Located 50 km North of Beirut, and 29 km South of Tripoli, Batroun is the official center of its caza, with a population of around 20,000. One of the oldest cities in the world, its name Batroun comes from the Greek, Botrys. Historians believe that the name of the town originates from the Phoenician word, bater, which means to cut and it refers to the maritime wall that the Phoenicians built in the sea to protect them from tidal waves. Other historians believe that the name comes from the Phoenician words, beit truna, which translates to house of the chief.
Visiting Batroun during winter, we had the chance to meet the locals behind the flavors of the city. Maguy, the famous Maguy, who receives guests in her house down on the seashore, Salim preparing the fresh fish sandwiches at La Marée, Elie Rim who has been preparing authentic lemonade for the last 49 years in the family shop which opened in 1958, makes you understand why lemonade in Batroun is so special.
If you feel like staying in Batroun, in the oldest house in the area, meet Dr. Bassam Tabchy and his wife who have opened a boutique hotel called L'Auberge de la Mer.
Come early, stop at Missi Bakery, +961 6 740 315, and ask for the egg loaf or the mouwarra2a with sugar. They're not like anything you've had before. Simply cooked, with love and dedication, they reflect the creations of hard working families.
My recommendation: Naji's lemonade facing St. Estephan Church, and of course you can't leave Batroun without tasting Jamil's Colonel Beer.
I will surely be coming back to Batroun for a summer tour, more fish, more sun, more action and more food.