Best Middle Eastern restaurants in Salt Lake City 2021

1 – Zaferan Cafe

Zaferan Cafe - beef koobideh
Zaferan Cafe – beef koobideh

Persian cuisine and culture is the focus at this Highland Drive resturant. Chef and owner Mitra’s promises home-cooked meals, everything made fresh daily. Dishes include several different kebob creations: koobideh, shish, soltani, barg – all with exquisitely cooked basmati (a skill in itself).

As well as the perfectly prepared meats, you’ll find some other unique dishes at Zaferan. Khoreste fesenjan for example, chicken served in a rich sauce of fried walnuts with pomegranate paste. Or what about zereshk polo – seasoned chicken breast over rice, topped with barberries.

7835 South Highland Drive, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
(801) 944-6234

2 – Shahrazad Market and Restaurant

Shahrazad Market - duo of samplers
Shahrazad Market – duo of samplers

This fabulous Iranian restaurant and market on the West side of town is one of the best in Utah. The kebabs are a standout item, with a variety of combinations on offer. Also grab the vegetarian sampler plate to taste a little of everything – hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, tabbouleh and stuffed rice leaves.

1615 2100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
(801) 975-9977

3 – Curry Fried Chicken

Curry Fried Chicken - tandoori chicken plate
Curry Fried Chicken – tandoori chicken plate

While this State Street casual grab and go is known for the curry-infused fried chicken, take a deeper look at the menu packed with delicious items like schwarma and curried fish wraps. Especially good is the picture tandoori chicken plate; two pounded thin chicken breasts seasoned with vibrant tandoori seasoning, served up with pita, rice, veggie curry and sauces.

1615 2100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
(801) 975-9977

4 – Layla Mediterranean Grill & Mezze

Layla - mougrabieh. Credit, SLC Foodie.
Layla – mougrabieh. Credit, SLC Foodie.

This upscale family restaurant on the East side of Salt Lake city offers a menu packed with comfort food. Try the traditional Mougrabieh pictured above: Lebanese pearl couscous topped with tender chicken, pearl onions, chick peas and exotic spices; or if you’ve got a less adventurous companion what about a black angus rib eye, charbroiled and topped with gorgonzola cream sauce. The menu is studded with Middle Eastern favorites: falafel, kibbeh, tabbouleh, shawarma – its all here.

4751 Holladay Blvd E, Holladay, UT 84117
(801) 272-9111

5 – Mazza

Mazza - beautiful dining room at ninth and ninth location
Mazza – beautiful dining room at ninth and ninth location

With two locations, the ninth and ninth outlet is larger than the original 15th restaurant. Wherever you go though, chef and owners Ali Sabbah’s cuisine is impeccable. Start with a dish to share perhaps, labneh with pita or maybe kibbeh, mujadarra or baba ganooj. From there you’ll probably want to guard your own entree protectively I am guessing. My choice? The lamb and rice dolaa hits the spot every time – lean cuts of lamb are braised in a mixture of spices and then served with rice garnished with fried pine nuts
and almonds and served with a side of cucumber yogurt sauce. Also worthy of note, the liquor menu which includes several Lebanese wines.

912 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 | (801) 521-4572
1515 S 1500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105 | (801) 484-9259

6 – The Med Old World Cafe

The Med - kabob e kubideh and jujeh
The Med – kabob e kubideh and jujeh

A neghborhood hangout and popular for decade after decade. There’s a reason why of course, there’s something for everyone at The Med. The menu covers just about everything you can imagine. From traditional Middle Eastern dishes like kebobs through to grilled salmon and Thai green curry. Prices are fair, parking is plenty and the restaurant is open seven days a week, what’s not to love.

420 E 3300 S, South Salt Lake, UT 84115
(801) 493-0100

7 – O’Falafel

O Falafel - falafel. Credit, Facebook.
O Falafel – falafel. Credit, Facebook.

The name says it all, people flock to this Sugar House for fantastic falafel. Falafel can be ordered in wraps, burgers, salads, sandwiches or just by itself as an appetizer or snack. It’s not all just falafe though. Also on the menu are favorites like beef shwarma and creative dishes likes the Jerusalem burger – a kifteh patty with hummus, tomatoes, onions, and cheese.

790 E 2100 S #100, Salt Lake City, UT 84106
(801) 487-7747