Boston isn't really considered a center for Middle Eastern cuisine, but it's not entirely lacking either. Like most cities, Boston provides its fair share of Middle Eastern street foods, presented in both casual and finer dining environments. 

Since moving to Boston, it's become a priority to find an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant to remind me of home, and Boston Shawarma is one of the first I put to the test. Located near Northeastern University's campus, this hole in the wall restaurant is a pretty popular lunch spot for students and a possible new favorite of mine. 

Sarah Zureiqat

From outside of the restaurant you can spot three rotating spits with lamb, chicken, and beef used for shawarma–slow-roasted marinated meat shavings served with a tahini sauce and vegetables–through the window. (Note: if the restaurant has even one rotisserie spit, let alone three, you know you're about to eat some good Middle eastern food.) 

Inside, the setup is very similar to street food spots you'd find in the Middle East, but with better seating. When you walk in you're welcomed with a variety of delicious smells and Arabic music playing in the background. The owner is friendly and will happily strike up a conversation or help you decide what to order off the menu.

Sarah Zureiqat

Boston Shawarma offers a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, all made with fresh ingredients. The menu includes a selection of plates, sandwiches, and salads–each with vegetarian options. The sandwiches ($7.99) are a good choice for a meal on the go, but for $10.99 the plates get you a better bang for your buck. If the affordable prices haven't won you over, plates and sandwiches also come with a free drink. 

There's also a display case of fresh-baked goodies, including meat pies and baklava–a rich dessert made with layers of thin filo pastry and nuts, doused in honey or simple syrup. 

Sarah Zureiqat

I opted for the falafel platter, which came with five falafel balls, rice, hummus, french fries, pickled beets, salad, and a loaf of pita bread on the side. Falafel, one of the most widely recognized and loved Middle Eastern food, is made of ground chickpeas mixed with herbs and spices, formed into balls and fried.

My food was ready within five minutes of ordering it, and I was able to watch them prepare it in front of me. Although it was a bit unusual to serve rice with falafel, every component of the plate still worked. Because no one likes cold falafel, I was relieved to find that they were still warm and had a nice crunch on the exterior. The portions are huge, so you're guaranteed to get full.

With Boston Shawarma's great quality and affordable prices, you can't really go wrong with stopping by for a quick bite before or after class.