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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 / eeubanks@ajc.com

Bandenjoon at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks / eeubanks@ajc.com

YOUR PICKS

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 / eeubanks@ajc.com

Mast Khiyar at Rumi's Kitchen. Photo: Elissa Eubanks / eeubanks@ajc.com

OUR PICKS

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

Kathy

March 2nd, 2010
9:03 am

Mediterranean Grill–I always go to the one in Decatur, but there are other locations. Best. Falafel. Ever.

East Atlantan

March 2nd, 2010
9:06 am

Borage Grill in Conyers, great food, great value

woody

March 2nd, 2010
9:08 am

Any of these places specialize in Syrian food?

Hands Down

March 2nd, 2010
9:10 am

OTP restaraunts don’t count.

SET

March 2nd, 2010
9:12 am

Zaya ~ I really enjoy the Chicken Schwarma wraps!

LP

March 2nd, 2010
9:14 am

Baba’s Gyro & Kabob on Ronald Reagan in Cumming is the best out in the Northern burbs. It’s a tiny little restaurant at the end of a strip mall next to a gas station, but the food is fabulous! Some of the best I’ve had since living in the South and not being able to frequent the various Mom & Pop Mediterranian restaurants around Greek Town in Detroit.

Dark Knight

March 2nd, 2010
9:15 am

Kabobee on Whitehall Street near downtown is really good.

Robert

March 2nd, 2010
9:24 am

Nicola’s really is a blast, but for a quick, great meal, I agree it’s Mediterranean Grill.

AM

March 2nd, 2010
9:24 am

Lawrence’s Cafe on Buford Highway.. Food made to order…think I will skate over for lunch today

Cecilia

March 2nd, 2010
9:31 am

I will try some of these places, but Rumi’s Kitchen is over priced and the service isn’t good at all. We tried the Falafel Cafe in Marietta and it was terrible just like Reza said. The food was old and greasy. At one time I liked Biblos in Alpharetta but it is inconsistant.

martin

March 2nd, 2010
9:35 am

Anyplace but Kyma!! Buckhead, 90’s feel…The entire Buckhead Life Restaurant Group is dated and depressing.

dh

March 2nd, 2010
9:44 am

Mediterranean Grill

Darrell

March 2nd, 2010
9:48 am

Cafe Agora in Buckhead is the best by far.

Candi Lace

March 2nd, 2010
9:50 am

Zaya in Inman Park — extensive menu, exceptional service, great atmosphere, and you’ve got the city’s best wine store across the street!

Kenbud

March 2nd, 2010
9:51 am

Rumi’s is #1!

(and a vote for Kabobee’s ….. it’s wonderful. It’s just no one will try it because of the location) :-(

Fred

March 2nd, 2010
9:52 am

Mezza in Oak Grove off LaVista

Sam

March 2nd, 2010
9:55 am

Persepolis – the best by far

Fred

March 2nd, 2010
9:56 am

…….. but after reading the blog entries, I’ma gonna have to go try the bellies……. i mean the dancing……. I mean Nicola’s lol. Do they serve food there?

ziza

March 2nd, 2010
9:56 am

mediterranean grill and olive bistro on ponce

LAJ

March 2nd, 2010
9:57 am

Zaya in Inman Park! So wonderful! Great atmosphere and service too!

rebeldawg

March 2nd, 2010
9:58 am

Cafe Agora hands down! Open late/early morning on weekends so great late night spot after the bars in Buckhead.

Pam

March 2nd, 2010
9:59 am

Uptown Cafe in downtown Lawrenceville is heaven on earth. Excellent cuisine.

Rick Neale

March 2nd, 2010
10:02 am

Mediterranean Bakery on Chamblee-Tucker Rd at I-285 (behind McDonald’s). Fantastic food. Warm hospitality. AND a grocery store where you can buy all kinds of delicious stuff!
http://www.mediterranean-bakery.com/

Leah

March 2nd, 2010
10:02 am

Mezza Bistro on Lavista. The best hummus and tabouli around. http://www.mezzabistro.com

alan

March 2nd, 2010
10:05 am

Hi

I’ve recently discovered the Jasmine restaurant in Marietta. The food was excellent and they have a buffet for lunch. In addition to the food, it is also in the same plaza as the Jerusalem Bakery, very good breads and pastry. It’s also in the same shoping plaza as Tasty China, So you can’t go wrong

Washall

March 2nd, 2010
10:06 am

The salmon at Rumi’s Kitchen is the best I have had, prepared in any way. The buffet at Persepolis has a lot of options and is a great value.

Randi

March 2nd, 2010
10:09 am

Mediterranean Grill – great food, price and people.

BigTuna

March 2nd, 2010
10:12 am

Rumi’s Kitchen on Roswell for a nice, sit-down meal. Pita Palace on Briarcliff for a quick in & out.

Toq

March 2nd, 2010
10:14 am

Fanoos – excellent food and reasonable prices. The lunch buffet has plenty of options. Best Mediterranean in the area.

Kara

March 2nd, 2010
10:17 am

Rumi’s in Sandy Springs

Craig

March 2nd, 2010
10:18 am

Mediterranean Grill

Curious Persian Diner Wannabe

March 2nd, 2010
10:19 am

What is the name of the Persian restaurant in the Publix shopping center at the corner of Abernathy and Roswell RD in Sandy Springs?

How does it rank among the others?

Giovanni Paulo

March 2nd, 2010
10:21 am

MandaPants

March 2nd, 2010
10:23 am

Nicolas…..the decor is horrible, but the food is wonderful (authentic lebanese..especially the kibbe naya) and the Owner is kind & fun. The dancing on the weekend is also a plus

Nice Girl

March 2nd, 2010
10:29 am

Love to Nicola and his fabulous restaurant! Great fun, great people, AMAZING food. My favorite hummus and could eat my weight in the falafel there. And really fun dance performances! Many veg selections- cannot recommend it enough!

Jenny

March 2nd, 2010
10:31 am

Byblos in Roswell — I’m surprised no one has mentioned it yet! The best Lebanese food!

Jayde

March 2nd, 2010
10:37 am

Rumi’s Kitchen or Lawrence’s Cafe.

OTP in Alpharetta, Jerusalem Bakery and Darvish Persian. Anyone I have taken to Jerusalem Bakery has become addicted. They have a small attached grocery also. Darvish is especially fun for groups – belly dancing and platform “beds” for group seating.

Cookie

March 2nd, 2010
10:39 am

CAFE AGORA!! I love this place, the food is excellent and the owner is so nice; he sometimes throws in a free dessert if you’re lucky.

Barbara

March 2nd, 2010
10:43 am

For fun and dancing (watching it and/or doing it) — Nicola’s! Cafe Istanbul is pretty awesome, too — if you have a whole night to spend. For really wonderful food — Mezza. I also love the falafel at Ali Baba’s in Little Five Points.

Marietta Maven

March 2nd, 2010
10:44 am

Persepolis. The bread is the best I’ve EVER tasted.

TJ

March 2nd, 2010
10:45 am

The Agora on East Paces Ferry in Buckhead just east of Peachtree. Great food and the owner is a real entertaining guy.

Ann Lang

March 2nd, 2010
10:47 am

Mezze on Lavista in Decatur.

Felix

March 2nd, 2010
10:48 am

Cafe Efendi in Alpharetta! Get a belly dancing lesson from the owner while you’re there ;)

Matt Futral

March 2nd, 2010
10:53 am

ZAYA in Inman Park. http://www.zayarestaurant.com. They have half-priced apps (best hummus ever!) from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and great drink specials.

htw

March 2nd, 2010
10:54 am

Cafe Agora in Buckhead – easily the best Middle Eastern food I’ve ever eaten!

TH

March 2nd, 2010
10:58 am

Cafe Posh on Roswell Rd has the best falafel ever!!

Mary K

March 2nd, 2010
11:01 am

I also vote for Nicola’s. It is a very fun and delicious restaurant. I often think of Adventure’s in Baby Sitting, when the guy says, “nobody leaves this place without singing the blues. At Nicola’s it’s, “nobody leaves this place without dancing.” Although certainly not mandatory, the patron participation really makes for an amazing experience.

And the food is divine.

Mary S.

March 2nd, 2010
11:09 am

Mediterranean Bakery- Chamblee-Tucker Rd. @I-285- AWESOME- AWESOME- AWESOME,I love the Chicken Kabobs, Baba Ghanush, Taboulee,. The employees and owner are great people. I would recommend this resturant to all! The store has lots of options of middle eastern foods. They have Jordan Almonds which are better than the American ones! I buy them all the time. Go see, eat, and enjoy it all!!!

MAK

March 2nd, 2010
11:16 am

Niccola’s is by far the best!

MAK

March 2nd, 2010
11:17 am

Nicola’s is the best by far!