Best of Boston

BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

2014 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

Garlic 'n Lemons


Let us, for a moment, break down this spot’s chicken shawarma sandwich: rotisserie-carved poultry, crunchy pickled turnips, fragrant sumac-spiced onions, a handful of fresh produce, and garlic sauce, all layered strategically within crisp saj bread. While this one stunning sandwich… read more»

2012 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant



The regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea offer an embarrassment of culinary riches: olive oil, figs, and an abundance of fresh herbs and exotic spices. Fortunately, we have Oleana, so we need only trek to Cambridge to get our fix of… read more»

2011 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

Helmand Restaurant


Judge the Helmand not by its cover—an unassuming facade steps from the CambridgeSide Galleria. Judge it instead by the cheerful yellow interior, accented with exotic curios, and, most important, by the food: Afghani fare that’s as authentic as it gets…. read more»

2008 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant



As cliche as it is to praise Middle Eastern food for its ‘sensuality’ or ‘exoticism,’ Oleana devotees are hard-pressed to describe the cuisine here without noting both. From the silky, butter-enriched hummus pure wrapped with basturma, an Armenian cured meat,… read more»

2008 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant, Affordable



The mousselike hummus at this miniscule Turkish joint sealed the deal: Halfway through the bowl, we’d used up every last scrap of the allotted sesame-topped pita bread and started digging in with spoons. Then came the crisp zucchini fritters with… read more»

2007 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

Cafe Barada


In Boston, it wouldn’t seem far-fetched to believe the only food to come out of the Middle East is falafel. Caf Barada disproves that notion, though, with its spicy mujeddara, a blend of lentils, rice, and onions; shish kebabs; and… read more»

2006 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

Boston Shawarma


Boston Shawarma’s storefront may be nondescript and its interior dated, but the Lebanese brand of Middle Eastern fare served at this spot near Northeastern University is as good as it gets. The restaurant’s specialty, as the sign would indicate, is… read more»

1999 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

Cafe Jaffa


Tucked away between Boylston and Newbury streets, this aromatic eatery serves food so fresh it sizzles, in a casual, seat-yourself space with fast and friendly service. The warm falafel, chicken, beef, or lamb-kabob sandwiches make a hefty lunch, and larger… read more»

1998 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant

The Helmand

East Cambridge

This Afghan restaurant packs a tapestry of spice into every dish, from the marinated meat on the seekh kabab to the delicate baby pumpkin. The broad dining room’s flaming bread oven, extensive wine list, and exotic decor transport you from… read more»

1995 BEST Middle Eastern Restaurant, Dips

Eastern Lamejun


Eastern Lamejun was making its traditional bean, grain, and nut dips long before they became trendy. The hummus is excellent, the tabbouleh lemony and green with chopped parsley, and the baba ghannouj smoky and creamy. But the stellar attraction is… read more»