Em Sherif, brainchild of the entrepreneurial Mireille Heyak, is a distinguished fine-dining restaurant tucked away in the heart of the Monot area of Ashferieh neighborhood. Lavishly decorated to resemble an antique oriental mansion, this highly reputed family run establishment offers a classy take on well-known traditional Lebanese dishes. Daily dishes promise to surprise even the initiated with the chef’s personal touches to a wide variety of mezze, grilled meats,and deserts, all prepared with an eye for quality ingredients.
Address: Victor Hugo Street, Monot, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1206206
Branching out of Souk el Tayeb, a weekly farmers market promoting Lebanon’s independently grown produce, Tawlet celebrates the same vision for the role of food and sustainable agriculture. The dining area is flooded with light owing to the high ceilings and the glass walls separating it from a green Mar Mikhael street. Truly deserving of the soul food epithet, cooks here will be happy to give context to the dishes they happen to be serving on the day. There is no fixed menu, only a range of all-you-can-eat buffet dishes, lovingly prepared by a rotating group of cooks from all over the country.
Address: Nahr Street, Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1448129
Pastel walls, twinkling chandeliers, striped and spotted couches: Enab would fit straight into a Wes Anderson movie. Situated on the first floor of an expansive French colonial house and meticulously decorated with all sorts of quirky touches, this reputable venue serves some of the best mezze in the Mar Mikhael dining scene. As you make your way through endless rooms and airy terraces you’re sure to have no trouble finding a table. Countless waiters whiz past, elegantly serving fresh Lebanese fare, as narghile ‘hookah’ smoke rises in the terrace. The whole places buzzes with a life and charm quite unlike anywhere else in the city.
Address: Mar Mikhael Street, Ashrafiyah, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1 444 441
Should you crave a midnight or early morning snack, ideally in a peaceful setting, this is the place. Setting Al Falamanki apart is its blissful garden, a bucolic spot in the middle of the city, hardly paralleled anywhere else in Beirut. The indoor quarters, themselves reminiscent of a country house, are professionally maintained. They serve a wide variety of mezze, grills and oven-baked dishes, though the restful venue is also perfect for coffee and, what locals seem to enjoy most here, a game of backgammon.
Address: Sodeco, Damascus Road, Beirut, Lebanon. +9611323456
Surrounded by the olive green walls of its minimally designed interiors, Abu Naim takes prides in serving traditional Lebanese food created from the freshest meat and vegetables, handpicked daily by chef and owner Abu Naim himself. Locals tend to return regularly, especially since restaurants in which tradition is adhered to as much as here, are becoming few and far between. Beyond the usual fare of warm or cold mezze and assorted grilled meats, here’s the chance to try something truly exotic, including marinated lamb brains and raw ground beef or spiced liver.
Address: Hamra Street, Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon. +961 1750480