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Assorted skewers are cooked on a grill.
Assorted skewers on the grill.
Caroline Shin

13 Sizzling Skewers in NYC

From kebabs to shashlik, kushiyaki, souvlaki, and kochi

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Assorted skewers on the grill.
| Caroline Shin

Whether it’s kebabs, shashlik, kushiyaki, souvlaki, or kochi, it comes down to one sizzling concept: meat on sticks. This simple street cookery presents a quick, accessible option in cultures throughout the world. In New York, diners can find it among no-frills street carts, lavish grill parlors, and hot pot spots. It’s saucy with yogurt, spicy with togarashi, and almost always crispy with char. Take your pick among these 13 skewer-forward spots in NYC.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Niko's Souvlaki

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This comfortable corner spot coaxes Greek skewer meats and patties to a consistency noticeably softer than what most of the souvlaki carts that dot Astoria dole out. From the chunks of beef to the chicken bifteki patties ($4 to $5 per stick or as a platter), skewers here are all drizzled with lemon and served with pita bread, tzatziki and mustard-based Niko’s sauce. The outdoor wrap-around dining area is comfortable but for guests who want the breeze, it’s a cinch to pack up the skewers for a picnic at Astoria Park one block away.

Two bacon wrapped chicken skewers over pita bread and a side of yellow dipping sauce.
Bacon-wrapped chicken skewers from Niko’s Souvlaki.
Caroline Shin

Here, Sungchul Shim pairs his mother’s cooking in South Korea’s verdant coastal region of Jeollanamdo with his culinary training in top-tier NYC restaurants (Le Bernardin, Neta, Bouley). A $135 nine-course tasting menu at Michelin-starred Kochi includes agu twigim, a crunchy golden cloud of breaded and fried monkfish slathered with tomato gochujang, then layered on a bed of Korean remoulade for dipping, and the bo ssam, a slow-cooked pork tenderloin topped with cashew nut ssamjang, and served with perilla leaf kimchi.

A skewered scallop with dollops of orange and red sauces over a green broth.
Kochi’s seared scallop, leche de tigre, gochujang vinaigrette, radicchio, and pickled onion skewer from chef-owner Sungchul Shim.
Dan Ahn

Juewei BBQ Cart

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Old and new collide on the corner of 39th Avenue and Prince Street in a gentrifying downtown Flushing. At a diagonal from the shiny and spacious 1392, the Juewei BBQ cart (originally Fat Ni BBQ) has been tempting scores of pedestrians to line up for their grilled skewers since 2012. Most of the skewers here are $2 and include lamb, chicken gizzard, enoki mushroom, and stinky tofu. The two partners run a no-nonsense assembly line moving the skewers to the right as they’re cooked.  

Spicy Palace

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Spicy Palace delivers its skewers in hot pot, or chuan chuan, form that originates in Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province. At the self-serve stick bar, diners help themselves to skewered meats and vegetables like lamb, tofu and sausage for 60 cents a pop. Back at the table, they can dunk them in spicy mala or tomato broths.  All this takes place in a dining room accented by murals, columns, and green wooden windows that evoke a traditional village in China. 

Izakaya Toribar

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Izakaya Toribar offers a range of traditionally grilled yakitori and golden fried skewers. Its kushikatsu menu includes lotus root, shrimp, and quail eggs, each with crispy breading. Toribar also does wondrous things with  pork belly, using it to wrap asparagus, enoki, and cubes of mochi, delivering a medley of textures in each respective skewer. Catch the action through the window that peers out onto the grill.

1392 Seafood BBQ

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From pork belly to jumbo shrimp, the skewers here are dusted with red chile pepper and cumin then barbecued  at the table on a portable grill. This 2020 newcomer is part of the high-end One Fulton Square complex in downtown Flushing, and offers convivial vibes for late nights with large groups, particularly those who want to sing their hearts out in between bites of grilled Angus beef in their own private karaoke room. 

Sami's Kabab House

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The eponymous owner of this local favorite, Sami’s Kabab House, is so fastidious about his kebabs he butchers a whole lamb carcass in his basement kitchen to ensure the right cuts and freshness. Sami Zaman’s menu draws from his childhood cooking traditional Afghan foods under his mom’s guidance in Kabul. The kebabs here are served with rice as long as noodles and qabuli, a sweet topping of carrots and raisins for an extra dollar.

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted grilled and skewered meats from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

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Laser Wolf is the stunning Brooklyn rooftop transplant of the critically acclaimed Israeli grill house from famed Philadelphia chef and serial restaurateur, Michael Solomonov. The menu here is a streamlined prix-fixe based on the traditional Israeli shipudiya. A choice of grilled protein (including ground beef kababs, chunky chicken shishlik and lamb sausages) comes with an array of unlimited salatim (11 seasonal vegetable sides like mushroom with sour cherry), puffy pita, and a pistachio soft-serve ice cream. Word to the wise: There’s a $25 sharing fee if a guest at the table skips out on the grill menu. 

A round, shiny metal plate filled with grilled meats with three cups of salatim arranged to the left of the plate.
Lamb and beef koobideh, and sirloin and chicken shishlik.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Gugu Room

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The very cool Gugu Room specializes in the rare Filipino Japanese food and that duality hits the skewers, too. The sweet longanisa — snappy on the outside, chunky on the inside — gets a sprinkle of togarashi, and the beef ribeye is seasoned with a teriyaki sauce.

Grand Street Skewer Cart

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Grand Street Skewer Cart has become a crucial fixture of Chinatown’s late-night landscape particularly for the crowds who’ve danced and drunk themselves hungry for munchies. The lamb — fatty, tender and cartilaginous — fish ball, chicken gizzard, and heart are hits but regulars have a soft spot for the Mandarin-speaking couple who can flip the skewers to a cumin-spiced, charcoal-grilled crust in a matter of minutes. This establishment is cash only.

The dwindling St. Marks Place yakitori scene — R.I.P. Yakitori Taisho — of the 1990s in one of several unofficial Japantowns of NYC helped pave the way for a cadre of high-end yakitori omakase spots that include Michelin-starred Torishin and Torien. Kono is another. Here, Torishin veteran, Atsushi Kono coaxes the umami out of nearly every part of his organic Amish chicken from chicken skin to soft bone — over glowing 1650 Fahrenheit binchotan charcoals until it crackles and crisps — and dominates a $165 tasting menu. 

Shashlik House

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If the vast grill at Shashlik House is a piano and the 30 simultaneously smoking skewers are keys, then chef-owner Suhrob Mullojonov is the maestro, in charge of knowing exactly when to play each note. The popular beef roll, for instance, is a whirl of thinly sliced red T-bone steak and white lamb fat that almost resembles a peppermint candy. It has to be grilled so that the beef achieves a soft uniform doneness as the fat drizzles over it and crisps up just so. The beef lula –an amalgam of ground beef, onion, and lamb fat – and lamb ribs are also hits. In traditional Uzbek style, the skewers,  simply seasoned with salt and pepper, are served with raw onions and a garlicky tomato sauce for dipping. The original Kensington-based Shashlik House has a Midwood outpost.

Taci's Beyti

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Since 1986, the family-owned Taci’s Beyti has been churning out an assortment of Turkish-style minced and skewered meats. The namesake beyti kabab comprises garlicky chopped lamb grilled on skewers, and served with roasted green peppers and tomatoes. The various kababs that come with a side of hot yogurt and toasted pide are a go-to move.

Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers are dusted with red chile powder.
Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers.
Caroline Shin

Niko's Souvlaki

Two bacon wrapped chicken skewers over pita bread and a side of yellow dipping sauce.
Bacon-wrapped chicken skewers from Niko’s Souvlaki.
Caroline Shin

This comfortable corner spot coaxes Greek skewer meats and patties to a consistency noticeably softer than what most of the souvlaki carts that dot Astoria dole out. From the chunks of beef to the chicken bifteki patties ($4 to $5 per stick or as a platter), skewers here are all drizzled with lemon and served with pita bread, tzatziki and mustard-based Niko’s sauce. The outdoor wrap-around dining area is comfortable but for guests who want the breeze, it’s a cinch to pack up the skewers for a picnic at Astoria Park one block away.

Two bacon wrapped chicken skewers over pita bread and a side of yellow dipping sauce.
Bacon-wrapped chicken skewers from Niko’s Souvlaki.
Caroline Shin

Kochi

A skewered scallop with dollops of orange and red sauces over a green broth.
Kochi’s seared scallop, leche de tigre, gochujang vinaigrette, radicchio, and pickled onion skewer from chef-owner Sungchul Shim.
Dan Ahn

Here, Sungchul Shim pairs his mother’s cooking in South Korea’s verdant coastal region of Jeollanamdo with his culinary training in top-tier NYC restaurants (Le Bernardin, Neta, Bouley). A $135 nine-course tasting menu at Michelin-starred Kochi includes agu twigim, a crunchy golden cloud of breaded and fried monkfish slathered with tomato gochujang, then layered on a bed of Korean remoulade for dipping, and the bo ssam, a slow-cooked pork tenderloin topped with cashew nut ssamjang, and served with perilla leaf kimchi.

A skewered scallop with dollops of orange and red sauces over a green broth.
Kochi’s seared scallop, leche de tigre, gochujang vinaigrette, radicchio, and pickled onion skewer from chef-owner Sungchul Shim.
Dan Ahn

Juewei BBQ Cart

Old and new collide on the corner of 39th Avenue and Prince Street in a gentrifying downtown Flushing. At a diagonal from the shiny and spacious 1392, the Juewei BBQ cart (originally Fat Ni BBQ) has been tempting scores of pedestrians to line up for their grilled skewers since 2012. Most of the skewers here are $2 and include lamb, chicken gizzard, enoki mushroom, and stinky tofu. The two partners run a no-nonsense assembly line moving the skewers to the right as they’re cooked.  

Spicy Palace

Spicy Palace delivers its skewers in hot pot, or chuan chuan, form that originates in Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province. At the self-serve stick bar, diners help themselves to skewered meats and vegetables like lamb, tofu and sausage for 60 cents a pop. Back at the table, they can dunk them in spicy mala or tomato broths.  All this takes place in a dining room accented by murals, columns, and green wooden windows that evoke a traditional village in China. 

Izakaya Toribar

Izakaya Toribar offers a range of traditionally grilled yakitori and golden fried skewers. Its kushikatsu menu includes lotus root, shrimp, and quail eggs, each with crispy breading. Toribar also does wondrous things with  pork belly, using it to wrap asparagus, enoki, and cubes of mochi, delivering a medley of textures in each respective skewer. Catch the action through the window that peers out onto the grill.

1392 Seafood BBQ

From pork belly to jumbo shrimp, the skewers here are dusted with red chile pepper and cumin then barbecued  at the table on a portable grill. This 2020 newcomer is part of the high-end One Fulton Square complex in downtown Flushing, and offers convivial vibes for late nights with large groups, particularly those who want to sing their hearts out in between bites of grilled Angus beef in their own private karaoke room. 

Sami's Kabab House

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted grilled and skewered meats from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin

The eponymous owner of this local favorite, Sami’s Kabab House, is so fastidious about his kebabs he butchers a whole lamb carcass in his basement kitchen to ensure the right cuts and freshness. Sami Zaman’s menu draws from his childhood cooking traditional Afghan foods under his mom’s guidance in Kabul. The kebabs here are served with rice as long as noodles and qabuli, a sweet topping of carrots and raisins for an extra dollar.

Picture chunks of chicken, lamb chops, and logs of minced meat.
Assorted grilled and skewered meats from Sami’s Kabab House.
Caroline Shin

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

A round, shiny metal plate filled with grilled meats with three cups of salatim arranged to the left of the plate.
Lamb and beef koobideh, and sirloin and chicken shishlik.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Laser Wolf is the stunning Brooklyn rooftop transplant of the critically acclaimed Israeli grill house from famed Philadelphia chef and serial restaurateur, Michael Solomonov. The menu here is a streamlined prix-fixe based on the traditional Israeli shipudiya. A choice of grilled protein (including ground beef kababs, chunky chicken shishlik and lamb sausages) comes with an array of unlimited salatim (11 seasonal vegetable sides like mushroom with sour cherry), puffy pita, and a pistachio soft-serve ice cream. Word to the wise: There’s a $25 sharing fee if a guest at the table skips out on the grill menu. 

A round, shiny metal plate filled with grilled meats with three cups of salatim arranged to the left of the plate.
Lamb and beef koobideh, and sirloin and chicken shishlik.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Gugu Room

The very cool Gugu Room specializes in the rare Filipino Japanese food and that duality hits the skewers, too. The sweet longanisa — snappy on the outside, chunky on the inside — gets a sprinkle of togarashi, and the beef ribeye is seasoned with a teriyaki sauce.

Grand Street Skewer Cart

Grand Street Skewer Cart has become a crucial fixture of Chinatown’s late-night landscape particularly for the crowds who’ve danced and drunk themselves hungry for munchies. The lamb — fatty, tender and cartilaginous — fish ball, chicken gizzard, and heart are hits but regulars have a soft spot for the Mandarin-speaking couple who can flip the skewers to a cumin-spiced, charcoal-grilled crust in a matter of minutes. This establishment is cash only.

Kono

The dwindling St. Marks Place yakitori scene — R.I.P. Yakitori Taisho — of the 1990s in one of several unofficial Japantowns of NYC helped pave the way for a cadre of high-end yakitori omakase spots that include Michelin-starred Torishin and Torien. Kono is another. Here, Torishin veteran, Atsushi Kono coaxes the umami out of nearly every part of his organic Amish chicken from chicken skin to soft bone — over glowing 1650 Fahrenheit binchotan charcoals until it crackles and crisps — and dominates a $165 tasting menu. 

Shashlik House

If the vast grill at Shashlik House is a piano and the 30 simultaneously smoking skewers are keys, then chef-owner Suhrob Mullojonov is the maestro, in charge of knowing exactly when to play each note. The popular beef roll, for instance, is a whirl of thinly sliced red T-bone steak and white lamb fat that almost resembles a peppermint candy. It has to be grilled so that the beef achieves a soft uniform doneness as the fat drizzles over it and crisps up just so. The beef lula –an amalgam of ground beef, onion, and lamb fat – and lamb ribs are also hits. In traditional Uzbek style, the skewers,  simply seasoned with salt and pepper, are served with raw onions and a garlicky tomato sauce for dipping. The original Kensington-based Shashlik House has a Midwood outpost.

Taci's Beyti

Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers are dusted with red chile powder.
Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers.
Caroline Shin

Since 1986, the family-owned Taci’s Beyti has been churning out an assortment of Turkish-style minced and skewered meats. The namesake beyti kabab comprises garlicky chopped lamb grilled on skewers, and served with roasted green peppers and tomatoes. The various kababs that come with a side of hot yogurt and toasted pide are a go-to move.

Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers are dusted with red chile powder.
Chicken, lamb, squid, and stinky tofu skewers.
Caroline Shin

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