Top Restaurants In Beirut, Lebanon

Moutabbal with pomegranate, eggplant and hummus
Moutabbal with pomegranate, eggplant and hummus | © ilpo musto / Alamy
Virág Gulyás

Lebanon’s capital Beirut is an exciting city with abundant culture, history and delectable tastes. The gastronomic choices available are diverse – here are the top 10 exceptional places to eat in the city.

1. Tawlet

Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Fusion

Tawlet, Beirut
© Tawlet

Tawlet is an exceptional restaurant with a great concept behind it. Everything is produced from local ingredients, which helps to support local farms. As a branch of Souk el Tayeb, a market where regional farmers from every region of Lebanon come together to sell their products, Tawlet offers traditional Lebanese food served in a buffet form. Besides the notable high-quality food, Tawlet’s is also active in promoting culinary life by hosting invited chefs from the country, who explain culinary delicacies of specific villages. Therefore, Tawlet is the ideal place to try not only Beirut-inspired flavours, but also to sample from full-fledged Lebanese gastronomy in all of its diversity. The restaurant enthusiastically celebrates food and tradition; they share their passion for food by offering authentic cooking classes.

2. Onno

Bistro, Restaurant, Fusion

A small, off-the-beaten-track restaurant with few tables, Onno is considered to be the best Armenian kitchen in the country. Guests should not expect a grand venue, but should visit instead for the food. Their authentic Armenian food and hospitality are praised countrywide, and Onno has earned its reputation among tourists as well. One of the oldest dining spots in Lebanon,, the cherry kebab, manti and Armenian salad are surely among the best choices. Each dish is created with great care and passion. Onno is an ideal place for a gastronomical treat for those seeking fully authentic Armenian tastes with affordable prices.

3. Em Sherif

Restaurant, Wine Bar, Cafe, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Fusion, Lebanese

© ilpo musto / Alamy

Em Sherif is a perfect spot for an unconventional fine-dining experience in the heart of Beirut. It is a themed restaurant with an opulent atmosphere, where the owner, Em Sherif, personally ensures that clients are served delectable tastes of only the highest quality. While the menu is characteristically Lebanese, including the traditional mezze, the wine selection contains a fine selection of French, Italian and Lebanese wines. The venue boasts a sophisticated and exclusive design that is rich in detail, while also offering varying entertainment options featuring the live band, Tarab, and traditional Middle Eastern music.

4. Liza

Restaurant, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern

Liza, which first debuted in Paris, opened its signature restaurant in East Beirut in 2013. Named after one of the owners, Liza Asseily, it is a remarkable place that received a warm welcome in no time. Offering Middle Eastern and Lebanese dishes, Liza stands out for its extraordinary setting: located in a former Abdallah Bustros Palace, the spacious 500-square-metre venue received a great deal of attention when it opened, with tasteful, differently named rooms bridging traditional and modern styles. The creamy colours and light-filled tables give Liza a flawless finish. With its impeccable reputation, Liza is a must visit for all who wish to enjoy meticulousness both in the surrounding ambience and in the food.

5. Jaï

Restaurant, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Fusion

Noodle Soup
© Hsuanya Tsai

Jaï Kitchen is a take-out restaurant with an Asian style. With a menu based on spicy Indian, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, with offerings such as chicken, shrimp rolls, fish cakes, noodle soups, all spiced with the perfect mix of coriander, cumin, ginger, or curry, Jaï is heaven for Asian-food enthusiasts. The concept at Jai is both open-minded and cosy, creating a tranquil atmosphere with an open kitchen, where on a first-come-first-served basis a few patrons can have the opportunity to dine at a prime viewing table. Chef Wael Lazkani guarantees high quality food in Beirut’s Kantari neighborhood. Opt to dine-in or take away.

6. Classic Burger Joint

Diner, Restaurant, North American, Fast Food, Street Food, Middle Eastern

‘Hamburgers is all we do’ – but they do it well. Classic Burger Joint serves the best burgers in town, if not in the whole country. Their reputation is steady and the quality unquestionable. A truly American-inspired venue, where nothing is fancy nor chic, they are straightforward with the food. The menu offers burgers of all types and in a great variety with some side dishes, such as chips and salads. The venue also offers take-out menus, but make sure to sit in, because besides great food, the atmosphere and friendly servers make for a great dining experience.

7. Stereo Kitchen

Restaurant, Nightclub, Mediterranean

A recently opened venture that already stands out by offering an ‘architectural dining wonder’, Stereo Kitchen is located in Gemmayze area on top of a 1960s office building that ensures stunning views of both the city and harbour. However, the venue is also a beautiful architectural showpiece of Harvard alumnus Paul Kaloustian, who created a minimalist, contemporary space with a masterful combination of steel, glass, concrete and metal. Stereo Kitchen serves modern Lebanese food and international appetisers under the professional hands of Chef Fouad Kassab. While on weekdays the place is a high-end fine dining restaurant with soft background music, on the weekends it is more of a high-end lounge.

8. La Plage Beirut

Restaurant, Lebanese

© Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy

A true landmark building of Beirut, Cafe d’ Orient has stood for decades. It prides itself not only on its long history and great food, but also for being the culinary choice for visiting Hollywood stars, politicians, high-level dignitaries, while also welcoming families, couples and providing an exclusive venue for any occasion. Located right by the waterfront, it offers outdoor sitting at the water’s edge, accompanied by a sea breeze. La Plage, as it is commonly referred to, offers amazing seafood choices that, thanks its location, are fresh every day. Though it boasts a locally inspired kitchen, the menu does not overlook delicious international tastes either, sushi being the most popular choice. Cafe d’ Orient is an absolute must for a chic Lebanese dining experience.

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