Best Mediterranean Restaurants in the United States

Athena: (212 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois) This beautiful restaurant located in the middle of downtown Chicago offers a delicious selection of authentic Greek cuisine. Bring a friend or two and indulge in a number of cold and hot plates that are meant to be shared. The stuffed grape leaves and a cold combo plate are an ideal way to begin the evening before moving onto heartier entrees, like moussaka or spanakopita. Be sure to save room for desert, as this is the home of the absolute best baklava in the entire country!

Aviva by Kameel: (225 Peachtree Center, Atlanta, Georgia) Located in the center of a popular shopping area, this friendly, laid back eatery offers a number of delicious dishes counter style that will keep you coming back for more! If you sample nothing else here, be sure to order the classic falafel, a delicious vegan-friendly option consisting of mashed chickpea fritters that are deep fried and served with pita bread and all the classic fixings, like humus and baba ghanoush! Rated the number one lunch spot in the city, this place provides unmatched flavors with an unpretentious environment and excellent staff.  It is understandably popular, so be prepared to wait your turn during the lunch rush.

I Dream of Fafafel: (555 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois): While there are several different IDOF restaurants sprinkled throughout the Chicago area, this location on Monroe St is one of the most popular. Food here is effortlessly customizable and the service is excellent. Simply step up to the counter, place your order and take a seat. An ideal selection for lunch, you can grab a pita filled with your choice of protein, such as falafel, chicken schwarma or fire roasted gyro meat coupled with an array of toppings. For a classic Greek influence, put some feta cheese and olives on your pita along with a fresh cucumber and tomato salad for a healthy, filling meal that can be eaten on the go.

Iron Gate: (1734 N St NW, Washington DC) This elegant restaurant is housed inside what was once the stables and carriage house of a historical home on Dupont Circle. The focus here is on eating mezze style, meaning you get to sample a little bit of multiple smaller dishes rather than selecting one large entrée.  For the ultimate culinary experience, choose Chef Chittum’s tasting menu complete with wine pairing. Featuring an ever-evolving selection of several decadent courses, it is the perfect choice for anniversaries or other special occasions. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis, so making a reservation is definitely recommended!

Shaya: (4213 Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana) New Orleans is a foodie’s paradise, but it is much better known for its Cajun staples than for Middle Eastern cuisine. This funky restaurant located on one of the city’s more eclectic streets offers a selection of delicious Israeli dishes unlike anything you will find elsewhere in America. Particularly bountiful for those who prefer a meatless diet, you can choose from various hummus platters as well as classic sides like tabbouleh, falafel and baba ghanoush. There are plenty of delicious dinner entrees available as well, including a whole fish roasted with ginger and tzatziki or an eggplant stuffed with tahini. If you’re craving something sweet to end the meal, be sure to order the chocolate babka coupled with an after-dinner cocktail for the perfect combination.

Zahav: (237 St. James Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) This iconic spot is headed by executive chef Michael Solomonov, who brings his Israeli heritage to each delicious dish on the menu. Start your meal with a glass of the tasty yet potent wedding punch to set the stage for a remarkable culinary excursion. Order a number of small plates for sampling, such as the fried cauliflower and roasted Brussel sprouts before moving onto one of their delectable main dishes. Of course, the kabobs roasted over an open flame are exceptional, as is the grilled eggplant paired with pistachios and smoked chickpeas.

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