Middle Eastern Cuisine Goes Global: From Local Roots to Worldwide Recognition

Middle Eastern food has become a global phenomenon. Its popularity can be attributed to its diverse flavors, healthy ingredients, and cultural significance, making Middle Eastern restaurants among the first choices for food enthusiasts everywhere.

These amazing eateries in cities like Toronto, Sydney, Paris, London, and San Francisco serve delectable dishes from countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. 

Join us on a culinary journey across continents with these iconic Middle Eastern restaurants that have captured hearts worldwide. 

Maha’s Egyptian Brunch – Toronto, Canada

Maha’s is located at 226 Greenwood Ave, just North of Gerrard St. It’s a family-run restaurant led by Chef Maha Barsoom, Chef Monika Wahba, and Barista Mark Wahba. Established in 2014 in Leslieville, it brings traditional Egyptian cuisine to Toronto.

At Maha’s, you’ll find authentic Egyptian dishes bursting with sweet spices and unique flavors. The cozy atmosphere will make you feel like you’re dining in Egypt, and all dishes are made from scratch, just like they do back home.

Cairo Takeaway – Sydney, Australia  

Cairo Takeaway is a simple restaurant on Enmore Road in Newtown, Sydney. It’s a popular spot for Egyptian street food. You can try falafel, grilled meats, salads, dips, and wraps, just like in Cairo. The atmosphere there feels like a bustling street market.

They also have lots of options for vegetarians, and you can also enjoy local craft beers. If you come for breakfast, try the karkade tea and freshly squeezed cane juice.

Noura – Paris, France

Noura began its journey in Lebanon in the 1970s and expanded to Paris in 1980, where it founded the renowned Noura chain.

The first Parisian restaurant, seating only 30 people, quickly grew in popularity, leading to the opening of four more locations in Paris, including Le Zyriab at the Institut du Monde Arab.

Noura Montparnasse, located in the 6th arrondissement, offers a modern, international atmosphere with Mediterranean-style decor. Its highlight is the courtyard garden, perfect for summertime dining. The menu features a variety of Lebanese dishes, as well.

Yalla Yalla – London, United Kingdom

Yalla Yalla takes inspiration from the Middle Eastern generosity of grandmothers and the inviting hospitality of their homes. Whether diners arrive with friends, family, or a larger group, they’ll find something appealing on the menu. The restaurant’s dishes are rooted in time-honored recipes passed down through generations.

Guests can begin with tempting mezze plates, many of which cater to vegan and vegetarian preferences. They can then savor tender grills cooked over charcoal.

Remember to leave room for desserts like Lebanese baklava, cheesecake, or creamy mouhalabia. For those seeking a quick lunch, Yalla Yalla offers satisfying wraps paired with creamy hummus and Lebanese salad.

Liza – Paris, France

Liza is a celebration of Lebanon, aiming to create memorable experiences in a beautifully designed Lebanese setting. The restaurant is honored to be recognized by Condé Nast Traveller as one of the top 10 most stunning restaurants globally and among the best 50 restaurants in the Middle East for 2022.

Regardless of group size, patrons can expect a luxurious dining experience at Liza, with exquisite Lebanese cuisine served in an elegant and lively atmosphere. Additionally, Liza serves as a platform for showcasing the talents of chefs, artists, designers, and DJs.

Aziza – San Francisco, United States of America

After closing Aziza in 2016, Chef Mourad Lahlou has returned with a new establishment. Decorated in soft tones and featuring a vibrant bar, the menu offers a fresh twist on his Moroccan cuisine.

Chef Lahlou is known for incorporating California ingredients into his dishes, resulting in stunning creations. You’ll be delighted to find the iconic Basteeya on the menu, along with slow-roasted chicken thighs served with potatoes, olives, and homemade curry. Pair it with couscous for a memorable dining experience.

These Middle Eastern eateries have made a global impact, bringing the authentic flavors of Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco to cities around the world.

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