I’ll be the first to admit that it sounds ludicrous that a particularly area of Lebanon has the best lemonade. I mean, it’s not like the people of Batroun squeeze their lemons differently than the people of Jbeil. Or do lemons grow better in the Batrounian soil? But, and I could swear my life on it, something about the lemonade in Batroun is just perfect. Call it psychological, but the lemonade there is a perfect concoction of lemon juice, sugar and refreshing mint. Watching the Batroun sunset over the beach while sipping on some of this magical lemonade might possibly be the highlight of your entire summer.
Sfiha, which are small meat pies, are known to be a staple of the cultural town of Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. This combination of ground beef or lamb with a mixture of onions, pepper, pomegranate and parsley is baked to perfection. With a cup of yogurt or a squeeze of lemon, you can enjoy your sfiha from any of the street shops whilst touring the town.
Hummus and foul, the solid staple of the Lebanese breakfast, are spectacular in the bustling city of Saida – particularly at the little shop known as Foul Abu Abed. Aside from Abu Abed’s shop, the other hole-in-the-wall shops scattered around the port and the Corniche are known to have hummus and foul that are unrivaled anywhere else in Lebanon.
When it comes to dessert, Tripoli is the not-so-humble abode of the mesmerizing, calorific desserts of Lebanese descent. From the sizzling cheese to the melted ashta, the different desserts this city has to offer are known to be nothing less than exquisite. It takes but one trip to Abdul Rahman Hallab or the infinite sweet shops down the roads of the coastal streets of Mina to understand the undeniable truth behind this assertion.
When it comes to kibbeh, the people of Zgharta do it best. When they move up to their summer houses in Ehden, they take their exceptional culinary skills with them. Whether it’s the fried kibbeh ras with peppermint, kibbeh bil sineye (baked), or kibbeh naye (raw), Ehden/Zgharta are the go-to places for the proper taste of this meal. At Al-Ferdaws restaurant in Ehden, you can indulge in the different types of kibbeh while overlooking the endless mountains of this beautiful town.
Seafood in Beirut restaurants often proves to be disappointing (with the exception of high-end restaurants such as Babel Bay or Sultan Ibrahim). Considering the fact that we are surrounded by Mediterranean waters, one would expect the entire country to be as famous for its fish as it is for its kibbeh or hummus. However, in the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon, the large numbers of fishermen are known for catching fresh seafood, particularly fish, that is just perfect.
Kishk, this intricate meal of dried yogurt and wheat, is usually eaten in the form of a man’oushe all over Lebanon. However, the folks of Aley are known to make it best and to turn it into different meals such as kishik porridge or kishk soup.
Additionally, another dish that the people of Aley prepare exquisitely is hrissi. Similar to kishik porridge, hrissi is a porridge made of ground soaked wheat and eaten with chicken or lamb pieces.
For unrivaled Lebanese wine, the breathtaking village of Kefraya is the place to go. Surrounded by endless vineyards in the mountains of Barouk, Chateau Kefraya was created fifty years ago and has time and again won international awards for its fine taste of red and white blended wines.