Hello Beirut!!

Hello Beirut! [Updated April, 2018!]

Lebanon is just lovely! Very authentic and very alive! It’s true that the security situation could potentially deteriorate quite quickly, but from a neighboring country perspective, central Beirut is probably as safe as London , Berlin , and Paris . So just do a little research before the time of your visit to check on the situation and “don’t believe everything you read”, just ask the locals instead!

Language spoken in Beirut is Arabic, but many Lebanese speak French too!


Where I stayed during my last visit:

Le Gray

Other hotels I’d recommend:

Four Seasons,

Saifi Suites Downtown,

O Monot Boutique Hotel


Another recommendation i found online:

The Villa Clara (00961 7 099 5739; villaclara.fr) in Mar Mikhael is owned and run by Olivier Gougeon and his wife Marie-Helene and named after their seven-year-old daughter. Olivier cooks an electric combination of French and Lebanese cuisine while Marie-Helene edits a French-language interior design magazine; the hotel is crowded with stunning, contemporary art. Doubles from £125, B&B.


For Breakfast:

  • Sunshine Eatery
  • Ginette in Gimmeyze
  • Breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel
  • Gordon’s Cafe
  • Bar Tartine
  • Dar Bistro & Books
  • Lady Grey
  • The Food Dealer
  • LVD
  • Urbanista

Lunch & Dinner:

  • Kampai (Japanese)
  • Sushi Bar (Japanese)
  • Kharouf Marioul (New casual dining)
  • Emm sherif (Arabic Food)
  • Mayrig (Armenian)
  • Cocteau (Fine dining)
  • Petite Maison
  • Tavolina (Casual Italian)
  • Swiss butter for meat
  • Skirt for meat
  • Mother shucker (Like a bar restaurant for sea food like oysters etc)
  • Divvy (International cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • The Spoonteller (International cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • Bedivere Eatery & Tavern (International cuisine-Hamra)
  • Gilt (International cuisine-Saifi Village)
  • Le Talleyrand (French cuisine-Kantari)
  • Sandwiched (American cuisine-Jounieh)
  • Tamashii Sushi (Japanese cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • Ginger & Co. (Japanese cuisine-Hazmieh)
  • Meat The Fish (Seafood cuisine-Saifi Village)
  • Butcher’s Bbq Joint (American cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • BrGr.Co (American cuisine-Downtown)
  • East Village (American cuisine-Badaro)
  • Rare (French Steakhouse-Ashrafieh)
  • Villa Clara (French cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • Café Diem (International cuisine/Coffee shop-Ashrafieh)
  • La Centrale (French cuisine-Saifi Village)
  • Harry’s Bar (Italian cuisine-Saifi Village)
  • Toto (Italian cuisine-Mar Mikhael)
  • L’Avenue Du Parc (French cuisine-Downtown)
  • The Gathering (Italian, Rotisserie and wine bar-Gemmayze)
  • The Beazebee (International cuisine/Coffee shop-Clemenceau)
  • Orient Express (International cuisine-Badaro)
  • Onno (Armenian cuisine-Bourj Hammoud)
  • Tawlet Ammiq (Lebanese cuisine-Bekaa valley)
  • Mon Maki a Moi (Japanese cuisine-Dbayeh)
  • Coast (American cuisine-Minet El Hosn)
  • Kami Sushi (Japanese cuisine-Byblos)
  • Brasserie Metropole (French cuisine-Downtown)
  • Le Télégraphe de Belle-Vue (French cuisine-Bhamdoun)
  • Karnaval (French cuisine-Downtown)
  • La Crêperie (International cuisine-Kaslik)
  • Gavi (Italian cuisine-Minet El Hos)
  • Bergerac (French cuisine-Ashrafieh)
  • Kona Sushi (Japanese cuisine-Ashrafieh)
  • Alesia (French cuisine-Saifi Village)
  • Sai Sushi (Japanese cuisine-Mtayleb)
  • New restaurant cluster called restaurants de st Nicholas they’re known for Italian and many other casual dining restaurants

Areas to explore & Cafes:

  • Mar Mikhael
  • Zaytouna Bay
  • Oslo (Ice cream parlor-Mar Mikhael)
  • Kissproof (International cuisine/Coffee shop-Badaro)
  • The Food Dealer (Specialty foods/Coffee shop-Mar Mikhael)
  • Dar, Bistro & Books (International cuisine/Coffee shop-Hamra)
  • Bistrobar Live (International cuisine/Coffee shop-Hamra)
  • Riwaq
  • Kalei
  • Cafe Younes

Tip: If its your first time or you’re not very used to chaos; don’t drive in Lebanon. Traffic in Beirut is really congested, and traffic lights and stop signs aren’t always to be trusted; red and green are sometimes treated as suggestions, not orders. You could get stuck in the street for a long time and your Uber, Careem or taxi bill will triple!

I would recommend instead that you rent a car with a driver to be with you if you’re spending some time there. Let me know if you need help with that, I have a few great drivers with cars there!

Heads-up: If you have an Israeli stamp in your passport you will likely be stopped and barred from entering the country, even if you have a Lebanese visa.


Learn some Arabic… English or French? Haha Beirutis frequently mix Arabic, English, and French in casual conversation. Some refer to this form of slang as Arabish. Often said sarcastically—hi, kifak, ca va?— borrowing ‘how are you’ from Lebanese colloquial Arabic and ‘okay?’ from French, is one example.


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