Everyone loves Chipotle. Myself included. The variety of options, mixes and matches, and combinations is basically endless, which allows customers to create a masterpiece of their own, every single time. Besides the never ending possibilities, it’s also just freaking delicious. But Chipotle is a once in a while thing for me. Yes I love it, but I definitely don’t love that post-Chipotle feeling. Oh how badly I wish there was a Chipotle style eatery that features light and refreshing options that will leave me feeling nourished and satisfied, but not stuffed.

Enter: Semsom

The newest (and in my opinion) best Chipotle-esque eatery just opened it’s first US location right here in New York and is making all of my dreams come true. Semsom was founded in Lebanon back in 2008 by Christine Sfeir, one of Arabian Business’ Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women. The Semsom team toured all over Lebanon to find the best recipes and accumulated more than 15,000! All directly from natives and customers. Semsom creates healthy Lebanese dishes with a modern twist. They use the freshest ingredients and unique flavor combinations, like hummus and sumac, and orange blossom water and osmalieh vermicelli, to give your taste buds a truly refreshing treat.

By 2011, the first Semsom franchise opened in Jeddah and later that year Semsom was named the fastest growing company in Lebanon. Semsom continues to grow today, and is now in 4 countries in the Middle East and finally we can enjoy it here in NYC. Their fast-casual format provides tasty and affordable food(Make Your Own Bowl for $10!) from locally-sourced and all-natural ingredients. Their top-secret hummus recipe takes 2 days to prepare. And you’ll notice the difference immediately. The smooth texture and fresh flavor is like nothing you’ve ever tried. If your hummus obsession is anything like mine then I suggest you put down that store bought Costco-size tub and run to Semsom ASAP.

Feed me Semsom

At this fast casual eatery you can choose to either make a bowl or a wrap. And just like Chipotle, you choose your base(rice or salad), a protein(with two vegetarian options) and then a variety of add ons to “drizzle with flavor”, including a hummus/pickle mix, a tabouleh style salad, a tzaziki yogurt sauce, and more. For my first bowl I went vegetarian and added the wild-thym cauliflower as my protein, which I highly recommend! I hear it’s even becoming more popular amongst the meat-eating crowd! And do not leave without trying the Nutella manoosh, a Lebanese dough folded with Nutella…I mean c’mon!

Semsom Semsom

The fresh and healthy ingredients left me feeling surprisingly very full, but not in a gross sluggish way. Rather, I felt replenished and energized from my lunch and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I already can’t wait to go back, who’s joining me? And be sure to check back here soon for a Behind The Kitchen with Semsom.

Semsom – Website
2 Astor Place
(212-979-2363)

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About The Author

Profile photo of Julie
Healthy Eater

Southern girl at heart, minus the fried food. Fresh on the NY food scene, hungry for a healthy way to live in this food capital.