Chef Athanasios Kargatzidis’s nook of a restaurant is just as delightful on the eyes as on the palate. The interior is minimalist in design, nearly Scandinavian, with simple furnishings and ample lighting. Sit in the outdoor courtyard if the weather permits, and enjoy the modern Mediterranean interpretations that Chef Kargatzidis updates almost daily. The menu is categorised by core ingredient, such as dairy, seafood, vegetables, and a variation of nose-to-tail dishes for lamb, beef, pork and fowl.

  • +961 79 179 099
  • Go to Website
  • Building 125
    Pharoun Street
    Mar Mikhael

Kitchen Confidential

Food allergy sufferers: We’ve got a place for you. Kitchen Confidential is more than just sensitive to common allergens like gluten and lactose, the entire menu is created around making allergen-free meals delicious. No need to settle for a salad—even the pizzas come with your choice of several gluten-free crusts and vegan cheeses. Dessert at Kitchen Confidential is also guilt-free, with all pastries, tarts, and cakes being lactose-free.


For a switch-up from traditional Lebanese fare, grab a table at Kampaï, a contemporary Asian-inspired bistro. The dishes are stylised and refined, incorporating traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese flavors. You’ll find the standard sushi and sashimi selections, as well as more local inclusions like hammour fish from the Med. Don’t fret if sushi is not your thing—you’ve got plenty of stir-frys, grill plates, and salads to choose from. We love the crunchy filo-wrapped shrimp with salsa.


A warm Italian trattoria that best exemplifies Beirut’s European flair, Tavolina immediately transports you to Rome at first sight of the red and white tablecloths. Start with a sampling of antipasti, then carb-load with Italian classics like pasta, pizza, and grilled meats. Portions are large and satisfying, pasta is cooked to al dente perfection, and seasonal dishes like shiitake mushroom with sea urchin display a definite culinary prowess.


Locals have been raving about Cocteau since its opening in 2012. The brasserie is sophisticated, yet contemporary with geometric chandeliers, a glass bar and a floor-to-ceiling wine display towards the back. The menu is mostly comprised of French classics like salade Niçoise and duck confit, but is also peppered with unexpected variations like shrimp tartare with avocado.


Thanks to Lebanon’s sizeable Armenian population, Beirut is ideal for discovering rich Armenian cuisine. At Nour, located in the stylish Achrafieh neighborhood, family recipes are executed with comforting perfection. Cover your table with housemade specialties like basturma (pastrami) smothered with melted mozzarella and quail eggs, selek bread filled with swiss chard, walnut and tahini, and grilled veal kebabs.



After the immense success of her Paris café, Liza Asseily opened her Beirut outpost to much admiration from the design crowd. With an interior crafted by local designer Maria Ousseimi, Liza recreates the glamour of a classical Lebanese palace with an air of tropicality, most notably from the banana leaf wallpaper. An equally stylish clientele comes for traditional Lebanese dishes distilled through Asseily’s discerning palate, such as the seabass with tahini and lamb shank confit.

  • +961 1208 108
  • Go to Website
  • Metropolitan Club Doumani Street

Em Sherif

Em Sherif, established by Mireille Hayek in 2011, still sits at the pinnacle of Beirut’s fine dining landscape when it comes to traditional Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant’s local renown has since spread to the Arabian Gulf, where outposts have popped up in Dubai, Kuwait City, and Doha. Come for the ultimate mezze spread that includes expertly whipped hummus, fattoush salad with eggplant, and bulgar wheat with tomato. Grilled meat and seafood platters are musts for entrées, and mouhalabieh milk pudding for dessert.


Ferdinand is a gastropub in Hamra that simply has it all: Stiff drinks, top-notch bites, and hospitable service. The dining room is dimly-lit, plush and moody. It’s popular with expats, meaning you’re bound to hear more English spoken here than Arabic. The food is rich and satisfying, ideal after bar hopping in Hamra, but is nonetheless inventive. Case in point: the signature Ferdi burger, which is doused in blueberry jam and bacon.

M. Sahyoun

It would be blasphemous to leave Beirut without trying M. Sahyoun’s secret falafel recipe, the only dish served from this hole-in-the-wall shop since 1935. These falafel sandwiches exemplify the beauty of simplicity with their perfect ratio of pita bread, falafel balls, parsley, radish, and taratour tahini sauce. Though know that by eating at M Sahyoun, you’re taking sides in a sibling rivalry: Sahyoun’s brother runs the falafel shop next door, which nearly identical (and sure, it’s just as good).


Armenian food served in an atmospheric family-run joint in the centre of Mar Mikhael. The oh-so-romantic garden is the perfect place to eat, drink and natter away an evening (a venerated Beiruti pastime) and the Armenian interiors game is strong.

  • +961 1570 711
  • Patriarch Arida
    Mar Mikhael


Oysters, gin and the best name in town. If you’re not a fan of its shelled delights there’s a sashimi bar – and if you’re not a fan of that, there are knock-out cocktails to keep you happy. Open until 2am for that late-night seafood fix.

Abou Hassan

No-fuss Lebanese hummus, fresh-baked bread and foul (stewed beans with lemon and herbs). In a world of wannabes, Abou Hassan’s hummus is the real deal. After a night out in the nearby nightclubs of B018 and Discotek, its version with spiced lamb will tempt the most sincere of “clean eaters”.

  • +961 1266 888
  • Mar Youssef Street
    Bourj Hammoud


This spot, beloved of American University of Beirut students, has good-value grub, cold beer and its very own library. Keep your eyes peeled for its unassuming entrance in a shopping-centre facade. Tucked out back is a colourful, cosy secret garden.

  • +961 1350 274
  • Hamra Square Centre

Lebanese Bakery

A Lebanese flatbread (manousheh) paradise – try it sweet, savoury or every-which-way. The joint is owned by brothers Samer and Bassam Chamoun – Samer worked as an architect with the late, great Zaha Hadid – and a London branch has recently opened in Covent Garden.

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