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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

Claire

March 3rd, 2010
3:17 pm

Lawrence’s Cafe on Buford HWY is the BEST! It has the best felafel in Atlanta, hands down! Everything on their menu is amazing, I’ve had most of it!

Sherri

March 3rd, 2010
3:38 pm

I am a frequent traveler and I love the bold flavors of Middle Eastern specially Persian cuisine. I have tried this type of food in many cities in the US from coast to coast and even over sees in some of the countries in the Persian gulf region. I have to tell you that I always look forward to coming home to Atlanta and going to Rumi’s Kitchen in Sandy Springs… No doubt, it serves one of the best Middle Eastern/Persian food I have had anywhere in the world!

Shannon Brofie

March 3rd, 2010
3:58 pm

This hidden gem, in Conyers GA is the one to be rated as the top mediterranean restaurant. Quality, Service and Pricing are all in line with one of the best..Love Shish Twoak and Tabouli..awsome..awesome..awesome…we got complimentary lentil soup, freshly baked bread and garlic sauce was to die for…

Shannon Brofie

March 3rd, 2010
4:00 pm

Borage Grill, 914 Commercial Street, Conyers. 770 929 8885 http://www.boragegrill.com

Natalie Rosbottom

March 3rd, 2010
4:15 pm

Mediterranean Bakery – because where else in Atlanta can you find Lahmajon “meat pizza”, cheese and Zaatar “pizza”, both chicken and beef shawarma, fatoush salad, and those bright pink pickled turnips? Mmmmmm.

CC

March 3rd, 2010
5:03 pm

Nicola’s Lebanese my favorite type of middle eastern food
Lawrence’s Cafe-Best Turkish
Rumi’s-Best Persian
Still looking for a great greek restaurant since the Parthenon closed years ago in Sandy Springs-Kyma is okay but—-

Hip Chick

March 3rd, 2010
6:09 pm

TRUVA on Baker street in downtown, very modren and lots of good Turkish style Adana Kabobs…

Clark

March 3rd, 2010
6:19 pm

Mediterranean Grill! Decatur

Josh

March 3rd, 2010
7:02 pm

Sultan’s in Sandy Springs has an amazing buffet – and fresh baked pita!

Daddy

March 3rd, 2010
9:30 pm

Gilbert’s Mediterranean Cafe’ on Tenth St. in Midtown. One of the best Gyros around.

Lea

March 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

My favorite is Aladdin’s on Roswell Rd. just south of the Chattahoochee in the Publix Shopping Center.! Their kabobs are fantastic, as is the tabbouleh! The staff are always very friendly and accommodating. I just can’t say enough about Aladdin’s!

Lena

March 3rd, 2010
10:33 pm

Cafe Agora on East Paces Ferry is by far the best. It’s small, and always busy….but there is simply no place like it. I drive from Duluth to Atlanta atleast once a month specifically for a maza platter from here.

Praveen

March 4th, 2010
2:47 am

Persian Foodie, you gotta be crazy to say Fanoos has better food than Mirage or Persepolis. I went there with friends on one visit and with relatives on another. Not one of us cared for the food. These are the same people who loved every other Persian place in the area. I couldn’t finish their grape leaves. Their bread is the worst. Their kabobs just aren’t as juicy as the other places and their rice can taste undercooked. The place is so mediocre that even their coupons couldn’t entice me to go back again.

Jeri

March 4th, 2010
9:40 am

Cafe Efendi !! Best food ! Best Belly dancing ! Best Hookah ! Best FRIENDS!!

Steven Josovitz

March 4th, 2010
10:55 am

Mediterranean Grill for a casual and ZAYA for sit down.

Steven Josovitz

March 4th, 2010
10:57 am

Now if we are including Persian restaurants which are not Middle Eastern then RUMI rocks…..

lauren bartell

March 4th, 2010
12:44 pm

Rumis kitchen is amazing!! i love persian food and they are by far the best in atlanta! go no where else!

Michael Dionisio

March 4th, 2010
1:00 pm

I would like to say that me and my family have been enjoying Rumi’s kitchen for about 4 years now. We eat there atleast 3-4 times weekly and the food is amazing. Rumi’s is our favorite restaurant hands done. Great job Rumi’s!

Sierra

March 4th, 2010
1:10 pm

I have been going to Rumis since it first opened 4 years ago, till this day the service has always been great and the food is excellent. Rumi’s is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.

Divine Dish

March 4th, 2010
1:13 pm

Sultan’s – Athens
Nicola’s – LaVista

isson

March 4th, 2010
2:24 pm

Just read the list and the comments above. If you are speaking about the Persian/Iranian food, there is no other local restaurant that can serve you the quality of Persian food as Scratch Foodie mentioned above, as Rumi’s Kitchen. You really have to be a native with the understanding of culture and its great food to be qualified to judge it amongst others. We are. I saw some comments above that makes you laugh as if the person really knows the Persian food from McDonald’s!
Rumi’s is the best hands down as we have tried them all!

Karuna del Mar

March 4th, 2010
3:00 pm

Mirage in Sandy Spgs is AWESOME – inside & out [literally- I enjoy al fresco dining]. Friendly, clean, authentic, great food, very reasonably priced with substantial portions for handy leftovers. If you’re looking for Lebanese, and I always do: Try Cedars on Lenox Rd. Moroccan: Imperial Fez on P’tree St. Indian: BHOJANIC in the Emory Univ area – Clairmont Rd. – or PANAHAR on Buford Hwy – Excellent Bangladeshi Food. Incredible Chicken Tikki Marsala. If you’re in Savannah, go to CASBAH on Broughton St!! Fun bellydancing [the crowd joins in] and Delicious, Exotic Food.

Jason Summerlin

March 4th, 2010
5:06 pm

Rumi’s Kitchen has the best Shish Kabob in Atlanta… Can’t wait to go back.

Malooffy

March 4th, 2010
6:53 pm

Karuna … Cedars has been closed down FOREVER. If you like pickled turnips (FRESH) then check out Leons International foods (HOME of the Middle Eastern Baking Company!) Pleasantdale Road. They also make fresh hummous and tabooli on Thursdays (or they use to).Zatar bread is good but dont care for their kibbee.

Rachel

March 5th, 2010
11:48 am

Rumi’s Kitchen is by far the best middle eastern cuisine in Atlanta. On top of the delicious food, the service is second to none.

Evelyn

March 5th, 2010
12:29 pm

Cafe 316 in Marietta is pretty good. Baba Ganush and Hummas are very tasty

Tracy

March 5th, 2010
1:24 pm

Rumi’s in Sandy Springs is excellent!

Jeff C

March 5th, 2010
1:24 pm

Zaya on Highland Ave (south Highland) http://www.zayarestaurant.com/
Great food and atmosphere with a beautiful decor. Nice bar as well. Great place overall.
Hookah (Shisha) pipes on the patio in the warmer months. And the owner Tahreck is super great.

Betsy

March 5th, 2010
3:52 pm

Mediterranean Grill

b j

March 5th, 2010
5:24 pm

Nicola’s is great. For inexpensive and good Persian : Campus Falafel (near Life Chiropractic College, off Hwy 41 in Cobb County), Mediterranean Grill (both in Marietta & in Decatur) is also fast and good. For families and big crowds, Sultan (for Lebanese food) on Roswell Road has a delicious dinner buffet. Rumi’s (Persian) also on Roswell or Blu Taverna (Greek) in downtown Marietta off the square.

kathy

March 5th, 2010
5:56 pm

I love Rumi’s. Great service :) ))

Kimi

March 5th, 2010
5:57 pm

Rumi’s Kitchen is by far the greatest kabab in the entire Atlanta area. The service is beyond exceptional.

Jolene

March 5th, 2010
6:02 pm

Rumi’s offers a wonderful culturally diverse atmosphere to go and enjoy a taste of middle eastern cuisine. You won’t find better service or a better menu in the metro-atlanta area. The staff truly caters to their guests every need.

Hellen

March 5th, 2010
6:11 pm

Rumis Kitchen is a place with little space but with lots of heart, because both the kitchen staff and waiters there love what they do and they find it their personal responsibilty to make sure all customers are well taken care for. As far as the food goes…Yum Yum i want me some! Also there is this very handsome persian guy working there who turns it up a notch everytime we eat there, his name is Ash.

Jennifer

March 6th, 2010
5:16 pm

Mezza on LaVista

Min

March 6th, 2010
9:51 pm

My choice would be Mykonos Taverna off the Clairmont exit on 85. We went there for lunch today and the food was delicious. Their portions are large and their service is world class. My husband had the gyro. He liked it so much, he ordered three more to-go. Guess what we are having for dinner.

Bill

March 8th, 2010
1:23 am

What has happened to the Big A? Have we had a competiton yet for best pinto beans in town? Best collard greens? Best fried chicken? No, but we have best ME cuisine. And best Viet cuisine. Who cares about best ME cuisine? 99% of Atlantans have never consumed ME cuisine.

Shane Harrison

March 8th, 2010
11:01 am

Bill was asking about why we haven’t done fried chicken and collards. We have done chicken. Here are the fried chicken results (which we did last June):
http://blogs.ajc.com/best-of-big-a/2009/06/15/where-can-you-get-the-best-fried-chicken-in-and-around-atlanta/

We haven’t done collards or pintos specifically, but have done meat-and-threes:
http://www.accessatlanta.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/accessatlanta/bestofbiga/entries/2009/03/09/where_is_the_best_meatandthree.html