As my time in Beirut continued, I decided to go all out with an unforgettable food tour of the city! Join me as I go on an epic Lebanese street food tour of downtown Beirut, Lebanon!
My friend and guide Nico and I started at Zaitunay Bay, a seaside area where you can see yachts, high rises, a boardwalk, hotels, and more. Nearby was our first spot, Zaatar w Zeit.
Zaatar w Zeit is one of the most famous restaurants in Lebanon. They sell modern Lebanese food. We’d be getting their Chicken Batata skillet with coriander, parsley, garlic sauce, and lime juice. You eat it with pita bread!
The bread was doughy and slightly crispy, and getting the potatoes, chicken, and tomato together with it was even better. I loved the combination!
The lime juice really elevated it to the next level. It was such a great dish for only $6 USD!
Next, we tried a few Lebanese sweets: Unica wafer, Dabke biscuits with cream, and a cream-filled chocolate called Tarboush. The tarboush was light and the cream inside was fluffy.
The Unica was a crispy, airy chocolatey wafter, and the Dabke was a crispy sandwich cookie with lemon cream in the middle.
From there, we walked past condos and a beautiful church through central Beirut. There was lots of beautiful architecture. Then, we made it to Independence Square, where we saw the Egg Building of Beirut and ruins from the Roman era. There are five columns, which signifies it was a temple.
We also saw the Grand Theatre of Beirut, where lots of musicians used to play. It’s in disrepair now and is in danger of collapse. The architecture reminded me of buildings I’d seen in Turkey!
Then, we drove to a famous fruit cocktail spot, where I could see oranges, pomegranates, and lemons. We tried a drink made of carob, rose water, dates, and rose water. It was so refreshing and had some cashews at the bottom. Best of all, it only cost $1 USD!
It was a tasty and unique departure from all of the meat, sandwiches, and fried dishes I’d had in Lebanon so far. Rose water is one of my favorite things on the planet, so I loved that they added it to the drink!
Across the street, we stopped at Croissant Margo, a bakery that makes croissants filled with za’atar. They also make ones filled with cheese and chocolate. The cheese was great!
One minute later, we arrived at Falafel M. Sahyoun, a Lebanese food spot that’s nearly 100 years old. It’s known as one of the best falafel shops in Beirut. Next door is a shop of the same name that’s owned by the owner’s estranged brother!
These falafel sandwiches contain parsley, white radish, tomatoes, tahini, and a spicy sauce. I loved the hearty falafel and the pita bread. The parsley added some freshness!
The falafel only contained fava beans, as opposed to the usual chickpea/fava bean mixture. They come out golden brown and perfectly crispy without being too oily.
I loved the spicy sauce so much, they added some more for me. It was a great shili sauce and I even had a hot pepper with it! Then, I got a second one to have for dinner later! What a tour!