October 13, 2014 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

There is Falafel and there is Sahyoun

I don't want to sound like I am exaggerating but believe me when I say that there is no falafel like Sahyoun’s. In one day I tried the same falafel sandwich in three different places but the one I've had at Sayhoun beats the rest by far; to an extent that I think the name Sahyoun should be a generic name to all falafel sandwiches – just like the word Kleenex is for tissue paper. Yes it is that good…


Nestled in the heart of Beirut is Sahyoun. A one-door shop that sells one single item; one single fine sandwich, a majestic wrap of falafel. Tell any taxi driver to “Sahyoun’s” and he’ll take you directly to the little eatery on Damascus Road, just outside Downtown Beirut. You will automatically see a line of hungry people waiting near a blue sign that reads “M. Sayoun” in both English and Arabic - which stands for Mustapha Sayoun, who opened this shop in 1935 and is currently run by his son.

Enter this small place always filled with people. Some eating on the sidewalk, others sitting at the bar while the accustomed clientele stand in front of a metallic bowl filled with spicy green peppers; a bite of falafel and another of pickles follow. 

You may know falafel as the typical street sandwich that is heavy wrapped in thick pita bread and loaded with vegetables and very fulfilling and you may know that falafel is considered one of the cheapest sandwiches in Beirut… But there’s more to it when you try the one’s made at Sahyoun.


Sahyoun makes a fine sandwich filled with light airy deep fried flavorful falafel, every fava beanmixed 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.

Simplicity enjoyed to the max... thin layers of bread with a subtle taste of tarator, an enjoyable crunch of the radishes, sweetness of the tomatoes and some greenery that adds a certain finesse... And of course the best part is the falafel, simple falafel that put a smile on my face. 

Enter and immediately order two sandwiches as one alone won't be enough. Approach the counter top and enjoy the live preparation by the Falafel master who seems like working at the speed of light. He cuts vegetables with an unmatched dexterity. IN peak hours, he would wrap several sandwiches at one time.


I felt like a storm hit me at once… I couldn't understand how a falafel sandwich can ignite that many feelings at once. Every bite is a trip to heaven.  I ended up finishing two sandwiches. So incase you’re still asking yourselves, yes, I'm sure that Sahyoun serves the world's best falafel and honestly deserves an award for that.

Falafel Sahyoun:

  • +961 1 633188
    Bchara El Khoury Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Categories: Street Food Sandwiches





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