Bread & Olive Redux

Everybody loves falafel!  So the second week of Midtown Lunch’s existence was dubbed Falafel Week- and each day I visited and wrote about a different Midtown falafel joint (I was made fun of by Gawker and everything… it was very exciting.)  Well, alot has changed in 8 months.  I still haven’t found Miriam’s Falafel, Aron’s has closed, and months after Falafel week, I found the best falafel deal in Midtown.  All those things aside, one of my favorite discoveries that particular week was Bread & Olive- and I thought it might be time to head back for some non-falafel eating, and a full +/-.

Bread & Olive is a Lebanese take out place on 45th btw. 5th & 6th ave.  They have both beef and chicken shwarma, kafta, delicious homemade breads, and an array of maza (Lebanese salads and dips).  There is a small seating area in the back, but most people take the food to go.  Everything is Lebanese style, so the spices are going to be different than the shwarma at an Israeli place, or the gyro from a Greek place.

What we ordered, food porn and the +/- after the jump…

The chicken and beef shwarma are probably two of the most popular items at Bread & Olive.  Go too late in the day, and they may be out.  I went with two co-workers around 1:30 and the spit with the beef was running pretty low… but luckily we made it in time.  We each got a sandwich, and split.  One chicken, one beef and one kafta.  Rather than regular pita bread, Bread & Olive is famous for their Lebanese flat bread that is apparently baked right on premises.  I didn’t try the chicken shwarma, but it’s supposed to be excellent.  Instead I opted for the beef, which was really tasty, and the kafta which was also delicious.  Kafta is a Middle Eastern meat patty, usually made from lamb, beef or a mixture of both, with herbs and onions (Bread & Olive’s is made with beef).  My friend who ordered the chicken shwarma seemed to enjoy it.

The sandwiches are good, but the Lebanese small plates are hard to ignore.  They sit in the glass case, staring out at you as you wait in line-whispering “Don’t I look delicious?  Please order me.  You don’t want the shwarma…”  One of my co-workers and I caved, and ordered a “Small Combo” of any two vegetarian items from the case for $6.  We chose the grape leaves, which were good, and the potatoes which were garlicky, and delicious (but would have been better warm).  It was a tough choice though… there were tons of other delicious looking salads, including eggplant, lima beans, chickpeas hummus and falafel.  If you are a vegetarian, or not a fan of shwarma- there is a 5 choice combo for $10 that is pretty tempting when faced with that glass case full of goodness.

At $7 the meat sandwiches are not a huge bargain, but they aren’t expensive either when you factor in the fresh bread and the fact that it doesn’t come from a cart.  The one downside is at peak lunch times there is a long line and the service can be a little slow.  If you are interested in reading about the Falafel, check out my original Bread & Olive post from last June.


  • Great Lebanese take out, for reasonable prices.
  • Delicious Beef shwarma, Chicken shwarma & Kafta sandwiches
  • A ton of great vegetarian options
  • Sandwiches are wrapped in this big, fresh baked Lebanese flat bread, and grilled a little


  • The seating area in the back is kind of cramped
  • The service is slow when the line gets backed up
  • Prices are reasonable, but not stupidly cheap (i.e. you may be able to find a better “deal” elsewhere)
  • The salads are delicious… but some would be much better warm (like the fried potatoes)

Bread & Olive, 24 W. 45th St. (btw 5+6th), 212-764-1588


  • I agree about the service. In fact, if the owner isn’t there, those other two guys behind the counter do a horrible job. There is always confusion about whose order is ready (because they fail to use a numbering system) and half the time I get to my office and the sandwich is completely wrong. The workers pay too much attention to each other while goofing around and chatting about the girls in line instead of focusing on getting the customers’ orders right. The food is excellent, but if you don’t get what you want, that’s a problem.

  • Hummus!!! Yummy !!!

  • the chicken taouk is to die for!

  • I like Bread & Olive in concept, but every time I go there whatever I get is always really dried out. I’ve had much better luck getting good felafel and shwarma at kosher deluxe. Although I prefer lebanese to israeli style (and would go to B&O for kibbe alone), I had given up on that place.

  • I’m totally with prodigal on this joint. Chicken shwarma — totally dry, tasteless and in the words of my co-worker, “probably the worst chicken I’ve ever had”. Also, everything was dripping with or sitting in lemon juice — even the hummus! The baba ghanouj was actually tasty but overly pureed so it slid through my fork in viscous dribbles. Are there any other Lebanese take-out places in midtown?

  • The back of this place smelled like the men’s bathroom at a Shea stadium. Freakin’ nasty–don’t eat here.

  • the beast foot I ever eat in my life……….

  • Im very happy because I lose way and I enjoy the best and delicious meddle eastern foot thanks muhamed

  • went at 1215 today and they were out of chicken for schwarma?? that’s messed up!

  • Was in here today and someone called in to complain about their delivery being late. The guy who picked up the phone (the owner, I think) told him that his order would be on the house. Who else in Midtown would do that?

  • this place is the worst value ever. food is mediocre at best. portions average. 18 bucks for the mixed grill – seriously? for 4 chunks of chicken (dry), 4 chunks of beef (dry), and two patties of something (okay). insane. shwarma sandwiches are 8 bucks and dryer than cardboard. bread it horrible too – you guessed it – dry. stay away.

  • The food is bad. And it’s unbelievably hot in there. They’ve got the shwarma cookers going full blast right in the patrons’ faces. And the service very slow. The guys working behind the counter are dazed and confused.

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