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A sampling of offerings from Lebanon’s Cafe
Lebanon’s Cafe/Facebook

17 Destinations for Excellent Mediterranean Cuisine in New Orleans

From hummus to shawarma to shakshouka

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A sampling of offerings from Lebanon’s Cafe
| Lebanon’s Cafe/Facebook

The traditional New Orleans table is many things, but light isn’t one of them. Sometimes a body needs a break from fried seafood, rich sauces, and roux-based soups. Mediterranean cuisine offers a tasty and fresh alternative, so delicious you’ll forget it’s good for you. From simple gyro shops located in the back of convenience stores to Saba, Alon Shaya’s masterful take on the foodways that crisscross the region, Middle Eastern fare from humble to haute is abundant in New Orleans.

Did we miss your favorite place for Mediterranean food? Let us know.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Shishkabob House

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Like so many small kabob cafes, Shishkabob House is family owned, a friendly spot on Williams — the Kenner boulevard dotted with international eateries. The chicken shawarma is a specialty, but everything is good. Don’t expect ambiance, but the rock bottom prices are sure to please.

Shishkabob House’s grape leaves
Shishkabob House/Facebook

Hummus & More

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While the second location of Hummus & More on Maple Street didn’t last, the original Lebanese restaurant that Huda Aldisi and Lisa Labit first opened in Metairie in 2015 is still going strong. Serving a vast menu of falafel, lentil stew, mousaka, stuffed kibbeh, and more, the wide-ranging dishes are fresh and refined. In addition to takeout, Hummus & More is now on Waitr, Doordash, and Uber Eats.

Falafel from Hummus & More
Hummus & More/Facebook

Falafel King

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From the thin-style pita bread baked in house to the tender rounds of falafel that earn its royal status, the Falafel King delivers tasty food at budget prices. The combo plates are huge, everything is fresh and service is offered with a smile. A second location opened in Metairie this May on Veteran’s Boulevard.

Falafels from Falafel King
Falafel King/Facebook

Byblos | Old Metairie

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This New Orleans mini-chain has added and closed locations over the years, but the longtime, full-service restaurant on Metairie Road is the stalwart. Here, diners can choose from the extensive list of Middle Eastern starters and specialties like stuffed kibbeh and drunken haloumi, in addition to an array of more general Mediterranean dishes like grilled puppy drum, a kafta burger, and roasted chicken — either direction you take, it’s all good.

1000 Figs

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At this fabulous, vegetable-forward restaurant just off Esplanade, diners can’t go wrong — there’s the all-dip option to start, then the meze feast, but don’t forget the radishes with whipped feta. There’s also a Little Fig in Pythian Market for an additional take away option.

1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Fatma's Cozy Corner

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Fatma’s Cozy Corner in Treme opened in 2017, a purveyor of savory baked goods, tasty hummus and fatoush salad with feta and red onion, parsley and cucumbers. Turkish specialties sometimes include boreks (flaky, puff pastry turnovers) and pide, a type of flatbread similar to pita, usually scattered with zatar, a lemony Turkish spice.

Fresh bread from Fatma’s Cozy Corner
Fatma’s Cozy Corner/Facebook

Gita Pita

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Gita Pita came to New Orleans by way of Michigan, after owner Adham Kader and family moved to town a few years and brought the fast-casual concept with him. Inspired by Palestinian street food, Kader serves a menu of build-your-own shawarma bowls and wraps that revolve around saj bread, Gita Pita’s specialty. There are two locations of the made-for-takeout business — a standalone restaurant in Chalmette and a location on Canal Street in the Mid City Red Zone.

Shawarma bowl from Gita Pita
Gita Pita/Facebook

Stella Maris Cafe & Grocery

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The market with many hard-to-find Middle Eastern products attached to Stella Maris is icing on the cake, as this spot is serving up some of the best versions of falafel, gyro, tzatziki, kebab, grape leaves, and more in the area. Yes, it’s a bit outside of town, but with the large portions, friendly service, and good prices, it’s worth the trip to Arabi.

Appetizer platter from Stella Maris
Stella Maris Cafe and Grocery/Facebook

It’s a good sign if taxi drivers are chowing down, which they always are at Cleo’s, the 24-hour joint with locations on Canal and Decatur. The menu hits the faves — shawarma, lamb with hummus, stuffed grape leaves — along with grilled salmon and shrimp platters and lots of vegetarian options.

Vegetarian items from Cleo’s
Cleo’s/Facebook

Istanbul Cafe

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The owners of Daisy Dukes expanded with this fast casual spot just off Canal and business is brisk. Great for late-night grub in the French Quarter, Istanbul Cafe also offers takeout and now delivery. Besides generous portions of bargain priced gyros, falafel, and burgers, there’s also a tasty Philly cheesesteak.

Lebanon's Café

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Owner Hussain Sheereef takes visible pride in this Uptown cafe and with good reason. Lebanon’s Cafe is consistently good, serving traditional specialties in a pretty dining area and outside patio. Portions are large, the rosemary lamb chops are a treat and the just right homemade hummus is creamy with tahini. Open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery via Doordash, Grubhub, and Waitr.

Lamb chops, salad, pita, and hummus from Lebanon’s Cafe
Lebanon’s Cafe/Facebook

Acropolis on Freret

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This mediterranean favorite in Metairie expanded to a larger location on Freret at the end of 2019, Acropolis is known for its traditional Greek cooking — along with a smattering of Italian dishes and pizza. Nibble through an appetizer sample of dips and spinach pie and move on to the signature six-onion soup, served under a puff pastry cap. Salads, pita wraps, and platters of savory grilled meats and vegetables round out the menu.

Shawarma On The Run

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Not to be confused with Shawarma on the Go, the newer Shawarma on the Run in Terrytown is where some of the area’s silkiest hummus can be found. Co-owner Osama Albassis (who started out at Shawarma on the Go) focuses on beef and chicken shawarma, falafel and spinach pie, hummus and tzatziki, and platters and bowls, served with yellow rice, salad, pita, Armenian pickles, corn, and traditional sauce.

With influences that stem from Israel, Europe and North Africa, Saba reflects a collection of moments where food and culture have crossed paths, offering a taste of this ever-evolving cuisine. Wood-fired pita bread baked steps from the table will soak up the flavors of Bulgaria, Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Palestine, and Greece, to name a few. Chef de cuisine Cara Peterson sources seafood, meats, and produce from local farms around New Orleans, guiding them over hot coals to family-style platters on the table.

Saba
Katherine Kimball/Eater NOLA

Shawarma On The Go

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Like boudin and cracklin in Cajun country, falafel and shwarma have found glory in the humble New Orleans gas station. Shawarma on the Go is in residence in the Jetgo gas station on Magazine Street between Louisiana and Napoleon, where cones of shwarma meat glisten and the falafel is some of the best in the city — all for under $10.

Tal's Hummus

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A great option for healthy fare Uptown, Tal’s Hummus on Magazine dishes Israeli inspired dishes including falafel, hummus, pita sandwiches, kebabs, and salads — all made fresh to order. Take a pint home — no not beer, but hummus, Moroccan carrots, and other tasty treats.

Sahara Cafe

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Like so many of these Medi cafes, Sahara on the West Bank does a ton of app-based delivery business. Authentic flavors, prepared in the moment, from shawarma and gyros to foul and lamb shank will satisfy. Portions are huge, making this spot a true budget option.

Shishkabob House

Shishkabob House’s grape leaves
Shishkabob House/Facebook

Like so many small kabob cafes, Shishkabob House is family owned, a friendly spot on Williams — the Kenner boulevard dotted with international eateries. The chicken shawarma is a specialty, but everything is good. Don’t expect ambiance, but the rock bottom prices are sure to please.

Shishkabob House’s grape leaves
Shishkabob House/Facebook

Hummus & More

Falafel from Hummus & More
Hummus & More/Facebook

While the second location of Hummus & More on Maple Street didn’t last, the original Lebanese restaurant that Huda Aldisi and Lisa Labit first opened in Metairie in 2015 is still going strong. Serving a vast menu of falafel, lentil stew, mousaka, stuffed kibbeh, and more, the wide-ranging dishes are fresh and refined. In addition to takeout, Hummus & More is now on Waitr, Doordash, and Uber Eats.

Falafel from Hummus & More
Hummus & More/Facebook

Falafel King

Falafels from Falafel King
Falafel King/Facebook

From the thin-style pita bread baked in house to the tender rounds of falafel that earn its royal status, the Falafel King delivers tasty food at budget prices. The combo plates are huge, everything is fresh and service is offered with a smile. A second location opened in Metairie this May on Veteran’s Boulevard.

Falafels from Falafel King
Falafel King/Facebook

Byblos | Old Metairie

This New Orleans mini-chain has added and closed locations over the years, but the longtime, full-service restaurant on Metairie Road is the stalwart. Here, diners can choose from the extensive list of Middle Eastern starters and specialties like stuffed kibbeh and drunken haloumi, in addition to an array of more general Mediterranean dishes like grilled puppy drum, a kafta burger, and roasted chicken — either direction you take, it’s all good.

1000 Figs

1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

At this fabulous, vegetable-forward restaurant just off Esplanade, diners can’t go wrong — there’s the all-dip option to start, then the meze feast, but don’t forget the radishes with whipped feta. There’s also a Little Fig in Pythian Market for an additional take away option.

1000 Figs
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Fatma's Cozy Corner

Fresh bread from Fatma’s Cozy Corner
Fatma’s Cozy Corner/Facebook

Fatma’s Cozy Corner in Treme opened in 2017, a purveyor of savory baked goods, tasty hummus and fatoush salad with feta and red onion, parsley and cucumbers. Turkish specialties sometimes include boreks (flaky, puff pastry turnovers) and pide, a type of flatbread similar to pita, usually scattered with zatar, a lemony Turkish spice.

Fresh bread from Fatma’s Cozy Corner
Fatma’s Cozy Corner/Facebook

Gita Pita

Shawarma bowl from Gita Pita
Gita Pita/Facebook

Gita Pita came to New Orleans by way of Michigan, after owner Adham Kader and family moved to town a few years and brought the fast-casual concept with him. Inspired by Palestinian street food, Kader serves a menu of build-your-own shawarma bowls and wraps that revolve around saj bread, Gita Pita’s specialty. There are two locations of the made-for-takeout business — a standalone restaurant in Chalmette and a location on Canal Street in the Mid City Red Zone.

Shawarma bowl from Gita Pita
Gita Pita/Facebook

Stella Maris Cafe & Grocery

Appetizer platter from Stella Maris
Stella Maris Cafe and Grocery/Facebook

The market with many hard-to-find Middle Eastern products attached to Stella Maris is icing on the cake, as this spot is serving up some of the best versions of falafel, gyro, tzatziki, kebab, grape leaves, and more in the area. Yes, it’s a bit outside of town, but with the large portions, friendly service, and good prices, it’s worth the trip to Arabi.

Appetizer platter from Stella Maris
Stella Maris Cafe and Grocery/Facebook

Cleo's

Vegetarian items from Cleo’s
Cleo’s/Facebook

It’s a good sign if taxi drivers are chowing down, which they always are at Cleo’s, the 24-hour joint with locations on Canal and Decatur. The menu hits the faves — shawarma, lamb with hummus, stuffed grape leaves — along with grilled salmon and shrimp platters and lots of vegetarian options.

Vegetarian items from Cleo’s
Cleo’s/Facebook

Istanbul Cafe

The owners of Daisy Dukes expanded with this fast casual spot just off Canal and business is brisk. Great for late-night grub in the French Quarter, Istanbul Cafe also offers takeout and now delivery. Besides generous portions of bargain priced gyros, falafel, and burgers, there’s also a tasty Philly cheesesteak.

Lebanon's Café

Lamb chops, salad, pita, and hummus from Lebanon’s Cafe
Lebanon’s Cafe/Facebook

Owner Hussain Sheereef takes visible pride in this Uptown cafe and with good reason. Lebanon’s Cafe is consistently good, serving traditional specialties in a pretty dining area and outside patio. Portions are large, the rosemary lamb chops are a treat and the just right homemade hummus is creamy with tahini. Open for dine-in, takeout, and delivery via Doordash, Grubhub, and Waitr.

Lamb chops, salad, pita, and hummus from Lebanon’s Cafe
Lebanon’s Cafe/Facebook

Acropolis on Freret

This mediterranean favorite in Metairie expanded to a larger location on Freret at the end of 2019, Acropolis is known for its traditional Greek cooking — along with a smattering of Italian dishes and pizza. Nibble through an appetizer sample of dips and spinach pie and move on to the signature six-onion soup, served under a puff pastry cap. Salads, pita wraps, and platters of savory grilled meats and vegetables round out the menu.

Shawarma On The Run

Not to be confused with Shawarma on the Go, the newer Shawarma on the Run in Terrytown is where some of the area’s silkiest hummus can be found. Co-owner Osama Albassis (who started out at Shawarma on the Go) focuses on beef and chicken shawarma, falafel and spinach pie, hummus and tzatziki, and platters and bowls, served with yellow rice, salad, pita, Armenian pickles, corn, and traditional sauce.

Saba

Saba
Katherine Kimball/Eater NOLA

With influences that stem from Israel, Europe and North Africa, Saba reflects a collection of moments where food and culture have crossed paths, offering a taste of this ever-evolving cuisine. Wood-fired pita bread baked steps from the table will soak up the flavors of Bulgaria, Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Palestine, and Greece, to name a few. Chef de cuisine Cara Peterson sources seafood, meats, and produce from local farms around New Orleans, guiding them over hot coals to family-style platters on the table.

Saba
Katherine Kimball/Eater NOLA

Shawarma On The Go

Like boudin and cracklin in Cajun country, falafel and shwarma have found glory in the humble New Orleans gas station. Shawarma on the Go is in residence in the Jetgo gas station on Magazine Street between Louisiana and Napoleon, where cones of shwarma meat glisten and the falafel is some of the best in the city — all for under $10.

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Tal's Hummus

A great option for healthy fare Uptown, Tal’s Hummus on Magazine dishes Israeli inspired dishes including falafel, hummus, pita sandwiches, kebabs, and salads — all made fresh to order. Take a pint home — no not beer, but hummus, Moroccan carrots, and other tasty treats.

Sahara Cafe