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Where to Find Atlanta’s Essential Middle Eastern Food

Persian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Israeli food, Atlanta’s got it all

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Often coded as “Mediterranean,” Middle Eastern cuisine usually involves plates of meat, squishy eggplant or chickpea sides, and rice that is good but will never top the rice one’s grandmother makes. Atlanta offers plenty of these variations, and is particularly blessed with multiple Persian, Turkish, Lebanese, and Israeli establishments around the metro area.

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Café Raik

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Located in Duluth, Cafe Raik labels itself “Mediterranean,” but this family-owned restaurant, run by chef Faiq Usman, focuses on the dishes of the Middle East, using old family recipes. Expect to find homey renditions of labneh, falafel, and baba ganoush on the menu here, as well as platters of shawarma, kabobs, and tawook.

Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill & Deli

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Aladdin’s Mediterranean Grill & Deli has locations in Sandy Springs and Emory Point. It serves variations on Middle Eastern sandwiches, protein platters, and salads in generous portions. The price point at Aladdin’s is affordable, too. Free parking at both locations.

Taaj Kabob & Grill

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Located in Peachtree Corners, this modest market-restaurant combo is where to head to for kebabs that won’t break the bank. The meal kicks off with complimentary sangak (leavened wheat flatbread with herbs, feta, and butter). Order spreads like hummus and kashk badenjoon or baba ghanoush to accompany it before moving on to all the kebabs. Other dishes to try here include ghormeh sabzi (herby kidney bean stew with lamb or veal), the fatoosh salad, and the lamb shank.

Cafe Sababa - Mediterranean Grill

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Named after the Hebrew and Arabic slang for “awesome,” Cafe Sababa offers solid takes on Middle Eastern standards ranging from shawarma to souvlaki (Greek street food skewers). Come here for kababs, baba ganoush, falafels, and even a lamb burger topped with feta cheese on ciabatta bread.

Jerusalem Bakery & Grill

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With locations in Alpharetta and Marietta, Jerusalem Bakery & Grill is rich with platters and pies (and for picky eaters, pizzas). The family-owned and -operated business is more than 40 years old now and is one of the Southeast’s top distributors of Middle Eastern breads, pastries, and sweets.

Mandolin Kitchen

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Mandolin Kitchen in Sandy Springs opened in late-2017 and has already become a popular spot for home-style Turkish fare. It even made Eater Atlanta’s restaurant heatmap a few months in a row. Standouts on the menu here include the chicken avgolemono soup (Greek egg-lemon soup), ezme (appetizer featuring chopped tomatoes, red onions, red peppers, chili peppers, garlic, walnut, and olive oil) and lahmacun or or lahmajoun—the Turkish equivalent of pizza.  

Rumi's Kitchen

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Persian food is notoriously time-consuming, so restaurants default to kebabs and rice to serve guests quickly. Both Rumi’s Kitchen locations in Sandy Springs and Alpharetta do this very well, in addition to providing slower cooked dishes such as kashk badenjoon, the ultimate form of eggplant. Rumi’s is on Eater Atlanta’s Essential 38 restaurants list for a reason. Chef Ali Mesghali and his team offer diners an elegant experience paired with tight service, good wine, and Persian flavors which simply transport. A third location opens at Colony Square in Midtown next year.

Mediterranean Bakery & Sandwich

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Mediterranean Bakery & Sandwich sits on the northeast edge of the Perimeter (I-285 N) on Chamblee-Tucker Road and focuses on traditional Lebanese cuisine. The cafe also features a store carrying imported staples like pickles, hummus, spices, and tobacco for the argileh (hookah) as well as freshly baked breads.

Ameer's Mediterranean Grill

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With locations in Briarcliff and Roswell, Ameer’s Mediterranean Grill offers an entirely halal selection of Middle Eastern dishes as well as a few Western options. All sandwiches are under $8, with entree plates served with salad, basmati rice, and pita bread for around $12 or $13 a piece.

Nicola's Restaurant

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Nicola’s Restaurant has been serving Lebanese fare on Lavista Road since the 1980s. But, it’s not just the good food that makes a trip to Nicola’s worth it. The restaurant includes a little in-house dancing entertainment where the owner himself encourages guests to join the spectacle.

Sufi's Kitchen

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Located on the edge of the Brookwood Hills neighborhood and next door to R. Thomas’ Grill, Sufi’s Kitchen serves traditional Persian cuisine with a bit of a gourmet twist. The Sufi’s special takes a spicy approach to its sautéed eggplant. The salmon kebab may sound odd, but totally triumphs.

Lawrence's Cafe

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Those in search of good Lebanese cuisine should head to Lawrence’s Cafe in Decatur. Run by Tony Chebib, who grew up in Falougha Mount-Liban, Lebanon, this congenial restaurant offers fresh, simple dishes on its menu, including emjaddara (lentils and rice), hummus and foul (cooked fava beans), a roast leg of lamb, and platters filled with meat kabobs, shrimp, and rice. The sultan’s feast is a hearty portion containing beef kebobs, kafta rolls, and falafel, served with tahini and brown rice. Lawrence’s also offers wraps and a kids menu. Don’t forget to ask about the specials.

Aviva by Kameel

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This downtown Atlanta gem is deceptively hidden in the Mall at Peachtree Center. While more of a food court than a mall, make a beeline to Aviva by Kameel for fantastic Lebanese, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern lunches as well as a friendly environment all cultivated by Kameel himself. The only downside to Aviva—they aren’t open on weekends.

Downtown Atlanta’s Truva restaurant across from Peachtree Center offers Turkish cuisine against a swanky backdrop. They’re stocked with meze, kebabs, sandwich platters, and even Turkish-style pizza. A second location is now open in Virginia-Highland.

Ali Baba Mediterranean Delites

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For a fast-and-very-casual meal in downtown Atlanta, head to Ali Baba Mediterranean for a quick gyro or falafel wrap. Ali Baba might not be the fanciest place to dine, but the staff here and their hospitality more than make up for the no-frills atmosphere.

The Beirut

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Owned by Hadi Rabai and Fatima Hojaij, the Beirut has served classic Lebanese dishes with fine dining touches for nearly a decade in Peachtree City. Try the foul mudammas (fava and garbanzo bean salad), Kefraya (Lebanese wine)-marinated steak tips, or lamb and beef shish kaftas. Order a grand feast for dinner that includes three mezzas, three kebobs, and dessert or coffee.

Café Raik

Located in Duluth, Cafe Raik labels itself “Mediterranean,” but this family-owned restaurant, run by chef Faiq Usman, focuses on the dishes of the Middle East, using old family recipes. Expect to find homey renditions of labneh, falafel, and baba ganoush on the menu here, as well as platters of shawarma, kabobs, and tawook.

Aladdin's Mediterranean Grill & Deli

Aladdin’s Mediterranean Grill & Deli has locations in Sandy Springs and Emory Point. It serves variations on Middle Eastern sandwiches, protein platters, and salads in generous portions. The price point at Aladdin’s is affordable, too. Free parking at both locations.

Taaj Kabob & Grill

Located in Peachtree Corners, this modest market-restaurant combo is where to head to for kebabs that won’t break the bank. The meal kicks off with complimentary sangak (leavened wheat flatbread with herbs, feta, and butter). Order spreads like hummus and kashk badenjoon or baba ghanoush to accompany it before moving on to all the kebabs. Other dishes to try here include ghormeh sabzi (herby kidney bean stew with lamb or veal), the fatoosh salad, and the lamb shank.

Cafe Sababa - Mediterranean Grill

Named after the Hebrew and Arabic slang for “awesome,” Cafe Sababa offers solid takes on Middle Eastern standards ranging from shawarma to souvlaki (Greek street food skewers). Come here for kababs, baba ganoush, falafels, and even a lamb burger topped with feta cheese on ciabatta bread.

Jerusalem Bakery & Grill

With locations in Alpharetta and Marietta, Jerusalem Bakery & Grill is rich with platters and pies (and for picky eaters, pizzas). The family-owned and -operated business is more than 40 years old now and is one of the Southeast’s top distributors of Middle Eastern breads, pastries, and sweets.

Mandolin Kitchen

Mandolin Kitchen in Sandy Springs opened in late-2017 and has already become a popular spot for home-style Turkish fare. It even made Eater Atlanta’s restaurant heatmap a few months in a row. Standouts on the menu here include the chicken avgolemono soup (Greek egg-lemon soup), ezme (appetizer featuring chopped tomatoes, red onions, red peppers, chili peppers, garlic, walnut, and olive oil) and lahmacun or or lahmajoun—the Turkish equivalent of pizza.  

Rumi's Kitchen

Persian food is notoriously time-consuming, so restaurants default to kebabs and rice to serve guests quickly. Both Rumi’s Kitchen locations in Sandy Springs and Alpharetta do this very well, in addition to providing slower cooked dishes such as kashk badenjoon, the ultimate form of eggplant. Rumi’s is on Eater Atlanta’s Essential 38 restaurants list for a reason. Chef Ali Mesghali and his team offer diners an elegant experience paired with tight service, good wine, and Persian flavors which simply transport. A third location opens at Colony Square in Midtown next year.

Mediterranean Bakery & Sandwich

Mediterranean Bakery & Sandwich sits on the northeast edge of the Perimeter (I-285 N) on Chamblee-Tucker Road and focuses on traditional Lebanese cuisine. The cafe also features a store carrying imported staples like pickles, hummus, spices, and tobacco for the argileh (hookah) as well as freshly baked breads.

Ameer's Mediterranean Grill

With locations in Briarcliff and Roswell, Ameer’s Mediterranean Grill offers an entirely halal selection of Middle Eastern dishes as well as a few Western options. All sandwiches are under $8, with entree plates served with salad, basmati rice, and pita bread for around $12 or $13 a piece.

Nicola's Restaurant

Nicola’s Restaurant has been serving Lebanese fare on Lavista Road since the 1980s. But, it’s not just the good food that makes a trip to Nicola’s worth it. The restaurant includes a little in-house dancing entertainment where the owner himself encourages guests to join the spectacle.

Sufi's Kitchen

Located on the edge of the Brookwood Hills neighborhood and next door to R. Thomas’ Grill, Sufi’s Kitchen serves traditional Persian cuisine with a bit of a gourmet twist. The Sufi’s special takes a spicy approach to its sautéed eggplant. The salmon kebab may sound odd, but totally triumphs.

Lawrence's Cafe

Those in search of good Lebanese cuisine should head to Lawrence’s Cafe in Decatur. Run by Tony Chebib, who grew up in Falougha Mount-Liban, Lebanon, this congenial restaurant offers fresh, simple dishes on its menu, including emjaddara (lentils and rice), hummus and foul (cooked fava beans), a roast leg of lamb, and platters filled with meat kabobs, shrimp, and rice. The sultan’s feast is a hearty portion containing beef kebobs, kafta rolls, and falafel, served with tahini and brown rice. Lawrence’s also offers wraps and a kids menu. Don’t forget to ask about the specials.

Aviva by Kameel

This downtown Atlanta gem is deceptively hidden in the Mall at Peachtree Center. While more of a food court than a mall, make a beeline to Aviva by Kameel for fantastic Lebanese, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern lunches as well as a friendly environment all cultivated by Kameel himself. The only downside to Aviva—they aren’t open on weekends.

Truva

Downtown Atlanta’s Truva restaurant across from Peachtree Center offers Turkish cuisine against a swanky backdrop. They’re stocked with meze, kebabs, sandwich platters, and even Turkish-style pizza. A second location is now open in Virginia-Highland.

Ali Baba Mediterranean Delites

For a fast-and-very-casual meal in downtown Atlanta, head to Ali Baba Mediterranean for a quick gyro or falafel wrap. Ali Baba might not be the fanciest place to dine, but the staff here and their hospitality more than make up for the no-frills atmosphere.

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The Beirut

Owned by Hadi Rabai and Fatima Hojaij, the Beirut has served classic Lebanese dishes with fine dining touches for nearly a decade in Peachtree City. Try the foul mudammas (fava and garbanzo bean salad), Kefraya (Lebanese wine)-marinated steak tips, or lamb and beef shish kaftas. Order a grand feast for dinner that includes three mezzas, three kebobs, and dessert or coffee.

Related Maps