Never get bored with food! If you’re looking for an incredible and delicious experience, look no further than the Mediterranean cuisine offered in some of the best restaurants in New York City. From traditional flavors to modern interpretations, exploring Mediterranean food is always an adventure.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a meat lover, NYC’s Mediterranean restaurants cater to all tastes. They showcase regional flavors from across Europe and North Africa that are sure to please anyone’s palette.
With this blog post, we delve into the world of Mediterranean fare around NYC. Read on to discover our top pick of NY’s best eateries specializing in beautiful mezze platters with fresh ingredients straight from the markets. Vacation right here at home by indulging in some truly winning dishes!
10 Tastiest Mediterranean Restaurants in NYC to Try
Looking for some delicious Mediterranean cuisine in New York City? Experience the delectable delights of these top 10 tastiest Mediterranean restaurants and prepare to indulge in truly delicious eats.
1. Estiatorio Milos, Midtown West, New York
Estiatorio Milos is located in the heart of Midtown West. It stands as a culinary gem renowned for its exceptional Greek dining experience. With its elegant ambiance and commitment to using the freshest ingredients, Milos offers a taste of authentic Mediterranean flavors right in the bustling metropolis of New York.
At Estiatorio Milos, the focus is on showcasing the bounty of the sea. Their top dishes include –
- The Lavraki : A whole Mediterranean sea bass, grilled to perfection and drizzled with fragrant olive oil
- The Octopus Carpaccio : A delicate arrangement of paper-thin octopus slices. It is adorned with capers and also red onions.
These dishes exemplify Milos’ dedication to simplicity and quality, thus allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through.
Milos is widely known for its commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients. These are often flown in daily from Greece and other pristine locations. Their signature Milos Special, is a tiered platter featuring an array of freshly caught fish and seafood. Thus highlighting the restaurant’s devotion to showcasing the best of the sea in its purest form.
With its warm and inviting atmosphere, Estiatorio Milos serves as an ideal destination for both intimate dinners and celebratory gatherings. All this while at the same time delivering a true taste of Greece’s culinary heritage.
2. Shoo Shoo, Nolita
Shoo Shoo is a hidden culinary gem nestled in the heart of New York’s vibrant Nolita neighborhood. This cozy eatery has gained a reputation for its innovative twist on Mediterranean cuisine. Thus captivating locals and visitors alike with its unique flavors and inviting ambiance.
Known for its artful fusion of traditional Mediterranean recipes and contemporary culinary techniques, Shoo Shoo offers a menu that celebrates both authenticity and creativity. The restaurant’s top dishes include:
- Eggplant Sabich Sandwich : A signature dish that perfectly balances textures and flavors. It features crispy fried eggplant, creamy hummus, pickled vegetables, and tahini, all enclosed in a warm pita pocket.
- Harissa Roasted Chicken : A succulent roasted chicken dish infused with the rich and spicy notes of harissa. It is accompanied by roasted vegetables and fragrant couscous.
- Mediterranean Mezze Platter : An assortment of small plates that showcases the diversity of Mediterranean flavors. It also includes dishes like falafel, tzatziki, stuffed grape leaves, and a variety of dips served with freshly baked pita bread.
Shoo Shoo, Nolita’s culinary prowess lies in its ability to take traditional Mediterranean flavors and infuse them with contemporary techniques and presentations.
3. Shukette, Chelsea
Shukette in Chelsea, New York, is a culinary gem that effortlessly combines Middle Eastern flavors with a contemporary twist. Known for its vibrant and inviting ambiance, Shukette offers a delightful dining experience that transports patrons to the bustling markets of the Mediterranean.
The restaurant’s top dishes tantalize the taste buds with a fusion of traditional and modern elements, earning it a renowned reputation. Their top dishes include –
- Za’atar Crusted Avocado Toast : Where creamy avocado is elevated with the bold flavors of za’atar seasoning and a drizzle of tahini.
- Harissa Grilled Chicken Skewers : Featuring tender chicken marinated in spicy harissa and grilled to perfection.
Shukette’s specialty lies in crafting mouthwatering mezze platters that encourage communal dining. Their “Mediterranean Mezze Feast” is a delightful assortment of hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, and freshly baked pita. Thus showcasing the restaurant’s commitment to using authentic ingredients and flavors.
This restaurant is dedicated to delivering an unforgettable dining experience through innovative dishes. This is in order to honor the culinary heritage of the Middle East. It has thus carved a niche for itself in the heart of Chelsea. Whether you’re a seasoned food enthusiast or a curious newcomer to Middle Eastern cuisine altogether. Shukette promises a delightful exploration of flavors and textures that celebrate tradition while embracing modern gastronomy.
4. Jack’s Wife Freda, Various Locations
“Jack’s Wife Freda” is a charming and eclectic restaurant with various locations across New York City. It is known for its cozy atmosphere and a blend of American, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern influences. The restaurant offers a unique dining experience that has gained a devoted following altogether. Here are three of their top dishes:
- Madras Curry : A fragrant and flavorful dish featuring a blend of spices, coconut milk, and vegetables, served with your choice of protein. It’s a comforting and exotic dish that showcases their fusion of cuisines.
- Rose Water Waffles : These delicate waffles are infused with rose water, giving them a subtle floral essence. Topped with a dollop of sour cream and mixed berries, they offer a delightful twist on a classic brunch favorite.
- Green Shakshuka : A vibrant and healthy twist on the traditional shakshuka. This dish features poached eggs nestled in a bed of sautéed spinach, Swiss chard, and zucchini, altogether bathed in a flavorful green sauce.
Jack’s Wife Freda is renowned for its warm and welcoming ambiance. Thus making guests feel like they’re dining at a friend’s home. The restaurant’s unique blend of cuisines and creative takes on classic dishes set it apart. Thus attracting food enthusiasts seeking a memorable culinary experience that combines comfort with culinary innovation.
5. Balaboosta, West Village
Balaboosta is nestled in the charming West Village neighborhood of New York. It is a culinary gem renowned for its fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. This cozy and inviting restaurant offers a delightful dining experience, combining exquisite dishes with a warm atmosphere also. Here are three of their top dishes:
- Shakshuka : Balaboosta’s take on this classic Middle Eastern dish features perfectly poached eggs nestled in a rich and spicy tomato sauce. It is accompanied by an array of aromatic spices and fresh herbs also.
- Lamb Meatballs : The restaurant’s succulent lamb meatballs are a must-try. It boasts a harmonious blend of spices and herbs that are both comforting and enticing.
- Cauliflower “Steak” : Catering to vegetarians and veggie enthusiasts, Balaboosta serves up a unique cauliflower “steak” that’s seasoned and grilled to perfection. Thus showcasing the kitchen’s innovative approach to plant-based cuisine.
Balaboosta is celebrated for its creative reinterpretation of traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. It does so in order to infuse them with modern twists and unexpected flavors. The restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients shines through in every dish. Thus delivering a taste that’s as vibrant as the ambiance itself. With its intimate setting and dishes that tantalize the taste buds, Balaboosta captures the essence of a culinary journey that combines tradition and innovation in the heart of the West Village.
6. Souvlaki GR, Lower East Side
Souvlaki GR is a vibrant and authentic Greek culinary haven nestled in the Lower East Side of New York. It is renowned for its delightful and flavorful offerings. This eatery also encapsulates the essence of Greece through its delectable menu and inviting ambiance. With a commitment to traditional recipes and fresh ingredients, Souvlaki GR transports diners to the sun-kissed shores of Greece with every bite.
Here are three of their top dishes:
- Traditional Souvlaki Pita : Succulent skewers of grilled meats nestled in warm pita bread. It is also garnished with crisp vegetables and tangy tzatziki.
- Spanakopita : A savory pie filled with layers of flaky phyllo dough. It also has a rich mixture of spinach, feta cheese, and aromatic herbs.
- Gyro Platter : A generous platter featuring thinly sliced, perfectly seasoned gyro meat. It is served alongside fragrant rice, Greek salad, and velvety hummus.
Renowned for its mastery of crafting authentic souvlaki and other Greek classics, Souvlaki GR delivers an unforgettable dining experience that captures the heart and soul of Greece.
7. Au Za’atar, East Village
Au Za’atar, located in the vibrant East Village neighborhood of New York, is a culinary gem that offers a delectable journey into Middle Eastern cuisine. It is renowned for its authentic flavors and warm ambiance. Au Za’atar also invites diners to indulge in a unique blend of Lebanese and Moroccan dishes that tantalize the taste buds and transport them to the heart of the Mediterranean.
With a cozy and inviting atmosphere, the restaurant creates a perfect setting for both intimate dinners and lively gatherings. Among their standout offerings, three top dishes not to be missed include:
- Za’atar Manousheh : A traditional Lebanese flatbread infused with aromatic za’atar spice blend, olive oil, and sumac.
- Chicken Tagine : A succulent Moroccan dish featuring tender chicken slow-cooked with preserved lemons, olives, and a blend of rich spices.
- Mezze Platter : An assortment of flavorful small plates, including hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, and stuffed grape leaves. Thus offering a delightful sampling of Middle Eastern delights.
Au Za’atar’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients, its dedication to preserving the authenticity of its dishes, and also its welcoming environment make it a standout destination for those seeking an unforgettable Middle Eastern dining experience in the heart of New York City.
8. ilili, Flatiron
ilili is nestled in the heart of the vibrant Flatiron district in New York. It offers an exceptional dining experience that transports guests to the rich culinary landscape of Lebanon. With its warm and inviting ambiance, ilili has become a renowned destination for those seeking authentic Middle Eastern flavors and also a memorable dining atmosphere.
The restaurant receives high praise for its ability to blend traditional Lebanese recipes with a contemporary flair seamlessly. It is crafted by expert chefs who prioritize using the finest and freshest ingredients. Here are three of their top dishes:
- Mezze Platter : A tantalizing assortment of small plates, including classics like hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel. The chef showcases their creativity by serving it along with innovative creations like truffle labneh.
- Lamb Shawarma : A succulent and flavorful dish featuring slow-cooked, marinated lamb carved to perfection. It is also served with aromatic accompaniments like tahini and pickled vegetables.
- Knafeh : A delightful dessert that captivates the senses. Knafeh is a sweet pastry made from thin layers of shredded phyllo dough. It is filled with gooey cheese or nuts, and also soaked in rose-scented syrup.
ilili stands out not only for its delectable dishes but also for its commitment to creating an immersive cultural experience. The restaurant’s stylish yet welcoming atmosphere, combined with its dedication to preserving traditional Lebanese flavors while embracing innovation, makes it a beloved hub for both local New Yorkers and visitors alike.
ilili invites patrons to embark on a culinary journey through Lebanon’s rich heritage. Thus also enjoying the comfort of contemporary dining, making every visit a truly unforgettable experience.
9. Shuka, SoHo
Shuka in New York is a vibrant culinary gem that embodies the essence of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Nestled in the heart of SoHo, this restaurant offers a captivating dining experience with its warm ambiance and flavorful offerings. It is known for its inventive and contemporary take on traditional dishes also. Shuka also seamlessly blends bold flavors and fresh ingredients to create a memorable dining adventure.
The restaurant’s inviting atmosphere and attentive service complement its standout menu, which features a harmonious fusion of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. Some of their top dishes include:
- Shakshuka : A signature dish, this flavorful and comforting creation combines poached eggs with a rich tomato and pepper stew accentuated by aromatic spices.
- Lamb Kofte : These succulent and well-spiced lamb meatballs are a crowd favorite, served with a side of cooling yogurt and fresh herbs.
- Cauliflower Shawarma : A delightful vegetarian option, the cauliflower shawarma presents roasted cauliflower florets infused with an array of spices, thus creating a savory and satisfying dish.
Shuka, SoHo’s dedication to blending authentic flavors with a modern twist has made it a beloved culinary destination, attracting both locals and visitors seeking an extraordinary Mediterranean dining experience.
10. Bustan, Upper West Side
Bustan is a renowned dining establishment located in the vibrant Upper West Side of New York City. Known for its exquisite Mediterranean cuisine and inviting ambiance, Bustan offers a culinary journey through the flavors of the region.
The restaurant boasts a menu that harmoniously blends traditional dishes with contemporary twists, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The skilled chefs at Bustan use only the freshest ingredients to create a memorable dining experience. Here are three of their top dishes:
- Grilled Branzino : A succulent Mediterranean sea bass, expertly grilled to perfection and served with a delightful array of accompanying flavors.
- Lamb Shank Tajine : A delectable slow-cooked lamb shank infused with aromatic spices and tender vegetables, paying homage to traditional North African cooking also.
- Mezze Platter : A vibrant assortment of small plates featuring classics like hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush, thus showcasing the rich tapestry of Mediterranean flavors.
Bustan’s reputation for its welcoming atmosphere, exceptional service, and dedication to crafting outstanding Mediterranean dishes has thus solidified its status as a standout dining destination on the Upper West Side of New York City.
From the airy ouzo-infused vibes of Jack’s Wife Freda to Estiatorio Milos for elegant Greek eats, dining for Mediterranean dishes in NYC is a culinary affair. Whether you’re craving kebabs at Shuka or falafel at Shukette, these restaurants offer a unique experience that will satisfy every appetite. And with today’s blog post telling you where to make your next food pilgrimage, the time has come to release your inner foodie.
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Q. What is typical Mediterranean food?
Ans. Typical Mediterranean food includes dishes like hummus, olive oil, grilled vegetables, and also seafood.
Q. Is Persian food the same as Mediterranean food?
Ans. Persian food has distinct flavors but is different from Mediterranean cuisine.
Q. What is the unique component of Mediterranean cuisine?
Ans. Olive oil is a unique and integral component of Mediterranean cuisine.
Q. Is Italian food considered Mediterranean cuisine?
Ans. Yes, Italian food is considered a significant part of Mediterranean cuisine.
Q. What are the different types of Mediterranean food?
Ans. Different types of Mediterranean food include Greek, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, and also Lebanese dishes.