Where to try Middle Eastern and North African cuisine
Middle Eastern and North African cuisine in Luxembourg will have you sampling dishes from Ethiopia, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Turkey.
These regions incorporate a huge variety of spices and flavours, and is a great option for vegans, vegetarians, meat lovers, and those on a gluten-free or lactose-free diet. The menus at many places are also surprisingly good value, with plenty of dishes under €10.
If we’ve missed your favourite Middle Eastern or North African restaurant, let us know about it, and we’ll add it to the list.
Caftan – 37 Avenue Pasteur
The latest addition to Limpertsberg’s restaurant scene is Caftan, with its plush velvet and gold trimmed banquettes, wicker chairs and soft lighting. The Moroccan cuisine offers a mix of mezzes (hummus, aubergine, falafel), tagines, couscous and plenty of dishes to share, although the prices are somewhat higher than those of its neighbours, reflecting the upmarket feel.
The restaurant café also incorporates a souk boutique in warm reds with soft cushions and seating on the floor, where you can tuck into a Spicy Souk cocktail of vodka infused with saffron, mandarin liqueur, cardamom, ginger, and fresh orange juice.
Chiche – 20 Avenue Pasteur
Just down the road this establishment has moved premises a few times, but remains a favourite amongst regulars who tuck into vegetarian and meat dishes. Whitewashed brick walls and simple table settings are accompanied by comfy deep armchairs and fringed lamps to create a more intimate setting.
Share dishes from the dizzying list of mezzes, including Mutabel, grilled smoky aubergine, hummus, falafel, and Loubieh bi Zeit, a vegan dish of green beans, onions, tomatoes and garlic. Alternatively tuck into the vegan, veggie or lamb specials, with a side order of Lebanese fried potatoes with coriander and garlic.
A social restaurant, Chiche fosters social inclusion by empowering men and women to work. The décor includes upcycled furniture.
Kicheneck – 66 Avenue Pasteur
Bring your own bottle of wine and tuck into a plate of couscous with vegetables or meat, or marinaded chicken or lamb, with batata harra, fried potatoes in a tomato sauce, at this simple Lebanese eatery. There are hot and cold mezze and a good selection of veggie dishes.
KitchenLeb - 1 rue Beaumont (Cafe des Capucins)
Following on from it's huge success as a takeaway service, chef Zappala and owner Rahme have opened a small restaurant with space for 20 guests in the Cafe des Capucins. You can try their mezze including moutabal, hummus and Lebanese bread, sambousek and stuffed vine leaves, plus falafel, kofta and Halloumi. What's not to like? And you can still order takeaway dishes at extremely reasonable prices.
Le Royaume - 223 rue de Rollingergrund
Simple wooden decoration, with hints of purple, gives this new Moroccan restaurant a classy feel. It's open continously from 10.00 until 23.00 and to 1.00 on Fridays and Saturdays, so you won't feel rushed, if you stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. Tuck into Kefta, or an oriental salad, couscous with spicy sausage, or tagine with lamb, caramelised pear and roasted almonds, washed down with mint tea.
Syriously – 47 rue de Bonnevoie
Set up by Mahmoud, a former pharmacist from Syria, Syriously is a place to share food from both Syria and the Ukraine, courtesy of partner Olga Mudryk (the original restaurant in Beggen has moved to this new city location). A staggering selection of cold and hot dishes from the humble hummus, to Yalanji, vine leaves stuffed with rice, pomegranate and spices.
The Syrian business lunch plate has spiced rice, salad, with vegetables and the meat of the day. If you prefer, try the Ukrainian Borscht. A lovely setting with wooden beams and wood tables, grey and red furnishings and ambient lighting.
Persian Foodbox – 21 rue Aldringen/Infinity centre Kirchberg
Gluten and lactose-free rice and sauces mean you can cater to anyone, including strict vegans, at Persian FoodBox. Khorech is the Persian word for stews, and literally means “meal”. In the Iranian cuisine found at this restaurant there are many khorech, but most are characterised by the use of saffron.
Meat eaters can enjoy chicken fillet with a chopped nuts, saffron and pomegranate sauce (Fersenjan) and vegans can sample the aubergine, split pea, dried lemon, turmeric and saffron (Lapeh Bademjan). There is a huge variety of rice, and boxes with rice and sauce start at €9,80. The perfect place for a pitstop if you’re shopping in town or visiting a gallery or museum.
Dune – 26 rue des Bains
Chef Ali El Mansouri left his Berber village for Paris and one of the capital’s most highly regarded Moroccan restaurants. You can now taste his food in Luxembourg, from couscous with chicken, merguez spicy sausage, fish or vegetarian style, plus a selection of salads. Wash it down with mint tea, in their light and airy, pink and white restaurant.
Bazaar – 46 Place Guillaume II
Tuck into a TelAviv47 cocktail of Bombay sapphire gin, cardamon, tarragon, honey, champagne, and orange blossom, before choosing from the hummus bar (including hummus with avocado, cashew nuts and spicy harissa) scooped up with pita bread or challah (a traditional Jewish bread, a bit like brioche but using oil instead of butter).
Mezze options include Muhammara, made with roasted peppers and nuts, a fatoush salad or stuffed vine leaves. You can try couscous or smoked octopus, and shawarma beef. A neat-looking interior, with cosy tables, perhaps not the place for an intimate romantic dinner, but located in the heart of the old town.
Green Olive – 75 rue de Strasbourg
Organic and mostly vegan/vegetarian, this middle eastern kitchen is serving up something a bit different. Vegan falafel with tahini sauce, okra or spinach stew, broccoli pancakes, and mung bean soup. Meat lovers fear not, there is a shawarma chicken wrap on the menu if you are desperate. Seating is limited but you can order to go.
Le Riad – 57 rue de Strasbourg
Also located in the Gare, Le Riad has a very extensive menu including their speciality Moroccan tagines, rice with seafood or meat, and a very long list of couscous varieties. Vegetarians will not go hungry as there is plenty on the menu for them.
The recipes come from a mix of Berber and Andalusian traditions, and spices from Morocco, and there is a dish of the day if you want to try the wild card. No alcohol is served, but you can bring your own.
Phenicia – 5 rue André Duscher
Syrian and Lebanese specialities include mezze such as Foul Medemmas, fried green fava beans with tomato, onion, parsley and lemon, plus all the usual stuffed vine leaves, hummus, falafel, and aubergine dip. For a starter with a difference, try the minced lamb drizzled with pomegranate syrup.
Main courses include Ouzi – filo pastry stuffed with lamb, rice, peas and pine nuts. Prices are a bit more expensive than some of the other eateries, with some interesting set menus, and it has a huge dining area which can accommodate larger groups or work outings.
Kumpir – the happy potato – Place du Théâtre
Kumpir is Turkish for baked potato, a popular Istanbul street food. Served with a variety of toppings, from Turkish sausage and chilli, to chicken curry and goulash, with vegetarian choices including beans, Mediterranean vegetables and lentil salad. There are tables outside to chow down on this warm winter comfort food, or keep cosy inside on a sofa or seated at wooden tables.
Damas – 46 Sainte Zithe
More Syrian food at this Gare located restaurant including falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, kibbeh (bulgur and meat dumplings) an Sambousek (pastry with meat). Shish and Shawarma dishes are complemented with a good selection of vegetarian offerings, which can be rounded off with middle eastern pastries. The smallish dining area is decorated with beautiful lamps and lanterns.
OrientX – rue Alphonse Weicker (Kirchberg) & 25 boulevard WF Raiffeisen (Gasperich)
After enjoying a kebab in London, Mr Sen and Mr Witte were inspired to recreate the food and a quick, casual dining experience with gourmet kebabs, and thus created OrientX. Chicken, veal or shish beef kebabs sit side by side with falafel and veggie kebab offerings on their menu, plus some cold mezze options. All kebabs are under €10 and the most expensive main plate is €13,30, so this is Middle Eastern cuisine at rock bottom prices. Both restaurants have a clean feel with white tables and leather banquettes, perfect for a lunch or after-work pit stop.
Le Saveurs de Senegal - Esch-sur-Alzette
Not far from the station, this modest African place serves home-cooked dishes including fish with rice or Thieboudienne, the national dish, and regional favourite, chicken yassa in onion sauce with rice, or seafood gumbo and of course, couscous. Reviewers praise the welcoming smiles, fresh ingredients and the value-for-money prices. Their Facebook page lists weekend specials such as Foufou (dumplings in a rich sauce) and they deliver in the local area.
Le Cèdre - Esch-sur-Alzette
Mezze, grilled meats, moutabal and stuffed vine leaves and cheeses, this menu has it all. Lebanese bread, sausages, and specialities such as croquettes with a good selection of veggie options, this is as good as it's city counterparts. Simple decor but lovely traditional Lebanese coffee pots, and home cooking.
Chez Jimmy’s – Heiderscheid
Head to Heiderscheid for some authentic Ethiopian cooking at Chez Jimmy’s, serving up traditional Ethiopian coffee and various grilled meats, including lamb and beef, with vegetables and sauces. The interior is bright, with blue walls and red woven baskets, plus wooden seats, giving it a very authentic feel. Food is served on one big plate for sharing with breads, in the local style, and if coffee isn’t your thing, you can try and Ethiopian beer, Bedele.
La Métis – 265 rue de Neudorf
OK, it’s not northern but central Africa, but La Métis deserves a mention for its authentic Congolese cuisine, brought to Luxembourg by Magali and Stéphane, and offering Moambe chicken, plantains, and a chance to see local artists and buy handicrafts.
Taza Food Truck - Bertrange
Tahsin grew up in Aleppo, cooking often for friends and family, and this inspired him to open his food truck in Luxembourg. Open Monday to Friday 10.30 to 14.30 at 10 rue des Merovingiens and serving up Syrian food including falafel and shish wraps, and sujuk paninis and manakish with spicy cheese.