Spices, sweets and shawarma. Swoon over Sydney’s best Middle Eastern restaurants of 2023!
If you’re looking where to get the best Middle Eastern food in Sydney, look no further. With our extensive list we’ll guide you through the best casual eateries and fine dining establishments that will transport you and your tastebuds to the Middle East.
From Surry Hills to the CBD and out to Parramatta, our list of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Sydney of 2023 will have everything you need for an incredible feast!
Opening up in February 2022, AALIA is Sydney’s newest Middle Eastern restaurant that’s taking foodies by storm. Brought to us by their sister venue Nour (who also made this list), AALIA hopes to bring a refined dining experience with traditional nuances. Blending the food landscapes of the Middle East and North Africa, AALIA also draws on inspiration from their home down under with Australian touches. With an a la carte, banquet and express lunch menu, AALIA has crafted each dish to represent a particular region or era of the Arabian culture. Try the Dry Aged Duck with walnut and pomegranate as well as the Burnt Cabbage with garlic butter, you won’t be disappointed!
If you’re looking for the best Middle Eastern restaurant in Sydney’s CBD, you must try Above Par! With their name exuding exactly what they’ll offer, Above Par aims to be young, vibrant and every Sydneysiders favourite go-to. Inspired by late night eateries in Istanbul, this Turkish restaurant pulls in Middle Eastern flavours into their unique setting. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls and an outdoor garden area, the choice will always be yours. However, if you need help with deciding, try the 18 hour Lamb Shoulder with fenugreek, feta and almonds. Or, for something light, you can’t go wrong with Smoked Artisan Mortadella and Paprika Chips.
With six locations, Al Aseel is by far one of our favourite and one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Sydney. Opening their doors 22 years ago, Al Aseel is all about traditional family style feasting – and that’s exactly where you’ll feel, right at home. With cold and hot mezza, Al Aseel’s menu is also grounded by the likes of Shish Tawook ($26), Lemon Garlic Chicken ($28), cumin infused lentil rice (Mjadra $22) and Samek Harrah ($34) a tahini and chili oven baked barramundi to name a few. With plenty to choose from, you can’t go wrong with Al Aseel!
If you’re wanting the true taste of Turkey, Anason in Barangaroo should be at the top of your list. With front row views of the beautiful bay, Anason transports guests with an authentic taste of Turkey. As for the decor, it takes heavy southern-European inspiration with their alfresco dining setting and royal blue azure tiled tables. Although Anason’s menu changes seasonally, visitors can expect some reoccurring fan favourites such as stoned baked bread, fried sardines on toasted Turkish bread and, of course, their award-winning baklava. Serving up delicious cocktails alongside Turkish wine, beer and soft drinks, Anason is by far our favourite and one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Barangaroo.
Making our list as one of Sydney’s Best Rooftop Bars, it comes to no surprise that this Aladdin’s cave for adults is also featured as one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Sydney. Opening their doors in early 2019, Babylon still continues to be Sydney’s go-to for Middle Eastern food. Sitting on top of Sydney’s most renowned shopping precincts, Babylon is the perfect destination for a hearty meal or a delicious cocktail. With two large bars, a wood-fired kitchen, an outdoor terrace and private dining spaces, this vast space can hold up to 800. Led by head chef Arman Uz (previously Efendy), Babylon draws in the flora, fauna and ocean of the Middle East right in the heart of Sydney.
There’s something about Bekya that has us intrigued. With two locations across Sydney’s CBD, Bekya has also announced the opening of their third restaurant in Summer Hill. A reflection of the history, flavour and energy of Egypt, Bekya hopes to showcase this to Sydney’s ever growing food scene. Whether you’re on the go or dining in, Bekya hopes to share a culinary journey with guests with their plates, wraps and salad offerings. Order the Egyptian Rice, the six hour marinated Chicken Shawarma and Ladies Fingers with a side of Spicy Harissa Dipping Sauce. You won’t regret it!
Although they are temporarily closed, we couldn’t make this list of Sydney’s best Middle Eastern restaurants without featuring Efendy. Led by renowned chef and cookbook author, Somer Sivrioglu (who is also the genius behind sister venue Anason), Efendy hopes to transport guests through their dishes. Although their new location and menu hasn’t been confirmed, we know that Efendy will continue on as Sydney’s best Middle Eastern restaurants by cooking and serving up delicacies of the ancient land. In the meantime, test your cooking skills with Efendy’s Chorizo and Pomegranate Hummus Recipe.
For on-the-go Middle Eastern fare or for dining in food, Jimmy’s Falafel on George Street should be at the top of your list. Drawing in a crowd for office-bound lunchtime enthusiasts, Jimmy’s Falafel is best described as a casual setting that focuses on flavour-packed plates. With wraps, traditional sides and four different types of pitas featured on their takeaway menu; Jimmy’s Falafel also serves up banquets, mezze and a range of seafood, lamb and chicken offerings on their Charcoal Grill dine-in food list. With Middle Eastern inspired cocktails and a wine list featuring French, Lebanese and Australian made wines, Jimmy’s Falafel is an experience you must try at least once.
If you’re looking for a Middle Eastern restaurant in Surry Hills, you cannot look past Nour on Crown Street. Led by executive chef Paul Farag, Nour aims to utilise classic Lebanese flavours and deliver it to Sydneysiders in a playful and modern way. Open for lunch and dinner, Nour’s menu is divided into three distinct profiles: Mezze, From the Garden and From the Coal Grill & Woodfire Oven. Start with the Beetroot and Sheep’s Curd with House Pita and the Woodfired Eggplant; devour your way through the Barberry Glazed Lamb Shoulder ($49);and finally you must try their Fattoush salad ($18). For a taste of Farag’s best picks, opt for the seven course banquet for $89 per person.
Tucked within backstreets of The Rocks, Tayim is a hidden oasis waiting to be explored. Using old, traditional standards that’s mixed in with a new approach, Tayim is best described as blend of Middle Eastern fare. Serving up gorgeous cocktails, Tayim is proud to also source wines directly from Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. As for the food menu, you can’t go wrong with pita bread, hummus, fish cigars, Beef Cheek Tangine ($44), chat potatoes and something sweet to finish. As for their interiors, it’s just as exotic as their menu. Think sandstone clad walls, marble tabletops and wooden furnishings. This is one Middle Eastern restaurant in the CBD that you must try!
Looking for a romantic restaurant in Sydney? Check out these 10 Quirky and Unique Dining Experiences in Sydney. Or, for more Mediterranean cuisine, be sure to try these 8 Best Greek Restaurants and Cafes in Sydney of 2023.