A fast-casual spin-off of a chic Lebanese restaurant in New York is heading to Rittenhouse. Naya Middle Eastern Counter & Grill has its eye on 1601 Market Street, in what was most recently Noon Mediterranean. It’s slated to open at the end of May.
Naya, originally called Naya Express before a rebranding, already has four quick-serve locations, along with the original sit-down restaurant, Naya Mezze & Grill, at 1057 Second Avenue. The upcoming Philly location is the company’s first venture outside of New York.
On the menu at the casual mini-chain: build-your-own white or whole wheat pita sandwiches, rice or freekeh bowls, and salads, all with choices like beef or chicken shawarma, falafel, roasted cauliflower, hummus, pickles, and garlic whip. There’s also a selection of wraps (called rolls at the restaurant) made with paper-thin pita.
Kibbeh, the fried dumplings, made here with beef or a vegan pumpkin mixture, and man’oushe, the Lebanese flatbread that’s a crowd favorite at Suraya, with za’atar or jebneh, a white cheese similar to haloumi, are also on offer, along with fattoush, labneh, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, and, for dessert, baklava or namoura, a sweet, dense, syrup-soaked semolina cake.
Naya will be open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed weekends, so it’s more of a lunch spot or a place to pick up dinner on the way home from work.