Located in a commercial and lively neighbourhood, Hamra Cafe is an oasis of peace amid the din. You can choose between an air-conditioned lounge, or terrace with huge camouflaged fans. Homemade lemonade, Lebanese food and a water pipe (the Hamra flavour is very good) is a cocktail of guaranteed relaxation. It is worth being seduced by the dessert, a kind of pancake with caramel sauce: a delight! For Internet addicts, wifi is available at low prices.
La Cigale is much more than just a bakery. It's a restaurant / mini-mart, very interesting, particularly for the culinary side of things. You can have a cappuccino, pastries or freshly made pasta ... a real pleasure. The only drawback is the price, which is above average. We had three cappuccinos and three croissants, and paid about 20 euros ... definitely a place for the rich! La Cigale can be reached by a three-lane highway north of Beirut, in the direction of Byblos and Tripoli.
The Barometre is one of those places that's very popular with the younger residents of the Lebanese capital. Located in the city centre, the restaurant is in a side street, off Hamra Street. It fills up after 10pm, when the volume of the music goes up and people start dancing in the middle of the room to the pulsating rhythm of Middle Eastern music. If you arrive a bit earlier, you can also eat and chat quietly with your friends. Try the fried rolls with cheese or a fresh salad. The bottled beer is Almaza and it is not all bad ... give it a try!
Mezzo di Pasta seems like an unusual name for a Beirut restaurant. It's a kind of fast food centre located in Gouraud, one of the most crowded areas in terms of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. You can sit at a table or at the bar, and they serve pasta, sandwiches, and Lebanese dishes. The portions are generous and the prices very cheap, and after a certain time (I think at 6 pm) they start offering 3 for the price of 2 on certain dishes!
This is a beautiful Arabic-style restaurant where you can smoke shisha, and drink rose tea or Lebanese coffee. It is located in Beirut, in the Dahieh area, inhabited by Shiite Muslims. The restaurant has a nice atmosphere, with soft lighting and quiet music. People also come here to play chess and spend some time with friends. A place absolutely recommended, not among the cheapest in town, but that's okay!
This recently opened restaurant is located a few steps from the bridge that leads into the Armenian quarter of Borj Hammoud. It's a typically Lebanese restaurant, pretty on the inside, with an intimate atmosphere. Among the dozens of dishes you can choose from, the highlight is the meat: kebabs or chops, a real treat - though if you're trying to save, you might find your budget a little bit inflated for the evening. The excellent fattoush and tabbouleh, two typical Lebanese salads, are worth trying, as is the Arak, an anise liqueur mixed with water.
It's strange being in Lebanon, on one of the busiest roads leading to Beirut, and seeing a huge neon sign advertising ice cream. A mirage, perhaps? No, it's real. Here you can taste delicious cakes and ice cream. It's on the road between Beirut and Tripoli, spread over two floors. All the flavours are really delicious, but I particularly recommend the dark chocolate on a hot summer's day!
Situated in Hamra, in the district of bars and restaurants, the restaurant offers high-quality, traditional Lebanese Kababji food. The menu is written in Arabic and English, and there's a wide range of dishes with vegetables, meats, and sauces, hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush ... the atmosphere is nice, bright and almost elegant: it has capacity for 50 people, but unless you go on a Saturday or Sunday night, you'll never find it too crowded. If you're with friends, it's best to order several different dishes to share, so you can enjoy even more of the delicious Lebanese cuisine.
Lebanese food with fish specialties on a terrace with views of the Mediterranean in the north of Beirut (28 km). A really good selection of wines and spirits but you usually have to book with secure parking