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The Urbanist’s Beirut: Where to Eat

Momo at the Souks  

Where to Eat If You Crave …

Next-Gen Cuisine and a Hip Scene:

The Gathering
(Pasteur St.; 961-156-6196) Powered by rooftop solar panels, this courtyard combination of wine bar–grill–Italian restaurant is a sustainable first in Beirut.

(Zaitunay Bay; 961-137-6640) After riding a wave of success in Paris, chef Karim Haïdar returned home to launch a bold tasting menu of Lebanese-fusion dishes within the glossy marina-side Zaitunay Bay development.

(Fakhry Bey St.; 961-199-9757) Overlooking the Beirut Souks, Yannick Alléno’s restaurant has a bar, pastry counter, and communal table where guests can try a chef-selected meal from the contemporary French menu.

(Al Gamarik St.; 961-144-4311) Accessory designer and restaurant guru Johnny Farah has his own organic farm in the Lebanese Mountains where he grows ingredients for Lux’s well-priced Mediterranean fare.

Momo at the Souks
(Beirut Souks; 961-199-9767) Momo’s Franco–North African spot was a hit in London and Paris before opening in downtown Beirut, where it quickly became a lair for serious party animals.

—Ellen Hardy, travel writer

Traditional Lebanese-Grandmother-Style Dishes:

Furn el Hamra
(Nehme Yafet, Hamra; no phone) Every Beiruti has a trusted man’ouche dealer. The best is this closet-size bakery, where crowds mill outside waiting for warm, doughy breakfast pies to emerge from the oven slathered in the perfect thyme-sesame-sumac mix. —Salma Abdelnour, food writer

(Maracha Royal St., Bourj Hammoud; 961-388-2933) Varouj is a minuscule four-table spot in the mazelike Armenian neighborhood of Bourj Hammoud. No one can outdo their spicy soujouk sausages, meaty manti dumplings in minty yogurt sauce, and luscious basterma, a pastramilike cured meat. —S.A.

Al Halabi
(Antelias; 961-452-3555) Pay no mind to the tacky décor. The Lebanese meze is like no other. Meze, as opposed to tapas, are a proper meal of many small dishes ranging from cold salads to raw-meat platters. Typically, the meal ends with skewers of barbecued meat, and Halabi does them best. —Kamal Mouzawak, founder of Souk El Tayeb farmer’s market


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