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New York City: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

New York never plays around.

When you're there and ready to eat, neither should you.

You know the drill! We asked locals for their recommendations on Armenian-owned restaurants so you don't have to.

Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi at Little Armenia Cafe in New York City sidewalk-side
Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi at his sidewalk-side Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Ilka Müller.


You better start in Brooklyn, ya heard?

For anyone heading to Coney Island for the day, make sure they stop by the Brooklyn Bread House owned by the Badalyan family. Nestled in Sheepshead Bay in lower Brooklyn, you know the place is good when there is no website and the social presence is definitely not run by a Gen Z grandchild.

The Badalyan’s were natives of Gavar, Armenia, and they started their own family business with Khoren Badalyan’s wife and two sons. They saw that New York was lacking the lavash department compared to Los Angeles and wanted to reintroduce it to the community.

Khachapuri from Brooklyn Bread House
Khachapuri from the Brooklyn Bread House. Photo by Jared Cohee.

Their specialty is the lavash bread, known in the neighborhood to be prepared each day at 4:00 AM.

While you munch on the fresh lavash bread, order a Khachapuri for the extra protein you know you should be eating. Don't worry about the extra carbs. Khachapuri is a boat shaped, cheese filled bread with an egg cooked in the center that is made famous by our Georgian neighbors. Enjoy an Armenian coffee and sweets from the bakery to wash it all down. 

Lavash from Brooklyn Bread House
Lavash freshly made from Brooklyn Bread House. Photo from Doordash.


New York is full of characters, especially in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood.

This lunch comes with a twist. It might not be open when you get there.

But try to catch the Little Armenia Cafe for one of the most special dining experiences you could have. Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi - yes, that is his first name - previously worked as a kitchen manager and server, but once the pandemic struck he became unemployed and wanted to start a new journey, this time at the helm. He began his cafe on Hancock Street from his fourth floor apartment, with a $20 pre-fixed menu. What was on it was what you got!

Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi, Little Armenia Cafe
Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi working out of his fourth floor apartment Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Ilka Müller.
Tabouli from Little Armenia Cafe
Tabouli from Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Ilka Müller.

He’s combined all the knowledge and experiences from past culinary jobs in order to form his own unique meals leaving each guest with a full belly and full slate of stories. His flavorful sidewalk-side cafe has been highlighted by New York Post and has been visited by the legend food personality Andrew Zimmerman.

His menu is ever changing according to what he feels inspired by and can find ingredients that remain fresh throughout each season. A few of his staple options are: the Tabouli, Spinach Pie, Shrimp Ceviche along with the Baklava and "Bird's Nest" as dessert. Make sure to make a reservation via text or Instagram DM. You'll have ot make sure he's open!

Seasonal Item from Little Armenia Cafe
Seasonal Item from Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Stephen Yang
Little Armenia Cafe Poster
Some guerilla marketing tactics for the Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Stephen Yang.

Chef Ararat Richard El Rawi colorful personality and rich experiences ooze out of each moment. He certainly deserves a MIASEEN feature on just him...


Complete your day by taking the subway up to Queens for dinner at Sevan Restaurant, enjoying a more traditional set of Armenian foods.

Owned by the couple Artur Matevosyan and Karine Baghdasaryan, their goal to combine Armenian cuisine of Western Armenian diasporans and Armenia-proper and bring them to New York City to create their own special results.

Kebab Platter from Sevan Restaurant
Kebab Platter from Sevan Restaurant. Photo by Jean Philippe Gerbi.
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Sarma) from Sevan Restaurant
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Sarma) from Sevan Restaurant. Photo by Jean Philippe Gerbi.

As per usual, begin the dining experience with all the options of Mezzeh you would like. If you haven't picked this up yet, I love mezze and could eat it for the rest of my life. Once I hear someone recommended it, I'm all in.

Including in this are options of dips, stuffed grape leaves, spinach and cheese boreks, cured basturma,and more. For the main entree the options are plenty. Enjoy the Georgian Khinkali, and the full set of marinated steaks, lamb, pork chops or seafood such as branzino, trout, and shrimp.

If you didn't have sweets at The Brooklyn Bread House, then you deserve some baklava for dessert. You'll walk it all off tomorrow in SoHo.

Cheese Borek from Little Armenia Cafe
Cheese Borek from Little Armenia Cafe. Photo by Jean Philippe Gerbi
Baklava Dessert from Sevan Restaurant
Baklava Dessert from Sevan Restaurant. Photo by Jean Philippe Gerbi

Just for Fun

Rugged Jacks Hot Sauce Assortment
Rugged Jacks Hot Sauce Assortment. Photo from Rugged Jacks Website

Jack Jamgotchian started his hot sauce business from Long Island, New York City called Rugged Jacks Hot Sauce.

He has grown his own batch of herbs and spices, creating “a bold, taste bud-tingling experience crafted for those with an insatiable appetite for adventure”. 

Jacks Grown Pepper
Jack's hand grown peppers. Photo from Rugged Jack's Hot Sauce.

His current flavors include Chipotle, Habanana, Jack N’Cayenne, Ol’Hickory, Pineapple Mango, Roasted Garlic. Order online or look out for pop up shops through Instagram while you're visiting New York City. 

Jack Jamgotchian
Jack Jamgotchian in the kitchen working on his hot sauce. Photo from Rugged Jack's Hot Sauce.

Any Armenian places to eat in your city? Send us an email and let us know!

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