Mediterranean cuisine is a general term used to describe food inspired by the variety of cultures adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. With influences coming from the French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese and more, it’s no wonder that this style of cooking is so popular. Plenty of olive oil, lean proteins, spices, seafood and vegetables make for exciting dishes that highlight fresh flavors. CBS Philly brought you a list of Top Mediterranean Cuisine in 2012, but a new year means new spots to try.

Arpeggio BYOB
909 Sumneytown Pike
Spring House, PA 19477
(215) 646-5055

Located in a shopping center in Montgomery County, this welcoming BYOB is a neighborhood favorite for casual food with a Mediterranean focus. Fresh seafood, pasta and large salads make up a large part of the menu, but it’s typically the flavorful wood oven pizza that brings people back again and again. Just about everything on the menu is made in-house, including the cinnamon raisin bread pudding topped with homemade caramel sauce and whipped cream and traditional key lime pie. A cozy dining room with a two-sided fireplace, private wine lockers and the option of outdoor seating complete the experience.

110 S. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 546-9300

This contemporary Mediterranean kitchen and bar has become a Midtown Village hot spot. Executive Chef Marcie Turney was nominated for a James Beard “Best Chef, Midatlantic” award in 2013 and Barbuzzo was named one of Philadelphia Magazine‘s “Best 50 Restaurants of 2013.” Since it’s small and intimate, you’ll want to make reservations to score a table here. Walk-ins, however, can grab a seat at the bar or chef’s counter. Standout items include any of the pizzas, the grilled octopus and the sheep’s milk ricotta. This whipped cheese has the consistency of yogurt and is served with a buttery toasted garlic bread along with balsamic and herbs. But the item that outsells any other on the menu is the budino dessert. Served in a jar, the creamy caramel pudding with dark chocolate cookie crumbs and sea salt is worth a trip in itself.

Related: Top Autumn Desserts In Philadelphia

131-A E. Butler Ave.
Ambler, PA 19002
(215) 641-0900

After opening only two years ago, this small BYOB has already become a popular spot in the heart of Ambler Borough. Convenient to the theater and right across the street from Ambler Wine and Spirits, the location is ideal for a night out. The cuisine is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean dishes with a large focus on Portuguese and Italian. Homemade pasta, fresh seafood and prime meats make up the menu with favorite dishes including the pappardelle Bolognese, lamb and crab cakes. Desserts are made by the restaurant’s pastry chef, and the Greek yogurt panna cotta and baklava come highly recommended.

Paradiso Restaurant And Wine Bar
1627 E. Passyunk Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 271-2066

With her Mediterranean-inspired menu, owner and executive chef Lynn Rinaldi brings a fresh approach to the red sauce Italian-American restaurants that many people are used to. Popular dishes include sweetbread ravioli and wild boar ragu gnocchi. And going along with the restaurant’s commitment to supporting local farmers and fresh produce, Chef Rinaldi and her husband, Chef Corey Baver, have built a rooftop garden. Produce such as leeks, beets, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries and more are grown right over the restaurant to be featured in the seasonally changing menu. Paradiso is both casual and elegant and has earned a reputation for great service and unique dishes.

Related: Top Spots For Italian Food In Philadelphia

19 Bella
3401 W. Skippack Pike
Cedars, PA 19423
(610) 222-8119

Inspired by the Spanish tradition of tapas, 19 Bella offers eclectic small plates that are influenced by the coastal countries of the Mediterranean. Southern France, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Morocco and more are represented on the extensive menu featuring over 40 dishes at any time. Two to three (or four, if you’re extra hungry) dishes are recommended per person, and the setup is ideal for sharing if you enjoy having just a few bites of a variety of foods. Highlights include ricotta gnocchi, seafood paella, chunky guacamole and Portuguese scallops. While the fact that the restaurant is BYOB is a big selling point, you can also enjoy a free glass of red sangria on Fridays and Saturdays as well as complimentary mimosas during Sunday brunch.

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.