Mediterranean cuisine is comprised of the many countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In the Americas, the heaviest influences are Greek. The use of garlic, yogurt, sesame seed, olive oil and lemons produce vibrant flavors with creamy textures. These restaurants highlight all of the potential variations within this cuisine while still paying homage to this original mix of tastes and textures.
262 E. Paces Ferry Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30305
Al is the owner at Café Agora and is regularly seen in the dining room mingling with his satisfied guests. The traditionally Greek dishes such as the mixed grill platter and the gyro feature tender, roasted meats. These sliced or ground meats (chicken, lamb and beef) are marinated and then roasted in a spit. However, it is the baklava and the late-night weekend hours that the patrons always rave about. Although the Paces Ferry location is the original spot, you can also visit the newest location in Midtown and obtain the same quality.
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3362 Chamblee-Tucker Road
Atlanta, GA 30341
Being a bakery, the real draw at Mediterranean Bakery is the breads. Freshly made breads are topped with spreads and/or cheeses to create all of the delicious bread-based treats such as Zaatar (thyme, sesame seed and olive oil) and Koshouk (dry yogurt, sesame seeds, onions and tomato sauce). Mediterranean Bakery also offers traditional Mediterranean dishes such as shawarma, kabobs and falafel using Lebanese spices. If you love the garlic spread on your shawarma, feel free to stop by the grocery counter and purchase some to take home.
6152 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
Applying a Persian flair to its offerings, Rumi’s has a wide array of menu choices including several wonderful and diverse uses of the eggplant. The kabobs (shrimp, chicken and beef) are popular but you can really eat well with a lamb shank or a cornish game hen meal. Due to its Persian heritage, there are several items that you will not find at the other restaurants on this list such as Thadeeg (basmati rice fried into a thin pancake and topped with stew). In addition, you don’t have to compromise on excellent service with complimentary valet, a warming atmosphere and hookah offerings.
4330 Peachtree Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30319
(404) 842-1199650 Ponce De Leon Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30308
3230 Cobb Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
Each of the three Olive Bistro locations provides an intimate bistro atmosphere. Olive Bistro offers small plates of hummus, baba ghanoush, grape leaves and tabbouleh salad. The small plates are a great choice for an individual who is new to Mediterranean food. These same items can be combined on a platter if you want greater portions that are sized for sharing instead of tasting. If you are dining solo and not a novice, The Atlanta Journal Constitution rated Olive Bistro’s falafel as the best in Atlanta due to its wonderful contrast of crisp outside and fluffy inside. Dinner diners may want a heartier selection such as the lentils and rice with chicken which is lightly spiced and more than filling.
2080 Peachtree Industrial Court
Chamblee, GA 30341
This highly rated favorite is a cash-only location. True to the name, the Best Bread Baking Company excels in those Mediterranean dishes that feature the freshly made pita. Accordingly, Atlanta magazine recognized this spot as having Best Falafel in Atlanta in 2011. Combo sandwiches come with hummus, tahini and salad. The baked goods and other dishes are not limited to only Mediterranean origin but include burekas, challah bread, babka, shnitzel, brioche, baguettes and danishes.
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Sebrina Bush is a freelance writer in Atlanta. She is covering Food & Drink. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.