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“Wow! Just... WOW!”

Zeina's Cafe & Catering
Ranked #1 of 192 Restaurants in Utica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$12
Cuisines: Lebanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed April 14, 2018 via mobile

I can only add to the rave reviews about this place. Do NOT be intimidated by the sketchy look on the outside; nothing but friendly smiles inside.

This is a MUST if you are in Utica. I can’t imagine any other reason to be in Utica, other than this. What a pleasure!

The gyros are massive. Best hummus ever. Best pita ever. Try the fried cauliflower.

Just make sure you eat here!

Thank Gr8TravelerTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 137 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2018 via mobile

Looked for an establishment in Utica for lunch. Noticed Zeina’s was #1 in Utica and they served Mediterranean. Having spent considerable time in Turkiyë, this was a must try.
Both of or selections were enormous and delicious. During our meal, a middle-eastern man came out from the kitchen with TURKISH COFFEE. What a treat.
Stop in and experience something special.

Thank tk369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2018

Zeina's has the best Lebanese food. The grape leaves are the best, also try the mixed grill to get a sampling of all the great flavors. Everything on the menu is made like you would make it at home. Service is always quick and excellent. Enjoy your meal!

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Thank JoeCosentino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 22, 2018

We love food from all over the world. It is becoming easier to find the variety we enjoy. Imagine our delight to discover this unpretentious and almost unrecognizable wonder that serves superb Lebanese cuisine ! Everyone in the restaurant when we there clearly from a Mediterranean background, except us, so that says something about the authenticity of what is served. Friendly faces from the owners and staff, helpful explanations of ingredients. Highly recommend if you like Mediterranean flavors, at a reasonable price.

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1  Thank Bob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 12, 2018

Zeina's (rhymes with famous) is our new favorite restaurant. It's a little hard to find, but whatever you do, don't give up. You will never taste Mediterranean food that is better than this. So fresh, so perfectly spiced, heaven on a plate. Seriously. As soon as the waitress put down my Mezza platter, I could tell from the fragrance wafting up from the plate that I was in for a great meal. I chose Baba Ghanouj, Falafel, Lebneh and Tabouleh for my platter. Rich, smoky Baba Ghanouj; Falafel finely ground and perfectly spiced; thick, creamy Lebneh with a touch of the finest olive oil; and Tabouleh that was lighter on bulgur and heavier on such fresh parsley, with the perfect aura of lemon - ahhhh. I did a lot of closing my eyes and slowly savoring. My husband ordered the Falafel plate which came with a beautiful salad and excellent rice pilaf (yes, I begged a sample). We also ordered Fried Cauliflower as an appetizer - SO delicious, served with perfect tahini. All served with nice, fresh, soft pita triangles - not the dried-out cardboard you find in many places. Needless to say we had to take home a box. Portions are generous and prices are reasonable.

It's a very casual place but it shows real pride of ownership in the decorative touches, the cleanliness, the service, and what more can I say about this food? Just one request of the Zeina family: PLEASE make some vegetarian grape leaves. We love grape leaves but we don't eat meat. : ( I'm sure yours are out of this world.

Too bad we live five hours away. Good thing our travels frequently take us past Utica. We WILL be getting off the Thruway and stopping in.

DIRECTIONS: If you don't have GPS, you will face the challenge we did. You have to turn off Genesee Street onto Columbia - and that's the one street downtown that has no street sign. If you are coming from the Thruway, head toward downtown on Genesee and just after you see Lafayette St. on your right, know that Columbia is the next right turn. (If you are coming from the other way on Genesee, it's the next left after the second chance to turn onto Washington.) Follow Columbia .5 mile, past the Salvation Army Thrift Store on your right, past State Street, under the arterial overpass. At the intersection at .5 mile look to your left and see two streets that form the point of a V. The left fork is one way - don't take that one. The right fork is Varick St. although there's no road sign there. You will see Zeina's shortly after you turn, on your left hand side.

Sorry my photo is a bit blurry, but you can still appreciate the beautiful presentation. If I could give ten stars, I would. Kudos to Zaina's!

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2  Thank mxchana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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