There’s nothing quite like a hearty lamb kofta or pita slathered in hummus to share across the table. Although this just scrapes the surface of dishes on offer, these top London restaurants have Middle Eastern food down pat. Taste the rich flavours from the East including vibrant pomegranate, garlic, chickpeas and fresh coriander. Explore the Levantine and Mediterranean dishes: from homegrown meals at family-run establishments to colourful high-end fine dining. Compare your favourite falafel recipes, sweet baklava and fragrant doner kebabs at these top Middle Eastern restaurants in London.
1. Berenjak Book Berenjak Soho
At the top of our list is Theatretown’s Persian palace with its own indoor garden, Berenjak. Find yourself warmly invited into the Tehran-inspired spot to catch your breath in amongst mosaic tiling, Persian rugs and stained-glass windows. Try coal-cooked aubergine, authentic Mangal-grilled sweetbread and liver, or marinated beef ribeye kebabs.
2. Maison Du Mezze Book Maison Du Mezze Leicester Square
Coming in second is the buzzy Maison Du Mezze in Leicester Square. Expect Arabian-inspired décor of Persian rug wall features, bright colours and painted plates in the double-storey restaurant with a terrace. This is paired with a Lebanese menu including dishes like creamy and minty labneh mezze or the charcoal-grilled lamb cubed skewers.
3. Jikoni Book Jikoni Marylebone
Bringing east to west is Jikoni, where you can find influences from around Britain, Asia and Africa in its Middle Eastern dishes. This colourful Marylebone restaurant has walls covered in Indian paintings and block print textiles, while the menu offers mostly vegetarian dishes like butternut squash khichdee or banana cake with miso butterscotch and Ovaltine kulfi.
4. Cafe Hampstead
Get a taste of Tel Aviv with the cool Café Hampstead. This airy bistro-style haunt shows off with emerald velvet booths and framed greenery lining the walls. While the café serves traditional Middle Eastern dishes on the coal grill including the prawn kabab with harissa, it also brings in Moroccan flavours and pizzas for guests wanting something different.
5. Bala Baya Book Bala Baya Southwark
Industrial and spacious, Bala Baya is found under the Union Street arches in South Bank. The Israeli-born chef serves authentic family-style cuisine designed to be shared. While enjoying the backyard terrace, dine on the catch of the day or the original pistachio prawn baklava.
6. Villa Mamas
The internationally recognised Villa Mamas brings unique Persian and Bahraini dishes to Chelsea from its Middle Eastern sister restaurant. Start by sipping on a signature cocktail at contemporary marble-topped tables, then dish up hearty Iranian stews or the national dish of Bahrain – chicken pilaf, before digging your spoon into saffron ice cream for dessert.
7. Aline Lebanese Kitchen Book Aline Lebanese Kitchen Mayfair
Visit Aline Lebanese Kitchen for authentic Middle Eastern comfort food made with love from family recipes. The modern but easy-going space serves stylishly plated traditional grills and mezze from lamb chops to shish taouk or marinated chicken kababs and pumpkin kibbeh. Warm up with something from the oven before cosying up into peach sofas.
8. Maramia Book Maramia North Kensington
Indulge in the flavours of Palestine with Maramia in North Kensington. Expect a rustic homely setting with meals plated on wooden chopping boards. The menu boasts of warm and fragrant dishes to share with guests, such as the Palestinian mousakka and zesty tabbouleh.
9. Mamounia Lounge Book Mamounia Lounge Mayfair
Knightsbridge & Mayfair
If you’re looking for an exotic spot to impress after browsing through Harrods, try the Mamounia Lounge in Knightsbridge or enjoy live entertainment in Mayfair. The lively setting serves Lebanese and Moroccan specialities with grills, tagines and plenty mezze to choose from. Tuck into the chef’s butterflied sea bass or the 8-hour roasted Moroccan lamb shoulder.
10. Mezzah Lounge Book Mezzah Lounge Knightsbridge
Dine on the 4th floor of the luxurious Harrods department store at the high-end Mezzah Lounge. Sample Lebanese dishes, curries and hot or cold mezze including rice, tomato and parsley-stuffed vine leaves. Enjoy the lamb or cheese fried pastry parcels, meaty koftas from the grill or classic biryani.
11. Al Basha Book Al Basha Knightsbridge
With chefs from the Middle East, Al Basha in Knightsbridge serves up authentic dishes in an oriental-themed venue near Hyde Park. Sample Egyptian khosary or lamb shawarmas, while if you’re there early, choose the shakshuka breakfast. Save space for dessert as there’s Egyptian bread pudding with milk cream.