Whenever I’m trying to find the best international cuisine, I tend to ask someone whose heritage matches the food’s origin. For instance, I know the best Mexican food in the Valley because I’m Mexican. If I were on the hunt for pupusas, I would hit up a Salvadoran friend. In this case, I wanted to round up the best Mediterranean food in the San Fernando Valley. Naturally, I hit up my Israeli friend Donna Rosenburg. (Shoutout to you, Donna!)
Let’s get to it—keep reading to find out the 12 best Mediterranean restaurants in the San Fernando Valley.
12 places to get Mediterranean food in the San Fernando Valley
1. Tel Aviv, Encino, Tarzana, Woodland Hills, Valley Village
We have it on good faith that Tel Aviv has the best shawarma in all of Los Angeles. You can get different meats in a pita, laffa, or on a plate with different fresh salads, hummus, tahini, etc. Being that Tel Avis is authentic, it’s closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
2. Firehouse Taverna, Reseda
If you’re really about that Valley life, you know Firehouse Taverna is a staple. It’s been around for years and it feels like you’re in Greece when you walk in. Firehouse has the best gyros, hands down.
3. Malek’s Grill & Kabob, Canoga Park
If you want to eat like royalty but not pay royal prices, hit up Malek’s for some of the best-priced Persian food in the Valley. Seriously, you can feed a family of 5 for $10 each!
4. Carnival Restaurant, Sherman Oaks
This Lebanese joint has great kabobs, koobideh, hummus, tabouleh, and rice pilaf. Carnival has been at its Woodman Avenue storefront since 1984! (And their Instagram feed makes us hungry.)
5. Hummus Bar & Grill, Encino
If we gave out awards, Hummus Bar & Grill would get the Best Hummus Award (as they should, because of their name). This authentic Israeli restaurant makes fresh laffa and serves hummus, different high-quality grilled meats, and Israeli salad sides.
6. Sadaf Restaurant, Encino
Please hold your “Sad AF” jokes, thank you! If you’re in the mood for great Persian food, pick up the phone and place your order at Sadaf’s, like now. If you’re comfortable dining in, be prepared for a ~fine dining~ experience.
7. Mizlala, Sherman Oaks
At Mizlala, you’ll find dishes from a myriad Middle Eastern countries. You’ll also find vegetarian-friendly dishes, dips, salads, and sharable plates! Like with Sadaf Restaurant, go to Mizlala for a fine dining experience.
8. Baklava Factory, Encino, North Hollywood
While Baklava Factory only offers dessert, they have a huge variety and it’s authentic. Pro tip: Get dinner at one of the other spots and get dessert here! The photos we selected of these freshly made baklavas are guaranteed to make you drool.
9. Papillon International Bakery, Glenoaks, North Hollywood, Northridge
This might be the most popular bakery in the Valley. Since reinventing the brand 11 years ago, Papillon has amassed a following of 191,000 on Instagram. From their ponchiks (fried dough loaded with fillings) to phonuts, you can’t go wrong at this Armenian-owned bakery.
10. FurnSaj Bakery & Restaurant, Granada Hills
I always tell myself not to do these guides when I’m hungry, but even that didn’t help when I was looking at FunSaj’s Instagram. Their tabouleh is the perfect meal for all, especially considering it’s vegan!
11. Raffi’s Place, Glendale
The best kabob in all of Los Angeles, hands down. Fight us! (Also, we know y’all don’t think that Glendale is technically the Valley, but Raffi’s Place is so good that we had to bend that rule for them. The Armenian-Persian restaurant is trendy and definitely worth the drive.
12. Noah’s Ark Restaurant & Hall, Northridge
According to Noah’s Ark, their most popular dish is the beef shish kabob. If you ask us, we wouldn’t mind also getting the cheese platter.
Some honorable mentions that were closed and/or did not have social media as of writing this: Korner Knafeh, Northridge; Shamshiri, Northridge.