The heart and soul of Beirut and one of the city’s major commercial districts, Hamra is home to Lebanon’s top fashion stores and hotels, and the prestigious American University of Beirut. With vast numbers of locals and tourists crowding its streets daily, it hosts a number of restaurants catering for a wide range of appetites. Here we take a look at some of the most popular haunts in this vibrant neighborhood.
No self-respecting foodie, fond of authentic Neapolitan pizza, would miss an opportunity of dining at Dottore. Tucked away in a quiet side street off Hamra’s main thoroughfare, this little Italian bistro packs in romantic charm, fresh ingredients and a concise menu of Italian dishes, kept traditionally simple. Beyond a handful of antipasti and meat dishes, pizzas are the largest draw, topped with generous amounts of mozzarella and a sprig of basil. It is well worth asking about the daily specials.
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Address: Rue Antoine Gemayel, Hamra, Lebanon. +961 3 556 833
On a leafy street in Hamra’s neighboring Kantare district, Jai brings the city the best of Asian culinary traditions under one roof, boasting a unique fusion menu combining Chinese, Indian and Thai recipes. Primarily a delivery and catering service, the set up of the restaurant is rather unconventional, bestowing charm, and taking nothing away from its appeal. Alcohol isn’t served here but you are welcome to bring your own.
Address: Myrtom House Bldg, Rue du Mexique, Kantari, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1 745 940
t-marbouta is a restaurant, café and pub, conceived as a multi-purpose cultural space hosting film screenings, live music events and lectures throughout the week. The vision behind the place is ‘coffee, books and people’, attracting folk from all generations, especially students who you’ll often find hanging out on the quaint back patio. The homey and attentively designed interior includes a small library on the first floor, a long wooden bar, a study area and lounge in which to enjoy hearty Lebanese mezze in a calm and serene atmosphere.
Address: Hamra Square Centre, Ground Floor, Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1350274
Classic Burger Joint
Boasting the best burgers in town, Classic Burger Joint is carving out a niche of flame-grilled passion, setting it well above any of the fast-food chains in terms of taste and quality of service. With a mission to honour the tradition of this universal meal, CBJ serves gourmet burgers made with Australian angus beef patties accompanied by the essential sides of fries and fresh green salads. It’s not hard to see why the Swiss’N’Mushroom, topped with a rich mushroom sauce and fine Swiss cheese, has many devoted fans.
Address: Hamra Street, Beirut +9611 745645
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