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Harissa barbecue duck at Sarma
Harissa barbecue duck at Sarma in Somerville
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

Where to Eat Middle Eastern Food in and Around Boston

Shawarma, falafel, kibbeh — and everything in between

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Harissa barbecue duck at Sarma in Somerville
| Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The Boston area isn’t a hotbed for Middle Eastern cuisine like, say, Dearborn, Michigan, is. But it’s not a Middle Eastern cuisine desert, either. Fine versions of street foods like shawarma and falafel are widely available, and one can enjoy more upscale dining options as well.

Head to these 18 Boston-area Middle Eastern restaurants and eat as much tabbouleh, baba ganoush, hummus, and fattoush as you can handle.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Noor Mediterranean Grill

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136 College Ave
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 625-6667
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Get the Noor trio at this Somerville Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant: beef kebab, chicken kebab, and lule (marinated ground beef) kebab.

Noor Mediterranean Grill
Beef skewers cooking at Noor
Noor Mediterranean Grill/Facebook

2. Sarma

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249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 764-4464
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Sarma — part of the Ana Sortun empire, along with Oleana and Sofra, which are also essential destinations — draws its inspiration from Turkish meyhanes and from the cuisine of the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean regions, with a focus on small, seasonal plates by chef and co-owner Cassie Piuma. If it’s available, try the tabbouleh crusted flounder with tahini tartar sauce, a Middle East-inspired version of a classic New England fried fish. And when the tray of fried chicken comes around, definitely get a serving.

sarma
A Middle Eastern take on a New England classic: Tabouleh crusted flounder with tahini tartar sauce 
Sarma/Facebook

3. Kareem's Restaurant

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99 Common St
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 393-1880
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Chef Ahmad Yasin is doing good things over in Watertown at his weekend-only restaurant, serving what he describes as “‘Middle East meets West’ cuisine.” Try the muhammara, which is a mix of ground walnuts, pomegranate, Aleppo pepper, and spices. Great for dipping flatbread. Yasin also offers catering and cooking classes.

Kareem’s Restaurant
Pretty hummus at Kareem’s
Kareem’s/Facebook

4. Aceituna Grill

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1110, 605 W Kendall St
Cambridge, MA 02142
(617) 252-0707
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Get the lamb shawarma with baba ganoush and fattoush at this fast-casual Kendall Square spot, which serves a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. There’s a newer location in Boston’s Seaport District as well.

Aceituna Grill
A spread at Aceituna Grill
Aceituna Grill/Facebook

5. Garden Halal Meat

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96 Blackstone St
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 723-0888

Garden Halal Meat is part market, part lunch counter. The jam here is a mix between a submarine sandwich and a shawarma.

Garden Halal Meat
A mix between a shawarma and a sub
Joey C./Yelp

6. Pita Thyme

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102 Water St
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 742-7482
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Bring on the puns! The salads at Pita Thyme — especially the steak kebab salad — are the play at this Lebanese and Mediterranean cafe.

pita thyme
Lunch from Pita Thyme
C.C. H./Yelp

7. Falafel King

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260 Washington St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-6400
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Falafel King has been doing its thing in Downtown Boston for almost 20 years. Trust the name and get the falafel (and grab some grape leaves, too.)

falafel king
Falafel fit for a king
Falafel King/Facebook

8. Shawarma Falafel

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26 Province St
Boston, MA 02108
(857) 265-3017
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Shawarma Falafel isn’t pulling any punches with its name. This Lebanese spot specializes in both, so go with a friend and get both.

Shawarma Falafel
Beef shawarma plate from Shawarma Falafel
Shawarma Falafel/Facebook

9. The Chicken & Rice Guys

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85 Bedford St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 654-8218
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The Chicken & Rice Guys have three brick-and-mortar locations and some food trucks. Go to any location or truck, and get the halal chicken.

The Chicken & Rice Guys
A lunch plate from the Chicken and Rice Guys
The Chicken & Rice Guys/Facebook

10. Garlic ‘n Lemons

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133 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 783-8100
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An excellent counter-service spot in a neighborhood full of excellent counter-service spots. The move at Garlic ‘n Lemons is the shawarma plate: Get it with half spicy chicken, half spicy beef, half potatoes, half rice pilaf, half hummus, half garlic dip, and the Greek salad. (The math works.)

Beef and spicy chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Beef and spicy chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Angela L./Yelp

11. Tarboosh

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2 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134
(617) 671-5939
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Another Allston gem. Get the shawarma wrap, and get it with french fries (the way things should be done).

tarboosh
A sampler plate from Tarboosh
Tarboosh/Facebook

12. Cafe Jaffa

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48 Gloucester St
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 536-0230
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Cafe Jaffa is a Back Bay mainstay, serving folks on Gloucester Street since the early 1990s. Go with a friend or a date and get the Cafe Jaffa feast for two: falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, chicken and lamb or beef shawarma, Greek salad, and pita bread.

Baklava from Cafe jaffa
Baklava from Cafe Jaffa
Cafe Jaffa/Facebook

13. Rami's

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324 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 738-3577
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This is one of the best restaurants in Coolidge Corner. Rami’s has been serving kosher Middle Eastern-Israeli food since 1990. It’s all good, but the grilled chicken is the order.

rami’s
Falafel at Rami’s
Rami’s/Official Site

14. Dates and Olives

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160 Chestnut Hill Ave
Boston, MA 02135
(617) 515-0010
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Brighton’s entry on the map. Get the farro salad, which comes with butternut squash, kale, and a bright citrus dressing.

dates and olives
Farro salad from Dates and Olives
Dates and Olives/Facebook

15. Shawarma King

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1383 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 731-6035
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Truly the king of the shawarma in Greater Boston. Get the pan-fried chicken liver roll-up, and get a side of tabbouleh.

shawarma king
A little bit of everything at Shawarma King
Shawarma King/Facebook

16. Boston Shawarma

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315 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 670-0460
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Lamb shawarma wrap. With french fries (inside the wrap, of course). End of story.

Boston Shawarma
Boston Shawarma
Boston Shawarma/Facebook

17. Pita Restaurants

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473 Albany St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 556-2600
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The shish kabob combo plates are essential at Pita, which has three locations in Boston and one in Cambridge. Try the lamb, and get a bowl of lentil soup on the side. (The same folks are also behind Moona, which you should also check out. We know you love it.)

Lamb, rice, and salad sit on a white plate on a picnic table
A pretty little grilled lunch from Pita’s Cambridge location
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

18. Sami's

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107 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 432-0402

The Sami’s food trailer has been serving the hungry folks of Longwood for almost 40 years. It’s known for its wraps — and probably contributed heavily to popularizing wraps in America — but it’s all good at Sami’s.

Chicken and tabbouleh from Sami’s
Chicken and tabbouleh from Sami’s
Sami’s/Facebook

1. Noor Mediterranean Grill

136 College Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
Noor Mediterranean Grill
Beef skewers cooking at Noor
Noor Mediterranean Grill/Facebook

Get the Noor trio at this Somerville Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant: beef kebab, chicken kebab, and lule (marinated ground beef) kebab.

136 College Ave
Somerville, MA 02144

2. Sarma

249 Pearl St, Somerville, MA 02145
sarma
A Middle Eastern take on a New England classic: Tabouleh crusted flounder with tahini tartar sauce 
Sarma/Facebook

Sarma — part of the Ana Sortun empire, along with Oleana and Sofra, which are also essential destinations — draws its inspiration from Turkish meyhanes and from the cuisine of the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean regions, with a focus on small, seasonal plates by chef and co-owner Cassie Piuma. If it’s available, try the tabbouleh crusted flounder with tahini tartar sauce, a Middle East-inspired version of a classic New England fried fish. And when the tray of fried chicken comes around, definitely get a serving.

249 Pearl St
Somerville, MA 02145

3. Kareem's Restaurant

99 Common St, Watertown, MA 02472
Kareem’s Restaurant
Pretty hummus at Kareem’s
Kareem’s/Facebook

Chef Ahmad Yasin is doing good things over in Watertown at his weekend-only restaurant, serving what he describes as “‘Middle East meets West’ cuisine.” Try the muhammara, which is a mix of ground walnuts, pomegranate, Aleppo pepper, and spices. Great for dipping flatbread. Yasin also offers catering and cooking classes.

99 Common St
Watertown, MA 02472

4. Aceituna Grill

1110, 605 W Kendall St, Cambridge, MA 02142
Aceituna Grill
A spread at Aceituna Grill
Aceituna Grill/Facebook

Get the lamb shawarma with baba ganoush and fattoush at this fast-casual Kendall Square spot, which serves a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. There’s a newer location in Boston’s Seaport District as well.

1110, 605 W Kendall St
Cambridge, MA 02142

5. Garden Halal Meat

96 Blackstone St, Boston, MA 02109
Garden Halal Meat
A mix between a shawarma and a sub
Joey C./Yelp

Garden Halal Meat is part market, part lunch counter. The jam here is a mix between a submarine sandwich and a shawarma.

96 Blackstone St
Boston, MA 02109

6. Pita Thyme

102 Water St, Boston, MA 02109
pita thyme
Lunch from Pita Thyme
C.C. H./Yelp

Bring on the puns! The salads at Pita Thyme — especially the steak kebab salad — are the play at this Lebanese and Mediterranean cafe.

102 Water St
Boston, MA 02109

7. Falafel King

260 Washington St, Boston, MA 02108
falafel king
Falafel fit for a king
Falafel King/Facebook

Falafel King has been doing its thing in Downtown Boston for almost 20 years. Trust the name and get the falafel (and grab some grape leaves, too.)

260 Washington St
Boston, MA 02108

8. Shawarma Falafel

26 Province St, Boston, MA 02108
Shawarma Falafel
Beef shawarma plate from Shawarma Falafel
Shawarma Falafel/Facebook

Shawarma Falafel isn’t pulling any punches with its name. This Lebanese spot specializes in both, so go with a friend and get both.

26 Province St
Boston, MA 02108

9. The Chicken & Rice Guys

85 Bedford St, Boston, MA 02111
The Chicken & Rice Guys
A lunch plate from the Chicken and Rice Guys
The Chicken & Rice Guys/Facebook

The Chicken & Rice Guys have three brick-and-mortar locations and some food trucks. Go to any location or truck, and get the halal chicken.

85 Bedford St
Boston, MA 02111

10. Garlic ‘n Lemons

133 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134
Beef and spicy chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Beef and spicy chicken shawarma plate at Garlic ‘n Lemons
Angela L./Yelp

An excellent counter-service spot in a neighborhood full of excellent counter-service spots. The move at Garlic ‘n Lemons is the shawarma plate: Get it with half spicy chicken, half spicy beef, half potatoes, half rice pilaf, half hummus, half garlic dip, and the Greek salad. (The math works.)

133 Harvard Ave
Boston, MA 02134

11. Tarboosh

2 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134
tarboosh
A sampler plate from Tarboosh
Tarboosh/Facebook

Another Allston gem. Get the shawarma wrap, and get it with french fries (the way things should be done).

2 Brighton Ave
Boston, MA 02134

12. Cafe Jaffa

48 Gloucester St, Boston, MA 02115
Baklava from Cafe jaffa
Baklava from Cafe Jaffa
Cafe Jaffa/Facebook

Cafe Jaffa is a Back Bay mainstay, serving folks on Gloucester Street since the early 1990s. Go with a friend or a date and get the Cafe Jaffa feast for two: falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, chicken and lamb or beef shawarma, Greek salad, and pita bread.

48 Gloucester St
Boston, MA 02115

13. Rami's

324 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
rami’s
Falafel at Rami’s
Rami’s/Official Site

This is one of the best restaurants in Coolidge Corner. Rami’s has been serving kosher Middle Eastern-Israeli food since 1990. It’s all good, but the grilled chicken is the order.

324 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

14. Dates and Olives

160 Chestnut Hill Ave, Boston, MA 02135
dates and olives
Farro salad from Dates and Olives
Dates and Olives/Facebook

Brighton’s entry on the map. Get the farro salad, which comes with butternut squash, kale, and a bright citrus dressing.

160 Chestnut Hill Ave
Boston, MA 02135

15. Shawarma King

1383 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
shawarma king
A little bit of everything at Shawarma King
Shawarma King/Facebook

Truly the king of the shawarma in Greater Boston. Get the pan-fried chicken liver roll-up, and get a side of tabbouleh.

1383 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446

Related Maps

16. Boston Shawarma

315 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Boston Shawarma
Boston Shawarma
Boston Shawarma/Facebook

Lamb shawarma wrap. With french fries (inside the wrap, of course). End of story.

315 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115

17. Pita Restaurants

473 Albany St, Boston, MA 02118
Lamb, rice, and salad sit on a white plate on a picnic table
A pretty little grilled lunch from Pita’s Cambridge location
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater

The shish kabob combo plates are essential at Pita, which has three locations in Boston and one in Cambridge. Try the lamb, and get a bowl of lentil soup on the side. (The same folks are also behind Moona, which you should also check out. We know you love it.)

473 Albany St
Boston, MA 02118

18. Sami's

107 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115
Chicken and tabbouleh from Sami’s
Chicken and tabbouleh from Sami’s
Sami’s/Facebook

The Sami’s food trailer has been serving the hungry folks of Longwood for almost 40 years. It’s known for its wraps — and probably contributed heavily to popularizing wraps in America — but it’s all good at Sami’s.

107 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115

Related Maps