City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best Middle Eastern/Eastern Mediterranean restaurant

Bandenjoon (pan fried eggplant slow cooked in a special veal stew with red kidney beans and persian dry lime, served with a side of saffron basmati rice) at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks /

Bandenjoon at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks /


1) Rumi’s Kitchen

You say, “I have a friend who lived in the Middle East for a decade that took me to Rumi’s, saying that it was the best Persian food south of Washington, D.C. Haven’t tried any others, because after discovering Rumi’s I find no need to.”

2) Mediterranean Grill

3) Nicola’s

4) Persepolis

5) Mezza

Mast Khiyar at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks /

Mast Khiyar at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks /


1) Rumi’s Kitchen

AJC dining critic Meridith Ford Goldman says, “Every time I eat at Rumi’s, I smack myself for not eating here more often. Once or twice a year just isn’t enough. This Persian palace takes Atlantans beyond the buffet and into something that smacks of tradition. Mast khiyar (diced cucumbers with yogurt, raisins, walnuts and herbs) with fresh-from-the-oven flatbread, mirza ghasemi (roasted eggplant with tomatoes and garlic) and dolmeh (ground beef, rice and herbs rolled into grape leaves), as well as kebobs and Iranian stews such as badenjoon.”

2) Persepolis

3) Mediterranean Grill

4) Olive Bistro

5) Mezza

188 comments Add your comment


March 1st, 2010
12:05 pm

Imane Restaurant in Duluth

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March 1st, 2010
3:40 pm

Nichola’s on LaVista — good eats plus a FUN evening’s entertainment on the weekend (dancing – belly and otherwise). Love that place.


March 1st, 2010
3:48 pm

Mezza Lebanese Bistro on LaVista is my favorite spot for this cuisine. The food is delicious, the portions perfect for ordering a variety and sharing. They serve great, inexpensive Lebanese wine and the coffee at the end of the meal is thick and rich. They always make me feel at home!

J Anderson

March 1st, 2010
4:59 pm

Gilbert’s Cafe on 10th street for the food and atmosphere, Mediterranean Grille on Monroe for the hummus.


March 1st, 2010
5:11 pm

Mediterranean Grill- all 3 locations-
Hands down the best! My favorite is the “Business Lunch”.


March 1st, 2010
5:15 pm

Olive Bistro on Ponce is good for a casual place.


March 1st, 2010
5:23 pm

Aladdin’s one Roswell Road and Dunwoody Place-low cost, great food.


March 1st, 2010
5:26 pm

Mediterranean Grill


March 1st, 2010
5:28 pm

Mediterranean Grill


March 1st, 2010
5:37 pm

rumi’s kitchen.. persian food.. roswell rd

Sandy in Tucker

March 1st, 2010
5:40 pm

Mediterranean Grill is great. So is Athens Pizza,dont let the name fool you. And Mezza is fabulous.


March 1st, 2010
5:52 pm

Roswell Road, Sandy Springs is the king of quality Middle Eastern food. My nominees

1) Persepolis: Really good Persian buffet, best bread
2) Sultan’s: Top quality Lebanese food. Buffet is good value.
3) Mirage: Lunch alacarte prices are the best value. Food quality is very close to that of Persepolis and Rumi’s.
4) Rumi’s: Second to none in food quality but pricey as hell and service not as good as the prices would indicate.

Honorary Mention: Alladin’s: The chicken is not as juicy as the other places, but good Lebanese food at a good price. Counter service restaurant means no need for tipping.

Worst Persian: Fanoos: Second rate persian food. Worst stuffed grape leaves.


March 1st, 2010
6:17 pm

OK, so it’s not Atlanta, but Sultan on Atlanta Hwy. in Athens is really good, at least by my standards (which are fairly high but not at like NYC-level or anything).


March 1st, 2010
6:30 pm

Mirage for Persian food!
The veggie kabob with the yummy roasted tomato and the best polo rice. I love the family owned restaurant vibe and the huge menu.


March 1st, 2010
6:36 pm

Rumis in Sandy Springs. Superb and recommended to me by my Iranian women friends who are great cooks themselves.


March 1st, 2010
6:43 pm

Nicola’s on LaVista!

Scratch Foodie

March 1st, 2010
6:44 pm

I have a friend who lived in the mideast for a decade that took me to Rumi’s, saying that it was the best Persian food south of Washington DC. Haven’t tried any others, b/c after discovering Rumi’s I find no need to. I am almost reluctant to mention its location for fear that Marvin of Macon (see best of Vietnamese vote)might want to nuke it, simply based on the fact that it is of Mideastern origin. Hey Marv, how’s the American cuisine scene in Macon, tried Wendy’s bacon-blue burger yet?


March 1st, 2010
6:54 pm

Nicola’s for an occasion, of course! Mediterranean Grill-any of the 3 locations-for everyday! Best hummus in the city.


March 1st, 2010
6:56 pm

Lawrence’s Cafe on Buford Highway. The food is always fresh and wonderful.

Jay Tye

March 1st, 2010
7:00 pm

Persepolis has an excellent Persian menu,

nl Thompson

March 1st, 2010
7:42 pm

Zaya in Inman park

mirza baig

March 2nd, 2010
5:34 am

Uptown grill has fresh food and a good family atmasphere………located in down town Lawrenceville a favorite place for a lot of people working and living around Lawrenceville,GA.


March 2nd, 2010
6:01 am

Kyma (if you’re in the mood to put up with Buckhead), for the wood-grilled octopus alone. Mezza on LaVista if you want something a little more laid back.


March 2nd, 2010
6:02 am

I might try Taverna Plaka again, but it was pretty bad the one time I went.


March 2nd, 2010
6:09 am

Oh, man, Mediterranean Grill for comfort food. I still haven’t found a place for a more special meal.


March 2nd, 2010
6:57 am

I would go along with the crowd and select Mediterranean Grill but I had a bad experience with the woman working the counter at the mid-town location (Monroe), where she basically called me a liar when she got my order wrong, so I’ll go with Olive Bistro (Ponce) especially for the grape leaves and falafel. At least they know how to treat their customers.


March 2nd, 2010
7:04 am

Mediterranean Grill is tops – great food, no frills. I also like Jerusalem Bakery in Alpharetta.


March 2nd, 2010
7:09 am

Several have mentioned Rumi’s Kitchen on Roswell Road. I have to second the nomination — it’s excellent.


March 2nd, 2010
7:17 am

Rumi’s Kitchen has great atmosphere in Sandy Springs. Persepolis has great lunch buffet!


March 2nd, 2010
7:18 am

I’ve tried many of them and Cafe Agora is the best around. On East Paces Ferry in Buckhead. Small, casual, no frills place. Great, fresh food. Nice selection. Hands on owner who is quite entertaining. Aladdins in Sandy Springs has great salads, nice portions and good quality meats for the price. Mediterranean Grill is also good.


March 2nd, 2010
7:19 am

Sultan’s in Sandy Springs.

Atlanta Native

March 2nd, 2010
7:28 am

Agora is great!
Kyma is fabulous
Lawrence’s is always good
Rumi’s is very good, but overpriced
Mediterranean Bakery on Chamblee-Tucker is quick, easy and good


March 2nd, 2010
7:34 am

Easiest survey yet – Nicola’s! Great food, belly dancing and the happiest owner you will ever see. How many times have you had the owner of a restaurant seranade you with a dance while balancing your glass of wine on his head? Countless times for me and my family.

Stephanie Wahl

March 2nd, 2010
7:39 am

Best – Rumi’s Kitchen on Roswell Road. Little pricey, but the food is top notch and plentiful.


March 2nd, 2010
7:44 am

Uptown Grill in downtown Lawrenceville is excellent. Their Baba is delightfully smokey and served with a garnish of Pom Seeds! Everything is fresh and homemade. The whole restaurant (kitchen and all)is in a space that looks like it was originally the void between two buildings – maybe eight feet wide.

Kristi Bratcher

March 2nd, 2010
7:45 am

Cafe Istanbul, Decatur and Sultan, Athens


March 2nd, 2010
8:05 am

Mezza on LaVista.


March 2nd, 2010
8:13 am

Rumi’s for a nicer, upscale dinner, Mirage for a lower cost alternative.

Buck Futt

March 2nd, 2010
8:14 am


March 2nd, 2010
8:18 am

Shish Kebob in Marietta

Decatur Max

March 2nd, 2010
8:21 am

Nicolas gets best service and good food. No better food for the money than Mediteranean Gill. Peresepolis is good but when you factor in value I will stick with Med Grill.


March 2nd, 2010
8:31 am

Mediterranean Grill


March 2nd, 2010
8:33 am

Nicola’s on LaVista, accross from Peachtree Baptist Church. The food is great and the hospitality is amazing!


March 2nd, 2010
8:33 am

Thanks for the info Praveen!!!

I live in Sandy Springs and I’ve only been to Rumi’s and it is wonderful, but pricey. I’m going to try the rest you mentioned.


March 2nd, 2010
8:38 am

I love Mezza on LaVista Road.


March 2nd, 2010
8:45 am

Mezza on LaVista – no contest!


March 2nd, 2010
8:53 am

Shish Kabob in Marietta offers good Persian buffett in reasonable prices. Otherwise, Persepolis has the best buffett. Finally, I consider Falafel cafe in Marietta the worst place for old and greasy food, slow and unorganized service, very high prices, and run-down location.


March 2nd, 2010
8:56 am

Shish Kabob, Marietta

Karen robinson

March 2nd, 2010
8:56 am

Nicola’s == great food and great fun. You are treated like a special guest. The hummus and baba ganoush are absolutely wonderful!


March 2nd, 2010
8:57 am

Nicola’s at LaVista and Briarcliff for the food, fun, and the owner who is the human embodiment of happiness.