Aladdin Restaurant

Aladdin Restaurant

In the forty years since Aladdin first opened on 2nd Street in Allentown, many of the dishes owner and head chef Violette Younes still crafts have been absorbed into popular American culture, from Hummus and Babaganoush to Spinach Pie and hand-rolled Grape Leaves. Less familiar specialties such as Arnabit (deep fried cauliflower) and Shawarma (thin slices of tahini-and-fresh veggie-topped grilled steak filet or signature marinated chicken breast)beg exploration. This is authentic home-cooking, Syrian style. The family-owned restaurant run by daughter and front of house manger Serena Younes, moved to a spacious Union Boulevard locale in 1999, and devoted fans from the early days still flock here. 

Among ample kabob options, the two jumbo skewers packed with grilled lamb, chicken, shrimp, green peppers, and onions – brushed with garlic and olive oilpresented in the Sultan’s Kabob optimizes delectable variety. A side of rice completes the plate, and a house salad may be upgraded to Fattoush (romaine salad enhanced with toasted pita chips, feta, and olives) or Tabouleh (chopped parsley and tomato salad with bulgur wheat). 

While a pair of complete dinners for two or more cover a wide range of tastes and textures, groups of four or more can maximize sampling with the Special Maza selection of twelve assorted appetizers. Bring a favorite wine to complement the meal at this BYOBand be sure to cap the evening with a cup of darkly rich, caradamom-scented Turkish Coffee.

Special Diet Menu Item

Falafel, a house specialty and Middle Eastern mainstay that’s vegan and gluten-free, appeals to any audience. These crisply fried chickpea patties arrive topped with tahini, lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, and parsley, and are served in appetizer and entrée portions. (The menu features five other vegetarian entrees, and many vegetarian/vegan items on the generous appetizer list reflect the cuisine’s emphasis on plant-based dishes.)

The Ambiance

A warmly relaxing atmosphere that feels worlds away from the Lehigh Valley invites guests to lean back on cushy pillows while gazing at a night-sky ceiling adorned with tiny “star” lights. Ornate metal hanging lanterns add drama, and a belly dancing performance bumps up the energy level on Saturday evenings. A private banquet room is available for parties or weddings, and catering can be fine-tuned to dietary preferences. Also find many favorite dishes in a casual vendor setting at sister-restaurant Zahra, located at the City Center’s Downtown Allentown Market. 


2 T olive oil
7 large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 T pine nuts
2 T sliced almonds
1/4 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1–2 T tahini* sauce, to taste
Cooked rice

*Aladdin creates a signature version of this Middle Eastern staple.

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, pine nuts, almonds, green pepper, and garlic to pan. Stirring occasionally, sauté until nuts are toasted and the shrimp is fully cooked. Transfer to plate, sprinkle with crushed red pepper as desired, and spoon tahini sauce over the top. Serve with a side of rice.  

Serves 1

Aladdin Restaurant
651 union blvd

Follow @LehighValleyMarketplace on Instagram