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Depending on the city, you’ll likely see countless Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants lining business parks and crowded downtown areas, while plenty of other types of cuisines require additional detective work in order to be found. Fortunately, we’ve done a bit of the heavy lifting for you, and compiled a list of Middle Eastern restaurants that have all received critical acclaim within their respective cities. These 8 places offer some of the best Middle Eastern food in the country:

Dallas

Afghan Grill

Afghanistan, as a geographic entity, was well-situated to benefit from the Mediterranean’s culinary breadth, as well as the unique flavors from the mountainous areas. Spice flowed through the region as early traders traversed the land. And it all winds up here in Dallas, as densely flavored…More >>

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Inside Dallas’ Afghan Grill

Denver

Ya Hala Grill

First things first: The service at Ya Hala Grill is terrible — sometimes laughably so, sometimes maddeningly so. The building itself is little more than a cement bunker on Colorado Boulevard with half a bakery in front and a few tables in back, and the kitchen often seems to be working in…More >>

Houston

Fadi’s

The food here may be served cafeteria-style, but it tastes gourmet. Diners line up along a sea of troughs stretching along two walls of the restaurant, each brimming with Middle Eastern delights. Pile your plate high with dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice, onions and tomatoes), tabouli and…More >>

Minneapolis

Saffron

A La Belle Vie-trained chef armed himself with his mother’s Palestinian recipes and created Saffron’s elegant menu of Mediterranean-Middle Eastern fusion fare. Sameh Wadi’s creative cooking–strip loin with Manchego cheese and romesco; fried mussels with preserved lemons and tahini; duck…More >>

New York

Gazala Place

RobtS: Middle Eastern restaurants have been one of New York’s best choices for quasi-healthy food delivered quickly and at reasonable prices–ever since Mamoun’s handed its first falafel over the counter in the 1970s. SarahDG: Cut to the chase, please! RobtS: The collection of overlapping…More >>

Orange County

Kareem’s Restaurant

You can spend years visiting this tiny Little Arabia institution and only ordering a falafel pita, and those would be years well-spent–owners Mike and Nancy Hawari’s legendary take on the Levant staple brings in people from across California, all patiently waiting for weighty chickpea…More >>

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Outside Kareem’s Restaurant in Anaheim

Phoenix

Tasty Kabob

The Persian Empire may be ancient history, but Persian cuisine still rules. And what better place to sample its seductive array of flavors than Tasty Kabob? There’s a reason why this spot has been a favorite for more than 20 years, serving up exotic specialties in a cozy, casual atmosphere that…More >>

St. Louis

Café Natasha’s Kabob International

Café Natasha’s Kabob International isn’t the sort of place you stop at if you’re in a hurry, but as the old dictum goes, good things come to those who wait. The array of sumptuous stews and aromatically seasoned kebabs on the menu reveal a patience in the kitchen for preparing a complex…More >>

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