The Best Hummus. Ever.

Laya with HumusAlthough delayed (better late than never), I have to tell everyone about a little discovery in NYC.

So I was wandering around the East Village taking photos and started walking down St. Marks Place. The street, I discovered to much delight, has quite a few treats for those with a little Israeli home sickness. But the jewel in the crown is, unequivocally, The Hummus Place.

Let me digress. I LOVE hummus. A day without Hummus is barely worth living. I practically live off the stuff in Israel, where it is yummy and cheap (500 grams for 10 shekel, you just can’t argue with that) and certified Kosher. But then here is the land of plenty, it has a funny texture, it’s expensive as hell, hard to find kosher unless you live in a Jew-hood, and to add insult to injury, no one can even pronounce it (get that Het going in your throat people, and say with me: CCHooo- Mooosse. Or Who-Moose, if you must, but never HUM (like hum a tune)-US ). All seemed lost for hummus in America.

But then I found The Hummus Place. Ambrosia. Run by Israeli native Nitzan, this adorably adorned little 28-seat hole-in-the-wall restaurant has, inexplicably, the best hummus I’ve ever had in my life.

ck, who happens to be Sephardic (did everyone know that?) agrees. It actually convinced him out of his notion that only an Arab can make really good hummus. (ed. note: The best Hummus in Israel is at this place called The Lebanese Restaurant in the Arab village of Abu Gosh in Jerusalem. This little joint on St. Mark’s place made even better hummus. And not only is it made by a Jew, it’s kosher too! — ck)

There’s only really three options on the menu (hummus, hummus or hummus – with ful, with chick peas and with tahini) but that with big fluffy pita and nana tea it is more than everything you need.

We also happened to meet some of the crew of the new Israeli film “Bruno’s in Love ” from the writer of Chochmat HaBaygela (the Wisdom of the Pretzel) . ck went over to speak to them (I wasn’t about to leave the hummus) and met said writer, Ilan Heitner, as well as the stars Ohad Knoller and Shimrit Lustig. It’s apparently your average boy-meets-girl, boy-follows-girl-to-America romantic comedy. ck reports that they were totally grooving on the hummus.

So uh… nitzan? Is the next plate on the house or what?

Hummus Place (tell ’em Jewlicious sent ya)
109 St. Mark’s Place
New York, NY 10009
(212) 529-9198

We rate it 10 / 10 uh… Stars of David.

33 Comments

  1. Michael

    12/16/2004 at 2:10 am

    Wait. Laya. Slow down.

    CK is Sephardic? Like, as in a person descended from Jews who were exiled in the wake of the Spanish Inquisition?

    Why didn’t anybody TELL me?!

  2. T_M

    12/16/2004 at 2:14 am

    The_Middle has decided to post in the third person as he weeps longingly for even semi-decent hummous.

  3. Michael

    12/16/2004 at 2:22 am

    I’ve been disappointed in what small amount of Israeli hummus makes it to our shores via Israeli import stores. Somebody needs to resolve that feud between those two brothers (or is it cousins?) who own those two places in Abu Ghosh that supposedly have Israel’s best hummus, and convince them to export to the Artzot ha-Brit. Until then, though, I’ll be content with my food processor and my bulk-sized cans of ironically named Goya chickpeas.

  4. Joe Grossberg

    12/16/2004 at 12:14 pm

    What I’d really love was a good old fashioned Schwarma place in the US, with the gi-normous fixins bar. I remember at the food court of Qanyon ha-Negev in Be’er-Sheva, they had these awesome places with:

    * big, soft lafah pitas
    * moist, tasty meat
    * more toppings and salads than you knew what to do with, from pickles to cole slaw to beets

  5. Esther

    12/16/2004 at 1:14 pm

    Well, thanks a lot…now I’m hungry. Where’m I supposed to find fabu hummus in Washington Heights? Next time I’m downtown, I’m moving into the Hummus Place.

  6. Dan

    12/16/2004 at 4:09 pm

    Yknow, this brings up another thing thats been annoying me about pronounciation of hebrew words.

    Bourekas.

    People seem to think that the “s” sound at the end of bourekas makes it a plural word and that the singular would be “Boureka”.

    Bourekas is pronounced that way in both singular and plural, much like the words fish and sheep.

    And its pronounced Boo-REh-kaHS not BooRAKEas or BOO-RAKE-UHS.

    Whew. That felt good.

  7. Janice

    12/16/2004 at 7:48 pm

    Esther, why are you trekking up to Washington Heights, of all places? You and I will go to the Hummous Place and make a pita toast (get it? pita toast?! heh heh) to ck and laya for finding it in our extremely large city.

    Anyone else want to join us?

  8. Alli

    12/16/2004 at 8:36 pm

    Jews of the Diaspora (not close to the E. Village) – relax!
    I may be just a simple Ashkenaz, but I really really love Sabra Salads brand Hummous – the Marakesh style. Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it, available at most Israeli markets, in LA, at least.

  9. M M

    12/16/2004 at 11:00 pm

    Under which hashgacha is The Hummus Place?

  10. T_M

    12/16/2004 at 11:13 pm

    Under the hashgacha of Laya and CK’s ravenous appetites.

  11. ck

    12/17/2004 at 12:12 am

    That’s a good question M M. Call them and ask them. I kind of wondered about that myself later. And Alli? No store bought Hummus can compare to what we ate that day. Trust me.

  12. Asaf Shtull-Trauring

    12/17/2004 at 1:11 pm

    that hoomoos place is indeed awesome. posted about in jewschool a while back.

    much better than hoomoos asli (where i got shouted at once, bastards).

    check out just across the street the Holyland Market. you can get there practically everything from, well, the holyland. telma, krembo, malawach, prigat.. even the mythological shokolad hashachar.
    expensive as hell, unfortunately..

  13. ck

    12/17/2004 at 2:26 pm

    Mmmm. I bought some milkies at the holyland market after we got our hummus. Expensive? Sooooo besides the point.

  14. ariela

    12/17/2004 at 5:54 pm

    Ooh – I get “klik” at the Holyland Market. Nummy.

    But Alli is making a fabulous point about Sabra Chummus. As someone who has eaten at The Hummus Place -many- a night, I can honestly say that if you have to shop for Chummus away from Ir Hakodesh, New York, Sabra brand Chummus Goodness is the best you can get. I like their Chummus Chick Pea or Abu Ghosh…

    And now I’m hungry, too.

  15. Esther

    12/19/2004 at 2:08 am

    Janice, sounds good! You know what I’m doing in WH. Making some hummus money. Pita and chickpea spread don’t grow on trees, ya know.

  16. Patricia Rosenberg

    3/29/2005 at 11:56 am

    Best store-bought hummous I’ve ever had:
    Picnic Time brand.
    I think it’s made in a Kosher deli in upstate NY…well, I don’t know for sure.

  17. Roger Leahey

    8/19/2005 at 12:17 am

    Anyone know where I can buy Yehuda brand canned who-moose? It is imported from Israel. I remember reading on the can that it is distributed by a company in Bayone, NJ, but I don’t know the name.

  18. ck

    8/19/2005 at 2:35 am

    uh… google it? Anyone know? Maybe when y’all shop for shabbat someone can look around and let poor Roger know? Here’s a hint though Roger – you can make your own hummus with some Tahini paste and a can of chick peas, garlic, lemmon, olive oil etc. Experiment – it’s better and cheaper than store bought. Just sayin’

  19. ROGER LEAHEY

    8/20/2005 at 11:11 pm

    I found it!
    After breaking into the last garbage bag I threw away, I was fortunate enough to retrieve my very last empty can of Yehuda hummus. Then, another twenty minutes on the internet and I found the distributer:
    HKS Marketing LTD, Bayonne, N.J.
    718.384.2400
    I had bought my Yehuda at Wallmart, but unfortunately, it was just a “one-shot-deal” as they don’t carry it on a regular basis. But I had my tast of it, and now I can’t live without it.
    I also discovered that Yehuda is famous for their matzos and you can get them lots of places, but their hummus seems impossible to find! And it is so good! I will try to make some homemade. Perhaps a specific recipe would help. By the way, I am lucky enough to be Irish, yet even so, I love good hummus! I may even learn to pronounce it some day (kwho-moose?). I will go to The Hummus Place next time I visit N.Y.

  20. Flash

    12/5/2005 at 1:04 am

    Hello, I am up in Alaska with My beautiful Israeli wife who is dying for good hummus. Does anyone have a really really good recipe?
    thanks in advance
    Flash

  21. michael

    12/5/2005 at 6:27 am

    I’m pretty sure that making in Israeli live in Alaska constitues spousal abuse, but regardless, decent hummus is not hard to make.

    Boil a couple of big cans (or 4 16 oz. cans) of chick peas for ten or twenty until they get nice and soft. It doesn’t hurt to remove as many of the skins as possible. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend about a cup and half of tehina with about half a lemon’s worth of fresh-squeezed juice and a couple cloves of garlic. Add the chickpeas, but leave a bit aside. Add salt and a little olive oil. Blend until everything is smooth. Garnish it with the leftover warm chickpeas, parsley, olive oil and paprika or cayenne pepper.

  22. Daniel

    3/19/2006 at 11:50 pm

    Hummusia by Pikante (Pikante Salads) is one of the best hummus I have tried.

  23. joel

    3/30/2006 at 4:19 pm

    The best hummus I’ve had is not at the Lebanese Restaurant in abu gosh, nor from a plastic tub of Sabra brand abu gosh…but from “Lina” in the old city, not too far from the Jaffa Gate but far enough so that you’ll sit and mop it up with some raw onions next to a greek ortho priest with relish and extra Charif so fast you’ll order another. GO, it was rated as the only 5-star hummus joint in my uncle’s definitive guide to chummus in the middle east.

  24. e

    2/22/2007 at 3:20 pm

    if you make your own chummus or have leftover plain chummus, heres two really yummy additions you can put in:

    cajun spice (YUM)
    or
    fresh basil leaves (my 11 yr old won’t eat chummus without the basil leaves in it) healthy and incredibly d=lish, and, raw basil is VERY healthy for digestion.

  25. rona

    9/17/2007 at 6:12 pm

    it’s hummus. it’s arabic.

    it’s pronounced like it’s written in english hummus, not like israelis say it, at least not the jewish ones.

    🙂

    beteavon

  26. themiddle

    9/17/2007 at 6:48 pm

    How odd, Rona, that you would think that the 50% of Jewish Israelis who either came or are the children of those who came from Arab countries – usually as refugees – don’t know how to pronounce the word hummus. Is that a little blind spot you have there?

  27. ck

    9/17/2007 at 9:12 pm

    My parents were born and raised in an Arab country. My Grandfather who passed away 2 years ago only spoke Arabic. Everyone in my family pronounces it CHummus not humm-us. I was recently in Ramallah. They pronounced it that way too, with an emphasis on the first syllable. The only discernible difference is that the Arabic pronunciation is more guttural than the Israeli pronunciation… there’s more CH and it comes from deeper within your throat.

  28. ramon marcos

    9/17/2007 at 11:05 pm

    Up here in the north country everyone – Jews from all backgrounds, Gentiles, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs – pronounces it Hoomis. As in “You like some hoomis on that peeda pocket bread, eh?” “You betcha!”

    Except my yiddish-speaking grandparents, who pronounced it “Tzuhmiss”.

  29. Shy Guy

    9/18/2007 at 3:49 am

    Suggested reading: Who stole my hummus?.

    Also note the following similarity in words. In Megilat Ruth 2:14, it says:

    וַיֹּאמֶר לָה בֹעַז לְעֵת הָאֹכֶל, גֹּשִׁי הֲלֹם וְאָכַלְתְּ מִן-הַלֶּחֶם, וְטָבַלְתְּ פִּתֵּךְ, בַּחֹמֶץ

    While “Hometz” normally refers to vinegar (because it is sour – “Hamutz”), there are interpretations that it means some form of salad seasoned in vinegar.

    Then the question remains did Ruth eat be’doch ve’lo b’sivuv? 🙂

  30. S. Dovid

    3/15/2009 at 1:16 am

    I am not rushing from Israel to try it but if in NY I will keep it in mind :p. Anyone know a good schwarma place in Yerushaliyim by the way? Preferably near Har Nof, not too expensive and not treyf lol, I have been in Har Nof for probably close to a year now and I just do not get out much.

  31. sarah

    7/5/2009 at 10:29 am

    Hot news for S.Dovid: Har Nof has a kosher Shwarma restaurant – near Supersol (now Zol Po) as well as bagels and ice cream and pizza. Is this a sign that this American neighborhood is finally becoming Israeli?!

  32. Shara

    11/3/2010 at 4:24 pm

    UPDATE on the most fabulous hummus in NYC.
    Igal Shetrit in Riverdale is making authentic homemade falafel and homemade hummus out of his home in North Riverdale EVERY TUESDAY!!!

    facebook.com/p...

    You are welcome to check it out!!

    B’teyavon!
    Shara

  33. Harmony Fitting

    3/6/2019 at 10:35 am

    First of all I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thanks!

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