Lebanon is one of the oldest cities of the world, and Beirut being the capital, has established a dining stance that draws old-school Mediterranean flavors and distinct Lebanese flair. You will be spoilt with choices if you love authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. To make things a little easier for you, I have made a lift of my top favorite places to dine in when in Beirut. Have a look!
Everything about this restaurant from the food, ambiance and service is absolutely amazing. It has three different locations, one that serves seafood specifically, and the other two that treat you with delectable Lebanese cuisine. Also, just to make it clear, there is Babel Bahar Seafood and Babel in Dbayeh, as well as Babel Bay which is located in the famous Zaytounah Bay area and offers seafood.
This one is a trendy Japanese Asian restaurant in Downtown Beirut, which comes as a delightful change of flavor in Beirut. What I really liked was that they have always been consistent with the quality of traditional Japanese cooking, and the fresh produce. Just look at the food I had here, it is sure to trigger your appetite. Highly recommended.
- Em Sherif
Located in the Achrafieh district, Em Sherif is one the most gorgeous restaurants you can step into for a fine dining experience of the ancient world. The décor is lavish yet antique, and they serve Middle Eastern Cuisine. The set menu features very rich starters and delectable local dishes such as Manakish Zaatar and Lahme Mechwiye. You can also head out towards to terrace to enjoy some Shisha afterwards. It’s actually a very good place for vegetarians as well, as you can see very fresh and colorful plates in the pictures below. Make sure to reserve a table beforehand as the restaurant is always fully booked.
Ummi means “mother” in Arabic, and the food here is surely going to remind you of the warmth of your mom’s cooking. This is undoubtedly the best places for authentic Lebanese food and among my top favorites as I have never had such mind-blowing culinary journey in any of the other Middle Easter restaurants that I visited before.
They are very famous for the Chicken Rotisserie, the Hummus called Ummi Hummus which is a specialty and is a must try. I also ordered some of the raw meat dishes in addition to the home cooked food. Do order the Musakhan Roll and Arayes, I highly recommend both of these zesty dishes. The restaurant is located in Downtown Souk in Beirut, walk in will always be booked especially during lunch and dinners hours so make a booking before you go.
- Deli. Co
This restaurant is located right next to Ummi and is considered as one of the most amazing dine out places in Beirut for breakfast. The options are great as they have very nice sandwiches as well as really good benedicts and subs. However, it is to be noted that the breakfast menu is not served the whole day and ends at 12PM.
Apart from the savory goodies, they also offer some very nice desserts and pastries so do visit to give your sweet-tooth a treat!
This one is very highly recommended for vegetarians and also for those people who like to try new dishes all the time. At Baron, you will always find excellent gluten free vegan options like this cauliflower dish that is very creative and cooked to perfection.
What’s more is that they combine Middle Eastern flavors with Western flavors. The food is prepared in an open kitchen so you get to enjoy watching everything live while you wait to be served. All in all, it is a very cozy restaurant with excellent service and located in a really nice area called Mar Mkhayel, where are other eateries situated nearby too. I also really enjoyed their variety of desserts and Bakhlava.
This place serves outstanding Italian food. The Pesto Gnocchi is a must try for pesto lovers, the Risotto with Burrata is simply amazing, and the Carpaccio is fresh and beautiful. Even the desserts such as the Crème Brulee are of high quality and taste.
- Tawlet – Mar Mkhayel
Another great eatery in the beautiful Mar Mkhayel area is Tawlet, which serves home-cooked food which is made with love and garlic! It is a all you can eat buffet concept that serves Arak and a variety of desserts. One thing to keep in mind is prior booking as you will always find it packed otherwise.
- Bar Tartine
This one is a perfect spot for breakfast and brunch. The whole variety of bread and croissants are baked in-house as they have their own bakery which only serves freshly made goodies. Featured is the Tuna Avocado which is highly recommended especially if you love healthy options. I also tried the Eggs with Brie and the Strawberry Éclair which was something quite different and very tempting.
- Chateau Ksara
This winery is the best experience especially summer time. Different concept altogether. It is basically a winery where they educate you about wine and even give a tour around while they teach you about wine pairing which is quite an experience for wine lovers. You can also buy wine,cheese and have lunch there. ( It’s a couple of hours away from Beirut )
- East Village
Badaro is a trending area in Beirut and has lots of small restaurants and bars so it’s like a heaven for foodies and tourists alike. The place also has a number of great hotels if you are looking to stay. East Village is a small yet cozy eatery located in Badaro, at the end of the street and serves very good food in an extremely pleasant ambiance. You will find really nice salads and starters, healthy vegetarian options, excellent burgers, dips and salads. It is American cuisine mainly.
- Dar Bistro in Hamra
Another amazing venue for breakfast and food in general is Dar Bistro, which is located in Hamra. The restaurant is like an old mansion that has a library too, so you can enjoy reading a good book while you sip on your coffee. The breakfast options are authentic, for instance they serve eggs, Zartar and Labneh. However they do not serve Manakeesh, but it is available fresh in the bakery right across the street.
The service at this place can be slow but I assure you that it is worth the wait. The overall experience itself is great especially if you like places that aren’t very modern but serves amazing food. It’s a great experience if you want to be in a place that is not very modern, but more cultural and serves authentic food and is more cultural. Book lovers are surely going to enjoy themselves here.
This restaurant is situated in Byblos, a very cultural and historical district of Beirut. Not only is the food phenomenal, the space itself is marvelously done up with wooden tables and antique décor. It’s a dining experience you don’t want to miss. However, the waiting line is huge if you go without making a booking beforehand, so make sure that you do if you wish to be served some amazing food immediately.
14. Enab Beirut
Located in Mar Mkhayel, Enab Beirut boasts a great seating area, similar to that in an olden-day house, and serves finger-licking good Lebanese food that bursts with authentic flavors. Here, I found the Kibbeh Nayeh to be the best of all. They also have Shisha and a nice atmosphere overall. The restaurant has recently opened up a branch in Dubai Citywalk as well.