Miami’s Ethnic Dining Scene: The Best Mediterranean / Middle Eastern Restaurants

Miami’s Ethnic Dining Scene: The Best Mediterranean / Middle Eastern Restaurants

Jun 09, 2018 June 09, 2018

After our tour through Miami’s Asian delicacies, it’s time we introduce you to the top Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dining spots around Miami. Here’s part 2 in our journey through Miami’s best ethnic restaurant scene:

Best Greek Restaurants in Miami

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

4312 NE 2nd Avenue, Design District

This airy, romantic restaurant is perfect for those looking for a classic Greek (and Turkish) experience. Start out with the famous Greek and Turkish samplers. Follow through with moussaka (cheesy potatoes), chicken kebabs, pulled lamb sandwich, stuffed zucchini or grilled octopus. Their famous white sangria washes everything down perfectly.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Photograph : Courtesy of Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Photograph : Courtesy of Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Meraki Greek Bistro

142 SE 1st Avenue, Downtown

This little Downtown gem with shaded patio seating is known for its authentic fare. Regulars rave about their gyro platters, especially lamb. You also wouldn’t want to leave without trying their sizzling saganaki (flambé cheese appetizer) or honey and sesame cheese puffs that have people hooked.

Meraki Greek Bistro
Photograph : Courtesy of Meraki Greek Bistro

Meraki Greek Bistro
Photograph : Courtesy of Meraki Greek Bistro

Maria’s Greek Restaurant

2359 Coral Way

This one’s been around since 1982, and rightly so. Sample generous portions of authentic Greek eats like hummus, the gyro platter, moussaka, grilled octopus, or roast chicken with pita. A slice of sweet, flaky galaktoboureko or baklava makes a heavenly conclusion to meals here.

Maria’s Greek Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Maria’s Greek Restaurant

Maria’s Greek Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Maria’s Greek Restaurant

Poseidon Greek Restaurant & Outdoor Lounge

1131 Washington Avenue, South Beach

This is a must-try for seafood lovers. From their sea bass bronzino and grilled octopus to whole fish and seafood pasta, everything is mouthwateringly delicious. Lamb chops and flaming cheese are other favorites from the menu. An extensive cocktail menu helps everything go down easy.

Poseidon Greek Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Poseidon Greek Restaurant

Poseidon Greek Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Poseidon Greek Restaurant

Best Lebanese Restaurants in Miami

Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine

9519 S Dixie Highway

This fine eatery serves authentic Lebanese in a hip and modern setting. Vegetarians will delight in their light-as-air falafels, lip-smacking grape leaves and baba ganoush. Meat lovers won’t be disappointed either with on point lamb kibbeh, lamb kabobs and samakeh harrah (spicy red snapper). Do keep an eye out for their daily specials, ethnic wine list and coffee.

Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine
Photograph : Courtesy of Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine

Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine
Photograph : Courtesy of Shaddai Fine Lebanese Cuisine

Layali Miami Lebanese Restaurant & Hookah Lounge

11402 NW 41st Street, Doral

This regal spot lets you enjoy authentic Lebanese with live belly dancing, heady hookah and one of the best happy hours in town. Sit down for a sizzling evening with hearty shish tawook (chicken kabob platter), kibbe, shawarma bites and Arabic coffee or wine to wash it all down. A great pick for a fun night out.

Layali Miami
Photograph : Courtesy of Layali Miami

Layali Miami
Photograph : Courtesy of Layali Miami


Habibi Diner

751 Washington Avenue, South Beach

This to-the-point diner is big on flavors. Regulars are hooked to their juicy chicken shawarma and kafta kabob wraps. Fitness freaks can order customizable meal plans. For those who care, the diner uses all halal meat.

Habibi Diner
Photograph : Courtesy of Habibi Diner

Kabobji

3055 NE 163rd Street, North Miami Beach

This neat joint has been around since 2008. Serving authentic Middle Eastern flavors, almost everything on the menu comes highly recommended. You won’t be disappointed sampling the falafel, fattoush salad, lentil soup or chicken shawarma with freshly baked pita. Their pistachio baklava and Turkish coffee make the perfect conclusion to any meal.

Kabobji
Photograph : Courtesy of Kabobji


Best Turkish Restaurants in Miami

Babylon Turkish Restaurant

560 Washington Avenue, South Beach

This upscale Turkish restaurant features romantic outdoor seating, live belly dancing and hookah for a surreal experience. Serving authentic fare in a relaxed, elegant ambiance, patrons swear by the beyti here (ground lamb skewer). Scrumptious chicken shish, lamb shish, ali nazik (roasted eggplant) and grilled halloumi cheese are other hits from the menu. Finish off with on point baklava or kunefe for a sweet conclusion to your meals.

Babylon Turkish Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Babylon Turkish Restaurant

Babylon Turkish Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Babylon Turkish Restaurant

Safron Mediterranean Grill

1049 Washington Avenue, South Beach

Another South Beach gem for Turkish food, this one also offers a medley of Mediterranean and Middle eastern favorites. Their gyros, especially doner, are said to hit the spot. The falafels are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The kofte (meatball) sandwich, cigar rolls, Greek salad and adana kebab platter are other hits from the menu.

Safron Mediterranean Grill
Photograph : Courtesy of Safron Mediterranean Grill

Safron Mediterranean Grill
Photograph : Courtesy of Safron Mediterranean Grill

Best Iranian/Persian Restaurants in Miami

Rice House of Kabob

50 SW 10th Street, Brickell

The popularity of this Mediterranean kitchen is evidenced in its increasing number of restaurants across Miami. Their dedication to authenticity also finds its way into the menu with proper Persian naming. Topping the list of must-tries here is the rice with sumac sauce, go Greek salad, falafel wrap, chicken kabob platter and baklava.

Rice House of Kabob
Photograph : Courtesy of Rice House of Kabob

Rice House of Kabob
Photograph : Courtesy of Rice House of Kabob

Fooq’s

1035 N Miami Avenue, Downtown

This refreshing eatery not only serves amazing Persian food, but is also the best place in town for French and American comfort food. Unlike most fusion places, they stay true to authentic Persian flavors and spices in their menu. You wouldn’t want to leave without trying their Persian salad with pistachios and cherries, grilled octopus, meatballs, burger, kebab platter, roasted bademjan chicken and of course, the Persian ice cream sundae.

Fooq's Miami
Photograph : Courtesy of Fooq's Miami

Fooq's Miami
Photograph : Courtesy of Fooq's Miami

Shahs of Kabob

5975 Sunset Drive, Unit 109, South Miami

This cozy little eatery is dedicated to serving the authentic taste of Persia. Guests swear by their lamb (both in the wrap and platter), the family platter with its variety of kabobs (big enough to cater to a party of 5-7) and savory yogurt dip.

Shahs of Kabob
Photograph : Courtesy of Shahs of Kabob

Rumi Persian Grill

12257 S Dixie Highway, Pinecrest

This neat little Persian gem is tucked away in Kendall. Mouthwatering lamb chops, lamb stew, kabob kubideh, chicken kabobs and cucumber yogurt, all make it to the must-try list here.

Rumi Persian Grill
Photograph : Courtesy of Rumi Persian Grill

Other Mediterranean/Middle Eastern in Miami

Al Basha Grill

1533 Washington Avenue, South Beach

This family-friendly eatery sure makes a mean shawarma. Other must-tries at this Arabic joint include the mixed grill (with ground beef, steak and chicken kabobs) and a side of Jerusalem fries. The special kids’ menu makes sure little ones enjoy the experience as much as you do.

Al Basha Grill
Photograph : Courtesy of Al Basha Grill

Cleo

1776 Collins Avenue, South Beach

Sample the best of Mediterranean flavors at this ornate restaurant with romantic outdoor seating. Their Mezze platter (Mediterranean tapas) makes an appetizing start to any meal. The branzino (fish), grilled octopus, brussel sprouts and kale flatbread come highly recommended. And, it would be plain wrong to leave without a taste of the flourless chocolate cake here.

Cleo Restaurant South Beach
Photograph : Courtesy of Cleo Restaurant South Beach

Cleo Restaurant South Beach
Photograph : Courtesy of Cleo Restaurant South Beach

Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant

223 Valencia Avenue, Coral Gables

A colorful and lively tribute to Morocco, guests can enjoy belly dancing while they sample Mediterranean delicacies here. Dominating the list of must-tries are the stuffed grape leaves (vegetarian or meat filled), falafel, lamb sausages and succulent rack of lamb. Ending the meal with Turkish coffee is not customary, but highly recommended.

Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant

Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant
Photograph : Courtesy of Maroosh Mediterranean Restaurant

Mina’s Mediterraneo

749 NE 79th Street, Upper East Side

This loft-style restaurant offers the entire spectrum of Mediterranean to Middle Eastern eats. Walk in to sample gluten free cabbage rolls, rice and meat stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, Egyptian pizza, koshary (Egyptian rice and noodle dish) and much more. Their happy hours and brunch are the talk of the town.

Mina’s Mediterraneo
Photograph : Courtesy of Mina’s Mediterraneo

Mina’s Mediterraneo
Photograph : Courtesy of Mina’s Mediterraneo


See a restaurant you love? Or, have a personal favorite? Write to us in the comments below and let us know which Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant keeps you coming back for more.

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