Best Middle Eastern Food in Auckland

The 14 Best Middle Eastern Restaurants in All of Auckland

When I hear Middle Eastern, I think of kebabs, spices, and freshly baked pita bread—you know, the good stuff. And nowhere is the good stuff better than in its homeland. 

But of course, not everyone can afford to hop on a plane to the Middle East when craving a taste of their delicious cuisine.

Unfortunately, in Auckland, it’s harder than you think to find authentic Middle Eastern cuisine that comes close to what I’ve had in the actual Middle East. However, after more disappointing kebab platters than I can count, I finally found the best Middle Eastern restaurants in all of Auckland.

So for all my fellow Aucklanders seeking a taste of the Middle East, I’ll share with you all the best places to go.

1. Gemmayze Street

Gemmayze Street

Address: Shop 16, St Kevin’s Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Poynton Terrace, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Thursday – 6 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Friday & Saturday – 5:30 PM to 10 PM

Gemmayze Street is not to be missed. Just the thought of their mouth-watering dishes is enough to make your stomach rumble!

They serve up a variety of dishes that are as rich in flavour as they are in culture, from shish barak to ghanam. I also recommend their grilled chicken, complete with toum, red onion, and saffron rice.

Pro Tip: You’ve got to try their winter tabbouleh. This dish takes you on a journey to the heart of Lebanon with every bite. 

2. Shefco Middle Eastern Cuisine

Address: 827 Dominion Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland 1041, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 8 PM

Phone: +6496205404

Shefco Middle Eastern Cuisine is a haven for food lovers who crave the rich, vibrant flavours of the Middle East. As soon as you set foot inside, you’re instantly transported to a bustling bazaar. 

Their menu is a real showstopper, featuring classic Middle Eastern dishes that are guaranteed to get your tastebuds dancing. 

Their lamb shawarma on rice is an absolute must-try—spiced lamb served over perfectly cooked rice. It’s a flavour explosion that will leave you craving more.

And let’s not forget their moujadara, a comforting dish that’s like a warm hug on a plate. And their lamb shanks? Talk about melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Pro Tip: Get their butter chicken, a dish that’s so delicious it deserves a standing ovation. Creamy, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying, it’s the kind of dish you dream about long after your meal.

3. Khanz Restaurant

Khanz Restaurant

Address: 135 Great South Road Parking at, Eric Baker Place, Papatoetoe, Auckland 2025, New Zealand


  • Sunday & Monday & Wednesday & Thursday – 12 PM to 9 PM
  • Friday & Saturday – 12 PM to 9:30 PM

Phone: +6492501623

Khanz Restaurant is known for its eclectic menu, which boasts a variety of Middle Eastern dishes that are as delicious as they are authentic. One of their standout dishes is the authentic chicken karahi, a dish that is as mouth-watering as it sounds.

The mutton nihari is another highlight on their menu. The mutton is cooked until tender and then served in a rich, flavorful sauce. It’s a dish that will surely satisfy your cravings for a hearty meal.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit different, the Afghani kabuli pulao is a must-try. This dish will leave you wanting more.

Pro Tip: Try the Arabian lamb mandi if you’re craving some scrumptious lamb.

4. Shiraz Restaurant

Shiraz Restaurant 

Address: 7 Maskell Street, St Heliers, Auckland 1071, New Zealand


  • Wednesday to Friday – 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 12 PM to 9 PM

Phone: +6495758888

Forget bland, forget boring, and forget ever uttering the phrase “meh” when it comes to dining at Shiraz Restaurant. It’s like walking onto a Persian movie set—the intoxicating aroma of saffron and grilled meat makes your stomach rumble like a happy camel.

Their kebabs are the kings and queens of their menu. Get their melt-in-your-mouth chicken luleh kebabs so juicy they’ll make you weep tears of joy. 

Or the beef soltani—a skewer fit for a sultan, with tender chunks of steak and marinated lamb intertwined like best friends forever.

Pro Tip: Grab the combo platter, A. It’s like the greatest hits of Persian appetisers.

5. Tapsi


Address: 985 Dominion Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland 1041, New Zealand


  • Monday & Tuesday – 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday – 12 PM to 9 PM
  • Friday and Saturday – 12 PM to 9:30 PM

Phone: +64 09 600 1807

Tapsi Restaurant is here to redefine your Middle Eastern food game, with flavours that will have you breakdancing (or at least belly-dancing in your chair) with joy. 

Get their qozi chicken, and don’t forget the tzatziki, that cool, creamy cucumber yoghurt dip that’ll balance the spice and make you sigh with contentment. 

Or give their tashreeb—thick slices of warm tandoori bread submerged in a rich, tomato-based lamb stew—a try if you want to experience an explosion of flavours.

Feeling generous? Get the family pack of qozi mix. By the end, you’ll be rolling out the door like a well-fed Ottoman sultan, ready for a nap.

Pro Tip: Don’t skip dessert! The pistachio paklava is to die for.

6. Akdeniz Bar Cafe Restaurant

Akdeniz Bar Cafe Restaurant

Address: 5/15 Victoria Road, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand


  • Monday & Tuesday – 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
  • Thursday to Sunday – 9 AM to 9 PM

Phone: +6496002125

Forget your hummus and flatbread routine at Akdeniz Bar Cafe Restaurant. If you’re looking for delicious and authentic halal food, Akdeniz ticks all the boxes. Their menu caters to all dietary needs, ensuring everyone gets a taste of Persian magic.

Get their chenjeh: grilled marinated lamb fillet skewers—juicy, smoky, and oh-so-satisfying. 

Thier ghoremeh sabzi isn’t a bad choice either if you’re new to Middle Eastern food. It’s a slow-cooked lamb and herb stew that just might become your new favourite comfort food.

Pro Tip: Got a family to feed? Get the Persian family feast, featuring a variety of grilled kebabs and a lamb cutlet skewer. Sharing is caring, but we won’t blame you if you get this all for yourself.

7. Rumi


Address: 251 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Friday – 12 PM to 2:30 PM & 5:30 PM till late
  • Saturday & Sunday – 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM & 5:30 PM till late

Phone: +64220205176

Rumi, one of Auckland’s shining stars of Middle Eastern cuisine, ain’t your average hummus-and-falafel joint (though they do have amazing hummus, FYI). Rumi takes you straight to the heart of ancient Persia with their food.

For one, Rumi’s koobideh kababs are legendary. Made with ground lamb, fragrant spices, and a touch of saffron, these melt-in-your-mouth morsels are the stuff kabab dreams are made of. 

Feeling fancy? The chenjeh, with its perfectly marinated and flame-grilled beef eye fillet, will have you feeling like royalty. And for seafood lovers, the salmon kabab with its zesty lime and olive oil marinade is a winner.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the zereshk polo, a fluffy saffron rice studded with pistachios and barberries—it’s like a party in your mouth! 

8. Ishtar Restaurant & Takeaway

Address: 52-54 O’Shannessey Street, Papakura, Auckland 2110, New Zealand


  • Sunday to Wednesday – 12 PM to 11 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 12 PM to 12 AM

Phone: +6496009194

Ishtar Restaurant & Takeaway uses fresh, high-quality ingredients and traditional recipes to create dishes that burst with flavour. Think juicy lamb kebabs cooked over charcoal, creamy hummus that you’ll want to devour with a spoon, and fluffy pita bread that’s perfect for scooping up all the goodness.

Honestly, whether you’re a die-hard carnivore or a vegetarian, Ishtar has something for everyone. They have plenty of options for those with dietary restrictions.

But some of their must-try dishes include their lamb tikka skewers, falafel wraps, and their lamb burger. And the portions are generous, so you won’t leave Ishtar hungry! 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to try their sauces! They have a variety of options, from garlic yogurt to mint yogurt to sweet chili. 

9. Kabul House Restaurant

Address: 7/190 Stoddard Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland 1041, New Zealand


  • Sunday & Monday – 12 PM to 9 PM
  • Tuesday & Wednesday – 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 12 PM to 9:30 PM

Phone: +6496205888

The chefs at Kabul House Restaurant use their family recipes, passed down for generations to take you straight to the bustling streets of Kabul with every bite.

Their signature charcoal kebabs are juicy, smoky, and bursting with flavor. And their Afghani butter chicken is a twist on the classic, with a deeper, richer flavor profile. 

But don’t worry, herbivores, you’re not forgotten! Their kadahi paneer is a creamy, cheesy delight, and their veggie kebabs are packed with fresh, vibrant flavors.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on the jalebi for dessert! These deep-fried, syrup-soaked spirals of sweetness are the perfect ending to your Afghan feast.

10. Ima Cuisine

Ima Cuisine

Address: 53 Fort Street, Downtown, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Monday – 12 PM to 2 PM
  • Tuesday to Saturday – 7 AM to 9:30 PM

Phone: +6493775252

Ima Cuisine throws a party in your mouth with vibrant dishes bursting with spices, fresh ingredients, and a whole lot of love. Their mezze platters are legendary. Imagine a colorful spread of dips, salads, dolmades, and more, perfect for sharing (or not, we won’t judge!). 

But whether you’re a hardcore carnivore, a veggie enthusiast, or have dietary restrictions, Ima Cuisine has your back. Their menu caters to all kinds of preferences, so no one gets left out of the fun.

And their halawet el jibn is a must-order! The combination of ricotta, semolina, and the sweet toppings is pure magic. You’ll be thanking us later.

Pro Tip: No need to stress about parking! There are several parking lots and garages near the restaurant, and street parking is also available. 

11. Petra Shawarma

Petra Shawarma

Address: 482 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland 1021, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Saturday – 12 PM to 9:30 PM

Phone: +6498158652

Forget generic Middle Eastern food—Petra Shawarma dives deep into the rich culinary heritage of Jordan with spices that dance on your tongue.

They’re more than just shawarma (although their shawarma is pretty darn epic). Their Jordanian mandis’ grilled meat, sweet raisins, crunchy cashews, and a dollop of mama’s homemade hummus will leave you wanting more.

Or try their musakan. This 12-inch wrap is the perfect lunch-sized adventure. Tender chicken marinated in mama’s secret onion and sumac recipe, creamy yogurt, and a refreshing mesclun salad come together. And those cashew nuts add a delightful crunch!

Pro Tip: Save room for dessert! Their hand-churned Arabic-pistachio ice cream is a revelation. 

12. Des Traditions

Des Traditions

Address: 54 Stoddard Road, Mount Roskill, Auckland 1041, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 9 PM

Phone: +6496293121

Des Traditions is the real deal, using traditional recipes and fresh ingredients to whip up dishes that transport you straight to the bustling souks of Marrakesh or the vibrant streets of Istanbul.

From creamy curries to sizzling kebabs, there’s something for everyone. Vegetarians won’t be left out either, with plenty of meat-free options that burst with flavour.

Their balochi karahi platter is a boneless chicken feast fit for a king (or queen!). Tender chicken simmers in a fragrant yoghurt sauce with onions, peppers, and a hint of spice. You’ll definitely need more naan.

And for a dish that’s all about simplicity done right, get their chicken karahi authentic. One bite and you’ll be wondering why you ever settled for boring old takeaway. Or get the charcoal kashmiri lamb shish—if you’re craving lamb, that is.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on the dessert of the day! 

13. Fatima’s


Address: 240 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 11 AM to 9 PM

Phone: +6493769303

Fatima’s menu is a delightful mix of classic Middle Eastern dishes with a modern twist. Vegetarians have to try their vegetarian shawarma. It’s got all the good stuff.

For the meat lovers among us, you can’t go wrong with their chicken or lamb pita. Both are pretty darn good. 

But if you’re really unsure of what to choose, go with Fatima’s favourite. Choose your protein (chicken, lamb, or vegetarian croquettes) and then pile it on with lettuce, carrot, cheese, marinated red onion, tomato relish, Fatima’s Aioli. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to try their Fatima’s fizz. It’s a refreshing drink made with dry cola, peach tea & mint, lemon ginger & thyme. 

14. Damaskino

Address: 295 Ti Rakau Drive, Burswood, Auckland 2013, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 11:30 AM to 12 AM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 1:30 PM to 12 AM 

Phone: +6492731995

Damaskino is like a magic carpet ride for your taste buds. We’re talking about fresh, homemade everything. Their hummus is smoother than a dolphin doing backflips, and their pita bread is fluffier than a cloud.

From the melt-in-your-mouth chicken kebabs (seriously, that chicken has been marinating in flavour nirvana) to the falafel on rice that’ll make even the most die-hard carnivores reconsider their life choices, each bite is worth it.

And don’t even get us started on the lamb shawarma—it’s the definition of food coma-worthy (in the best way possible).

Pro Tip: Just do it. Get that dessert you’ve been eyeballing on the menu.