January 22, 2020 Lebanon Middle East

2019 in Review: 35 Restaurants in Lebanon I've Visited This Year

In 2019, I focused on visiting villages ending up in experiencing fewer restaurants. My favorite ones are listed below.

OHANNES: The Food & The Chef... The Whole Experience

Sometimes, when letters are not enough, all you have to do is express yourself in a video. I loved the food, enjoyed my time in the kitchen, smiled and learned new cooking tricks. One afternoon at Ohannes with Avo reviewed in the video below. Enjoy it and give this restaurant a try.


Murray: The Famous Shawarma Show and Delicious French Fries in Antelias

Located in Antelias' main restaurant artery, Murray is your international food restaurant serving a handful of items from breakfast to dinner. You can eat anything you crave for: Lebanese mezze, appetizers, manakish, salads, sandwiches and burgers, pizzas, pasta, shawarma, appetizers, main courses, on the grill and desserts.


Lunch at Rojo: A Memorable Sunday with the Family in Beirut

When a handful of local and international specialties are prepared in front of your eyes! When each one of the chefs has at least ten years of experience! When food is prepared with passion and love! When the executive chef is Georges Mansour! Expect to be amazed and spend a memorable Sunday with your family and loved ones. With a view on the Mediterranean on this beautiful Sunday of December with Christmas vibes in the air, we arrived at Rojo. Rojo is the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant with flavors of Lebanon. 


Paname Beirut: Meet For Lunch, Leave Happy and Satisfied

Calm, peace and serenity in the heart of Beirut's chic streets, Paname has become the get together of the capital's businessmen. Women meet up place, businessmen or just friends, Paname's vibes invite you to let yourself go, relax and enjoy a satisfying tasty meal. I've been here three times already enjoying every time more. Guarenteed satisfaction, perfectly cooked spaghetti, fresh and crunchy French baguette, dried meat sheets, and one of the country's most envied burgers. Check out the photos down below and plan your next visit to Paname.


BURGUNDY: Beirut's Finest Culinary Experience

Walk into a calm, peaceful, and serene dark space that's lightly lit. Listen to the faded music in the background, people's whispers... Look around and see the bar and its action while the owner walks around the tables with a large smile on his face and professional hostesses that welcome you in with style and character... I'm back to "The Restaurant," back at Burgundy. 


Barrel Burgers: Tasty and Homemade in Cornet Chehwan

It’s the barrel I remember from my childhood days: a big wooden barrel which used to be a Lebanese street food shack and turned into a burger fast-casual on your way to the village of Bickfaya. Located in Kornet Chehwan el Metn, the barrel serves a selection of seven burgers and some appetizers and a tawouk sandwich.


Kelly's Fish Lounge: Fresh and Tasty Seafood from Tripoli to the Heart of Achrafieh

Kelly is where Fish is delivered daily from Tripoli to the heart of Achrafieh. Kelly is where the restaurant doesn't smell fish and where food is prepared with love and dedication. I visited Kelly's for lunch and enjoyed the experience from start to end. Good food, fresh fish and experienced service in a cozy atmosphere. Check out the photos and give this fish eatery a try.


Punto Alto: “Impressed” by the Food and the Portions Size! It’s Even Non-Smoking

Located on the hills of Ras Maska, Punto Akto has been serving unique food since 1990. From an authentic Italian restaurant to an American-style Italian eatery, Punto Alto is one of Tripoli’s iconic restaurants, known by the locals and families. Under a high ceiling decorated with colorful paintings, waiters wearing white shirts, black pants and black ties, a bar, and vast glass facades, I sat for lunch.


Tasty, Varied, Generous and Professional... Breakfast in Beirut! The Four Seasons Hotel

On the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel is where mornings have another meaning. I've been here half a dozen times already simply to enjoy the pleasure of great food, amazing presentation, and superb service.


Chili’s Beirut: Twenty Years of Good Food, Generous Portion and Non-Smoking Dining

Back! To my favorite diner in town and probably the last standing. One of Lebanon’s few franchises has celebrated 20 years of operations in Achrafieh... and when the brand worldwide isn’t trendy anymore, Beirut “Diner” is still serving diner food when the other local brands have changed and uplifted to casual dining. Burgers, fries, nachos, quesadillas, and ribs... I love to come here and let myself go!


Restaurant Kesrwani; Fish and Seafood in Antelias, Arghile-Free

I’ve been here, done that, enjoyed the experience and now back for more. Kesrwani, the famous fish market of Antelias welcomes you for an enjoyable experience of seafood, Lebanese mezze and beyond. Start at the fishery, choose your fish, and sit to enjoy lunch. Hummus, mtabbal followed by local seafood specialties. The fish display has it all, offering a wide range of fresh seafood you can ask to be prepared the way you want.


Zeralda: French Cuisine in Jounieh

"Bistronomie Francaise" is the tag line - Zeralda is a bistro serving casual French cuisine. It is nestled in the heart of Jounieh/Sarba. At the entrance of Sarba is an old house where Zeralda welcomes you for dinner every day of the week. Calm and relaxed, decorated with colorful frames and lit with dimmed lights. The restaurant has been open for the last three years or so. I’ve been here in 2017, and now back for dinner in the garden. Last experience wasn’t of the greatest, so let’s start again.


Babel Bahr Amchit: Lebanese Seafood with a Modern Twist

Yes, an impressive lighthouse with a unique grandiose setup nestled on Amchit's seashores. It will attract your attention from several kilometers away. Reach Amchit, and then take the sea road to continue towards Tripoli, where 50 meters upfront you take a sharp left towards Mhanna sur Mer and camping Amchit. All you have to do is follow the lighthouse to reach Babel Bahr.


Lounge 36: Good Food and Pleasant Vibes in Kousba

The first time I visited Lounge 36, I was taken by a storm; Charly walked in, offered me a cigar and a handful of food choices... I ended up forgetting to write a review. I loved the experience; that’s why I’m back. Come for the mood, for the food,  the relaxing positive ambiance and a chat with positive Charly.


Hatbe W Nar Kobayat: House of Traditional Tannour bread and Horizontal Shawarma

I do drive all the way from Beirut to Enjoy Tony’s superb tannour bread and exceptional wood-fire shawarma wraps. At the entrance of Kibayat, Akkar’s jewel village, Tony welcomes you with vibes of positivity and happiness.


Bistr’eau: Happiness Guaranteed. Seafood Cuisine in Batroun!

On my last episode to Batroun, one restaurant caught my attention; “Bistr’eau”. Bistr’eau, a restaurant on Batroun’s waterfront promises a fine culinary experience with a view. Under old arcades, nestled in one of Batroun’s historical buildings, Bistr’eau takes you on a journey of taste around Lebanon’s rich seashores.


Gerge el Dayaa: A Memorable Seafood Experience in Anfeh. A Must Try!

Gerge el Dayaa is a seafood restaurant up by the shore in Anfeh. The old blue house with its glass facade is located by the salt factory, next to Marina del Sol on the seaside road. Georges, his wife Nadia and their kids welcome Gerge el Dayaa guests in a casual atmosphere. Today is probably my tenth time at "Gerge el Dayaa", a local seafood restaurant in the heart of Anfeh where fish is handled in a special way, where the kitchen is clean and the aromas are fresh.


DIVVY ABC Achrafieh: Good Food, Great Vibes... A Pleasant Experience

Lunch with my mum, I chose DIVVY; there’s something for her, something for me in a calm and upscale setup that’s not childish, fresh, and positively vibrant. After my last experience at DIVVY Dbayeh and the great food I enjoyed, why not choose a guaranteed place to have a good lunch. 


Appetito Trattoria Gemmayze: Italian Spaghetti and Pizza I Enjoyed

Driving on the highway to Beirut you can’t but notice a blue house facing Beirut seaport. Located between The Gathering and Mayrig on Gemmayze Pasteur street, Appetito Trattoria has opened its second branch in Beirut. After the huge success in Hamra here comes Achrafieh’s Italian eatery.


Slate: Excellent Meats and a Pleasant Ambiance in Mar Milkhael

I was invited to Slate and enjoyed a sumptuous meal. The tomato salad, the burger, the pastrami sandwich, beef tartare, meat and desserts were all phenomenal.


MotherShucker: Oysters and Delectable Seafood

A handful of mouthwatering photos... enjoy the gallery below while I plan another visit to Mothershucker for a detailed review. Enjoy meanwhile!


The Gathering: Transported... in the Heart of Beirut!

On a beautiful Monday morning, in the heart of Beirut, accompanied by my kids and lovely wife, we sat to enjoy the weather and soothing vibes. The Gathering, one of the “Downtown” group of restaurants has been open for years. The group managed to create concepts that last, and The Gathering is one of them. I’ve been here when the piazza was divided into three restaurants, serving three distinct menus but today the food has been unified into one.


Little China: Travel to China and Live the True Chinese Experience

Oh My God! I’ve been writing reviews for the last seven years, discovered thousands of restaurants in Lebanon but never imagined that we have an authentic Chinese restaurant in Beirut. Little China is one of Beirut’s iconic restaurants open on Monot street. It’s where real Chinese food is served by a Chinese family; come to meat Mingo who takes the order, cooks and makes sure you are treated right.


Back to Baron: Food is Good!

Back to this magical restaurant called Baron. I’ve been here not so long ago, leaving amazed and astonished by the food and ambiance. Casual, uncomplicated, simple yet gourmet and upscale; Baron reminded me of a Noma where fine dining cuisine is enjoyed with no rules.


Bab el Mina, Lebanese Seafood Restaurant: The Food, The View and The Vibes, "Arguile-Free"

How many times have you dined with a smile and enjoyed a homey Lebanese mezze lunch without the smell of Arguile, unpleasant sounds of the hubbly-bubbly and heat surrounding you from all sides? Unfortunately, almost all Lebanese restaurants have become a disgrace focusing on “Arguile” to bring customers in instead of talking about their food and culinary heritage. Bab el Mina in Jbeil historical port is one of the few still serving delicious Lebanese cuisine for the last twenty-five years or so, Arguile-free.


Cherrylane Restaurant and Bar, Opens in Hammana: Pastry, Bakery and Good Food

Enthralled by the magic of Hammana, its mountains, and its waterfalls, he wrote: "One of the most beautiful glimpses of God's creation ever to be bestowed upon human eyes is that of the valley of Hammana"


SAI: Professional Sushi in Mtayleb

Skipping introductions and going straight to the point, SAI is one of Metn’s favorite Japanese restaurant now open for more than four years in the same spot. Excellent casual sushi, the restaurant is a guaranteed quality of satisfaction and enjoyment. When I want to enjoy good sushi, I dine in-house at Sai in Mtayleb.


Onno: Amazing Armenian Food I Love!

Typical Armenian cuisine, the kind of food you’d have at the home of an Armenian friend, from a small tiny little restaurant in Bourj Hammoud to a bigger scale, several restaurants in Lebanon and yet the food is as great as I left it four years ago.


Little Reed: Lunch with the Kids in Qsaybeh

Little Reed is the traditional grandfather’s house where love resides and is shared through interaction with nature, animals, traditions while enjoying delicious homey food prepared by the village ladies. I enjoyed a memorable day with my family shared in the video below.


Swiss Butter: The Trendy Restaurant and its Signature Sauce

It took me some time, I know! I have finally visited Swiss Butter, Lebanon’s trendiest restaurant for the last year or so. Busy and always booked, Swiss Butter has opened its second branch on Jal el Dib’s internal road at “Jardin de Chine” previous location. The guys have done it right, and it starts before even going in.


Ana Beirut: Beautiful Setup and Good Lebanese Food in Antelias

Colorful, fresh and welcoming; Ana Beirut is much more than a restaurant; it's an experience... plants, wood, big screens, mirrors, and the show oven. Welcome to Ana Beirut, a cafe inspired by the traditions of our beautiful country with a touch of modernism. I loved it from the minute I walked in; every detail, the decor, the vibes, and positive mood.


Tallet Nasr: My Choice for a Lebanese Mezze Experience in Naas. “Delicious Homey Food”

I was expecting a casual Lebanese restaurant like all the rest around the villages until the waiter opened the door. I was here six years ago -time flies- and remember to have enjoyed my “Lebanese restaurant.” Today’s experience was different from start to end; let’s begin with the decor.


Sandwiched: Is This Food for Real?! Amazing to Say the Least

Fourth visit and my mouth still waters every time I think of coming here! Sandwiched located on Jal el Dib’s internal road, Gemmayze and Jounieh’s old souk serves one of the country’s best sandwiches, excellent burgers and outstanding American sloppys. Every visit comes with a surprise of happiness and joy. Sandwiched understands food! Sandwiched knows how to use the best ingredients without masking them with garlic and unneeded spices. Let’s enjoy dinner!


BoulMich: Submarine and Burgers of my Childhood

Flavors of my childhood... the only fast food available back in the nineties, where we used to come for a homey burger, a Lebanese style hotdog, and the Lebanese famous big-sized submarine sandwich. I come here whenever that feeling of nostalgia wakes up to enjoy the classics.


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