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A Guide to Philadelphia’s Middle Eastern Restaurants

Believe it or not, Philadelphia is not only filled with great regional restaurants, but also global cuisine.

spread of middle eastern food from restaurant in philadelphia

That’s right, you’ll find everything from Caribbean food, to Mediterranean food, to Middle Eastern food. Personally, I like Middle Eastern food the best, but I know it can be hard to try new restaurants.

So I’ve put together a list of my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants in town so you can try them too without the added stress.

Whether you’re looking for a nice, sit-down spot or a casual, to-go place, there’s a spot for it all on this list. While some places focus on Lebanese food others serve Uzbek delicacies, so there’s plenty of variety. Keep reading to learn a bit about each location!


Best Middle Eastern Restaurants in Philadelphia

Suraya Restaurant

1528 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Phone: (215) 302-1900
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Suraya Restaurant, a local eatery, really has it all. With a restaurant, bar, market, and outdoor garden, this spot serves some of the best Lebanese food in Philly. Housed in a chic and spacious interior, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal.

Suraya Restaurant serves dinner throughout the week as well as brunch on the weekends. We recommend the kawarma, new Caledonian prawns, abu sayf, or halabi kebab. Be sure to grab a cocktail or two, as well!


Zahav

237 St James Pl, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-625-8800
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Zahav is just blocks from the waterfront, a restaurant I always recommend to friends visiting the Liberty Bell and Museum of the American Revolution, which are close by.

Chef Michael Solomonov is a major name in Israel’s culinary field, so I never want to miss a chance for a delicious meal from the master.

The restaurant helps me kick back and enjoy the chef’s talents by providing a set menu. One of my favorite experiences was when they first served laffa bread and hummus, then brought out tuna with fried potato and phyllo-wrapped Halloumi.

The entree was a lamb shoulder perfectly seasoned with mint, served with chickpeas.


Apricot Stone

1040 North 2nd Street #601 GPS 1040, N American St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: (267) 606-6596
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If you’re ever in need of a home-cooked meal, be sure to head over to Apricot Stone. Run by an Armenian mother, you’ll find homestyle Mediterranean cuisine here. With a warm and inviting interior, you’ll feel right at home.

There’s all sorts of options on the Apricot Stone menu, including a few prix fixe options. Try out the spanakopita, luleh kebab, fattoush salad, or mix platter. Make sure to finish with some khataif or baklava!


Isot

622 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 267-457-3622
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Isot is on South 6th Street, halfway between Kater and Bainbridge Streets. It’s near parks, the Theatre of the Living Arts, and Repo Records, so I love to stop by for a meal after a day appreciating nature and music.

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The restaurant serves lunch and dinner with an upscale feeling, complete with traditional Turkish decorations contrasted with crisp white tablecloths.

My favorite dish is the lamb chops, cooked to perfection and so moist they almost fall off the bone. Beyran, an Isot exclusive, is another must-order.

The lamb rice soup is spicy, making my mouth water just thinking of it.


Alyan’s Middle Eastern & Mediterranean Restaurant

603 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-922-3553
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Alyan’s Middle Eastern & Mediterranean Restaurant is a few blocks from the water, so I like to visit after spending a day at the park on Front Street. It’s not far from Isot but offers a different vibe, so I always make time for both.

Alyan’s is a more casual restaurant that serves the best falafel I’ve ever had. I get Baba Ghannouj as an appetizer, dipping the baked eggplant into sesame seed puree.

The falafel platter is filling and delicious, but I recommend the chicken kabab or shawarma. They also have an extensive sandwich menu if you want to grab something quickly.


Bitar’s

947 Federal St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 755-1121
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If Lebanese cuisine is your favorite, be sure to head over to Bitar’s. This local restaurant focuses primarily on Lebanese food, but also offers other Mediterranean classics. People love how fresh the food is as well as the friendly service.

Choose between lunch and dinner at Bitar’s. Try out the Bitar special sandwich, Greek bitzza, grilled gyro platter, or falafel sandwich. Make sure to grab some baklava before you leave – they have four different kinds!


Dizengoff

1625 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-867-8181
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Dizengoof is in the bustling area between South Broad Street and Market Street. While countless restaurants demand attention, I always recommend Dizengoff for a fun time.

The interior is bright and colorful, with picnic tables inspiring community dining, though sometimes I grab my food to-go.

They offer set meals, like the classic tehina with a hummus tehina platter, pita, and seasonal salad. The lamb pine nut platter is another favorite, with a meat topping on the hummus.

I always get a frozen strawberry lemonnana, a slushie version of their mint lemonade.


Goldie (multiple locations)

1911 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 267-239-0777
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Goldie has several locations around Philadelphia, but I usually go to the one near the corner of South 19th and Sansom Streets.

It’s near Rittenhouse Square, Helium Comedy Club, and the Mütter Museum. Other locations are Walnut Street, Front Street, and inside Whole Foods on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Regardless of the location you pick, I recommend getting falafel as a salad or sandwich. Sometimes I order a bag of falafel balls to dip in a sauce because they’re just that good.

If I want a full meal, I’ll get a combo, including a sandwich or salad, fries, and a drink. I sometimes upgrade to one of their rich shakes for dessert.


Marrakesh

517 S Leithgow St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-925-5929

Marrakesh is another Middle Eastern restaurant not far from the waterfront. This one is just blocks southwest of the Independence Seaport Museum, making it one of my favorite ways to end a day enjoying the city. It’s tucked away on South Leithgow Street, making it easy to miss.

The vibe inside is one of community, with tables close together. I like the environment because it makes me feel at home when I eat Moroccan food with my hands.

They also have outdoor seating, which is nice on pleasant Philadelphia evenings. The restaurant serves seven courses, so I always taste unique Moroccan dishes I might not have ordered.


Saad’s Halal Restaurant

4500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19139
Phone: 215-222-7223
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Saad’s Halal Restaurant is in the Walnut Hill neighborhood, just blocks west of Hamilton Village Park and south of Vidas Field.

The restaurant’s interior is bright and inviting, but I love to sit at the wrought iron tables covered with colorful umbrellas when the weather’s nice.

The menus include vegetarian and non-vegetarian, so I recommend this restaurant to all my friends, regardless of dining preferences.

For non-vegetarians, I tell them they can’t miss the beef shawarma, either as a sandwich or served with sauteed onions over rice. The vegetarian falafel on a sandwich with Baba Ghanouj is another item I can’t resist.


Spice Finch

220 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-309-2238
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Spice Finch is in Center City West, blocks from Rittenhouse Square at the corner of South 17th and Chancellor Streets. It’s in the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square lobby, only open for dinner on weekdays.

On weekends, I make time to stop in for brunch or lunch. It’s also possible to order meals for takeout or delivery, so I always encourage friends to try this delicious place.

While they offer hummus and olives, I always start with melitzanosalata, which includes eggplant, feta, bell pepper, walnuts, pomegranate, and mint.

There are small plates to share with the table, though I can never resist the chili chicken kebab. The chef spices chicken thighs and includes sesame yogurt and pickled crudites.


Al Zaytouna

906 Christian St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: (215) 574-5040
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Hoping to save a little bit of money when you dine out? Head over to Al Zaytouna. Serving Eastern Mediterranean classics, this Philadelphia spot has a BYOB policy so you can save some money by bringing your own drinks.

Al Zaytouna’s menu is filled with a vast array of delicious choices, so if you can’t decide, we recommend the grilled lamb couscous, kofta kabob entree, grape leaves entree, or mix grilled veggie sandwich. Be sure to get some baklava, of course!

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Kamals Middle Eastern Cuisine

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 925-1511
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Located in Reading Terminal Market, Kamals Middle Eastern Cuisine is another wonderful choice in town. Serving popular Middle Eastern dishes, this spot is a favorite of many.

This is another casual dining stop, so it’s perfect for day-to-day dining.

There’s plenty of delicious options at Kamals Middle Eastern Cuisine, including vegetarian options. Be sure to try the spinach with cheese pie, meat pita wrap, vegetarian platter, or Greek salad. An absolute must is their fresh falafel.

The family has been soaking chickpeas every night for the last 30 years to use in this classic dish. Don’t forget to order a smoothie on your way out!


Sahara Grill

1334 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 985-4155
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A spot you can always depend on for Middle Eastern cuisine in Philadelphia is Sahara Grill. This local restaurant serves classic Middle Eastern dishes made with traditional ingredients. With a casual, relaxed atmosphere, this spot is place for any occasion.

You’ll find a wide variety of authentic dishes at Shara Grill. We recommend the moussaka, lamb kabob, shawarma, or falafel hummus feta sandwich. Be sure to grab some baklava to end your meal on a sweet note!


Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill

4420 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 921-2135
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Another Lebanese cuisine centered restaurant in Philly is Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill. You’ll find classic dishes from the region at this restaurant.

This simple spot is casual and relaxed, so whether you want to take out or dine in, it’ll do the trick.

The menu at Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill is suited for almost anyone, with vegan and gluten-free options.

We recommend the fatteh, spinach and cheese manakeesh, ginger beef kabob wrap, or lamb lahm bajeen manakeesh. Be sure to check out all of their delicious dessert options!


Sansom Kabob House

1300 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-751-9110
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Sansom Kabob House is just off South Broad at the corner of South Street and South 16th. For such a small building, the interior feels luxurious. There are traditional Afghani decorations and cozy low lighting. 

This restaurant has the best sambosas I’ve ever had, served with cilantro chutney. They have an extensive vegetarian menu, but I usually order a fish kabob.

It includes marinated salmon served with Afghan rice, salad, and bread.


So, the next time you’re in Philadelphia and are craving Middle Eastern food, you’ll know exactly where to go to get some. Who knew there were so many great options for the cuisine in town?

Looking for a different type of cuisine? Check out or top Korean BBQ spots in Philly by clicking here.

Which place are you most excited to try? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you mention it below and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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