Middle Eastern

Sometimes, the urge to have Middle Eastern food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of New York's best Middle Eastern restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in New York. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Azuri Cafe or tell you that Taboon gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. From Brooklyn to East Village, we'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.

10 bread & olive
bread & olive's brightly-tiled space is small but clean, and the food that's served up from behind the counter has more than enough flavor to make you forget about the sparse interior. Spinach pie and samboussek come straight from a brick oven, and the tabbouleh is served with fresh-baked pita sourced from Beirut. (212-764-1588)

9 Beyoglu
Regulars consider this meze joint in the East 80s one of the neighborhood's best deals, and rightly so. The hot and cold mezes are perfectly sharable for groups of all sizes, and each dish offered is its own unique brand of flavorful sensation. While hummus and tabbouleh comprise the more familiar choices, adventurous palates chomp at the bit to try the sardines wrapped in grape leaves. Main courses include a variety of tasty döner kebabs, including chicken, lamb, striped bass and swordfish. TRAIN: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St; 6 to 77th St (212-650-0850)

8 Moustache Pitza — East Village
Located between First Avenue and Alphabet City, this fun little eatery packs a big punch. Diners return again and again to delve into the fresh, Mediterranean-style salads and interesting "pitzas" — that is, pizzas made from pita bread. Satisfying and enjoyable. TRAIN: L to 1st Ave; 6 to Astor Pl (212-228-2022)

7 Azuri Cafe
Small and simple, this Israeli eatery draws rave reviews from those who've been here. Tasty sandwiches and scrumptious kebabs please the palate while prices please the pocketbook. Try the great tasting falafel, hummus or salads. Top your meal off with a piece of rich baklava. TRAIN: C, E to 50th St (212-262-2920, 866-208-9555)

6 Tanoreen
Across the bridge in Bay Ridge, Chef Rawia Bishara has consistently enjoyed rave reviews since she opened her Tanoreen back in 1999. Specializing in an amalgamation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, Bishara created her own, unique spice mix (called Tanoreen Spices) that she uses to flavor most of her dishes. And what flavor it all has, whether it's baked eggplant, okra stewed in tomato sauce, shepherd's pie or baked red snapper. Be sure to stick around for a bite of knafeh or baklava — unless you go home and sit in your favorite chair, you'd be hard pressed find a more comfortable place. TRAIN: R to 77th St (718-748-5600)

5 Akdeniz
For Turkish cuisine just a few strides from Time Square, this stylishly appointed dining room is hard to beat. Indeed, folks pack the long, narrow space nightly. The mezes include superb renditions of zucchini pancakes, whipped red caviar, eggplant salad and stuffed vine leaves; meanwhile, mains run from traditional Turkish gyro to grilled trout with arugula and carrots. As to dessert, few things cap a night like Turkish coffee and rice pudding. At just under $25, their three-course prix fixe option allows diners to feast on dishes like barbequed meatballs, falafel and baby okra. TRAIN: B, D, F, V to 47th-50th St-Rockefeller Center; E, V to Fifth Ave-53rd St (212-575-2307, 212-575 2308)

4 Turkish Kitchen
Offers a variety of Turkish dining delights, including calamari, lamb kebobs and grilled eggplant salad. Ambience is exotic and service is good. Appetizers are a must. Be prepared for the full and varied menu where each dish sounds as good as the one before. If you're looking for a good deal, try the all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch, which is a steal at just under $22. TRAIN: 6 to 28th St (212-679-6633)

3 Ali Baba
Hummus-hued walls, hardwood floors and colorfully upholstered banquettes characterize this intimate Murray Hill spot, an enterprise that began life as a Turkish-style pizza joint. The pizzas are still there (and as delish as ever), but the menu has expanded greatly from those early days. The usual suspects of hot and cold mezes highlight the array of opening dishes, and the always formidable chef's suggestions include pepper steak, homemade manti and lahana dolmasi (cabbage stuffed with lamb, rice and fresh dill). Stop by on Tuesdays around 9pm, and you'll be able to catch the belly dancers. TRAIN: 6 to 33rd St (212-683-9206, 917-256-0104)

2 Taboon
Once, folks wouldn't have dreamed of venturing into Hell's Kitchen for a night out. How times change! These days, the neighborhood is called Clinton, and it's a hip scene with a full roster of cool restaurants like Taboon (Arabic for "oven"). Ever friendly and always aromatic, this spot is known city-wide for its awesome, house-baked flatbread. Of course, that merely touches the surface — a lesson no doubt learned once you've sat down and sampled a dish (or three, or four) of meze. Main courses include the requisite kebabs as well as a few fish dishes. TRAIN: C, E to 50th St (212-713-0271)

1 ilili
ilili is New York's premier contemporary Lebanese restaurant offering inspired Mediterranean cuisine. The menu mixes authentic Lebanese dishes with modern Mediterranean influences to create a culinary journey for the palate and senses. Complementing the international cuisine, ilili offers an impressive wine list that includes wines from all over the world and features favorites from Lebanon and the Mediterranean. The restaurant's decor echoes the diverse menu, combining the architectural richness of Old Lebanon with an attitude and style that is unmistakably New York. A DJ sets the mood with music from around the globe and soft, amber lighting punctuated by candles create a sexy, sophisticated atmosphere in which to enjoy a relaxed meal. The cuisine, décor and ambience come together to create a new world for your senses to explore, whispering gently in your ear, ilili. (2126832929)


From Our Partners

Maps and Directions

1
bread & olive 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $
2
Beyoglu 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Turkish
Neighborhood: UPPER EAST SIDE
COST: $
3
Moustache Pitza — East Village 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Neighborhood: East Village
COST: $
4
Azuri Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Deli, Middle Eastern
Dining Options: Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Kosher, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
COST: $$
5
Tanoreen 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Dancing, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
COST: $$
6
Akdeniz 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Turkish
Neighborhood: Midtown West
COST: $$
7
Turkish Kitchen 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Catering, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Turkish
Neighborhood: Gramercy
COST: $$
8
Ali Baba 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Turkish
Neighborhood: Murray Hill
COST: $$
9
Taboon 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Group Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Neighborhood: Hell's Kitchen
COST: $$
10
ilili 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Neighborhood: Flatiron District
COST: $$$