July 06, 2015 Lebanon Middle East

25 Favorite Breakfast Spots in Beirut

It’s a beautiful day out there… Let’s start enjoying it early with a delicious bite somewhere around town… where to go?

Scouting the country from North to South … From Beirut city to the Metn area and way beyond… I have tasted and enjoyed 25 breakfast spots.

Come join me for a hefty breakfast…

Breakfast at Gordon's Cafe: Try the Salmon and Eggs

Chic, trendy, cosmopolitan and casual, the Gordon’s Cafe, located in Five Star Le Gray Hotel, is the perfect place for a delicious breakfast, a light lunch or an afternoon tea on the sidewalk, amidst the bustling Beirut Central District.  

For breakfast my choice is the Salmon and Eggs: Simplicity on a plate is the best way to describe it. A generous portion of scrambled eggs, four slices of cereal bread gently toasted and two slices of smoked salmon. It's as good as you would expect it to be. The eggs were moist and full of taste, the salmon was fresh and the bread served was warm and crunchy. Don't forget to ask for the pepper mill, it all add a touch of flavor.


Abdul Rahman Hallab: Having a Mouthwatering Breakfast Closer to Home

Hungry or not, the minute you step into this establishment fresh and yummy smells will open up your appetite. Two floors, high ceiling, a variety of sweets, ice creams and ready to go items, a restaurant area upstairs where you can enjoy a cup of coffee along with a yummy breakfast…Abdul Rahman Hallab & Sons offers a signature Lahme Bil Ajeen known all around the country.

Nothing like the average lahem bil ajin. Square in shape, the dough is thick and the filling pure goat meat with pomegranate molaces and no garlic. It is served with a plate of vegetables. Just excellent!

Znoud el Sit: An indescribable piece of heaven. Four small bites make a portion. A warm rolled pastry filled with warm kachta and covered with sugar syrup. Just close your eyes and put it between your tongue and palate. Afterwards, press your tongue up your palate to dissipate all the flavors and aromas while hearing a mix of crunchiness and softness blend together. I don't think that there is something tastier than this anywhere else.


Breakfast at Casper&Gambini's ABC Achrafieh

Casper&Gambini's welcomes you for breakfast as soon as the ABC mall opens at 10am. Craving for some eggs Benedict I chose to sit at C&G. People walking around the mall, music playing in the background… surrounded by some greenery… I was in the mood. 

I recommend the Croissandwich: Freshly baked croissant with your choice of sliced Italian Parma ham, scrambled eggs, lettuce and tomato with lemon vinaigrette and side mesclun salad. A large croissant opened in its center and stuffed with moist scrambled eggs, a slice of good quality ham, lettuce and the vinaigrette that adds a lemony touch. I loved the plate, loved the flavors, loved the idea and loved the textures.


Al Soussi: Expertise and Knowhow Poured into an Authentic Breakfast 

After visiting Soussi a couple of months ago, the place went viral and hundreds of you visited this amazing place try this fantastic breakfast place and left amazed. 

The Fatteh here is to die for. A certain know how, a method of creation that’s so simple but filled with a love and passion that's felt in every spoon. The king starts by putting toasted bread at the bottom of the bowl followed by Laban, cooked chickpeas, than another layer of toasted bread around the edges of the bowl before throwing the mix of fat and pine nuts grilled to perfection a few minutes earlier on top of it all. The toasted bread absorbs the hot fat, turning them into crispy, firm chunks of bread. What an innovation! Crunchy bits of nuts and bread, cold laban with hints of orange and lemon and some smooth well-cooked chickpeas for an extreme unmatched pleasure. That's food porn! 


Monte Cassino Hotel: A Generous Breakfast with a View

The Monte Cassino Hotel is nestled on a beautiful hill in Tabarja overlooking Jounieh bay. Breakfast is served a la carte. The continental special includes a hot beverage, fresh juice, basket of freshly baked bread, mini croissants, jams and honey, cornflakes and a fruit salad. Lebanese Breakfast: Mfarki (fried eggs with potato), labneh and local cheese, freshly baked Arabic bread, mankoushe, fresh vegetables. A la Carte: Eggs, labneh, foul, fruit salad, pancakes, croissants (freshly baked) and a pot of yogurt.

The food is good, the portions are very generous, the choices are interesting, the plates look good and the service is acceptable.


The Breakfast Buffet at Al Mandaloun Dbayeh

How amazing it is to start your day on a positive note. Fresh vibes with some jazz music playing in the background will guarantee a smile on your face. The Mandaloun cafe, nestled in Dbayeh's internal road is a restaurant I like. 

Breakfast is served on a daily basis, from 8am until 11am. A reasonably priced formula that offers a large selection of continental items from the oriental and occidental regions. 

At the buffet, you’ll find a generous choice of Bread, Ham, Cheese, Labneh, light Labneh, Olives, Cold Cuts, Croissants, Viennoiseries, Chocolat muffins, White muffins, Chocolat sticks, Raisin rolls, Cereals, Mini manakich, Mini cheese loaf, Nutella, Salami cheese sandwich, Turkey cheese sandwich, Labneh sandwich, Cheese crackers, Honey, Strawberry jam, Apricot jam, Cinnamon rolls, Cakes, Babybel cheese, butter, Vegetables, Goat cheese, Exotic fruits. Four different stations hosting bread on one, coffee and tea on the second, desserts on the third and cereals on the fourth all organized around the main island… and more and with that a choice of scrambled eggs or omelet at no additional cost.


Snack Fady: Foul, Hummos and Saj in Zakrit

You have to meet Fady Yammine. Fadi is a gentleman who cooks tasty foul, hummos and Saj bread in Zakrit, a village located between Nahr el Kalb River and Mazraat Yachouh. Fady was known as the master of "Nayy". Fady prepares a selection of breakfast items as well as meat and pork related bites. I have enjoyed some of the best Balila in town and the bread he makes... yum! 

Try the cooked eggplants. Yes, you heard right, that's something special. As simple as it is, a whole 500grm eggplant, grilled, pealed and served. So tender, so fresh and so healthy, the eggplant is a meal on its own. If you like eggplants, Fady should be visited for sure. Ask for a mix of salt, lemon and olive oil, prepare a bite, wrap it in markouk bread, dip it in and enjoy.


Cafe Diem: A Classy Encounter with Coffee

Welcome to Cafe Diem, a place where the meaning of coffee shop is redefined. 

I enjoy the little details experienced at this idden spot down in Sodeco. White tables, a table napkin, coffee served with sugar cubes and a glass of water, tea is even taken more seriously and is served with an hourglass timer to make sure you drink it at right concentration and much more. 

Croissants are cut and filled with melting cheese and ham. Eggs are served in a street casserole and the best part are the mini cups in which they serve a starter of olives, labneh, zaatar, cheese, pickled eggplants and cherry tomatoes. With that, a breadbasket.

Breakfast is enjoyable. We had the eggs simply served with salt and pepper, the toasted croissant stuffed with ham and cheese and the basket of bread, also heated for a crispy feel. After that, an Espresso was waiting, but not just any Espresso. Vascobelo, Belgium's finest coffee blend for the true coffee lover, served with a delicious homemade biscotti.


Lady Grey: Calm, Cozy, Tasty and Enjoyable 

It's called Lady Grey and it's located in Metn area. Known by only a few, this cafe/restaurant is special, let's say different than others around. The ambiance is cozy and calm, the food is good and healthy, the ingredients are special and the plates are decorated nicely.

Lady Grey Sandwich: Fresh French bread, slightly toasted on the outside with a homemade chutney flavor that takes over as a start. Melting cheese, tender ham and a sauce as an after note for juiciness and flavor. Not sweet and rich, a tasty and simple sandwich. Eggs and Bacon: A beautifully presented plate which reflects a real English breakfast. Two sunny side up eggs on toasted French bread, crunchy bacon and a load of grilled mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. The eggs are full of taste, lightly buttery, crispy bacon with tender bread. Let every bite combine the three. The bacon is the best this plate has to offer. Gryuere and Zubaa tart: Fresh, crispy dough topped with a generous portion of cheese, cherry tomatoes and wild thyme. I loved the fresh cream, the full-bodied cheese, the crispy crust and the Zubaa that makes the difference.


The Food Dealer: A New Tasty Experience in Lebanon 

We can enjoy the Deli experience in Lebanon… walk with me into the Food Dealer…  

Sunny Side Up eggs served on toasted pain de champagne. Fresh, aromatic and covered with salt and pepper. Very tasty but what was even better and worth talking about are their super crispy like slices of bacon slices. The Turkey Sandwich is a load of freshly cut turkey, a toasted bun that's so crispy and a generous portion of melted cheddar. That's so good and even better with the mustard that comes with it. Two slices of dried tomatoes add a touch of finesse. The Bacon Quiche: Enjoy a crispy crunchy border that is like a cookie, with rich filling of superb goat Labneh served with a hint of olive oil, slices of tomatoes and Zaatar, authentic Zaatar. The Labneh has a feeling of lightness. Served with slices of toasted bread, this Labneh made my day. This is the Labneh from Jezzine. The presentation is superb. Portions are served on wood cutting boards with salad, olives or sauces. Food is great.


LVD: An American Breakfast You Don’t Want to Miss 

LVD’s fine American breakfast is something to try. I have enjoyed a full breakfast menu including their choices of eggs, pancakes, and waffles and surely their tasty freshly brewed coffee and keep coming back for more.

Breakfast started with the eggs, three individual, sunny side up eggs served individually on a square piece of bread. Oil-free, soft and seasoned with just the right amount of salt and pepper.

A rich plate filled with green salad. This is a good way to start.

The eggs have a homey feel to them, which I enjoyed along with its rich yellow color and pleasant peppery aftertaste and no oil. With three bread slices and a green salad, the plate is mouthwatering. Added to that, the salad is made up of a selection of green leaves and vinaigrette, which is a smooth start to the morning. 

The waffles… Fresh colors that will make you say WOW. An oval waffle, 2cm thick and 10cm wide with hard crunchy cover and soft sweet inner filling. The best thing about them is their sugar bits that crunch under your teeth. This is what I call a decent tasty waffle. Add to that some red fruits jam, strawberries and banana and you're in heaven. Love in every bite.


Fresh... and Healthy for a Guilt-Free Morning

Welcome to the world of Fresh. White, light green and colorful posters take over this well lit space, which is fitted with four squared tables and a wooden bar overlooking the main street. On the menu, displayed on four screens, are the wraps, panini and salads, the life smoothies, squeezes and 100% pure juices, crepes and espresso, as well as the healthy breakfast selection; behind the bar, three employees wearing hair nets, prepare the orders.

A journey of taste... Guilt-free: The Good Morning crepe. A triangular-shaped crepe filled with eggs, cheddar cheese, green peppers and mushrooms. Before even tasting it, its look and aromatic freshness open up your appetite. A thick, yet crunchy dough, slightly and adequately sweet, loaded with melting cheese that adds a bit of oiliness, moist scrambled eggs and a crunch, provided by the pepper.

The Early Bird is even better than the crepe! A green wrap, rolled around eggs, turkey bacon, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, spinach and fat-free mayo. Yummy! The wrap is thin and not chewy, with just enough mayonnaise for a juicy heart, the crunch of the spinach, beautiful leaves of fresh spinach, and the core where the eggs and tomatoes lay one on top of one another in style.


Al Falamanki: One of Beirut's Wealthiest Local Breakfasts

When you talk about good food, a pleasant ambiance, a garden in the heart of the capital and innovative creations…Al Falamanki will come to mind. 

Dreaming of a hefty, rich and fulfilling Lebanese breakfast, Al Falamanki was the perfect choice. Welcomed by a professional staff that has been working here since the day they opened, I went directly to my favorite corner, the one under the TV along the main wall. Labneh, halloum and a choice of manakish accompanied by a cup of mint tea.  As we ordered, a basket of bread landed on our table containing a bag of Lebanese bread and another of the thick brown markouk that I simply adore; with Labneh, it’s the perfect combination. With that, a bottle of olive oil, salt- and peppershakers and a sugar dispenser I last saw at our friends up the mountains. You can’t but appreciate the ambiance. A fresh air-conditioned space, a light breeze dancing around the trees, sunny spells caressing the tables, a rustic anterior lacking any pretense around a spirit of relaxation, where you feel the country waking up slowly and smoothly.

My favorite is the Grilled halloum or halloumi steak: This dish consists of a round piece of cheese, grilled to perfection and served with two whole jammed figs with their sugar syrup fig-flavored sauce. Imagine the saltiness of the white cheese mixed with the sweetness of the figs all coming together in one bite wrapped in that wonderful bread.


Crepico: My New Sweet Escape

If you're driving on the Zalka highway, on your way to Jounieh, you can't but notice Crepico. In blue and bright colors, Crepico has taken the highway by storm. Although it looks a bit commercial, this dessert parlor is not what you would expect... 

With a new funky approach, a French touch, and a light blue wood facade, Crepico welcomes you in. Inside is a blend of new and old, modern and fresh with green old style tiles, white brick walls and windows that might overlook the streets of Paris. Very bright and relaxing, the ambiance makes you want to order everything. Smooth music plays in the background under a brightly lit ceiling. The right wall is beige, the left houses the windows, with light wooden stairs to the upper floor. I can't get enough of the decor. The wooden alley, the bar overlooking the highway, the ice cream parlor, the cake fridge, the plants, the street style lanterns... I'm a fan.

The pancakes are the finest I've had in Lebanon to date. Amazing, thick pancakes cooked in a mold, pancakes without borders, fluffy like a sponge, airy and tender. Two thick pancakes stacked one on top of the other filled with a layer of melted marshmallows in the middle and decorated with more marshmallows on top before they add the homemade Callebaut chocolate. Amazing, really amazing. Melted marshmallows, fluffy pancakes and some decent chocolate creating a colorful explosion of happiness. Impressed, I was!


Safsouf: Lebanon’s Favorite Knefeh

I recently discovered Safsouf’s knefeh and maamoul’s madd king. Safsouf has one of the best Knefe in Lebanon – in my humble opinion- as well as a selection of Oriental sweets and is best known for its Maamoul mad bi Kashta. Down on Tarik el Jdideh, a hundred meters after the Arab University is a shop taking over the left side of the road selling Knefe with a street food ambiance. More than 3,000 portions are sold every day! That explains it all. 

Juicy and adequately sweet nammoura with a lightly crunchy envelope, the maamoul mad with pistachio is moist, tender and juicy, adequately sweet and full of taste. Amazing maamoul mad bi jozz (walnuts): I loved the flavor and the sandy freshness of the semolina. Maamoul madd bi ashta is the signature creation each one of you should try at least once in your life. Lebanese oriental sweets, kol w chkor or baklava are also fresh and not too sweet. Exquisite!


Phoenicia Hotel: A Five Stars Breakfast I Recommend 

Breakfast at Phoenicia Hotel is truly a five star experience. Breakfast is served at Mosaic restaurant until 11am.

Mosaic, is known to serve buffets all day long, all year round. Breakfast, followed by lunch and dinner. Facing the entrance is the desserts' islands proceeded by the croissants section. To the left you will find the light section, juices and cereals area. As for the right, along a long corridor you’ll find a bread section to the right and a salad bar to the left. A bread corner where two live cooking stations are available to prepare the best breakfast items made from the freshest ingredients, like manakish and saj... a display of knefe and pork items. To the left is a long decent salad bar, which includes some of the vegetables imaginable.

I really enjoyed my breakfast experience at the Phoenicia Hotel and I recommend that you try it. You can conduct a nice impressive breakfast meeting there or just go for the sake of having a good and hefty breakfast.


Coast: An Impressive Decor Down at the Bay 

At the bay, one place stands out, one place you can't but notice, a restaurant that's breathtakingly beautiful. You are transported out of your daily routine beyond the borders of Lebanon, into an American setup seen in the movies. Coast is a restaurant open to the waterfront. A large square space with high ceiling beautifully decorated with a hundred stylish items with an American feel. Stylish floor tiles, leather sofas, metallic structures, glass chandeliers, the choice of materials is endless. White marble and metal tables fill in the space surrounded by different styles of chairs. Blue leather sofas, black leather or rugged camel, and individual seating. Blue and white square tiles cover the walls while rugged wood strips make walking more relaxing. I loved it, really loved it. The space is unique and relaxing, inspired by its neighbors Cozmo at the Bay and Cozmo ABC Achrafieh. 

Nice music, amazing decor, a good choice of items and a welcoming team -at least with me- all that will make me want to visit here again. Even though the food is not exceptional, it has something to it that makes it a place to consider for breakfast. 


The Beazbee: A Flavorful, Cozy Breakfast 

The white purity, the red fabrics, the champagne bottles, the imprinted logos, the light breeze of air, the sunny spells... The English spirit. Welcome to Beazbee. Walk into the small café enjoy little knickknacks are placed around - cookies, cigars, and chocolate boxes and champagne among other things. A prominent glass fridge displays mouthwatering creations including bagels, cakes, sandwiches, cookies and freshly squeezed drinks.

It was one of the few times where I am left confused with the menu, a dozen choices which I wished I could try. I stood, speechless, asking myself if it would be better to try the sweet choices, the eggs or the sandwiches, or maybe the healthy part, or let's say the viennoiseries?

Sunny side up Croque Monsieur served on a square plate. Square bread with ham and cheese in the middle topped with more yellow cheese and decorated with a sunny side up egg. Thin slices of bread, slightly toasted, and filled with melted Emmental and good quality ham as well as an egg. I loved the juiciness of this sandwich that offers a light faded sweetness with rich ingredients. Next to that are sautéed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, perfectly mixed with salt and pepper that tickles your taste buds. Fresh greens and potato wedges, each ingredient is mastered to perfection. The potato wedges look different and taste great. Bravo!


An Oriental Brunch Every Weekend at Batchig

Batchig, the Armenian-Lebanese restaurant in Antelias offers a weekend breakfast formula. A buffet of local specialties alongside a selection of baked goods and eggs. An old Lebanese house with its high ceiling, the oven and the open atrium on the upper floor, Batchig is Armenian restaurant with a twist and touch of modernism.

Try their sunny side up eggs in a plate made of bread. A thick and crunchy loaf of bread filled with a mix of eggs and diced vegetables topped with two sunny side eggs. That's amazing! The crunch of the bread and the moisture of the eggs cooked in the oven not on a pan. 

All of that and I haven’t mentioned desserts. Don't forget to order the Italian style lightly baked loaf topped with Nutella, pistachio, bananas and almonds. It rocks!


Ichkhanian: A Gem of Armenian Flavors in Zalka

Down in Zalka, on the internal road near bank Byblos is a bakery, a high-end bakery with a wooden signboard, an Instagram account, a blackboard displaying the menu and a bar like they do it in street food sandwicherias in Europe. I loved the place! Ichkhanian offers the same traditional knowhow with a contemporary decor. Here you can order Mante and Suboereg by the portion as well as Tahinov hats by the piece. 

Suboereg is simply excellent! A layer on top of the other, a dozen layers of thin and juicy dough overplayed by slices of cheese alongside a sprinkle of parsley. I loved its juicy heart, its crunchy borders, its smoothness, and its lack of sweetness, its equilibrium creating a unique soy reef that's not chewy and not feeling fatty despite the butter. Now I understand why people consider Ichkhanian a reference.


Urbanista: Let's Enjoy Some Urban Bliss 

I always enjoy Urbanista's vibes and good food. Try their Bliss location and enjoy the students’ buzz. 

Here are a few things I think you should try. Pancakes served with strawberry coulis, Nutella and maple syrup: Though thinner than I expected, these pancakes are tasty as well as the sauces that come with them. Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, parsley and tomatoes: A thick layer of eggs mixed with vegetables and well cooked. Salted and peppered in style, they are enjoyable, served with plates of fresh vegetables. It's not as easy as you think to create perfect eggs. Those should be moist without being undercooked, well seasoned without an overdose and shiny without being dried out. Urbanista manages to offer a fine quality.


Sunday Brunch at Casablanca: Indulge in Some Heavenly French Toast

Casablanca is popular or for its Sunday brunches. Opening at 11am you are welcomed to savor Casablanca's fine organic preparations in the iconic setup located on the top floor of a traditional villa, right on the Corniche. Casablanca is known for using all organic products – eggs, vegetables, jams and cheese as well as many creations, all produced in-house. 

French Toast: When the plate landed in front of me, I was in awe. A round plate filled with a rectangular piece of thick bread meticulously decorated with a mix of bananas, apples and strawberries. Around it and covering it, maple syrup gave it the flavor it needed... Deliciously breathtaking. I still remember the taste to date... Exquisite!


The Four Seasons: The Best Breakfast You Can Have in Lebanon 

The breakfast formula includes a different set of starters that land on your table as you sit, followed by your choice of freshly squeezed juice… while the buffet is filled more delicious and endless choices including more fruits and more pastry items…

Enjoy their perfectly prepared dough topped with cheese and zaatar as well as wrapped around spinach fatayer and kechek. Try their halloumi fingers with sesame topping; their selection of labneh balls, brie, mshallaleh cheese and emmental; a mouthwatering plate of mouhammara and much more; all enjoyed with a basket of mini Lebanese bread that melts under your teeth. 

If you’re into something more heaving for breakfast, try their Steak and eggs where 120g Premium thin sliced American prime beef topped with two sunny side up eggs, served with hash brown potato with Parmesan and a bowl of fried mushrooms. It’s very rich in flavor.


Let's Enjoy a Luscious Breakfast at Bar Tartine

In their original location in the heart of Mar Mikhael lies one of Beirut's hotspots - Bar Tartine. Walk through the tables and enjoy a fresh breath. A very homey feel to this place - just come, sit, relax and enjoy the smooth jazz music while a basket of bread and olive oil land on the table.

Let’s have their Labneh with Faluche Zaatar: Made with white flour, baker's yeast, water, a little salt and oil Faluche is traditional bread in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of northern France. It's a pale white bread that is soft and fairly dense. It is neither round nor flat but looks somewhat like a deflated soccer ball. Half a bun is cut in four pieces and topped with fine zaatar (thyme) – it’s not acidic, not oily and enjoyable to the last bit. Next to that is a mountain of Labneh with olive oil and cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and black olives. Generous and tasty. I encourage you to try it.


Galler: The Chocolate Coffee Shop

Located on Zalka highway you’ll find an orange-facade store facing Yared steel warehouse. It’s a chocolate and coffee shop in one. With a view of the highway, this luxurious spot is a guaranteed space for enjoyment and fun. Old style tiles featuring the company colors cover the floor; a large chocolate vitrine decorates the main wall facing the entrance while a bar is used to prepare the drinks. Close to the window, four sofas are perfect for a business meeting or a quick hot chocolate in the afternoon.

I enjoyed a 0% Galler chocolate crepe served with mixed berries, garnished with white chocolate and ice cream. Although small in portion, it offers a guaranteed cocktail of enjoyment. Thin piece of crepe, carefully toasted and filled with dark chocolate cream, which is so smooth. On the side there’s a pure mixed berry sorbet, which didn't want to melt. Not your regular ice cream for sure. Add some crushed walnuts more texture and enjoy.







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