Phone and Dine in Lebanon - Information of Restaurants &
Cafés provided by cities
makes the styles of cooking so different in Lebanon, whether
in the houses or in the restaurants, is the Lebanese themselves.
The same dishes, with the same ingredients, are better than
those anywhere else in the Middle East, pastries included.
I have tasted pizzas in Rome, Florence, Naples and Paris,
but they could not compare with those of Beirut. Take for
example the tabbouleh or the hommos made with sesame oil
that the Israelis wish to be considered their national dish;
in Lebanon they have a far better taste! This comes from
the character of the Lebanese, who is generous, clean, and
skilled; he possesses infallible good taste, serves food
attractively, and has exceptional savoir-faire and a sixth
sense for innovation.
Even the coffee that is called Turkish but is really purely
Lebanese is unbeatable, leaving in the mouth its aroma of
cardamom or other essences.
I would add that every style of cuisine of the planet is
transformed in the hands of a Lebanese chef, remaining distinctive
while taking this breath from the Land of the Cedars.
In Lebanon, from north to south, from east to west, one
finds restaurants of every category. The popular dives may
be no more than a bakery or large oven where crowds can
enjoy good food cheap, while more well-heeled customers
swarm to restaurants of a more sophisticated class. Close
to the shore all along the coast there are picturesque restaurants
variously decorated overlooking swimming-pools and with
extensive views of the beaches; there are venerable houses
with terraces giving an intimate feeling and newly raised
roofs all ready to receive customers at their tables.
As for the staff, it is well qualified, trained, clean,
polite, obliging, speedy and vigilant. Many who serve are
university students taking degrees in hotel and restaurant
management, supported by an army of non-Lebanese who are
strictly controlled by the appropriate ministries, Public
Health, Tourism, and Interior. From the northern frontier
down to Nakoura in the South, there are establishments to
please every taste.
If we go inside the towns, through the streets and alleyways,
there is another world to explore. Architects, civil engineers,
landscape gardeners, decorators, antiquaries and technicians
have put their skills to the service of catering, creating
In the capital and its surroundings, entire streets have
been transformed into restaurant areas where every day of
the week people go in their thousands. The choice is bewildering.
Whether we go up into the mountains or descend into the
valleys, or follow the river banks, there is a distinct
world open to the country’s inhabitants and tourists alike.
Seated by rushing waters, under the shade of verdant wide-spreading
trees, with splendid views stretching to a far horizon,
one may be served meat, fish, and poultry, in fact grills
of every description, with a hundred varieties of little
dishes as appetizers. There are wine cellars which offer
the best foods in the world, including a range of local
and European cheeses. Whether one climbs high on the mountain
or wanders in the plains, in the tourist sites one finds
restaurants without end receiving and welcoming their clients
with open arms.
Music there is of every kind. Some prefer calm and silence
but for those who like music boosted by electronics it is
easy to find. Of star singers to enliven the evenings, of
folklore or contemporary dance groups, there are ones to
suit every taste. One even finds old railroad wagons, aircraft
fuselages and boats, every sort of original setting, adapted
to attract the public.
As for foreign food, there are numberless French chefs and
also Italian restaurants with their typical menus. Chinese,
Indian, and Japanese sushi eating places abound. The Spanish
La Puella has an atmosphere Mediterranean and Lebanese.
Brazil and the rest of Latin America offer their dishes
and their drinks. Africa is not forgotten, with the Maghreb
and its cooking. One may eat Greek, Turkish, Armenian, or
Mexican, spiced and accompanied by sea foods.
From Germany and the Far East with Korea, the whole planet
is represented here in Beirut. At the same time, the Lebanese
mezzeh, the little dishes from which one can pick and choose
before the main course, are universal.
Bread of every description is served piping hot, the larger
restaurants having their own bakery to produce loaves at
mealtimes. To talk of all the sweets, pastries, ice creams
and sorbets would take up too much time. Fruit and desserts
are offered in abundance freely like water. Most establishments
have their car park with attendants.
A meal in a restaurant in Lebanon is not simply a pleasure,
it is a family communion.
in Beirut - Ashrafieh
in Beirut - Downtown
in Beirut - Hamra & Verdun
in Beirut - Suburbs
in Aanjar & Zahleh
in Aley and around
in Batroun and around
in Broumana & Beit Mery
in Bsharri & Hasroun
in El Chouf
in Jbeil-Byblos and around
in Jounieh and around
in Tripoli and around
in West Bekaa valley and around
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