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A Nosh of Hummus at New York’s Nanoosh


With pale wood paneling, recessed green and blue tiling, and lighting that dims as the night progresses, Nanoosh’s atmosphere is far from that of most Israeli hummus joints. This is, after all, Manhattan’s upper west side, just a stone’s throw from Lincoln Center. But the restaurant’s Israeli owners have ensured that the neighborhood’s residents and theater-goers can get hummus Israeli-style, as a main meal rather than just an appetizer served with triangles of pita.

There are some twists on the menu to appeal to the American palette. You can get your hummus topped with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, or beef, and you can add sides of fresh veggies for dipping. If you’re health-conscious, you can substitute whole wheat pita for the traditional white pita (carb counters beware, though: even the whole wheat loaves seem thicker than what is usually served in Israel). And if a whole bowl of hummus just isn’t your thing, you can order a wrap or warm up with a cup of soup.

Concessions to American tastes are also evident in what is not on the table at Nanoosh. Rather than receiving a olives, pickles, and hot sauce upon arrival, you need to request these sides (free of charge). The paper take-out menu I saw included “hummus with fava beans,” but this was X’ed out in the restaurant’s full menus, suggesting that upper west siders just aren’t into ful. I’m not surprised – much as my taste for hummus has matured, I’m still not a fan of ful either.

I stumbled upon Nanoosh last summer during one of my visits to the library at Lincoln Center, and it easily satisfied my craving for some nourishment after a long afternoon of research. What could be better than hummus after whetting my appetite with videos of dances by Israeli choreographers?

I perused the menu for a while, debating whether to stick as close as possible to tradition or try one of Nanoosh’s innovations. Ultimately I went with the unadulterated hummus and allowed my American side to come through with an order of baby carrots and whole wheat pita.

Though I missed the pile of warm chickpeas customary at my favorite Tel Aviv haunts, I loved this smooth blend artfully topped with olive oil and spices. Much better than the typical American pre-packaged hummus, and a tasty reminder of my new home!

Visit Nanoosh’s website, and if you’re in New York City, you can get a plate of fresh hummus at 2012 Broadway, between 68th and 69th streets.


About our guest author: Dance historian Deborah Friedes became a devotee of hummus while studying Israeli contemporary dance.   She writes about her ongoing research on the Dance In Israel blog.

9 Comments on A Nosh of Hummus at New York’s Nanoosh

  1. That’s really a great review Deb, although some pictures of the plate itself could be useful.

    About the ful:

    Ful is an acquired taste. Tell my dad you don’t fancy ful that much and he’d probably make you a dozen of different dishes which will make you realize how come half of what people eat in Egypts is made of it. Just think of it: falafel, was originally made of ful, and still is in some places.

    True, it is more challenging than chickpeas, but when you find the first ful dish you like, you realize there’s a right ful for everyone.

  2. Sounds like a good mix of the Israeli and American kitchens. My sister and her fiance are about to live in New York for a few years. I’ll send them to central Hummus location.

  3. God, how I miss a good hummus!

    Great blog Im going to make a post about your blog.

    Will somebody please bring hummus to Iceland!

  4. Thank you for the post i can certainly appreciate the way you write! I really miss hummus!!

  5. I am one of the floor managers at Nanoosh Restaurant. I am glad you enjoyed our food. Just want to let you know that we do have ful. You probably came on a day that we ran out or that we did not have. Please come back and have some hummus with fava. Its one of the best ones we have. The menu has changed since last year. Thanks and hope to see you soon.

  6. I happened upon Nanoosh on a 2 week trip to NY and was elated after my first bite. I liked my meal so much I ordered a second meal (the one with ful) and ate it the whole way back to where I was staying. I even have a few photos of me eating my hummas on the subway in a daze as my brother was quite amused… Ever since then I’ve been talking about it and looking for comparable hummus, but nothing has come close (I live in Colorado). I’ve experimented with recipes, but no luck, and I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant… until I saw your blog while searching for tahini recipies! I’m looking forward to trying out your hummus recipe, thank you thank you!

  7. Yohay writes that “Sounds like a good mix of the Israeli and American kitchens”. No not all…it sounds like a good mix of Lebanese and American kitchens.

    Hummus, ful, and fallafel are not and never were Israeli. The Palestinian versions of these Lebanese/Levantine dishes from a town called Sabra are what is being subsumed as part of Israeli cuisine.

  8. And from reading the Nanoosh menu, can we hold out hope that they may franchise around the country?

  9. Best Hummus I’ve ever had in the western world. I probably ate there once or twice every week when I lived there (just a few months ago). I crave it frequently :'(

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