I’m a sucker for warm pita bread, that doughy staple from the Middle East that can pretty much house any food item and make me smile. And though we in Atlanta are quite a distance from the Mediterranean region of the world where folks eat pita the same way we devour two slices of bread, there are some pretty great places in our city to grab a juicy pita sandwich. We visited a few pretty fabulous pita places in Atlanta to fill our plates (and our tummies) with some delicious food and international ingredients, and we’re excited to share what we found so you, too, can get your fix.
6 Yummy Pita Places in Atlanta
1658 Lavista Road, Atlanta, GA 30329 • (404) 781-7482
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Saturdays
At the very tippy top of our delicious pita sandwich list has to be the hidden gem of a restaurant, Pita Palace, in the Druid Hills neighborhood. It’s a small, unassuming café at the very edge of a shopping center and, seriously, has the best, most authentic food this side of the Middle East. This Israeli eatery serves fantastic falafel (spicy fried garbanzo bean patties), schnitzel (breaded and fried chicken breast), Cornish hen and other amazing morsels. However it is the shawarma — chicken and lamb, cooked vertically upon a rotisserie — that makes me thankful to live in this city whenever I stop by. The shawarma (which is kosher, like all the meat), is tender, perfectly spiced and tastes amazing placed inside a warm pita pocket.
Here’s another cool/delicious thing about Pita Palace — the all-you-can-eat salad bar. Now, this isn’t any standard American salad bar; it features a ton of Israeli side salads that you can either stick right inside your pita (or laffa sandwich) or just eat on the side. Items like Israeli pickles (very different from their American counterparts), Israeli salad (diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and parsley), cabbage salad, coleslaw, fried pita bits, pickled onions, etc., with delicious options like hummus, tahini and zhug (think blistering Israeli salsa).
There are a few things to note before you plan your visit to Pita Palace:
- As you can see from the hours listed above, the restaurant is not open on Saturday due to Shabbat. And for the same reasons, Pita Palace is closed on major Jewish holidays as well throughout the year, so you might want to call ahead to make sure they’re open/are not closing early before you plan to stuff your face with shawarma.
- Second, the friendly staff creating your edible masterpiece will ask, “Spicy or no spicy?” Unless you have a tongue made of steel, I recommend “no spicy.” Seriously, this red peppery sauce was created in the depths of fiery hell, and I’ve seen many a customer literally brought to tears after even just a teeny tiny dot of the stuff.
- Third, can you pick me up a sandwich?
Inside Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St., Atlanta, GA 30307 • (404) 506-9999
Hours: Sunday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Closed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday); Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you like your pita on the modern side, stop by Krog Street Market and check out Middle Eastern food stall, Yalla. From the team behind The General Muir and Fred’s Meat & Bread (also at KSM), Yalla offers traditional items like falafel, shawarma and kebabs, as well as salads and handcrafted sodas (I went gaga for the cucumber basil soda).
When you place your order at Yalla, expect the gourmet version of these street foods made famous throughout the Middle East. In fact, the plate of hummus isn’t just tasty — it’s pretty. The chickpea puree, sprinkled with paprika and roasted whole chickpeas really is a sight to behold. Many of the sandwiches have the option of being served in a pita or laffa (think a very large, thin Mediterranean tortilla) or just as a bowl for those gluten-free, carb-conscious customers. The shawarma is served with all the trimmings, including modern takes on traditional condiments like harissa (hot chili pepper paste), baba ganoush (smoked eggplant spread), tahini (sesame seed sauce) and amba (vinegar-y mango sauce).
It’s obvious that the creative minds behind Yalla’s menu know how things are really done in the Middle East. For example, I love how The Shouk shawarma sandwich is served with the french fries right in the sandwich — how it’s served on the streets of the countries these foods come from. Also, I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t mention that the house sodas are freaking delicious! Definitely something not to be missed.
4630 Wieuca Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 • (404) 500-4339
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Saturdays
Pita is a food best enjoyed wrapped in paper, dripping with tahini, pickle juice and the savory juices from roasted meat or spicy falafel — that’s why fast-casual restaurant Pita Grille is a great option. Located between Brookhaven and Buckhead, Pita Grille is a Middle Eastern pita stop that follows the laws of kashrut and offers its sandwiches in either traditional pita or laffa, as well as a crusty French baguette (prices depend on the type of meat, like shawarma, parigot (spiced, grilled dark meat chicken), beef kebabs and more). Besides these delicious, juicy sandwiches, take advantage of other delicious, traditional items like shakshuka (eggs poached in a tomato/red pepper sauce spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne). Also, if you want to create your own Middle Eastern feast at home but don’t have a vertical spit, or perhaps you’re on Atkins or Paleo, Pita Grille sells meat a la carte.
As with Pita Palace, the kosher restaurant is not open on Saturday, and make sure to call and confirm the restaurant is open in case a Jewish holiday affects normal business hours.
2168 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329 • (404) 982-0666
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The food doesn’t get much better than Ameer’s Mediterranean Grill — it’s a Middle Eastern paradise of flavors and authentic recipes, all using the freshest, most wholesome ingredients. In fact Ameer’s only uses Halal meat and shows off entrees that are all made from scratch. The menu is full of traditional entrees that you may only see in the markets of the Middle East, so spice up (literally) your taste buds and try the slow-roasted lamb shank or kafta kabobs (minced beef and lamb, with parsley, onions and spices, grilled on a stick). You also can’t go wrong with the appetizers and dips/spreads, including the fatayer (triangular spinach pies), kebi (deep-fried cracked wheat, lamb and spices) and lots of tasty sauces.
Ameer’s Mediterranean Grill has great food to dine in and take out, but they also do a lot of catering for group events. Throw a Mediterranean-themed party or just introduce your guests to the wonderful flavors of the Middle East by getting Ameer’s to cater.
The Mall at Peachtree Center, 225 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30303 • (404) 698-3600
Hours: Cold-pressed juice bar: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weekends on occasion)
Lots of get-skinny-fast diets and food fads come and go, but the Mediterranean diet has remained in the forefront of people seeking to look and feel better. Research has proven that this type of cuisine helps reduce the risk of heart disease and has also reduced statistics of cancer and Parkinson’s disease. And that’s all fine and dandy, but guess what? Mediterranean food also tastes really, really good! A great way to bridge the wonderful flavor profiles AND a health-conscious menu starts at Aviva by Kameel. Owner/chef Kameel Srouji serves fresh food, locally grown veggies and hormone-free, halal meat, all in a menu that will make your mouth start watering as you read.
Specialties include the fall-off-the-bone tender half-chicken, baked with rosemary and other secret spices or the wild-caught Scottish salmon, grilled with olive oil and topped with a dill and lemon caper sauce. Of course, Aviva by Kameel also has traditional platters, like the chicken shawarma or lamb kafta. A great complement to the spiced meats and tangy dips are the freshly squeezed juices — like Orange Sunrise (pineapple, carrot, orange and apple), Red Ruby (beet, carrot, red apple and spinach) or just make your own, customized blend.
Dunwoody: 4709 B Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338 • (770) 392-7070
Peachtree City: 316 Crosstown Drive, Peachtree City, GA 30269 • (770) 486-5772
Newnan: 326 Newnan Crossing Bypass, Newnan, GA 30265 • (770) 254-0751
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Cake by the Ocean” was so 2015; it’s now all about Pita by the Beirut. Okay, well maybe it won’t be a hit pop song, but this restaurant has been gaining more and more fans from across the region, now with three locations in Dunwoody, Peachtree City and Newnan. What a nice treat to head into the suburbs for some truly delicious Mediterranean fare!
Besides the wonderful food, it’s obvious why this expanding restaurant chain continues to gain followers — it’s a great deal! All the pitas and wraps — which include various gyro meats, as well as chicken shawarma, fish and kafta — come with a choice of french fries, rice or grilled veggies (same goes with the large platters). If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, try the Greek salad or the mezza trio, featuring hummus, baba ghanoush and lebanee (homemade yogurt dip and zahtar).
There are a lot of other worthy Atlanta pita spots (including Cafe Agora, Pita Pit and Fresh 4 U) that we just couldn’t fit into this article. Enjoy all the delicious, Mediterranean stuffings you can squeeze into the world’s best pocketed bread, and try something new that is sure to make your taste buds — and tummy — happy!
Keep up with more of our favorite food finds around town. Follow us on Instagram — @StyleBlueprintAtlanta.