1. Ima

57 Fort St, Auckland Central, ph (09) 300 7252

It's had various incarnations in the Fort St neighbourhood, but Ima is one of the finest and friendliest Middle Eastern restaurants in town, complete with warm service and Israeli specialties. The name -"mother", in Hebrew- says it all. Yael Shochat's food is "bliss on a plate", swooned one reviewer.

2. Delight Cafe


29 Waikare Rd, Oneroa, Waiheke Island, ph (09) 372 9035

Open only since mid-2010 by Noyan Atamer, Delight serves excellent Turkish/Middle Eastern food with a hint of Greek thrown in. There are breakfast eggs with a Turkish and Moroccan twist, tagines, rich Turkish coffee as well as the more popular wraps, kebab-based dishes and mezze plates, with Waiheke wines, of course.

3. Fatima's

240 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, ph (09) 376 9303

Fatima's is both loved for its famous falafels and reviled for its famously grumpy service but is still the go-to place for the Ponsonby crowd, as the queues at peak times can testify.

4. Jaan Turkish Cafe and Takeout

505 New North Rd, Kingsland, ph (09) 846 6652

Other Turkish and Middle Eastern restaurateurs mention this Kingland example as one of their favourites. Friendly ambience and service, great food at good prices.