January 12, 2019

Best of 2018: Restaurants, Eateries, Food, Cuisines... in Lebanon and the World

I have been places... collecting happy moments and enjoying memorable experiences around the world. My journey started in 2012, when I decided to start an unbiased, credible food and travel blog giving an honest opinion about places I visit myself. NoGarlicNoOnions, the restaurant reviews blog was launched... seven years later, and along the way, other than reviews, several projects saw the light: The Discovery Box, Mechwar TV Show, The Youtube Channel, The Foodies' Trail, Souk el Mawasem and Souk el Akel... thank you for believing in our mission! With more than 7000 articles posted on NoGarlicNoOnions to date, there is something for everyone. We promise to always stay up to your expectations...

We live in a country where food is at the center of every home, conversation, and ritual. Our rich cuisine has traveled the world and back, leaving everyone curious and envious. Find below my Top 10 lists, my favorites discoveries this year, hundreds of addresses to satisfy your taste buds. (Recommended Restaurants)

My Favorite Eggs Benedict Discoveries From Around the World: 21 Mouthwatering Dishes

Eggs Benedict, also informally known as Eggs Benny, is a traditional American breakfast or brunch dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin topped with a poached egg, bacon or ham, and hollandaise sauce. The dish was first popularized in New York City. Many variations on the basic recipe are served.

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New York's Sexiest Food Discoveries of 2018

I can't get enough of New York. I have been there ten times already, and each 10-day trip was a full food experience one… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of favorite restaurants and tasty discoveries to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple.

new-york-sexy2019-01-11-01-59-56

Who Has the Best Shawarma in Lebanon? Did You Try These 14 Choices?

Thin and fresh bread, two layers of it, wrapped around a generous portion of meat or chicken alongside accompaniments. Premium quality, without any sauces or sophistication. Pure beef, premium chicken, juicy and tender with lettuce, pickles, and fries for the white meat and parsley with tarator for the brown meat. A thick 8 centimeters in diameter, the wraps are filling without being heavy. I loved the quality of the ingredients, the juiciness of the meat, the crunchiness of the vegetables and the softness of the bread. An adequate amount of fat, some spiciness and that's it. Not overdone, and not spilling from all sides - really unique.

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Best Restaurants in Lebanon: 19 French Eateries I Like

Towards the end of 2012, French bistros started to gain popularity in Lebanon... but the big boom took place in 2013 when two restaurants on average were opening every month. The trend now stopped with one restaurant opening every six months on average while others focused on upgrading their menu and preserve their reputation. I have tried to visit most of them and made it a point to try each more than once. Each of French restaurants offers something special; Find below my favorite ones.

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We Love BURGERS: 20 Best Choices to Choose From in Lebanon

I love burgers, to the extent that I don’t mind eating these little pieces of heaven every day. Mind you, not all burgers are worth talking about and not all burgers are made properly. It is not as simple as one would imagine. A good burger requires passion and a lot of know-how to achieve the perfect patty, bun, and fillings. Burgers were one of the things that boomed this year. Although this good old meal has been around a very long time, it seems that the burger concept has gone through a revolution. A lot of restaurants have included a special burger dish on their menu. Each one is served differently, adding a whole new dimension to the way we enjoy our burgers – a satisfying sight first, then comes the taste …

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Loaded and Tasty "Lebanese Mezze Table": 28 Restaurants to Check

Renowned all around the world, our Lebanese cuisine has won several awards for its fine taste, colorful plates, and superb taste. It's all about love poured in every plate spread on that long Mezze table. Lebanese feasts can take up to 5 hours gathering people around happiness. Below is a list of my favorite Lebanese restaurants in Lebanon. Lebanese cuisine, famous all around the world includes an abundance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, starches, fresh fish and seafood; animal fats are consumed sparingly. Poultry is eaten more often than red meat. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb on the coast, and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also includes copious amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned by lemon juice. Olive oil, chickpeas, herbs, garlic, and lemon are typical flavors found in the Lebanese diet. Arak, an anise-flavored liqueur, is the Lebanese national drink and usually served with a traditional convivial Lebanese meal. Another historic and traditional drink in Lebanon is wine. In Lebanon some desserts are specifically prepared on special occasions: the meghli, for instance, is served to celebrate a newborn baby in the family.

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A Yummy Plate of Italian Pasta in Lebanon: 13 Favorite Addresses!

Pasta is one of the world's most favorite foods! Spaghetti, lasagna, rotini, tortellini - there are over 600 known pasta shapes. It's delicious, it's nutritious, it's versatile.  It can be enjoyed as a main course, or as a side dish. Top it with your favorite sauce and Parmigiano - let's eat! Check out my favorite restaurants serving pasta around town:

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2018: My Favorite Eats in San Francisco

I have been to San Francisco three times already, and each 5-day trip was a full food experience one… I have tried enough sandwiches, cookies, burgers, Italian food and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves at a slow pace. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of favorite restaurants and tasty discoveries to satisfy your taste buds in the city of the sea.

san-francisco2019-01-11-02-00-01

2018: My Favorite Eats in Dubai

I have been to Dubai ten times already, and each 5-day trip was a full food experience one… I have tried enough sandwiches, cookies, burgers, Italian food and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of favorite restaurants and tasty discoveries to satisfy your taste buds in the city that never sleeps.

dubai2019-01-11-01-59-48

Sweet Lebanon: 44 of the Best Mouthwatering Desserts and Cravings

Who doesn’t love desserts? Perfect pieces of mouthwatering indulgences… But where can you find the best of what Lebanon has to offer, in terms of sweets, cakes, cookies, ice cream... Are you drooling yet? Lebanon has a lot to offer. Touring the world and trying out so many places in various countries, I realized that our little country serves some of the best desserts I have had to date. Join me on a tour around the country to enjoy some of the best in sweet delights...

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Spending Sunday with Your Kids: Some Ideas to Have Breakfast, Lunch or Brunch

While my kids grow older searching for places to take them has been a primordial thing every weekend. Where do we take them? What activities are there? Are they good enough? Are they kids friendly? Which restaurant? And so many other questions create a dilemma every time my family and I want to plan a day out. It's been a ritual for the past year to take my kids out on a "Mechwar" every Sunday. Yes, there are actually places where your kids can actually go and spend some time to play. Are they affordable? What's the good and bad in each? At the end of the day, we are looking for a place to go where both parents and kids will be happy... Good and uncomplicated food, a place for them to play, a corner to run... Below is a list of places I've visited the last year giving you some ideas to take your family out on a Sunday.

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Craving a Good Hummus in Lebanon: 21 of the Best Plates You Have to Try!

The hummus comprises nothing more than what it should: pummeled chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil. Yet Lebanon's hummus has brought food critics, amateur locals and foreign globe-trotters to their literary knees. It has inspired them to label it the unqualified “best,” and seduced them to write tantalizing comparisons bordering on the sensual. Praised, worshipped, and turned to cliche, in short, our hummus is worth it – whatever “it” may be. Find below my favorite 10 hummus spotted around Lebanon.

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It's a Sandwich, it's a Wrap, it's a Baguette... Best 40 Amazing Quick Eats in Lebanon

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 sandwiches for 2016 and 2017. 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. 2018-1019 are the years of Street Food... and sandwiches are a big part of that. Let’s take a tour around the country’s finest and tastiest "wraps & sandwiches" from across all corners of the country. Each one is worth trying – let us see why.

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Lebanon's Best Ice Cream: 25 Addresses Will Satisfy Your Craving

We often ask ourselves... Which is better and why? And this is about everything around us...  Since it's summer and we're all craving something cold, let's talk about ice cream. Creating good ice cream is not as easy as you might think. Light fruity, Italian or Arabic, we'll have plenty of time to try them all until the season ends in September. What's your favorite? Below 27 favorite ice cream shops you have to try in Lebanon.

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39 Best Breakfast Spots in Lebanon: Where to Go, What to Eat

With endless choice and great flavors, you simply cannot skip breakfast in Lebanon. From Mankousheh to Foul and hummus... Knefeh, Ashta and Labneh, we have something to satisfy all cravings... It’s a beautiful day out there… Let’s start enjoying it early with a delicious bite somewhere around the country… where to go? Scouting the country from North to South … from Beirut city to the Metn area and way beyond… I have tasted hundreds of breakfast spots and have met thousands of passionate cooks I call heroes. Come join me for a hefty breakfast… The World Famous Lebanese Breakfast: A Love Story!

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New York: Best 33 Breakfast Experiences You Have to Try

I can't get enough of New York... I have been there probably nine times already in less than a year, and each 10-day trip is a full food experience challenge… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of breakfast places to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple. Visiting New York, check out the best breakfast spots around the city.

new-york-breakfast2019-01-11-01-59-53

New York: My Favorite 27 Eats of 2018

I can't get enough of New York. I have been there ten times already, and each 10-day trip was a full food experience one… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of favorite restaurants and tasty discoveries to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple.

new-york-best2019-01-11-01-59-53

Breakfast in Paris: My Top 10 List

I felt it, I was sure this morning's breakfast was going to be majestic... I pushed the door open on to a tiny space and a bar while being invited to walk up the stairs to the first floor... Enchanting! Breakfast, lunch or dinner, the French capital is loaded with hidden gems serving exquisite and memorable food. Check out my list I'm been compiling for years. With more than 300 restaurants visited in Paris to date, I still find it exciting to dine in Paris once every other month. 

paris-breakfast2019-01-11-01-59-57

Where to Eat Good Sushi in Lebanon: 21 Restaurants You Have to Try

Sushi is a global convenience food of choice and Lebanon is by no means an exception to the international trend. But did you know that Sushi was originally a street food, a working-class dish that became “haute” after getting a facelift with time. Today, in Lebanon, you can find sushi served in most places … Japanese restaurants, international cuisine restaurants and even at selected supermarkets … But where can we enjoy some good and tasty ones around town? Travel with me across the country and discover some of my favorites …

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My Top 10: Lebanon’s Best Pizza!

Pizza, who doesn’t love pizza? This Italian classic is the second most popular food in the world, after burgers. From Italy to France, the United States to the Middle East, pizzas come in many shapes and sizes, but the end result is the same: an oven-baked, flatbread typically finished off with a tomato sauce, cheese, and various toppings. The modern pizza has its roots in Naples, Italy, and the dish has since become popular all over the world. So, back to our beloved country to enjoy some of the best pizzas Lebanon has to offer. Italian pizzerias and American pizza delivery franchises have mushroomed nationwide, while in a typically Lebanese fashion, creative minds have come up some innovative ideas like offering them in small cups that can be devoured in seconds. Join me on my journey around Lebanon's little Italy.

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New York's Greatest Sweet Cravings of 2018: The Must-Try List

I can't get enough of New York... I have been there probably eight or nine times already in less than a year, and each 10-day trip is a full food experience challenge… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers, ice cream and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of favorite cravings you should not miss to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple. Visiting New York, check out the most mouth-watering cravings and desserts spots around the city.

new-york-dessert2019-01-11-01-59-54

2018 Top 10: My Favorite Italian Restaurants in New York

I can't get enough of New York. I have been there ten times already, and each 10-day trip was a full food experience one… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of italian restaurants to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple.

new-york-eatalian2019-01-11-01-59-54

My Top 15: New York’s Best Ice Cream You Must Try

I can't get enough of New York... I have been there probably nine times already in less than a year, and each 10-day trip is a full food experience challenge… I have tried enough pastrami sandwiches, cookies, burgers, ice cream and desserts to feel the nostalgia of this city that moves so fast. Surely there’s more to discover and more to enjoy, but for the meantime, I think I've discovered enough places to give you my Top10 list of ice cream parlors you should not miss to satisfy your taste buds in the Big Apple. Visiting New York, check out the most mouthwatering ice cream spots around the city.

new-york-ice-cream2019-01-11-01-59-54

2018: My Favorite Hotel Discoveries this Year

In 2018, I was lucky enough to have had the chance to travel a lot. I discovered more than 121 different cities in 16 countries and checked into more than 25 hotels around the world. Each hotel was a unique experience and a step forward to learning more about the culture of every city I have visited. From London to New York, Dubai and San Francisco, 2018 was a hectic year filled with excitement and learning. Check below my favorite hotel stays in 2018.

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Top 10 Gelato in Roma: My Personal Choice

After indulging in Milan's favorite gelataria, I planned a trip to Rome to see how the capital of this most famous culinary country compares. The world talks about ice cream but Italy calls it 'gelato'. Soft, airy and lightly creamy; no one makes gelato better than the Italians. Not having the time to grab my phone, I focused on taking photos then combined my discoveries in the post below. It's impossible to try them all...so just follow tips from the net or simply follow your nose, as sometimes you end up spotting a small artisanal gelateria serving homey creations the giants couldn't match.

roma-gelato2019-01-11-01-59-59

Paris Greatest Eats: 33 Stops I Recommend You to Try!

I felt it, I was sure this morning's breakfast was going to be majestic... I pushed the door open on to a tiny space and a bar while being invited to walk up the stairs to the first floor... Enchanting! Breakfast, lunch or dinner, the French capital is loaded with hidden gems serving exquisite and memorable food. Check out my list I'm been compiling for years. With more than 300 restaurants visited in Paris to date, I still find it exciting to dine in Paris once every other month. 

paris-great-eats2019-01-11-01-59-57

My Favorite Pasta in Rome: Top 5 List

Pasta is one of Italy’s few culinary constants, but it’s also endlessly diverse, with hundreds of shapes and styles that vary by region. Depending on geography, pasta can be short or long, made with flour and water or flour and egg, by hand or in a factory, fresh or dried. It can be folded or stuffed, served in broth, dressed modestly or to the nines. Situated about halfway down the boot, Rome lies at the meeting point of the fresh, sometimes eggy pasta culture of Italy’s north, and the dried flour-and-water pasta of the south. You’ll find even the most fervent Romans lunching on tangles of fresh fettuccine and piles of once-dried rigatoni in states of bliss.

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Amsterdam Top 10 Food Discoveries

From its earliest days, Amsterdam has been a bustling hub of commerce that welcomed other cultures with open arms. Check out my Top 10 eats in this lovely canal-side city, including the rich history and development of its tolerant society. From its humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for business, tourism, and culture, Amsterdam has had a strong tradition as a center of culture and commerce.

amsterdam2019-01-11-01-59-45

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