Schedules are updated every Thursday.

Fatima Al Mahmoud 28 Jan 2019

13 Fantastic Spots For Italian Food In Beirut

Colorful alleyways, floating canals, and art galleries. Add to that thin crust pizza, flavorful pasta, and rustic wine…are you mentally in Italy yet? If not, check out these 13 fantastic spots that are sure to send you and your taste buds on a flavorsome journey to Italy.

1. Totò – Cucina Italiana

As soon as you step inside, you’ll be swept away by the modern black-and-white-themed décor contrasted by aged yellow limestone walls and arches reminiscent of a 15th-century church. You’d never think a casual pizza could be had here, but it can, and boy is it scrumptious! A thin crust that’s far from being sopped in sauce miraculously holds all the toppings in place, and “less is more” is the name of the game here, with just the right dose of premium, flavor-intense ingredients.

2. Marinella

Typifying Mar Mikhael’s urban chic, Marinella is a stylish and contemporary trattoria on a corner surrounded by electro-mecanique shops and opposite a wall of poetic graffiti. A leafy terrace and an intimate interior complemented with a spot-on Italian menu that offers a high quality selection of dishes. Samples might be tagliatelle with artichokes, osso bucco, aubergine capon ate, gnocchi with lemon or ravioli with mushroom. Stupendo.

3. Tavolina

Located in the heart of Mar Mikhael, here you’ll find traditional Italian cuisine served in a warm and comfortable setting. The menu offers a wide variety of over 15 types of Italian Antipasti, as well as oven cooked pizzas and hearty pastas and risottos. Some of their signature dishes include Shiitake mushrooms in sea urchin sauce, Buffala salad, and truffle pasta. Splendido!

4. Matto

Staying true to the Mediterranean way of life, this Italian restaurants vows to give you an experience like no other. MATTO offers a modern take on traditional cooking methods, presenting an exceptional dining experience. With the exceptionally charming staff serving a medley of classic Italian dishes with a side of mischief, you’ll be learning Italian one bite (and hand gesture) at a time.

5. Al Dente Ristorante – Hotel Albergo

Al Dente serves authentic and enjoyable Italian cuisine in a very unique setting. Located in a stunning traditional building, it has high ceilings clad in the beautiful authentic plasterwork, frescoes lining the walls and rich curtains hanging from above old wooden windows. And let’s not forget, a menu to die for.

6. Gavi

One of the trendiest Italian restaurants in Beirut, Gavi is a must-visit. Aside from their refined menu, Gavi serves authentic Italian experience, elegance in a plate, as they say. Make sure you leave room for dessert and sample one or all of their sweet dishes.

7. Bavaglino

A hidden gem at the very top of the St. Nicolas stairs, this Italian spot will charm your pants off. Their purely Italian menu boasts favorites like the canneloni, spaghetti carbonara, pizzas, risottos, veal milanese, and so much more! Cute, charming, dimly lit, and perfectly Italian. The ideal date night spot, and then some.

8. La Pizzaria

This spot quickly became a milestone of success for its owner, who had left his day job to follow his dream of transporting a taste of Italy to the city’s versatile food scene. We’re glad he decided to follow through as La Pizzaria is now one of our favorite Italian spots in the city. The authentic freshly baked pizzas will keep you coming back for more and more.

9. Mario e Mario

The owner, Mario, says it has been a dream of his to open a little restaurant with traditional home-cooked Italian food ever since he was a little boy. Some of his earliest memories involve watching his father passionately create delectable Italian dishes for his family. Now he’s carrying out that tradition with his own must-try restaurant. During summer, you can eat al fresco on their gorgeous terrace, but worry not, their winter indoor areas are equally as perfect for some spaghetti slurping.

10. Rossini Osteria e Caffe

Replacing the old favorite Cafe Mondo in Phoenicia is this stunning Italian eatery Rossini. A wood fire oven will tantalize you with the smell of freshly baked pizzas. Enjoy a cheese platter, a pasta dish, or just some incredible rich coffee alongside a delicious dessert.

11. L’Osteria

A very Italian wine and cheese bar, L’Osteria always has the perfect Italian antipasto to settle your cravings. The inside of the quaint spot is all about the stone walls and arches, and the exterior is that of a simple trattoria with a few tables and chairs outside. Leave it to their skilled bartenders to make you a cocktail tailored to your liking.

12. Margherita

What started as a narrow casual pizzeria in Gemmayzeh with iconic tomatoes stacked in the window, has blossomed into an array of outlets stretching as far north as Jounieh’s Old Souks. The Italian eatery serves Neapolitan fare reflecting authentic flavors of the South of Italy.

13. Appetito Trattoria

When we’re not swooning over this gem’s blue walls and flower pots, we’re definitely devouring Italian “soul food”. If their menu was not enough to send you on a flavorsome journey to Italy, their Gemmayzeh branch and its setting will do. Check it out for yourself and you’ll know what we’re talking about.