My exploration of Lebanon’s incredible food and ancient cities continued in the coastal city of Byblos! Join me as I try some incredible Lebanese food and explore the ancient city of Byblos, Lebanon!
Byblos is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. It’s thought that it was first settled sometime between 8800 BC and 7000 BC, and has been continually inhabited since 5000 BC. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site!
My friend and guide Nico and I began our day in Byblos, Lebanon at L’abeille D’or, a restaurant that puts knafeh inside a croissant with chocolate! Their name translates to “the honeybee.”
Inside, I watched the cook slice some knafeh and put it inside a chocolate croissant and add chocolate sauce inside and on the top of the croissant. It was a chocolate overload and costed 65 LL/roughly $3 USD.
The knafeh is a popular breakfast and dessert item that contains semolina flour and ackawi cheese. I loved that they added chocolate instead of rose syrup.
I loved the combination of the ackawi cheese, chocolate, and flaky crust of the croissant. Easily the most decadent breakfast I’d had in Lebanon. The kanefeh was excellent, but the whole thing was easily 2500 calories!
They even gave me another kanafeh to go before Nico and I set out to visit the Old Souk of Byblos, Lebanon. It’s one of the oldest souks in the country. There are lots of bars there that come to life at night.
We visited a small juice shop called Le Soule Cafe and got a fresh pomegranante juice. It was sour but perfect and was so refreshing. It only cost 30 LL!
Then, we headed off to see some ancient ruins! We paid the entrance fee to enter the site, which includes a Roman-era mosque, a Crusader fort, Roman columns, Byzantine houses, and more.
The Crusader fort was massive, with lots of ruined houses below it. In the distance, I could see the Mediterranean Sea! It was my first Crusader fort. I could see high ceilings and arches, as well as very thick walls.
We checked out the defense tower and an ancient spiral well dug into the ground. It was beautiful! Unfortunately, it was rainy, so exploring was difficult.
As we continued through the old souk, we came across Memoire du Temps, a shop in Byblos, Lebanon that sells fish fossils that are 100 million years old! They come from the area!
The shop was incredible. It’s attached to a museum. They were beautiful! They were found at 800 meters above sea level, but the area used to be underwater. A lot of these species don’t exist anymore.
There’s even a fossil of a fish that has swallowed another fish! It was so cool!
Then, we arrived at Feniqia Restaurant to avoid the rain. It’s a wood-and-stone tavern-style restaurant and bar in Byblos, Lebanon. They’re known for their gorgeous food presentations!
We started with some mezze, including za’atar-wu-zayt (za’atar in oil), labneh, and olives. You roll them up in some pita like a taco! I loved how fresh it was.
Then, they bring your food on a tray that they hang from a hook on the ceiling! It’s cool and modern, and a fun way to eat your food. I started with a fantastic sausage in pomegranate molasses called makanek, as well as some batata harra (crispy, spicy potatoes).
The sawdeh (chicken liver) was dense and sweet. Everything had pomegranate molasses on it. The lahme ras asfour (chopped lamb) was amazing, but the sawdeh was my favorite so far.
I loved the lamb kofta with hummus. The garlic sauce was also fantastic! There was also coleslaw and three skewers (chicken, beef, and vegetables) cooking over coal. I loved trying everything with the hummus, garlic mayo, and garlic sauce!
Finally, I met the bartender, George, and enjoyed some cloudy house-made arak! I loved the anise and grape. For dessert, we had a sort of ice cream with a tree bark scoop for a spoon!
What an extraordinary dining experience in Byblos, Lebanon!
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