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Merchant Spotlight: Souk El Shater

Souk El Shater storefront2

Jan. 21, 2016 Sunnyside Shines

Ahmad Osman serves up some of the best falafel, gyro and baklava in Sunnyside.

Along with his family, Ahmad has operated Souk El Shater on Queens Boulevard since 2011, and prior to that, he was in business on 43rd Avenue.

Originally from Lebanon, he has lived in Sunnyside for the past 30 years and firmly believes this is the best neighborhood in New York City.  The name Souk El Shater translates roughly to “market of the clever” and Ahmad is proud to welcome everyone to come inside and try his delicious food.

Ahmad Osman

Ahmad Osman

All the food served at Souk El Shater is made in house, and Ahmad feels strongly about serving food of the highest quality.

“I only feed people food that I eat myself,” he told us, and he invites Sunnysiders to stop in and try something new.

Got a sweet tooth?  He makes at least seven different kinds of baklava, some stuffed with pistachio, others with cashews, walnuts and some with cheese.

In addition to the prepared food, Souk El Shater stocks a variety of Middle Eastern grocery items, such as grains, beans, spices, fresh meats and cheeses.  He uses these items in his cooking, and wanted to make them available to the community for a low price as well.

Ahmad loves being in business on Queens Boulevard, where he has strong visibility to pedestrians, drivers, and even passengers on the 7 train.

“I believe in this area,” he said, “there are all kinds of people here, and it is one of the most quiet, clean and friendly places.  It is home.”

While he has seen the neighborhood change over the past several years, he believes the change to be for the best, and enjoys welcoming new residents into the store.

Stop into Souk El Shater to try their spinach or meat pies, a piece of halvah, some baklava or one of their daily specials, and be sure to peruse through the grocery to find something truly unique to bring home.

SOUK EL SHATER | 43-03 Queens Boulevard, Sunnyside | (718) 392-2702

This article was written by Sunnyside Shines

email the author: [email protected]

23 Comments

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xtina

I regret it, but I have to echo what Phil, Jake and Andy have to say.

I so wanted this place to become my go-to shish taouk – as someone who lived in Montreal and has visited the Middle East quite a few times I really looked forward to having accessible and affordable Lebanese nearby. I gave it four chances and each time my falafel and shawarmas were truly terrible. Perhaps my visits were poorly timed, but each time I visited, there was no meat on the spit so my shawarma contents came from a cold chafing tray, the guys didn’t even bother to throw it on the grill to heat the meat up. The tehina and salads looked old and tasted worse.

I’m really not saying this to slam these folks. Nothing would make me happier than to not have to trek to Duzan for my shawarma fix. Please, please, owners of Shouk el Shater, if you’re reading this, kindly step up your game and get a fresh spit of meat going – if you build it I will come!

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Jake

The first time I had a falafel it was good, they were nice. When they first opened. All downhill since then. Cold food, kinda rude and standoffish. Inconsistent food.

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Whatever

Used to go here but several times have been passed over in line for customers that seem like friends of theirs. The last time I was there the guy wouldn’t look up from his newspaper to give me service.

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Barbara

Anything I’ve ever had here is delicious. I’ve met the two college age guys who work here, I believe they are brothers and sons of the owner. I haven’t seen them lately but they’re both “delicious” as well. And very very polite..Keep up the good work!!

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Ric

These guys are so welcoming. Sometimes busy but when it’s time for them to assist you whoever is behind you must wait. The owner sold me beans to make hummus but also made sure I know how long to soak the beans and to add baking soda!!! Why I am not sure but I use it always now. With all our fears about friends from the Middle East these guys make you feel right at home in their small slice of Lebanon in Sunnyside. Do yourself a favor and go meet them.

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Carlos S. Acta

Without a doubt, Souk al-Shater serves the finest Lebanese dishes in New York! You must come and try their kibbe and mouth watering shwarma! Lovely people, beautiful family, great food!!!!

Alf mabrouk Abu Muhammad!

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Sean

I eat my dinners here when I’m busy. I’ve only ever had one meal I didn’t like. These guys are always nice to me. The shawarma is debauchery. I just wish they would bring back the butter paste it used to come with.

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Great Place

This place is great. Try the other food that they serve beside sandwiches. It is really, really good. Try their spinach and cheese pies. My daughter has been eating them since she was a baby. I think that she might have been Lebanese in a past life!

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Anonymous visitor

They are very friendly. I like to buy pita from them. So much better, fresher than any pita you could buy in supermarket.

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NeziahBliss

Great Place and I love that guy’s Sunnyside Pride. It was one of the first I visited after moving here. Their Kibbeh is also underrated and really fantastic.

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Holier Than Thou

I put up with the gruff owner because I love that chicken shawarma! The desserts are tasty too.

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CircleK

I couldn’t agree more! I’m in here all the time – the owner has a standoffish demeanor but once you ask him about this or that he is very pleasant and surprisingly nice. FOOD IS SOME OF THE BEST LEBANESE! Don’t miss the $1 sardine cans (Mediterranean sardines for $1?). Truly the spicy ones, and BUY THE HOMEADE FROZEN KEBBEH!!! Bake at high temp until crispy – delicious!

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Dave

These guys are so friendly, and everything they make is awesome. It’s so nice to have real shawarma, and not a frozen meat block on a spit like most other places in the area.

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toodoodoo

SOLID kebabs up in here; not too fond of the pickles, but it’s not like it costs anything for em.

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Phil

When I ordered a takeout sandwich/wrap from this place, the contents were cold (they are supposed to be hot) and there was a very long hair in it. Needless to say, I haven’t returned.

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JD

I’m glad one instance of inconvenience was enough for you to try and mitigate this lovely profile.

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Stamos

Hmm are they really taking that much of your business?
Best meat pies on the planet, and it’s always made fresh..good one Phil.

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Andy

This has actually also happened to me on multiple visits, except for the hair, so please don’t come down too hard on Phil. The only reason I still go there is that even though I know the contents will sometimes be cold, it’s still more satisfying than going to Burger King.

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