50 Best Restaurants: Housemade hummus brings Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant to the top

Middle Eastern-inspired design, housemade hummus and golden french fries make this restaurant in Woodbridge worth the drive.

lebanese food plates
Photo by Rey Lopez

By Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano

Layla’s Lebanese Restaurant

Woodbridge | Lebanese | $$

Looking for something meaty, rich and flanked by a golden pile of fries? Layla’s has got that. Then again, those looking for a healthy, veg-heavy meal bursting with flavor will be quite happy at Layla’s, too. And that’s part of the beauty of Lebanese cuisine: It’s a crowd pleaser, and this pretty little gem in a Woodbridge strip mall delivers on pleasing whoever might walk through the door. The pleasant feeling starts with the friendly service, then becomes more apparent while taking in the surroundings, including Middle Eastern-inspired pendant lights and mirrors, plus some groovy, shiny wallpaper and a pop of color with steel-blue banquettes. Then the food arrives, and diners are treated to shavings of marinated beef or chicken, a wonderful housemade hummus served with a generous glug of good olive oil, and a fine rendition of fried kibbeh stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts and onion. Take a cue from the sign on the table touting the packages of garlic whip available for sale. The zippy spread livens up the meats (try stuffing it into the pita points along with some of the side salad), and serves as a great dip for fries. // 2217 Old Bridge Road, Woodbridge

This post originally appeared in our November 2019 issue’s 50 Best Restaurants cover story. For more food reviews, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.