Lebanon’s second city, Tripoli, sits on the north coast of the country, its unique Mamluk architecture hiding winding alleyways and medieval courtyards. The city is rich in local and international cuisines too – we’ve picked the 10 best restaurants to get a taste of things.
A grand and spacious restaurant in the heart of Tripoli, Baytna Restaurant is an ideal choice for experiencing traditional Lebanese food at an affordable prices. Besides serving some of the best mezze and arayes in town, the menu lines up a great variety of grills and other delectable dishes. The traditional yet chic interior design, with long windows and Lebanese ornaments, ensures an authentic local dining experience. Attentive and English-speaking staff are an extra bonus.
Located in the city’s new downtown area, the Dam Wal Farez, La Plaka has a menu full of European-inspired selections, including burgers, pizzas and sandwiches; the chicken with mushroom sandwich is definitely a must-try. La Plaka provides food from breakfast to late evening dining both indoor and out on the terrace.
Locals call it the best seafood restaurant in northern Lebanon, and Silver Shore is set in the perfect location, right by the sea. Stunning sea views are just one of the many attributes that make this restaurant attractive and adored by many. The main reason is the huge menu of fresh and well-cooked seafood specialties; the samke harra is something to try first. The friendly staff are on hand to help you choose if you get stuck.
Driving down Tripoli’s Route 38 you’ll find Fifties, a vintage American diner that faithfully replicates the originals with pop-art decoration and posters along the walls, leather booths and a stainless steel bar section. This fun restaurant remains true to classic Americana in its menu as well, offering typical diner must-eats, from burgers, pizzas and pastas to milkshakes.
Lemon Garden Resto-Café has long opening hours and pleasant garden seating, surrounded by lemon trees. The menu is a basic if tasty selection of international dishes, including salads and burgers. All followed by drink and some shisha, an indispensable feature for any authentic Lebanese diner.
A veteran venue on the culinary scene of Tripoli, Shater Hassan Palace is carved into a cliff, giving the restaurant a spectacular setting. Although the sea view is undeniably stunning from the wide-open terrace, Shater Hassan Palace earned its reputation through its excellent cuisine, which offers a great buffet selection of traditional Lebanese classics. Unsurprisingly, the spacious and elegant restaurant is very popular among locals.
For over 100 years, this sweet emporium has been a must-visit place in Tripoli and Abdula Rahman Hallab & Sons features a gift shop (delivering worldwide), a cafeteria and a restaurant that serves a great variety of Lebanese dishes and menus that change daily. Located in the city’s old souk, the complex is ideal for lunches or an afternoon refreshment, and is the perfect destination for sweet-toothed visitors.
Ahwak ben Tafesh is known as a liberal debate hub in the city for young, open-minded locals, who gather here to express their views on politics, religion and culture in a peaceful manner and setting. It is also among the best breakfast and coffee places in Tripoli, with carrot cake that is famous citywide. Besides the great sweets and excellent coffees, guests can enjoy soup and sandwich options inside or out on the pretty patio.
Located in the Lamunia Hotel, NORDSUD serves a good selection of international cuisine, complemented by the varying plat-du-jour menu and large Sunday buffets. Both the hotel and the restaurant-lounge are modern and stylish, and NORDSUD offers indoor or spacious outdoor seating with charming views of the seashore and surrounding mountains.
Una Pizza is a slice of little Italy in the heart of Tripoli. Small and cosy with simple but elegant interiors, friendly staff and the essential wood-fired pizza oven, Una Pizza is the locals’ favorite when it comes to Italian salads and pizza dough. The restaurant puts strong emphasis on using organic ingredients, many of which are grown in their own garden to ensure the freshest dishes.