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Where to Eat Middle Eastern in Atlanta

The ultimate list of Middle Eastern dishes and restaurants in Atlanta.

Sivas Midtown   Middle Eastern Cuisine
Photo credit: Eric Cash
Sivas Midtown - Turkish Cuisine - 2015


Here's our list of the Best Middle Eastern Restaurant awards each year.
 

The Best Middle Eastern in Atlanta according to our Critics is:

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Sufi's menu has let the world of Persian flavors take a step toward the mainstream in Atlanta. Flanked by the dining room's deep red brocade walls and paintings of whirling dervishes, and seated under a ceiling of white fabric, you might encounter some form of culinary enlightenment. The menu has a ... | more...

The Best Middle Eastern in Atlanta according to our Readers is:

Business

Comfort mixed with a hint of the exotic. This Persian eatery offers such treats as kashk badenjoon, a warm, blended eggplant and onion appetizer; mast mousir, a garlic and yogurt dip; and shirazi salad, a medley of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley with a citrus dressing. $$ ($10-$20) | more...

Last Year's Critic's Choice for Best Middle Eastern

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It is impossible to visit this Middle Eastern bakery and leave with just one item. This store is sure to delight locals and tourists alike. | more...


 

Middle Eastern Dishes from our 100 Dishes List

Essaouira Couscous at The Imperial Fez

Available at Imperial Fez Restaurant
The seven-vegetable couscous (no, it is not a grain) at the Imperial Fez is served vegetarian, or with your choice of meats or seafood. Either way, it's delicious and tantalizing, offering a taste of the Levant with delicate herbs and spices, without the price of airfare. The Imperial Fez has been in Atlanta so long, it is sometimes overlooked for newer restaurants, but its dishes remain inspired and its service impeccable.

Falafel at Yalla

Available at Yalla!
Yalla! Let’s go! We’ve got hot falafel here! Chef Todd Ginsberg and crew work wonders with these freshly fried balls of ground chickpea, rightfully bright green thanks to strong doses of cilantro and parsley mixed in. You’ll be tempted to choose an overload of Yalla’s unsurpassed selection of middle eastern condiments to top your falafel — whether in a pita or its larger, heftier laffa cousin — but show restraint, as too many piled-on ingredients just detract from the star falafel itself. Start with the house-recommended “Layla’s Falafel” (with spicy zhug, hummus, pickled cabbage, fennel, labne, bitter greens, and tahini) then add or subtract as you see fit on later visits. $7-$12.

Falafel Sandwich at Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill

Available at Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill
Falafel is the hot dog or hamburger of the Middle East, though a healthy alternative to both. Praised by meat lovers and vegetarians alike, falafel in pita bread may very well be one of the first sandwiches ever known, its history dating as far back as the Great Pyramids of Giza themselves. Luckily, you don't have to go back in time to taste these delectable patties of ground garbanzo beans mixed with parsley and just the right amount of spices. Aladdin's is where you'll want to order your falafel sandwich, where the way it comes — with just the right amount of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and tahini sauce — is the way it should be.

Fesenjan Stew at Falafel Cafe

Available at Falafel Cafe
The term bittersweet is often used to evoke beautiful melancholy, but at Falafel Cafe there is no sadness to the interplay between the smashed bitter walnuts and sweet pomegranate paste in the fesenjan stew. The dark brown sauce clings to chunks of chicken, and when ladled over the fluffy Persian rice, creates a sticky, sour, nutty mess that'll make you long for it like a lost lover.

Foul Modamas at Ameer's Mediterranean Grill

Available at Ameer's Mediterranean Grill
Is it a side? Is it a dip? In the Middle East, it’s breakfast. Most Americans probably aren’t ready to start off their day with a bowl of cooked fava beans mixed with olive oil, garlic, onions, parsley, and lemon. Too bad. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you can’t order them at lunch or dinner, as an appetizer, a side, or even a meal. You won’t regret it. You may even wish Ameer’s was open for breakfast!

Hand-rolled couscous with lamb at the Last Word

Available at Last Word - Permanently Closed
This dish has comfort food written all over it: fall-apart meat, stewed vegetables, savory sauce. The braised lamb comes on a bed of soft, sand-colored couscous made with Lebanese semolina flour. Accompanied by tender carrots and Hakurei turnips with green tops still attached, the dish hums with notes of saffron and peppery, exotic harissa. $15.

Hummus With Lamb at Ameer's Mediterranean

Available at Ameer's Mediterranean Grill
Located inside a nondescript strip mall near LaVista and Briarcliff roads, Ameer's has some of the most authentic, no-frills Middle Eastern food in the city. Falafel and shawarma here are exemplary, but Ameer's lesser-known lamb on hummus should not be missed. Spiced with a blend of oriental peppers, the mound of ground lamb rests on a bed of silky hummus topped with olive oil, parsley, and pine nuts. Swipe a piece of pillowy, toasted pita through both piles and scoop. Herby notes from the pine nuts and the creamy hummus transform the lamb's natural gaminess from a rugged roar to an alluring whisper.

Lamb Choila at Himalayan Spice

Available at Himalayan Spice
The Nepali lamb choila at Himalayan Spice calls to mind the cuisines of nearby China, India, and even Thailand with hard-to-place but pleasing flavors. Tender, spice-laden (asafetida, anyone?) chunks of lamb are grilled and then tossed with fresh red onion, garlic, and cilantro. A sprinkle of lemon juice provides tingly acidity, while toasted cumin notes keep things down to earth. The staff suggests trying it with beer. Who are we to disagree?

Mixed Grilled Kabob Plate at The Jerusalem Bakery And Grill, Marietta

Available at Jerusalem Bakery
Why settle for one dish when you can try three? The Mixed Grill Plate offers three chicken kabobs, three skewers of shish kabob, and three kofta kabobs with onions and tomatoes, grilled to perfection, with savory spices from the Middle East that treat your taste buds. Rounded out with sides of hummus, baba ganoush, and fresh-made pita bread ? the best outside of Jerusalem's Old City ? and you've got a meal for at least two, though we predict you'll ask for extra servings of the pita bread.

Roasted Salmon at Rumi's Kitchen

Available at Rumi's Kitchen
The salmon at Rumi's Kitchen is among the simplest dishes on the Persian menu — a thick fillet seared on the grill, served alongside basmati rice punched up with fava beans and dill. But simplicity belies the magic that happens when fire meets fish meets a dusting of Persian spices. It's a safe choice among Rumi's more exotic specialties, but this salmon delights time after time.

 

CL Recommends: Middle Eastern Restaurants

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From Alladin's Mediterranean Grill:

We only use fresh ingredients, including vegetables, meats and chicken. It's guaranteed that you will have a delightful meal. We serve the finest Mediterranean food; you will enjoy our side dishes such as: Hummus, Baba Ghanouj and Falafel.

| more...

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Ameer's specializes in Irresistible Middle Eastern favorites, including falafel, shawarma, kebabs, hummus and pita, and more. Expect casual digs and friendly service. | more...

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Despite the hard-to-find location, poor decor, and ironically bland falafel, this restaurant has done well for itself, and rightly so. The real joy here is the Persian cuisine. With items such as the kashk-o-bademjan — eggplant cooked down to its silky essence and topped with crispy shallots of crea... | more...

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The more unusual Nepali fare draws heavily on northern Indian and Chinese influences, but also has an I-can't-quite-place-it quality that leaves you guessing which spices or techniques are at work. The Indian side of the menu spans the greatest hits of any northern Indian restaurant — tikka masala, ... | more...

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Take off your shoes, lounge on floor pillows, and eat a multicourse, prix-fixe Moroccan meal. While you enjoy sweet-and-savory b'stella and fragrant tangine, belly dancers undulate about you, candles balanced on their heads. | more...

Business

It is impossible to visit this Middle Eastern bakery and leave with just one item. This store is sure to delight locals and tourists alike. | more...

Business

Comfort mixed with a hint of the exotic. This Persian eatery offers such treats as kashk badenjoon, a warm, blended eggplant and onion appetizer; mast mousir, a garlic and yogurt dip; and shirazi salad, a medley of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley with a citrus dressing. $$ ($10-$20) | more...

Business

Sufi's menu has let the world of Persian flavors take a step toward the mainstream in Atlanta. Flanked by the dining room's deep red brocade walls and paintings of whirling dervishes, and seated under a ceiling of white fabric, you might encounter some form of culinary enlightenment. The menu has a ... | more...

Business

From chef Todd Ginsburg and the team behind The General Muir, Yalla specializes in Israeli and Middle Eastern cuisine, including shawarma, kebabs, and more. | more...
 




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