Eastern food in a quiet and warm environment, this is your place. I highly recommend Balade!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 31, 2013

The food was very delicious. I especially lived the fava bean and the labneh appetizers. The pita bread served with the mezze was a bit week. The waitress was a bit overworked on New Year's Eve; however, I also found her knowledge about the menu and the short wine list to be rather poor. We did receive everything we ordered and we were not rushed. I will definitely go back to try more of the menu. I'll probably return on a less busy evening.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 25, 2013

My girlfriend and I went on Christmas night after booking a couple days before. Everything was excellent, the food was absolutely perfect. Only down side was the hoards of people trying to get a table with no booking, which sort of cramped us as we were at a table right at the front of the restaurant. The servers were understandably a bit pushed and very busy, but they were doing their best.

On a not so busy night, this place would be 5 stars all round.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 24, 2013

The food at Balade was good, as was the service. This is a place for sharing...from appetizers to desserts.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 13, 2013

A go to spot for me and my girlfriends. Great vegetarian options for me..much appreciated!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 10, 2013

The food and service were very good. When asked, our waitress gave excellent suggestions. Everything was flavorful and nicely spiced. The entire staff was friendly and courteous. I will definitely return.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 23, 2013

I came here with 2 other friends to enjoy dinner on a Saturday night. The hummus was excellent and I would definitely order it again. I shared a couple of meat dishes with my non vegetarian friend.... the lamb kebab was ok. It was rather dry and a bit overcooked unfortunately. The spiced beef sausage was good, but nothing mind blowing. The grilled shrimp were quite good though. My vegetarian friend ordered a couple of dishes and was very happy with hers. The Malbec they serve is excellent and the staff was wonderful. The service was friendly and very on point. The ambiance is also nice with enough vibrance to have fun but quiet enough to be able to have a conversation. The food wasn't amazing, but I would still come back.

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food3
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 16, 2013

The restaurant was just okay. For a restaurant in the city, I was disappointed. I had the lamb dish and the lamb was over cooked, was a bit burnt even. It didn't have much flavor and the rice was blah. The halal cart food for $5 I thought is better than the dish I had at Balade. The middle eastern restaurant in Queens is way better than this restaurant. It wasn't worth the money and the trip all the way to the city. I wouldn't go back to this restaurant. The only good thing was the service, out waitress was friendly and attentive.

Tags: Late-night Find
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food1
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 10, 2013

Took a while to get food. The food was good, though not the best Middle Eastern food I have ever had. The ambience at night is very romantic. The mezzes (small plates) make it a good pick for going out with a group of friends who are comfortable with sharing.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 8, 2013

Terrific menu! Three of us shared several small plates and one platter. The service was great, and the Lebanese wine recommendation was perfect. It got very crowded and noisy after about 8:30 so an early reservation was ideal.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2013

The best choice from a list of proposed restaurants by Google, for my special hunny. His birthday dinner turned out very special and extremely delicious! What a gem! Amazing service! Super affordable! Great decor! Very relaxing authentic music. I fell in love with this place!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 7, 2013

Ballade is one of my absolute favorite restaurants! The food is exceptional good and the people who work there are incredibly nice and helpful and prompt. I cannot say enough about the food: the hummus is light and fluffy, the toum (garlic paste that you put on meat) really adds another dimension of flavor, the meat is juicy and flavorful, the fatoosh salad is my favorite with a refreshing dressing of lemon, olive oil and a variety of spices. And finally, the baklava was so delicious and delicate, not too sweet, just light and flavorful and melts in your mouth. This is my 5th time at the restaurant and it is still as good as the first time. :-)
Thank you Balade!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 6, 2013

Great restaurant. Amazing good!!!!

Tags: Romantic, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 23, 2013

From the food to the service.....wow! Terrific!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 1, 2013

The decor is sublime, the food is as authentic as in lebanon, i always enjoy dining at this establishment.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 1, 2013

Everything was very tasty and fresh, the daily special was authentic. this is our 5th visit in the past 2 month. we became balade addict.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 31, 2013

Overall, everything was good. No complaints whatsoever.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 29, 2013

this place has phenomenal mezze and the meat is very good but not great , however the beef shawarma is the best sandwich I have had in nyc .

oh and get the chankleesh and megadarra dip, spicy walnut paste is a 10

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 24, 2013

We didn't enjoy the food. Maybe because I'm Lebanese of origin and used to much better Lebanese/Mediterranean food.
The Taboulleh and the baba ghanoush was not good at all.
The meat on the mixed grilled plate, was very dry.
The oldest server was the best, the other two
were confused and stressed that effected the ambience badly.
I would pick another Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant, specially if its your first time.

Tags: Late-night Find
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food2
ambience2
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 24, 2013

Expensive for the quality of food and service. We waited almost 45min for our main course and when they arrived they were cold, dried out, and very dismal. Not a great experience overall.

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food1
ambience3
service2

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