Soom Soom Vegetarian Makes Some Changes to Their Menu

Earlier this week we put a call out for new lunchers. Here’s another report from one of our potential new contributors, Kaitlin…

Some days I like to trick myself into thinking I’m eating healthy which generally means trying to stuff as many vegetables into a meal as possible. My closest lunch option on these days is Soom Soom (46th btwn 5th and 6th) where you can get “unlimited” salad bar options. Walking in, I noticed Soom Soom had made some changes since the last time I was there.

The most obvious change is that the sabich seems to have been taken off the menu along with some sides. Also most of the prices for the entrees have increased by 50 cents to a dollar which now makes Soom Soom’s falafel sandwich over $2 more expensive than Maoz (although in fairness, tax is included in the prices at Soom Soom.) On the plus side, they now have fries that you can add to any meal for just a dollar (except the salad) and still be under the ML limit.

There’s also a new meat menu at Soom Soom which which includes options such as shawarma and chicken platters, all of which are over the ML limit. Didn’t seem like anybody was ordering that stuff anyway. At Soom Soom falafel is still king.

The sandwich came with five falafels, which took up most of the room in the pita. The falafels are pretty standard here with a cumin kick toward the end. I was determined to make the most of the room in the pita and used the squish-the-falafels-flat-trick. The standard policy at salad bar falafel places seems to have become limited to one visit to the salad bar after which you bring the sandwich to a guy at the counter to wrap for you while he silently judges you for overstuffing your sandwich. However, there is no shame in getting the most bang for your buck — I even utilized the paper wrapper the sandwich came in to precariously balance additional toppings.

The good news is this is not your generic deli salad bar. There are a few types of sauces, salads, and picked vegetables (baby eggplant, jalapenos, straight-up pickles), plus a few options I’d never seen before (marinated mushrooms, artichoke heart), as well as what I would consider “premium” options (avocado and grilled eggplant). I call these premium options because if you wanted them at Maoz, you’d have to add $1 for each topping. Soom Soom has added a smaller salad bar on the side with the same options as the main one which I assume is to accomodate the lunch rush. I wish I had gotten a better picture but its hard to sneak pictures while balancing a sandwich in one hand. In the battle of photo vs stuffed falafel sandwich, the sandwich won out.

They do have someone manning the salad bar who watches you as you stuff your sandwich. However, the person also keeps the salad bar clean and proactively keeps the salad bar stocked which is a plus in my book. On the way out, I noticed they were preparing free samples so I stopped by to grab a free falafel, bringing my falafel count of the day up to six.

Unwrapping this back at my desk, my coworkers stopped to stare at my almost 2 pound falafel, bursting with toppings. I asked the guy at the counter to please double wrap my sandwich to which he replied “I’ll try.”

The grilled eggplant ended up being the clear winner of this sandwich — thin sliced, grilled and tasty. There are also very flavorful pita chips in a bowl off to the side that should definitely be in your sandwich. If you ask nicely, the man at the counter will provide you sauces in containers so you don’t have to use up precious space or risk getting the pita soggier than it probably already is. He also threw in a pack of Israeli hot sauce (that’s what he called it) which is hot and tasty. If you like spicy foods, definitely ask him for one.

Despite being vegetarian, this sandwich will satisfy your hunger and keep you full for the rest of the day if you stack your toppings right. Soom Soom’s not the best option out there but the one on Lex is the closest to my office and that’s really what matters when you’re hungry.

SoomSoom Vegetarian Bar

  • 670 Lexington Ave (btw. 55+56th), 212-712-2525
  • 8 West 46th Street (bw 5th and 6th)


  • Vegetarian?

    An inauspicious start, young grasshopper

  • Great review from a rookie. She knows who she’s playing to. Of course, she has one of the best editors, and that helps a lot.

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    Very nice writeup. I work on the block and while it’s been a while since I got a full falafel, I probably snag a free sample outside once a week.

    Do they still have grape leaves at the salad bar? I used to pack those into the wrapper…they’re not cheap as a side dish in other places.

    I do get a kick out of the sign now reading “Vegetarian bar…and shawarma” (with the elipses)

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    Soom Soom has the red zhug.

    Does anyone know if they changed the menu at the location on Lex as well? I haven’t been there in a while.


  • Last time I was there they were charging $12 for a shawarma sandwich. It wasn’t worth it.

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