The 10 Best Restaurants in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon

Downtown Beirut
Downtown Beirut | © rabiem22 /Flickr

Freelance Writer

Beirut is Lebanon’s tourist hub, and Downtown Beirut is a fashionable neighborhood in this cosmopolitan city. But what do you do if you’ve been walking around all day and don’t know where to eat? Here’s a guide to the best restaurants in the heart of Beirut.

1. Gordon's Cafe

Cafe, Hotel Restaurant, Contemporary, North American, Vegetarian, European, Coffee

Gordons Cafe
© Le Gray Hotel

Located right off Martyrs’ Square in the center of Beirut, Gordon’s cafe is a small restaurant housed in the Le Gray hotel. This is the perfect place for a midday meal after a stroll through Downtown Beirut. The interior is very pleasant as the designs are very detail-oriented. From imported armchairs to imported Balsamic vinegar, this is one 5-star experience you don’t want to miss.

2. Couqley

Restaurant, European, French, Vegetarian

Couqley, Exterioe
© Couqley

Known as one of the best French bistros in Beirut, Couqley is close to Downtown. Enjoy a stellar food experience for lunch or dinner. The dishes are delicious and well-presented, and chef Alexis Couquelet studied in the Academy of Culinary Arts in New York and has worked in France. The European cuisine is noteworthy in the heart of this Middle Eastern city.

3. Babel

Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Seafood, Vegetarian, Vegan

In the Heart of Beirut’s posh Zeitounay Bay, Babel is the place for seafood in Beirut. This Lebanese restaurant attests to the creativity of the locals, and is a very popular place. If you want to try Lebanese food with a high-end twist, Babel is definitely the place to go.

4. The Met

Cafe, Restaurant, Japanese, American, French, Italian

The Met, Beirut Souks
© Amani El Charif

In the heart of Downtown Beirut, The Met is the perfect stop after a long day of shopping in the Beirut souks. It is a truly metropolitan restaurant as the menu includes dishes from all over the world. The interior is very stylish and complements Beirut’s city vibe, and comes with equally wonderful service.

5. The Shogun

Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Sushi

Just off Martyr’s Square is Shogun. Enjoy nice views and delicious food from the 8th floor of the Nahhar Building. Taste some of the best sushi Beirut has to offer, as it’s frequently cited as locals’ favorite place for sushi and drinks. The interior is beautiful and the presentation of the food equally so. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the food at this famous venue.

6. Indigo on the Roof

Hotel Restaurant, European, Mediterranean

Indigo on the Roof, Downtown Beirut
© Le Gray

Another restaurant in the Le Gray Hotel, Indigo is one of the most popular places for fine dining in Downtown Beirut. Enjoy panoramic rooftop views of central Beirut and incredible cuisine. This is the place for a couple looking for an intimate setting, as there is a quiet vibe here that is missing elsewhere in Beirut.

7. Em Sherif

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

Em Sherif, Interior
© Em Sherif

Em Sherif is one of the best spots in the heart of Beirut for Lebanese food. Enjoy a meal in an opulent setting. Diners at Em Sherif have described it as putting a new twist on traditional aesthetics, with some of the best local dishes they’ve had. Enjoy an on-table buffet-style meal in one of the best Lebanese restaurants.

8. Paul

Cafe, Middle Eastern

Paul Restaurant
© Israa Hamze

Not sure where to have breakfast in the heart of Beirut? Make sure to visit Paul for fresh snacks and dishes. The croissants served there are famous in Beirut, and the relaxed vibe ensures that customers return. Enjoy the best light dishes in Beirut.

9. Gilt

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, European, Mediterranean

Gilt, Beirut
© Gilt

Enjoy a relaxed dinner with friends at Gilt. The venue is the perfect spot for an evening out on the town. With a modern aesthetic and beautiful interior, the place is definitely a hot spot for trendy restaurant-goers who enjoy dressing up for a late dinner.

10. Mayrig

Restaurant, Mediterranean, American

Enjoy the best of Armenian food at the Mayrig, with an authentic and delicious trip to Armenia in the heart of Lebanon. If you’ve tried Downtown Beirut’s other top restaurants and don’t know where to head next, make it Mayrig.

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