International Eats

10 Austin restaurants specializing in authentic Mediterranean cuisine

10 Austin restaurants specializing in authentic Mediterranean cuisine

Kebabalicious falafel wrap Austin restuarant
Kebabalicious is a favorite among late-night revelers. Photo courtesy of Kebabalicious
Cafe Malta Austin restaurant kabob dish
Cafe Malta's rotating specials demand return visits. Cafe Malta/Facebook
Marakesh Cafe & Grill Austin restaurant appetizers
Marakesh Cafe & Grill's appetizers and dips are enough reason for a visit. Marakesh Cafe & Grill/Facebook
Kebabalicious falafel wrap Austin restuarant
Cafe Malta Austin restaurant kabob dish
Marakesh Cafe & Grill Austin restaurant appetizers

Fresh Mediterranean fare pairs perfectly with Austin's spring weather. To get your fix, here are 10 restaurants serving up some of the best, most authentic Mediterranean food in town, blending influences from Greek, Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Egyptian cuisine.

Tarbouch Lebanese Grill & Hookah
Tarbouch is a sweet little eatery and hookah lounge on Oltorf Street specializing in Lebanese food. You can't go wrong with any of the wrap or plate options, but we particularly love the gyro, the chicken sheesh tawook, and the falafel. The hummus is also a must-try (good thing it comes as a side on the plates). Top off your meal with a bottle of Almaza, an imported Lebanese beer.

Abo Youssef
This little food truck in a gas station parking lot on Manor Road will give you a legitimate taste of the Mediterranean. You'll find ample portions for a great price; the gyro plate is the way to go, although the chicken and lamb also get rave reviews. Snag a glass of mint tea and say hi to Samir when you stop by — he's the one-man cooking show in the Airstream trailer.

The Halal Corner
Fans of the Kismet Cafe will love The Halal Corner, the new concept in the Mueller district from the same family. Halal Corner offers a self-described mix of Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Arabic dishes, with spices straight out of Jordan. The plates, wraps, and appetizers are all affordable, and there are a ton of vegetarian and vegan options. Enjoy the outdoor patio or call ahead and get your order to-go.

A longtime favorite of late-night revelers, Kebabalicious specializes in Turkish-style kebabs. Complement your wrap with an order of K-fries (topped with zatar spices, feta cheese, spicy red sauce, and crushed red pepper) or zucchini fries (with roasted red pepper aioli sauce, Parmesan cheese, and lime). Kebabalicious has two convenient food trucks in Austin and a brick-and-mortar on East Seventh Street.

Cafe Malta
This gem hidden in a shopping center on William Cannon Drive promises a culinary tour of the Mediterranean without leaving South Austin. The menu here is inspired by the food of Greece, Morocco, the south of France, Italy, and Spain. Cafe Malta is a bit pricey, but the quality is excellent, and the rotating specials demand return visits.

Balkan Cafe & Grill
Head to far North Lamar Boulevard for some traditional Balkan fare. Savory stews, authentic cevapi, and sudzukice are highlights of the food lineup, but we suggest sharing a mixed plate for a taste of everything. Wi-Fi and happy hour specials will attract you in the daytime, while Turkish coffee and authentic desserts make for the perfect nightcap.

Phara's Mediterranean Cuisine
This North Loop hang and hookah lounge features live music and belly dancing in addition to delicious dishes. Phara's is BYOB, so feel free to bring your favorite beer or bottle of wine to go along with your meal — and plan to stay all night. 

Peace Bakery and Deli
Peace Bakery and Deli offers dine-in and to-go options in a cafeteria-style setting. This North Austin spot is another eatery with small prices and big portions. Meats like beef and chicken shwarma are the main attraction, but the sides are super flavorful — coriander potatoes, fried cauliflower — and the desserts are absolutely fantastic.

Look for this Trojan jewel behind a gas station on Mesa Drive. Troy offers Mediterranean food with a Turkish focus. The portions are massive, so bring your appetite, especially if you go for the three-meat plate.

Marakesh Cafe & Grill
This former Congress Avenue destination is now a Steck Avenue hot spot. Appetizers like pita dips (get the trio dipper), spanakopita, and kibbeh are reason enough to visit, but we also love the Moroccan burger. Live music and hibiscus lemonade Arnold Palmers? Yes, please.