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Food, in general, is one of the locals’ favorite hobbies; we like to prepare, cook, and eat it. The Lebanese cuisine is known across the world for its richness of taste and amazing presentation. It is no wonder that a running joke between locals, in light of Lebanon’s economic problems, is that the food business is the only one generating money in the country.
Lebanon’s first street food market, the Souk El Akel, is bringing said treats all across Lebanon., with akel (food) at the core of this event’s aim. The concept of the event is simple: bring as much good food as possible and put it in one place. It takes place according to a schedule and travels across Lebanon, with a base every Thursday in downtown Beirut. It can also now be booked for private occasions. What makes Souk El Akel special is its combination of the best artisanal food stands; the aim of its creators is to bring the best food experiences for people. More than 25 vendors participate in this awaited event at every location.
It is not strange for locals to travel distances to eat at Souk El Akel. Some may even travel to participate after the event had been in their own town just a while ago. Some of the stands have become a staple of the event and many go just for them. One of the best vendors is Pizza Pie, a stand which serves deep dish Chicago style pizza with endless possibilities for toppings and fillings. Another popular stand is the Raclette Sandwich stand, where only the finest cheese is used in amazing sandwiches as aa healthy alternative to other stands, which serve authentic grilled burgers and or chocolate filled crepes.
For the people concerned with health there are stands like Rassif, the vendor for a restaurant which serves exclusively healthy sandwiches and Popcity, Lebanon’s source for healthy and refreshing Ice Pops. Popcity’s ice pops are diverse and include fruits, cream-based sweets like chocolate, and upon request, alcohol. They’re the perfect dessert at the end of a crowded food festival.
Make no mistake, Souk El Akel will almost always be crowded with food lovers and will surely turn you into one. The food is clean and well presented and the event is held at venues with seating arrangements. If all else fails, sit on the grass or sand as Souk El Akel will definitely be a full day event.