With the dawn of a new day in Beirut, Lebanon, I went on a no holds barred food tour of eastern Beirut with my friend and guide Nico! Come with us as we go on a Lebanese breakfast food tour of Beirut, Lebanon!
We’d be doing a mix of different foods this morning, which were different from Lebanese mezze.
Our first stop was Abou Hassan, where we watched them prepare ful (fava beans with chickpeas, oil, and lemon juice). They come with onion, tomato, mint, peperoncini, and pickled beets.
I also watched them prepare fatteh, which is bread and chickpeas in yogurt topped with butter and nuts.
They also made a variation of hummus called mousabbaha, which contains salt, garlic, chickpea paste, whole chickpeas, and lime juice.
The ful with pita contained onions, and I loved the fluffiness of the pita. The fatteh was light and creamy. The herbs in it were fantastic. I loved it. It reminded me of Indian chaats.
Finally, the mousabbaha was incredibly hot and flavorful. It was an amazing variation of hummus. The radish, peperoncini, tomatoes, and mint, were also amazing. We got it all for about $7 USD!
Next, we drove through the eastern suburbs of Beirut. Between the weather and the architecture, it felt like I was somewhere in Europe!
At Café Younes, we continued our Lebanese breakfast tour with some amazing black Turkish coffee. Then, Nico read my fortune. He saw a dragon, which means something good will happen to me soon!
From there, we walked to a local produce vendor and tried some pomegranate seeds. They also sold tomatoes, onions, potatoes, beets, and more!
Next, we drove 10 minutes to Cocktail Jabbour for some fruit cocktails. They’re like fruit smoothies with fresh fruit on them. I went with the avocado with banana, kiwi, strawberries, strawberry juice, avocado puree, whipped cream, and honey.
It cost $2 and was super healthy and refreshing. There was no added sugar. I loved the curd they added. It was a nice, fresh thing to have on my Lebanese breakfast food tour of Beirut.
Then, we took a break from our Lebanese breakfast tour and drove to the ruins of Petit Serail in the heart of Beirut. They’re actually the foundations of an Ottoman palace. You can also see old Roman aqueducts and houses there!
Beirut has been rebuilt seven times. The country also has a rich history and was once controlled by the Phoenicians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans.
Nearby is Independence Square, which is where commerce happened in the 1960s. There’s also a mosque and church nearby.
The next area we walked through was full of French-inspired architecture. There are silk factories in the area, as well as restaurants and pubs. I loved the bright colors and the architecture.
The last stop on our Lebanese breakfast food tour was Le Chef, a restaurant that was destroyed at one point. Its owners put up a GoFundMe to fund its reconstruction, and the actor Russell Crowe paid for it to be rebuilt! Here, we’d have homestyle Lebanese cooking.
We had some loubieh (green beans in tomato sauce), maghmour/moussaka (roasted eggplant & chickpea stew), mujadara msufaye (rice & lentil paste with caramelized onions), and kibbeh labanieh (meat fritters with yogurt).
The loubieh was light and chunky and felt really healthy. I really liked the grainy mujadara msufaye, and the roasty maghmour blew me away. It was amazing! The kibbeh labanieh came with bulgur and was hollow but hearty.
Then, they brought dessert: mahalabieh (orange blossom pudding) and meghli (rice flour pudding with cinnamon, caraway, anise, and nuts).
The meghli was fluffy and thick, with an added crunch from the nuts. I loved the mahalabieh, which was thick and cold and had the nice orange flavor. It reminded me of panna cotta! The whole meal cost us $10 USD!
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