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7224 Fifth Avenue
Before Brooklyn became a brand, Bay Ridge was one of its top neighborhoods for dining out. It has lost pace since, but it does still have most of the rest of the borough beat for Middle Eastern eateries, which in recent years have proliferated in correlation to the exploding population. Tanoreen became the neighborhood’s flagship restaurant, its Lebanese cuisine attracting visitors from Manhattan and beyond. Fairly so: the food is great, and the falafel sandwich is notable. But if you really want to talk about falafel in Brooklyn, you’ve got to talk about Hazar. Open since 2011, the Turkish spot starts with a hunk of house-baked, mouth-melting pita that’s soft on the inside but crispy on the outside; then it’s stuffed with some of the best falafel balls you’ve ever tasted, the exterior crunchy but the middle creamy, almost melty. It’s filled out with greens, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, and a rich, flavorful hummus, adding up to the best-tasting sandwich we’ve ever eaten. And trust us—we’ve eaten quite a bit of falafel. (Check out Brooklyn Magazine for more great Bay Ridge falafels.) Now, don’t even get us started on the lentil soup...