Beirut: Food Guide - Dining Out
Paris of the Middle East
The Lebanese love eating and dining out, so in Beirut you’ll find a wealth of great restaurants, bars and cafes offering all types of cuisine: from sushi and other international flavours, to really traditional Lebanese fare. If you are dining out in Beirut, make sure that you do try some of the Lebanese cuisine: this style of food is typically Mediterranean and very big on flavour.
A traditional dining out experience in Beirut will begin with a selection of mezze. These are small dishes and appetizers eaten with flat Arabic bread. If you’re dining out on mezze in Beirut, you’ll find that the dishes that are served will reflect the seasons – so, for example, you might find snails on offer in late autumn. Other typical dishes include stuffed vine leaves, tabbouleh, and stuffed meatballs (kibbeh). The main course for this type of dining will generally be grilled fish or meat eaten with spiced rice, and the meal is finished off with fruit, strong coffee, and pastries stuffed with pistachios or dates.
When dining out in Beirut, you’ll find that alcohol is generally served with your meal. If you’re dining on traditional Lebanese mezze, meals are typically accompanied by arrack – a strong aniseed-flavoured mezze, or locally grown wine.