It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of restaurants nestled in Beirut. Between restaurant openings and shutterings, renovations and rebrands, popups and relocations, one simply cannot keep up, and often all the attention falls on the most buzzed-about hotspots. Strip the hype and unearth a handful of delicious restaurants that pass under most Beirutis’ radars.

1. Mashawish

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Alexander Fleming Street in Mar Mikhael is address to the popular pub Internazionale and foodie destinations Happy Prince and Divvy. But saunter past these three strongholds, and you’ll discover Mashawish, a corner-lot hole-in-the-wall serving delicious sandwiches and sides cooked on a grill. After all, masheweh + sandwich = Mashawish! With everything from Lebanese kabobs and taouk to merguez and pork ribs, the carnivore in you will be pleasantly delighted with the grill house’s scrumptious selection. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a day when they’re serving chestnut soup, it’s a no-brainer: slurp that goodness up.

Alexander Fleming Street
Mar Mikhael
Tel.: +9611449390
Mob.: +9613097987

2. Fawwalna

(Image via Instagram)

Healthy food is finding a larger market in Beirut, and where fast food junk once flourished, more nutritious and wholesome options are prevailing. Walk along Gemmayze’s Gouraud Street in the direction of Mar Mikhael and you’ll find a brilliantly lit-up joint by the name of Fawwalna next door to Tabliet Massaad. A play on words, Fawwalna refers to both getting stuffed and going hog-wild on the quintessential fava bean, ‘foul.’ Naturally this shop serves foul, balila, fatteh and a few other Lebanese vegan staples, but the best part? They’re open 24/7! Next time you’ve downed one too many drinks, prevent the hangover and make a beeline for Fawwalna.

Gouraud Street
Tel.: +9611567123

3. Ruby Fondue

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How many times have you been tempted to indulge in chocolate fondue, only to find it’s (a) overpriced, and (b) a seasonal wintry dessert on most restaurant menus? Fret no more, for Ruby Fondue in Jal el Dib revolves around the silky liquid dipping cocoa year-round and in portions suited even for one! They offer the gamut of plunging edibles like fruit, marshmallows, brownies, and ice cream, in addition to three varieties of chocolate in the cutest ceramic goblets ever beheld! Ruby Fondue also serves a host of other goodies like smoothies, shakes, teas, and coffee.

Ruby Fondue
Main Road
Jal el-Dib
Mob.: +96176417276

4. Chez Habib

(Image via Znood)

Nearly everyone in Beirut can lay claim to a favorite neighborhood bakery, or forn. But are you savvy enough to know Jal el Dib’s manakish mecca since 1988? Chez Habib is the brainchild of the namesake owner, who, originally trained as a commercial pilot in Miami, found himself back in Beirut yearning to serve people. Hence, Chez Habib was born, dishing up the crispiest golden sambousik stuffed with nabulsieh cheese in addition to a range of savory pastries. The signature zaatar pies are magically light—they don’t cause indigestion and reflux in the way that manakish usually do. I surmise it’s the lower temperature at which these babies are baked.

Chez Habib
Main Road
Jal el-Dib
Tel.: +9614712399

5. Suz Café

(Image via Instagram)

Some places actually insist on being hidden from street view, and Suz Café in Bab Idriss is one of them. Tucked clandestinely in the courtyard of a commercial building a stone’s throw from U Energy gym, this casual dining spot serves an all-day breakfast, healthy salads, wraps, and daily pasta and soup. This is also the place to revitalize your energy with one of their shakes and smoothies, but I recommend nature’s own candy and their specialty dessert: dates dipped in dark chocolate and spices, served with an espresso. Now that’s an energy lift.

Suz Café
Bab Idriss, Patriarch Hoayeck Street, Assurex Building
Tel.: +9611981819

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