Bürgenstock, Switzerland

Lebanese and Iranian chefs run the kitchen at Sharq Oriental and Shisha Lounge, one of ten restaurants and bars at the new Bürgenstock Resort on Lake Lucerne. Housed in a two-story villa that was once home to Sophia Loren, the restaurant serves dishes that include roukak (cheese-filled puff pastry) and ground-lamb kabab kubidah amid the lake and alpine scenery.

Shisha Lounge. Photo by Bürgenstock Resort on Lake Lucerne


At Pitaria, in the lively Chiado district, the two-Michelin- starred chef José Avillez celebrates the pita sandwich in house-made versions stuffed with chicken or pork shawarma, falafel, baba ghanoush, and vegetables, with za’atar-dusted fries on the side.

Pitaria’s pork shawarma. Photo by José Avillez


In tony Mayfair, Rüya, from Istanbul-born restaurateur Umut Özkanca, champions Anatolian food from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Must-tries: 24-hour slow-cooked short ribs with Turkish chili glaze and spicy chickpea purée, and cheese pide with slow-cooked eggs. The drinks program highlights raki, Turkey’s anise-scented national spirit.

Spiced lamb with herbs from Rüya. Photo by Rüya

Los Angeles

California-born and Israel-raised Ori Menashe, chef of the acclaimed Italian spot Bestia in downtown’s Arts District, recently opened the Middle Eastern Bavel nearby, with offerings such as freshly baked pita, lamb shawarma, tagines, and a hummus recipe that was three years in the making. 

Bavel’s beef-cheek tagine. Photo by Nicole Franzen

Carb stars will align this summer when Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson of San Francisco’s Tartine bakery collaborate with Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco fame in Phoenix on Tartine Manufactory. The 38,500-square-foot market-style attraction in L.A.’s Row DTLA development will include a bakery, a market, two restaurants – an all-day café and a dinner-only trattoria – and a coffee roaster.

Tartine’s ricotta and fig toast. Photo by Tartine

New Orleans

James Beard Award-winning chef Alon Shaya’s just-opened Saba (“grandfather” in Hebrew) draws on cross-cultural influences from Bulgaria to Yemen and Morocco to Palestine. Seafood and meat entrées arrive family style on platters for sharing. Look for his Safta (“grandmother”) to open in Denver later this summer.

Saba’s interior. Photo by Gabrielle Geiselman-Milone

New York 

Just opened in NoLIta: fast-casual Dez from the Cooking Channel’s Eden Grinshpan, serving grain bowls and the baked egg-and-tomato dish shakshuka in a mural-adorned storefront accented with bright Moroccan rugs.

The bright and healthy look of Dez. Photo by Dez

Drink in East River and Manhattan skyline views from the rooftop Ophelia, where antique silverware and vintage tarot cards pay homage to the 1928 Midtown East building’s roots as a women’s club and hotel. Savor classic 1920s and ’30s cocktails, along with bites such as seared Hudson Valley foie gras, on north- and south-facing terraces – or indoors, where 13-foot-tall windows offer unobstructed vistas year-round.

Ophelia. Photo by Ophelia

Washington, D.C. 

The new Sababa, Hebrew slang for “cool” or “carefree,” serves modern Israeli food inspired by Jewish and Arab traditions. Ryan Moore prepares everything from carrot salad with dates to harissa-marinated chicken thighs and charred vegetable tagine to pair with wines from Lebanon, Israel, and the Mediterranean. Try one in the lounge, which channels a Bedouin tent. 

Sababa’s traditional shakshuka. Photo by Greg Powers

Top photo: Dylan + Jeni