As we may have noticed, food around the world is following trends which we Lebanese are being influenced by. It was the year of Sushi in 2013, burgers in 2014, homemade pastries in 2015 and the way things are going so far in 2016, sandwiches and wraps are stepping up their game everywhere we go.
What started ages ago as a portable food item or finger food has grown to become a popular food item worldwide and is found in various versions, with various fillings, shapes, sizes… the possibilities are endless.
Let’s take a tour around the country’s finest and tastiest wraps and sandwiches from across all corners of the country. Each one is worth trying – let us see why.
Mido's: Tasty Ciabatta Sandwiches in Saida
Mido's uses fine ciabatta bread. A tender bread, moist and fresh, not chewy, not bready and filled with layers of roast beef. A sandwich stuffed with shredded roast beef and fresh vegetables. The thickest of Mido's sandwiches has a load of meat, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, roast beef and mustard. They're good, really good and for only LBP6,000.
Deli.co: A World of Delicatessen in Beirut
There's a new .co concept in town... Deli.co serves delicious sandwiches never tasted in Lebanon before - a place that offers unconventional wraps, unusual sandwiches and much more - served inside a tiny yet magical space designed with style.
Try the roast beef sandwich; and hear yourself asking... Is this sandwich for real? This is the first time I see and taste something so good in Lebanon. It starts with its superb look that makes your mouth water. An amazing cereal pain de campagne bread that's lightly toasted with a light chewinness filled with layers of sliced meat, rocket leaves, thinly sliced tomatoes, pickles and sauce. Let's start by the least important to the awesome meat. Delicious full bodied sweet pickles, fresh roquette leaves, beautifully thinly sliced tomatoes and the meat; what meat! Juicy as it should be, red like you dream it, tender and as perfect as it should be. And the sauce... Just spill around and smile.
And my heart skipped a beat... The real brisket, the thick brisket sandwich, the smoked meat, the intense pepper, the tender fat, the real mustard... I was melting, smiling - I felt the world stopped turning. More than fifteen layers of meat, the real deal with mustard. Your teeth will pass the bread very quickly and start swagging inside the meat layers. So tender and juicy, they need absolutely no add-on. I'm in love and I mean it. This is the sandwich you don't want to miss.
Abo Jad Aley: Sandwiches Worth Trying!
Abo Jad, the man behind the famous "Ya Wayli" and "Ma Terham" sandwiches. Meat, chicken, fatayel and a special shawarma once a week. Two men work here calmly while the sound of the television adds some mood.
The Sandwiches: Ya Wayli; sesame with a load of juicy chicken tawouk, crunchy pickles, lettuce and lots of mayonnaise before toasting the sandwich. The steak sandwich: Even though made of two layers of bread, the sauce makes all the difference, adding a rich and intense taste before reaching the tender meat. Fatayel: Cubes of meat mixed with huge chunks of onions and served with crunchy pickles. It's the sauces, Abo Jad's mixes, that make all the difference. A tender bread, freshly baked the same morning, and the thrilling filling. Ma Terham: French bread left as is without toasting and filled with crunchy Doritos chips, tender chunks of marinated tawouk and spells of spiciness. That's the signature, it's a different kind of chicken sandwich and one you'll enjoy trying. Chicken liver: Usually chicken liver is not heated, but this one just works perfectly! Super juicy, intense, acidic and sweet, the flavors are felt before even reaching the tender chicken. This one is the winner.
Sandwich w Noss: Lebanon's Best Sellers Under One Roof
The concept is clear. The sandwiches are one and half times bigger than you'd expect and Pepsi is free of charge.
The Six Wheeler: Amazing burger! 170 grams of Angus beef stuffed in a 14 centimeter bun with a load of crunchy coleslaw, melting cheese, a slice of ham, tomatoes and cocktail sauce. As good as you'd expect, the bun is fresh, the meat juicy and the other ingredients make of it a unique burger. The tawouk sandwich with ketchup is amazing! French fries, sweet ketchup, juicy chunks of chicken and a crunch from the toast at the end. The roast beef is to die for. The bread is so crunchy and is filled with layers of roast beef, crunchy pickles and enjoyable sauce. I've rarely had something like this. Kafta, the Hajj Nasr way: The flat bread is covered with a layer of kafta and grilled on a gas toaster, cooked then served with pickles. Tomatoes and spicy mayonnaise. Extremely oily, this is what makes it special. Soujok like you've never had before: It's not about these soujok-looking like sausages, but a crispy flat bread covered with a layer of juicy soujok, spiced up to enjoyment and served with tomatoes and pickles. The spices follow you for a long hour afterwards.
Le Merou: The Tastiest Fish Sandwiches in Town
The shop has a selection of nine fish and seafood sandwiches, meals with French fries and a salad, and drinks along with grilled and fried fish and some starters based around fish.
Amazing sandwiches… A thin piece of lightly toasted bread, lemon and olive oil with a juicy heart. The fresh, juicy fish, grilled or fried, are amazing. I can't describe how delicious they are. The blend of different textures and flavors, perfectly balanced to amaze. The raw fish sandwich is not to be missed. Yes, a memorable sashimi sandwich. Oh my god! The toasted octopus sandwich, the rich olive oil, the flavors... It's simply awesome.
Abou'l Ward: Tasty Sandwiches on Your Way to the North
Abou'l Ward is a small place that has opened onJounieh highway. A small container serves Lebanese traditional food with a modern twist. A quick casual Lebanese urban grill, a combination of modernity and traditions. Colorful and red, the place attracts.
Food is very good, flavors are neat and clear: Abou'l Ward sandwich rocks: a toasted markouk bread rolled around melting halloumi, the homemade hummus mixed with shredded vegetables and pickles. A beautiful taste of tender meat, halloumi and hummus combined in a fresh crispy bread. Loved it. The veal sandwich: tender bread, juicy tomatoes, hummus, shredded parsley and extremely tender veal meat. It's indeed yum. A fulfilling sandwich will all the lebanese flavors. Makanek made from a tender pain au lait bread with tomatoes and pickles. I ordered it with mayonnaise but you surely have to keep it as it is with garlic. The bread is what makes it special, the fresh veggies and the tender makanek. Loved the hummus: a good consistency, lightly lemony, light tahina served in a disposable plate.
His name is Walid Makhlouf and he is the most unconventional restaurateur ever. He is the man standing behind his shining counter rolling a sandwich at a time, a smile on his face, happy to serve his clientele who come here for an experience, not only a sandwich. He is Walid Makhlouf son of Joseph (J.Makhlouf), the cleanest of chefs, enjoying his time down on Bourj Hammoud in a small shop two men can barely fit in. The grill is as bright as a mirror, he cleans and cleans again by the second. Speedy, sandwiches are delivered so quickly you don't have time to think. Walid is a music lover as well. Jazz tunes play in the background adding fun and enjoyment to the place. Want to be sure of the cleanliness, ask to see the kitchen.
The sandwiches: The quality of the bread is exceptional. The sandwich size and presentation is awesome. The ingredients are so fresh. The taste is extravagant. The burger... Simply homey and fresh. A bread you won't feel, a tender meat, crunchy veggies, a thin tomato, ketchup and mayonnaise with lots, and lots of love. The submarine, oh man! That's the submarine you can't miss. A toasted bread, salami, cheese, mayo and lots of fresh veggies. It's the taste of simplicity. Taste of enjoyment.
Brgr.Co's lobster rolls are generously filled with pure lobster. Blended with premium mayonnaise and a subtle touch of spices, this roll is a must try. A small sandwich of around 15 centimeters, cut along the sides to eliminate the round edges, carefully buttered and grilled, before being cut down the middle and filled to the top. Crunchy, juicy and flavorful mix of mayonnaise, pepper blend, paprika and lemon zest... A slight crunch of celery, chives decorating the top and here you are in front of a luxurious sandwich.
El Mexicano: A Trip to Mexico and Back - Simply Awesome!
Extravagant to say the least. What an amazing sandwich. Tender thin wrap, non chewy but well combined filled with fine pork alongside lettuce, thinly sliced tomatoes, radish and a homemade sauce. The combination makes all the difference. Spicy, extremely spicy in fact… the hot sensation from the jalapeños and mustard sauce erupts in the mid way through the experience and fades out before swallowing; that's the jalapeños and mustard sauce.
Sandwiched... Bewitched by a Sandwich and a Mouthwatering Dessert
It is great, although not your typical American Sloppy Joe famous for its load of minced beef and tender sandwich. The Sloppy Joe at Sandwiched is square shaped and filled with a large piece of hamburger patty that covers the whole bread along with cheddar cheese, and loads of it, crispy bacon and caramelized onions. The barbecue sauce adds sweetness to the flavor.
Massaad Barbecue Zahle: Tales of Taouk
Ask for a chicken sandwich and you’ll receive, on a wooden board, a sandwich marinated in his special recipe, covered with sesame and cut into bite sized pieces, hummus, garlic paste, French fries, coleslaw, with cucumber and beetroot pickles. This sandwich contains premium chicken, marinated to perfection. A nice lemony note is enjoyable and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. The sandwich is then toasted, brushed with the signature marinade, which is followed by a sesame shower. On the side, a generous portion of hummus and another of coleslaw salad is accompanied by thick French fries and pickles.
Two layers of thin and fresh pita bread wrapped around a generous portion of premium quality meat or chicken shawarma, alongside accompaniments which include lettuce, pickles and fries in the chicken and parsley with tarator for the meat. A thick 8 centimeters in diameter, the sandwiches are fulfilling but don’t leave you feeling heavy. It’s neat and tasty. This sandwich is really unique.
There is Falafel and there is Sahyoun
You may know falafel as the typical street sandwich that is heavy and wrapped in thick pita bread, loaded with vegetables. Considered one of the cheapest sandwiches in Beirut, the ones at Sahyoun are different. Instead, falafel sandwiches at Sahyoun are filled with light airy deep fried flavorful falafel, every fava bean mixed in each ball is enjoyed... add to that some freshly cut tomatoes, radishes and a mix of parsley and mint topped with a line of tarator sauce. Heaven. Trust me it’s like nothing you have tried before. An enjoyable crunch of wonders with every bite. I'm not being able to put my feelings into words. And of course the best part is the falafel, simple falafel that put a smile on my face.
Hanna grabs a chunk of Kafta and spreads it on a double layer of bread which then enters a toaster, as is, to be cooked. A few minutes later, mayonnaise, tomato and pickles are added before rolling the sandwich and delivering it to the customer. This sandwich’s taste is unique reflecting what real street food it is. Even though fatty, oily and spicy, this sandwich is a famous talk of town.
Snack Le Gourmet: Bickfaya's Famous Chicken Sandwich
Le Gourmet is known as the first place to introduce tasty chicken sandwiches in French bread instead of the Lebanese pita bread. Simple, yet consistent the trend spread fast around the country. People came to try Le Gourmet's chicken sandwiches: French bread, a generous quantity of chicken, pickles and mayonnaise.
Al Sayad: Tripoli's Famous Fish Sandwiches
Fresh grilled fish, spicy fish, fried mini Bizri fish, batrakh, calamari and octopus are on the menu... the prices vary on a daily basis according to availability. The owner being a bit old, sits outside while one tireless man rolls those tasty sandwiches. Two layers of bread, vegetables, fresh fish caught the same day, lemon juice and salt. The simplicity behind those sandwiches make them what they are: Special and tasty. A one door shop decorated with treasures from the sea where a single menu welcomes you. No sophistication and no complication, you are offered the catch of the day.
3al Barakeh: Markouk Sandwiches Made With Love
The formula is simple yet innovative. Al Khal prepares his own markouk bread that he keeps at a certain thickness that doesn't break if rolled into a sandwich. You have to see how he massages it and caresses it, putting into it some passionate spells... The dough first goes on the saj to be slightly cooked... Afterwards, he fills it with rich ingredients, adds the needed seasoning, some freshly cut vegetables and sends it back and put it back on the saj to be cooked then rolled in style - and the outcome are large 30cm sandwiches that will satisfy any craving.
Georges Maalouf: Fresh Fish Sandwiches in Batroun
Georges, an original character if I may say, who doesn't smile much unless you throw a joke his way or ask him a question about his fish. Authentic and traditional, his place is clean and feels like home, he works calmly with open doors blending with the neighborhood.
Here, food is fresh, fish is clean and sandwiches are tasty. Come here for simplicity and food taste. I enjoyed a simple raw fish sandwich. "Abou 2eshre" he calls it, raw fish that's violet in color and looks like tuna and tastes like the seas. He simply adds lemon and olive oil for your ultimate pleasure. It's simple and wrapped into white bread - Exactly like my grandma used to roll them. I then tried the calamari with a bit of cocktail sauce and lettuce, fresh to the extreme. The octopus sandwich, real octopus with a bit of oil, lettuce rolled into a thin piece of Lebanese bread. The grilled fish was my favorite. Generously filled, the sandwich includes lettuce, tarator, lemon and the fish. I also tried the shrimps into a toasted sandwich, lightly warm, with mayonnaise and a bit of olive oil. Oh my God... I'm amazed by the simple flavors and the enjoyment of these sandwiches. Pure natural taste, with no sophistication whatsoever.
Woodbees: Tackling Sandwiches from Another Perspective
The menu is different, offering a choice of sandwiches no restaurant has managed to blend together. The specials are classics, raclette, Bresaola, prosciutto, Parma ham and Comte cheese. A variety of chicken, salmon, fajita. Halloumi falafel. The salads are very generous, the desserts mouthwatering.
Shrimp fajita: Super fresh, juicy shrimp, tender bread with a light crunch, a load of grilled vegetables, melted cheese and the sauce, this excellent sauce with a light spiciness. Loved the thin bread with one layer of it, the meat is superbly juicy and has a beautiful texture, the bell pepper and grilled onions add finesse... Goat's cheese: Generously filled, the multi-cereal bread crunches lightly while the cheese caresses your palate. The bread is toasted and warmed before serving. Rocket leaves, red bell pepper and honey, lots of it adding sweetness and fun. I loved the grilled eggplants as well. What a generous sandwich, meticulously crafted to amaze. Prosciutto Brie: Awesome! Raspberry jam for the sweetness and taste, melting Brie, which is the best cheese to enjoy melted, and hot and thinly sliced prosciutto. Jam with bits of berries, thick chunks of Brie cheese and fine prosciutto. I'd eat that in an upscale restaurant and was surely not prepared for such emotions at a diner down the road in Zalka. The chocolate sandwich: Oh my god! I'm not a Nutella fan, I don't like chocolate sandwiches without banana, but this one simply rocks! The freshness of the bread toasted until it's almost burnt, offering an extreme crunch and cereal flavors before arriving to the Nutella spread. A light sweetness and bang! The explosion of the hazelnuts under the teeth...
Abul 3ezz: A Different Approach to Shawarma
Meat shawarma: That's good, bizarre and positively shocking. The meat is different and not like any shawarma we know. A condensed kind of meat filled into toasted markouk bread with tarator. I'm not sure how to express it, but the food is good and I wasn't expecting it to be. I'm still impresed. The meat is tender, the sauce is flavorful and those sandwiches have a line of sweet sauce on top which makes all the difference. With that, you'll receive two triangular sandwiches of pomegranate molasses: A must try... Bizarre but good.
The chicken shawarma: A red-colored juicy chicken not marinated in garlic, stuffed into the same crunchy markouk bread with a bit of mayonnaise for added juiciness. It's not like your usual shawarma, because the portion is bigger, tenderer and the crunchy bread makes all the difference. Cut into bites, each is enjoyed calmly. I liked it!
Ferdinand: A Gastropub and Tasty Food
Pulled BBQ Chicken Po'Boy Sandwich at Ferdinand Hamra: Capturing Louisiana's spirit, this slow’n’low-cooked chicken will sit on a bed of a smoky coleslaw and French bread. When you say square bread, its usually chewy and thicker than others, but this one is so light, filled with a smooth mix of tender chicken and crunchy coleslaw. Simplicity redefined. Don't forget the fries, they are divine.
Come here and ask to eat Toshka. Toshka is simple yet innovative and extremely tasty. Two loafs of Lebanese bread are turned upside down, dreaded with kafta and white cheese then toasted. The bread absorbs more heat giving it a crunchy pleasant feel while the meat and cheese melt under your teeth in style. A good combination of spices and flavors will be enjoyed in every bite that will put a smile on your face. Yum!
Orfali: Good Sandwiches
Orfali’s Sandwiches: Grilled veal fillet with hummus and pickles: A little quantity of bread makes you feel the ingredients. Hot, toasted, crunchy from the outside and soft from the inside, the hummus adds the needed flavor to this wrap. I enjoyed it to the maximum.
Kabab cheese with special avocado sauce: This is simply awesome. The taste of kabab, softness of the melted cheese and strength of the avocado and labneh aromas. How creative! This sandwich should win an award for sure.
Mahfouz in Tyre: Meat Sandwiches to Start Your Day
“What is Fatayel?” I ask. Fatayel is a filet which is fried and cut into small pieces like minced meat. Afterwards, it is rolled into small sandwiches with tarator and tomatoes, nothing else. Feel the smoothness of the bread, thin, at less than a millimeter thick, the juiciness of the meat, which has a light taste and no oiliness, while the sauce and tomatoes add the juiciness the sandwich needs to be great. Small in size, you’ll need more than 3 of those to fill up your stomach.
Famous for the last decade or so, Lina’s has very good sandwiches…
Halloumi light sandwich served in whole grain bread satisfied my hunger. A fresh and crunchy bun filled with unsalted halloumi cheese, avocado, avocado paste, tomato, iceberg and cucumbers all for 335 kcalories only. The light tuna sandwich in fresh and crunchy whole grain baguette filled with a mix of tuna in lemon sauce and topped with tomatoes, pickles and the crunch of a thick iceberg at the end that introduces an enjoyable texture to the sandwich. The club sandwich is just perfect; Its textures, its feel, juiciness, subtle sweetness and ingredients, all prepared to perfection. The sandwich size is fulfilling, perfect for lunch or dinner. The salmon in ciabbata bread; A generous quantity of fine salmon layered on white cheese. Nothing could be said about this sandwich.
Dabboussy Moghrabieh Sandwiches: An Ancient Inspiration in Tripoli
Moghrabieh, is a much-beloved traditional dish in Lebanon and is considered a feasting type of meal to which many relatives or friends are invited. It used to be made with both lamb shanks and chicken but nowadays most people prefer a streamlined version with only one or the other.
So, now you know that the origins of moghrabieh are found in this small hidden spot in Tripoli's souk. They have developed a handmade recipe without meat which they fill in sandwiches with pickled cucumbers and beetroots. The moghrabieh is simple, containing semolina, hummus and onions. A filling food for the poor. All it needs is to be grilled with margarine fat and rolled into a sandwich. Honestly, it's a tasty thing. The fat is absorbed by the tender bread, while the inner filling melts slowly. Perfectly cooked onions you rarely feel, well seasoned moghrabieh and crunchy vegetables transform a dish into a street food bite. All of this for only LBP2,000.
Al Safa Aley: The Shawarma is Awesome!
Small or big, Lebanese bread or markouk, the famous sandwicheria of Aley works nonstop from the early hours of lunch until late at night. They come from all over the country for these sandwiches. I was here last year and now I was back again, nobody recognized me, and I was looking for a quality and taste update.
The meat shawarma is huge and for only LBP5,000. A loaded sandwich filled with meat, juicy meat with notes of sweetness, tomatoes and, for me, no onions. Wrapped in Lebanese bread followed by a roll of markouk, it is carefully heated on the grill, adding a light and enjoyable crunch. It's heavenly, delicious. The chicken sandwich is as good, maybe better. Cooked to perfection, juicy chicken with a fatty and lightly chewy envelope, fries and pickles. I personally asked for the garlic to be substituted with mayonnaise. Delicious!
If you’re looking to try the best mankoushe in town, Krikor is the place. Located in Baskinta, Krikor makes a one of kind mankoushe. Trust me, you have never tried anything like this before. Just imagine homemade bread topped with butter, a mix of three kinds of cheese, three eggs, kawarma, topped with an additional layer of cheese… then baked. Now that the ingredients are cooked, Krikor adds some homemade cow fat on it to give it a shine and crunch. No words can describe this piece of marvel.