The Mediterranean invasion of Alpharetta

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe is coming to Alpharetta. This growing chain out of the Birmingham area will open their second Georgia location on Windward Parkway next to Ichiban Steak and Sushi.

But this blogger keeps forgetting to mention their opening! It might be easy to do. Taziki’s is just one name on a growing list of Mediterranean restaurants setting shop in our area. We like to talk food trends here on Roots and this is one that’s caught me completely, and pleasantly, by surprise.

I’m going to lump Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants into the broader category of Mediterranean for the sake of this article. We could split hairs I guess.

In the time I’ve been writing about Alpharetta’s restaurant scene more than ten Mediterranean restaurants have opened. It’s staggering. They outnumber Indian joints. Can this area support so many? Do you have a favorite? Let’s run through a few.

Main Street Alpharetta – You’ve got four options for gyros along this short stretch of road. Mac Meals to the south is small and overlooked. Seven Seas on Devore Road is very good with friendly folks. Cafe Efendi is an Alpharetta institution. I like their new digs on North Main. And don’t forget Gyro King up closer to Windward.

Cubicle dwellers can hit Papoulli’s on Windward or Jerusalem Bakery on Old Milton. Jerusalem’s chicken shawarma sandwich is among my favorite things to eat for lunch in Alpharetta, in any genre of food.

Mediterranean food near the mall is lacking. Fast-casual chain Extreme Pita open and closed in a short time. Close to that was Dalia’s Grill, a rare gem on North Point before they went under. The newly opened Chill Restaurant and Lounge will offer higher-end Mediterranean food in their cavernous space on Haynes Bridge.

Johns Creek shouldn’t be left out. 1001 Nights opened recently on Medlock Bridge offering Persian cuisine. Also doing Persian food is Noosh Kitchen on Douglas Road. On the fast-casual side, try Grecian Gyro in Johns Creek Walk. The portions are huge here. They’re also on Scoutmob for 50% off.

And south Forsyth even figures into the mix. Shiraz Cafe is a beautiful little restaurant that’s hidden from drivers on McGinnis Ferry Road. And don’t forget Baba’s Gyro and Kabob on Ronald Reagan. This gem next to a gas station took Cumming by storm a few years ago once word got out.

Do you have a favorite Mediterranean restaurant? Who’s making the best gyro in town? Let me know!

5 Responses to “The Mediterranean invasion of Alpharetta”

  1. Laura May 24, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    I am thrilled to death with this recent trend, but then again I’d be happy to be buried alive in a vat of feta, kalamata olives and tzatiki sauce.

  2. JP May 24, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Lee,

    Take a quick drive to Aladdin’s on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs (just south of the river and just over the Roswell line). The food is fantastic and the owner is a really nice guy. I’ve been eating there for six years now and have never been disappointed.

  3. Glen May 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    JP is right on. Aladdin’s is very good. Also you forgot to mention that near the mall Zoe’s Kitchen is coming Dalia’s was pretty good. great falafel. Hated it when they closed a few years ago.

  4. Cool Papa Bell May 24, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Dalia‚Äôs Grill did not go under. They just moved away from the mall crowd to a more appropriate location. Yes Alladin’s is better than every place mentioned except Jerusalem Bakery. But this isn’t RootsTwoTownsOverFromAlpharetta so it is kind of a moot point.

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