clock menu more-arrow no yes
Hometown Bar-B-Que
Hometown Bar-B-Que’s lamb belly banh mi
Nick Solares

19 Distinctive Lamb Dishes to Try in NYC

Mutton chops, spicy skewers, and late-night shawarma await

View as Map
Hometown Bar-B-Que’s lamb belly banh mi
| Nick Solares

Lamb is a luxury, but select New York City restaurants have found ways to utilize the meat in top-notch dishes that aren’t hideously expensive. Here’s where to dig into the ultimate lamb experiences around the city.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Kefi

Copy Link
222 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-0200
Visit Website

After more than a decade slinging affordable and homey Greek dishes to Upper West Siders, chef Michael Psilakis’s Kefi closed its space only to be revived in smaller digs. The clean-lined restaurant is still a neighborhood standby for, among other things, a hearty — and well-priced at $19.95 — lamb burger. The gamey meat is tempered by a cooling salad and spicy whipped feta.

Kefi Photo via Kefi/Facebook

2. Kebab Empire

Copy Link
934 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-7198
Visit Website

The no-frills, takeout-friendly Kebab Empire delivers all kinds of meat-on-a-stick options, bringing the flavors of the primarily Muslim Uighurs in China and Central Asia to a lunch-fiending stretch of Midtown. Lamb gets a starring role in exceptional kebabs dotted with cumin and served over tortilla-like flatbread. There’s an additional Flushing location.

Kebab Empire Ryan Sutton

3. Fu Run

Copy Link
40-09 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 321-1363

This brightly lit box of a space in Flushing serves dishes nodding to the Dongbei area of northeastern China. Middle Eastern influences abound, particularly in “Muslim lamb chops,” which arrive perfectly cooked under a covering of cumin seeds.

4. Uncle Gussy's

Copy Link
345 Park Ave
New York, NY 10154
(929) 600-1111
Visit Website

The days of Halal Guys serving lamb in their gyro platters are sadly over, but Uncle Gussy’s tricked-out Greek food truck in Midtown still mixes beef and lamb in its gyro. The moist meat is available in a filling pita, an even more filling rice platter, or the aptly named Hercules plate that includes fries and pita. Cash only.

Uncle Gussy’s
Uncle Gussy’s
Jade D./Yelp

5. Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

Copy Link
42-47 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355
(718) 888-0553
Visit Website

This Flushing outpost from the team behind the Grand Sichuan chain serves fiery Hunan cuisine within its dramatic red-hued design scheme, which includes pop art-style portraits of Mao Zedong, who hailed from the province. Lamb rubbed in cumin comes in a neat pile tossed with greens and onions for a taste of faraway mountainous life.

Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Nicholas C./Yelp

6. Keens Steakhouse

Copy Link
72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-3636
Visit Website

The word “mutton” no doubt still throws off customers tucking into this dark-hued, historic steakhouse, opened in 1885 in the armpit of Manhattan near Penn Station. These days, it’s really just the more familiar and younger lamb, though Keens buys meat from slightly older animals than most places. Dig into that slightly funky cut under the pipe-decorated ceiling, along with the pork fat-drenched wedge salad, raw oysters, and hash browns.

A mutton chop on a white plate with salad, surrounded by a knife and fork on a white tableclothed table Nick Solares

7. Kish-Kash

Copy Link
Read Review |
455 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 609-5298
Visit Website

Taïm mastermind Einat Admony continues her Middle Eastern food revolution in New York with the recently opened Kish-Kash, which focuses on undersung couscous that’s made from scratch in a laborious process. The sunny, tile-filled West Village space turns out slow-cooked lamb over the fine semolina grain. Eater critic Robert Sietsema says it’s “simultaneously chewy and tender.”

Kish-Kash Photo by Gary He

8. Berber Street Food

Copy Link
35 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
(646) 870-0495
Visit Website

Berber, a new 15-seat counter-service operation in Greenwich Village, is intended to reflect chef Diana Tandia’s African roots as well as the continent’s influence around the world. It’s hard to deny the global appeal of her leg of lamb, marinated overnight in a spice blend including harissa and roasted for four hours, then served with couscous and topped with a smattering of red onion.

Roasted leg of lamb and couscous Photo by Alex Staniloff

9. Xi'an Famous Foods

Copy Link
81 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

With a dozen mostly takeout-oriented locations, this restaurant named for the city in northwestern China has come a long way from its start as a small Flushing stand. But it remains most famous for its juicy lamb seasoned with cumin and given a peppery kick, used in bun-like “burgers” as well as the sublime hand-pulled noodles, which come out with an al dente bite and slicked with chile-flecked oil. Get both, available here and at additional locations around the city.

10. Cafe Mogador

Copy Link
101 St Marks Pl # 1
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-2226
Visit Website

This raucous Moroccan spot in the East Village draws a young, hip crowd devouring Middle Eastern standards as well as its coveted tagine. The fragrant stew is available with various meats and sauces, but lamb with the spicy green chermoula sauce never fails, especially when blanketed with couscous. There’s an additional Williamsburg location.

Cafe Mogador
Cafe Mogador
Mengying Y./Yelp

11. Pylos

Copy Link
128 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 473-0220
Visit Website

Named for the clay pots dangling from its ceiling, Pylos zeroes in on homey Greek cuisine that goes way beyond wraps. Skip the overly sweet braised lamb shank and order the lamb chops, oozing with juices and accompanied by dainty potatoes.

Pylos Robert Sietsema

12. Locanda Verde

Copy Link
377 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-3797
Visit Website

Andrew Carmellini’s airy, perpetually stylish Tribeca joint is as beloved for its renditions of Italian classics as for evolved diner standards like lemon ricotta pancakes. It finds the right balance of homey and adventurous in lamb meatballs dressed with goat’s milk cheese and pickles and tucked into sliders. Enjoy the souped-up bar food at the restaurant’s elegant long bar.

Locanda Verde
Locanda Verde
Nikkie N./Yelp

13. Lilia

Copy Link
Read Review |
567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 576-3095
Visit Website

Chef Missy Robbins of the shuttered A Voce has found a new wave in her constantly booked, subtly refined Williamsburg Italian den Lilia. Pasta is the point here, and silky fettuccine gets a flavorful boost from powerfully spiced lamb sausage.

Lilia Nick Solares

14. St. Anselm

Copy Link
355 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-5054
Visit Website

Small, ambitious, and perpetually packed steakhouse St. Anselm focuses equally on several types of meat. Beyond the popular hanger steak, a hulking lamb saddle is crisp on the outside and tender inside, with just the right amount of gristle and fat. Pan-fried mashed potatoes are an ideal side.

St. Anselm Photo via St. Anselm

15. Young Xinjiang BBQ Cart

Copy Link
2 Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002

It’s worth tracking down one of Xinjiang’s roving carts in Flushing and Chinatown to get its prized skewers. Along with numerous other offerings, the lamb is nicely crisp on the outside and tender inside, coated with a dusting of cumin-heavy spice. Cash only.

Xinjiang BBQ Cart’s cumin lamb skewers Serena Dai

16. Bushwick Pita Palace

Copy Link
243 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 456-1304
Visit Website

New York is teeming with late-night shawarma options, but few bring the attention to detail to the Middle Eastern staple of Bushwick Pita Palace. Skip the ho-hum, oddly popular Mexican offerings at this counter-service Brooklyn shop and instead opt for the supremely moist spit-roasted lamb, which the gregarious staff loads up with all the fixings in a pita.

Bushwick Pita Palace
Bushwick Pita Palace
Jason S./Yelp

17. EastWick

Copy Link
112 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11206
(347) 987-3188
Visit Website

On a stretch of East Williamsburg bordering on Bushwick, Eastwick executes reliable American dishes with a tinge of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavor in a woody, comfortable room. The generously sized lamb burger, a steal at $16, has a piquant spice blend and comes with a harissa-based dip as well as fries or a side salad.

EastWick
EastWick
Lucy T./Yelp

18. Hometown Bar-B-Que

Copy Link
454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 294-4644
Visit Website

Too many barbecue joints, especially those in New York, steer clear of more interesting possibilities in favor of tradition when smoking meat. Somehow on a quiet stretch of Red Hook, Hometown still brings in droves for its lamb belly, served from a counter in the warehouse-like space. It comes unadorned, slightly pink, and lying in a shallow pool of its own fat. It’s also available in a banh mi-style sandwich.

Hometown Bar-B-Que
Hometown Bar-B-Que
Nick Solares

19. Nargis Cafe

Copy Link
2818 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 872-7888
Visit Website

Nargis delivers Uzbek and Russian specialties in a proper, charming sit-down restaurant. In addition to compulsively eatable dumplings, lamb skewers are generously portioned and get a perfect char. There’s an additional Park Slope location.

Nargis Gary He/Eater

Loading comments...

1. Kefi

222 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024
Kefi Photo via Kefi/Facebook

After more than a decade slinging affordable and homey Greek dishes to Upper West Siders, chef Michael Psilakis’s Kefi closed its space only to be revived in smaller digs. The clean-lined restaurant is still a neighborhood standby for, among other things, a hearty — and well-priced at $19.95 — lamb burger. The gamey meat is tempered by a cooling salad and spicy whipped feta.

222 W 79th St
New York, NY 10024

2. Kebab Empire

934 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Kebab Empire Ryan Sutton

The no-frills, takeout-friendly Kebab Empire delivers all kinds of meat-on-a-stick options, bringing the flavors of the primarily Muslim Uighurs in China and Central Asia to a lunch-fiending stretch of Midtown. Lamb gets a starring role in exceptional kebabs dotted with cumin and served over tortilla-like flatbread. There’s an additional Flushing location.

934 8th Ave
New York, NY 10019

3. Fu Run

40-09 Prince St, Flushing, NY 11354

This brightly lit box of a space in Flushing serves dishes nodding to the Dongbei area of northeastern China. Middle Eastern influences abound, particularly in “Muslim lamb chops,” which arrive perfectly cooked under a covering of cumin seeds.

40-09 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354

4. Uncle Gussy's

345 Park Ave, New York, NY 10154
Uncle Gussy’s
Uncle Gussy’s
Jade D./Yelp

The days of Halal Guys serving lamb in their gyro platters are sadly over, but Uncle Gussy’s tricked-out Greek food truck in Midtown still mixes beef and lamb in its gyro. The moist meat is available in a filling pita, an even more filling rice platter, or the aptly named Hercules plate that includes fries and pita. Cash only.

345 Park Ave
New York, NY 10154

5. Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan

42-47 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichuan
Nicholas C./Yelp

This Flushing outpost from the team behind the Grand Sichuan chain serves fiery Hunan cuisine within its dramatic red-hued design scheme, which includes pop art-style portraits of Mao Zedong, who hailed from the province. Lamb rubbed in cumin comes in a neat pile tossed with greens and onions for a taste of faraway mountainous life.

42-47 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

6. Keens Steakhouse

72 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
A mutton chop on a white plate with salad, surrounded by a knife and fork on a white tableclothed table Nick Solares

The word “mutton” no doubt still throws off customers tucking into this dark-hued, historic steakhouse, opened in 1885 in the armpit of Manhattan near Penn Station. These days, it’s really just the more familiar and younger lamb, though Keens buys meat from slightly older animals than most places. Dig into that slightly funky cut under the pipe-decorated ceiling, along with the pork fat-drenched wedge salad, raw oysters, and hash browns.

72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

7. Kish-Kash

455 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Kish-Kash Photo by Gary He

Taïm mastermind Einat Admony continues her Middle Eastern food revolution in New York with the recently opened Kish-Kash, which focuses on undersung couscous that’s made from scratch in a laborious process. The sunny, tile-filled West Village space turns out slow-cooked lamb over the fine semolina grain. Eater critic Robert Sietsema says it’s “simultaneously chewy and tender.”

455 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014

8. Berber Street Food

35 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
Roasted leg of lamb and couscous Photo by Alex Staniloff

Berber, a new 15-seat counter-service operation in Greenwich Village, is intended to reflect chef Diana Tandia’s African roots as well as the continent’s influence around the world. It’s hard to deny the global appeal of her leg of lamb, marinated overnight in a spice blend including harissa and roasted for four hours, then served with couscous and topped with a smattering of red onion.

35 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

9. Xi'an Famous Foods

81 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

With a dozen mostly takeout-oriented locations, this restaurant named for the city in northwestern China has come a long way from its start as a small Flushing stand. But it remains most famous for its juicy lamb seasoned with cumin and given a peppery kick, used in bun-like “burgers” as well as the sublime hand-pulled noodles, which come out with an al dente bite and slicked with chile-flecked oil. Get both, available here and at additional locations around the city.

81 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

10. Cafe Mogador

101 St Marks Pl # 1, New York, NY 10009
Cafe Mogador
Cafe Mogador
Mengying Y./Yelp

This raucous Moroccan spot in the East Village draws a young, hip crowd devouring Middle Eastern standards as well as its coveted tagine. The fragrant stew is available with various meats and sauces, but lamb with the spicy green chermoula sauce never fails, especially when blanketed with couscous. There’s an additional Williamsburg location.

101 St Marks Pl # 1
New York, NY 10009

11. Pylos

128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Pylos Robert Sietsema

Named for the clay pots dangling from its ceiling, Pylos zeroes in on homey Greek cuisine that goes way beyond wraps. Skip the overly sweet braised lamb shank and order the lamb chops, oozing with juices and accompanied by dainty potatoes.

128 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009

12. Locanda Verde

377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013
Locanda Verde
Locanda Verde
Nikkie N./Yelp

Andrew Carmellini’s airy, perpetually stylish Tribeca joint is as beloved for its renditions of Italian classics as for evolved diner standards like lemon ricotta pancakes. It finds the right balance of homey and adventurous in lamb meatballs dressed with goat’s milk cheese and pickles and tucked into sliders. Enjoy the souped-up bar food at the restaurant’s elegant long bar.

377 Greenwich St
New York, NY 10013

13. Lilia

567 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Read Review |
Lilia Nick Solares

Chef Missy Robbins of the shuttered A Voce has found a new wave in her constantly booked, subtly refined Williamsburg Italian den Lilia. Pasta is the point here, and silky fettuccine gets a flavorful boost from powerfully spiced lamb sausage.

567 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

14. St. Anselm

355 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
St. Anselm Photo via St. Anselm

Small, ambitious, and perpetually packed steakhouse St. Anselm focuses equally on several types of meat. Beyond the popular hanger steak, a hulking lamb saddle is crisp on the outside and tender inside, with just the right amount of gristle and fat. Pan-fried mashed potatoes are an ideal side.

355 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

15. Young Xinjiang BBQ Cart

2 Forsyth St, New York, NY 10002
Xinjiang BBQ Cart’s cumin lamb skewers Serena Dai

It’s worth tracking down one of Xinjiang’s roving carts in Flushing and Chinatown to get its prized skewers. Along with numerous other offerings, the lamb is nicely crisp on the outside and tender inside, coated with a dusting of cumin-heavy spice. Cash only.

2 Forsyth St
New York, NY 10002

Related Maps

16. Bushwick Pita Palace

243 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Bushwick Pita Palace
Bushwick Pita Palace
Jason S./Yelp

New York is teeming with late-night shawarma options, but few bring the attention to detail to the Middle Eastern staple of Bushwick Pita Palace. Skip the ho-hum, oddly popular Mexican offerings at this counter-service Brooklyn shop and instead opt for the supremely moist spit-roasted lamb, which the gregarious staff loads up with all the fixings in a pita.

243 Bushwick Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11206

17. EastWick

112 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206
EastWick
EastWick
Lucy T./Yelp

On a stretch of East Williamsburg bordering on Bushwick, Eastwick executes reliable American dishes with a tinge of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavor in a woody, comfortable room. The generously sized lamb burger, a steal at $16, has a piquant spice blend and comes with a harissa-based dip as well as fries or a side salad.

112 Graham Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11206

18. Hometown Bar-B-Que

454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Hometown Bar-B-Que
Hometown Bar-B-Que
Nick Solares

Too many barbecue joints, especially those in New York, steer clear of more interesting possibilities in favor of tradition when smoking meat. Somehow on a quiet stretch of Red Hook, Hometown still brings in droves for its lamb belly, served from a counter in the warehouse-like space. It comes unadorned, slightly pink, and lying in a shallow pool of its own fat. It’s also available in a banh mi-style sandwich.

454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

19. Nargis Cafe

2818 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Nargis Gary He/Eater

Nargis delivers Uzbek and Russian specialties in a proper, charming sit-down restaurant. In addition to compulsively eatable dumplings, lamb skewers are generously portioned and get a perfect char. There’s an additional Park Slope location.

2818 Coney Island Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11235

Related Maps