The best Mediterranean restaurant NYC has to offer

The best Mediterranean restaurants in NYC include pasta powerhouses, Greek seafood spots and modern Israeli eateries
Shakshuka brunch at Timna
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz Timna
By Christina Izzo and Time Out contributors |
Advertising

Mediterranean cuisine covers a whole lot of coast, spanning the south of Europe and the North of Africa—the best Mediterranean restaurants in NYCreflect the range, from pasta-focused Italian restaurants to seafood-slinging Greek restaurants to a hummus purveyor inside one of the city’s most beloved food courts. If you’re craving Israeli shakshuka, Greek baklava or Neapolitan pizza, check out the best Mediterranean restaurants NYC has to offer.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Best Mediterranean restaurants in NYC

1
Estiatorio Milos
Restaurants, Seafood

Estiatorio Milos

icon-location-pin Midtown West

You’ll find an impressive collection of fish packed into the ice bar at this stylish Hellenic haunt. Fruits of the sea include all manner of Mediterranean species (sargo, pageot and loup de mer), along with a range of tentacled delights. The preparation is classic Greek—all creatures are grilled, with olive oil, herbs, lemon and capers.

2
Santina
Restaurants, Seafood

Santina

icon-location-pin Meatpacking District

Though billed as “coastal Italian”—the place is named for Carbone’s Sicilian grandmother—the vibrant set-piece room reads more South Beach than southern Italy. Beneath candy-colored glass chandeliers, waiters bustle around the Renzo Piano–designed cube kitted in pastel polos and white Rod Laver kicks, weaving between potted palm trees to deliver painted ceramic plates of house-cured anchovies and porcelain pineapples brimming with tropical cocktails, as salsa horns blare overhead.

Advertising
3
taboon3
Jeffrey Gurwin
Restaurants, Lebanese

Taboon

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

One of the city’s hipper Medi–Middle Eastern restaurants, this lusty space is a welcome oasis on the western fringes of midtown. Flickering candles, a tiled open kitchen and a working stone oven offer a nice backdrop to the piquant, Pan–Middle Eastern cuisine. Standards like tsatsiki and hummus are well executed, but more inventive dishes, like the savory pastry cigars filled with sweetbreads, oyster mushrooms, parsley, preserved lemon and harissa, are more interesting.

4
Jack's Wife Freda
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Jack’s Wife Freda

icon-location-pin West Village

Keith McNally protégé Dean Jankelowitz (Schiller's, Pastis, Balthazar) is behind this morning-to-evening café. The 40-seat restaurant—sporting dark-green leather banquettes, brass railings and marble counters—serves homey fare, like Jankelowitz's grandmother's matzo ball soup made with duck fat, a skirt steak sandwich served alongside hand-cut fries, and piri-piri-hot-sauce-marinated chicken kebabs. In the morning, find Stumptown coffee, homemade croissants and full breakfast plates, including soft-boiled eggs with challah "soldiers" (strips).

Advertising
5
Balaboosta
Photograph: Courtesy Balaboosta
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Balaboosta

icon-location-pin West Village

The word balaboosta connotes an endearing Jewish type: The homemaker who possesses just the right touch in everything—a true domestic goddess. Israeli chef-owner Einat Admony—also of the falafel joint Taim and West Village spot Bar Bolonat—embodies that multiplicity. She’s well versed in the ingredients of India, Europe, South America and of course, her native Middle East, combining them in dishes—some great, most daring—at this Nolita venture.

6
Restaurants, Greek

Souvlaki GR

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Souvlaki GR offers a little taste of Mykonos in the heart of NYC. After an award-winning food truck and four years of continued success at its Lower East Side location, the Greek outlet expanded to midtown to continue providing New Yorkers with authentic souvlaki and other classic staples of Greek cuisine.

Advertising
7
Dizengoff NYC
Photograph: Mike Persico
Restaurants, Israeli

Dizengoff

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Philly dining titans Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook make a splashy entrance to the scene with an expanded, 18-seat outpost of their house-made–hummus stall Dizengoff in Chelsea Market. As with the original, hummus and salads are offered for takeout by the pint, and fresh pita breads are boxed by the half and full dozen. New York exclusives include larger composed offerings such as a North African shakshuka (eggs poached in a spicy stew of tomatoes and peppers) and salatim, or Israel-style salads (Moroccan carrots with saffron, raw kohlrabi marinated in Yemen's hot-sauce-like schug).

8
Shakshuka brunch at Timna
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Timna

icon-location-pin East Village

Timna takes its name from a region in Israel – the Timna Valley – that was once a destination on the ancient spice road. And the inspiration for the menu comes from the cultural and culinary history of the Mediterranean, as well as the ever-evolving food culture in New York City. Timna truly blends old-world tastes with a fresh, experimental approach to cuisine. This melding of the classic with the modern is also evident in Timna’s unique, handcrafted design (Asa Barak Studio INC.).

Advertising
9
Llili
Restaurants, Mediterranean

ilili

icon-location-pin Flatiron

Ilili chooses an accessible entry point to haute Lebanese: an elegant take on the familiar. The falafel, for instance, has a crisp crust as manicured as a suburban lawn, topped by a dainty cylinder of chopped tomato; humble pita bread, instead of being just an afterthought, is unusually light, like an Indian puri; a beautiful chankleech cheese-and-tomato salad is chopped fine with scallions, thyme and oregano.

10
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Café Medi

icon-location-pin Lower East Side

A Mediterranean breeze wafts onto the Lower East Side courtesy of this 3,500-square-foot coastal newcomer from nightlife-hospitality pros Corey Lane and Roberto Buchelli inside Hotel on Rivington. Helmed by Vai chef-owner Vincent Chirico, the kitchen turns out modern-Medi plates like summer peaches with burrata and speck, roasted king-oyster mushrooms with white polenta and a soft egg, and a whole American snapper with niçoise olives and leeks. The skylit dining room features an eight-seat crudo station, with options like fluke ceviche and hamachi with preserved ginger.

Show more

Looking to try Middle Eastern cuisine?

Advertising