Where to Find the Best Mediterranean Food in NYC

New York City, a melting pot of culinary experiences, has welcomed the Mediterranean food craze with open arms. The allure of Mediterranean cuisine lies in its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and the sense of shared enjoyment that it brings. In this guide, we’ll embark on a flavorful journey to discover the best Mediterranean food in the city that never sleeps.

The Mediterranean Food Craze

Mediterranean cuisine has taken NYC by storm, and it’s not hard to see why. This culinary trend has captured the hearts and taste buds of New Yorkers, offering a combination of healthy and delectable dishes. But where can you find the best Mediterranean food in the city?

Manhattan’s Hidden Gems

In the bustling heart of Manhattan, hidden gem Mediterranean restaurants offer a unique dining experience. These establishments combine exquisite flavors with cozy atmospheres, making them must-visit destinations for food enthusiasts.

1. Olive & Vine

Nestled in the West Village, Olive & Vine is a charming Mediterranean hideaway. The menu boasts an array of delectable dishes, including the mouthwatering lamb kofta and a delightful seafood paella that transports diners to the shores of Spain.

2. Balaboosta

Located in NoLiTa, Balaboosta fuses Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. Their roasted chicken, cooked to perfection, is a customer favorite. The restaurant’s warm and welcoming ambiance adds to the experience.

3. Zizi Limona

This Mediterranean gem in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, offers an eclectic menu with Israeli influences. Don’t miss their shakshuka, a savory dish that combines poached eggs, tomatoes, and spices, served with fresh pita.

Exploring Brooklyn’s Mediterranean Scene

Brooklyn, with its diverse culinary landscape, offers a thriving Mediterranean food scene. Here, you can find restaurants that capture the essence of the Mediterranean, whether you’re craving Greek, Turkish, or Lebanese cuisine.

1. Shuka

Situated in the heart of Greenwich Village, Shuka is known for its vibrant atmosphere and fresh ingredients. The menu features mouthwatering lamb kebabs and Turkish dumplings that transport diners to the bustling streets of Istanbul.

2. Kiki’s

For an authentic Greek dining experience, head to Kiki’s in the Lower East Side. The lively atmosphere and classic dishes like moussaka and spanakopita make it a top choice.

3. Osteria Morini

In SoHo, Osteria Morini offers a unique fusion of Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Their grilled fish and homemade pasta dishes are a testament to the rich flavors of the Mediterranean.

Queens: A Melting Pot of Flavors

Queens, known for its diverse population, offers an array of Mediterranean dining options. Here, you can savor flavors from different Mediterranean regions, making it a melting pot of culinary delights.

1. Queens’ Marketplaces

Explore local markets and stores in neighborhoods like Astoria and Jackson Heights to find a variety of Mediterranean ingredients. These markets offer everything from olive oils and spices to specialty cheeses and sweets.

2. Cultural Events and Festivals

Keep an eye out for Mediterranean-themed cultural events and festivals in Queens. These celebrations often feature live music, dance performances, and a diverse array of Mediterranean cuisine.

The Bronx and Staten Island Surprises

Even in the less-explored boroughs of The Bronx and Staten Island, you can find hidden gems that offer a taste of the Mediterranean. These restaurants bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to unique settings.

1. Mediterranean Fusion in The Bronx

In The Bronx, you can find Mediterranean fusion restaurants that combine the flavors of the Mediterranean with international influences. These establishments offer a unique dining experience.

2. Staten Island’s Mediterranean Delights

Staten Island boasts charming restaurants that serve Mediterranean dishes in a cozy atmosphere. These eateries are perfect for those seeking a quiet culinary escape.

Food Trucks and Markets

In addition to restaurants, Mediterranean food trucks and markets have become increasingly popular in NYC. These mobile and outdoor food destinations offer quick and flavorful Mediterranean options.

1. Mediterranean Food Trucks

Mediterranean food trucks can be found throughout the city, offering favorites like falafel sandwiches, shawarma wraps, and kebabs. Keep an eye out for these trucks during lunchtime for a tasty and convenient meal.

2. Mediterranean Markets

Visit local Mediterranean markets, which often feature stalls selling spices, olives, sweets, and more. These markets provide an opportunity to explore and purchase authentic Mediterranean ingredients.

A Journey Through Mediterranean Flavors

Mediterranean cuisine is more than just food; it’s a journey through centuries of tradition and culture. The vibrant colors, aromatic spices, and fresh ingredients all contribute to the unique taste that sets Mediterranean cuisine apart.

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Eating

Beyond its delicious flavors, the Mediterranean diet is associated with numerous health benefits. This eating style, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil, is linked to lower risks of heart disease and improved overall well-being.

Making Mediterranean Meals at Home

If you’re inspired by the Mediterranean dining experience, you can bring these flavors to your own kitchen. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

Recipe: Greek Salad


  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Red onions
  • Kalamata olives
  • Feta cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions.
  2. Combine them in a bowl with Kalamata olives and crumbled feta cheese.
  3. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  4. Season with dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Toss the salad gently and serve.


In the vibrant tapestry of New York City’s culinary scene, Mediterranean cuisine has secured its place as a beloved and flavorful choice. Whether you’re exploring hidden gems in Manhattan, savoring the diversity of Brooklyn, or discovering the cultural richness of Queens, the best Mediterranean food in NYC awaits your taste buds. Embrace the flavors, enjoy the health benefits, and don’t forget to bring a touch of the Mediterranean into your own kitchen.

FAQs About Finding the Best Mediterranean Food in NYC

  1. What is the best time to visit Mediterranean food trucks in NYC?Mediterranean food trucks are usually busiest during lunch hours on weekdays, making it a great time to enjoy quick and delicious Mediterranean meals.
  2. Can I find vegetarian and vegan options at Mediterranean restaurants in NYC?Yes, many Mediterranean restaurants in NYC offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, from falafel wraps to vegetable tagines.
  3. Are there any annual Mediterranean food festivals in New York City?Yes, NYC hosts various Mediterranean food festivals throughout the year, celebrating the rich culinary traditions of the Mediterranean region. Keep an eye on event listings for dates and locations.
  4. What makes Mediterranean cuisine a healthy choice?Mediterranean cuisine is known for its emphasis on fresh produce, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. These elements contribute to a diet associated with heart health and overall well-being.
  5. Can you recommend a dessert from Mediterranean cuisine to try?Baklava, a sweet dessert made of layers of phyllo pastry, nuts, and honey or syrup, is a delightful treat to end your Mediterranean meal.

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