With my final day in Lebanon upon me, I decided to go all out with an epic food tour of Beirut! Come along with me on my Beirut breakfast food tour for one last hurrah in Lebanon!
My friend and guide Nico and I started at a local bakery where they make several types of lahmajun, including lamb, za’atar, tomato, and olive. This bakery has been here for 52 years!
I watched the cooks roll out some dough. They made me a mix of the potato kibbeh and spicy varieties. It contained delicious onions and had a bit of spice. I liked the crispiness on the outside and the doughiness in the middle.
They also gave me a cup of fresh sour yogurt from the owner’s home village. It reminded me of Greek yogurt! Then, he baked me a lamb lahmajun and another with green za’atar and tomato. They smelled heavenly!
He added spice and lime to the lamb lahmajun. It looked like a crispy, light pizza and was fantastic. I loved the za’atar and tomato one. It was so full of flavor!
The mint, parsley, and cheese lahmajun was unreal. It was so creamy, flaky, and rich in herbs. I loved that it was light but still full of flavor! The vegetable and sumac one was a little doughier but still insanely good!
Every single one of them was made with fresh ingredients. They cost roughly $1.25 USD each. I loved the owner and his wife. They were so friendly! Meeting them was the perfect way to kick off my Beirut breakfast food tour!
Then, we drove to Bechara Bros, a popular shop that sells cheese calzones. They use a mix of cheeses. This calzone contained a wonderful mix of mozzarella and ackawi cheeses.
I loved the crispy, golden brown crust, which was tasty and full of flavor. I also couldn’t get enough of the rich, gooey cheese inside. The mix of mozzarella and ackawi was heavenly! It was also nice and filling. If you’re not a calzone person, they also make manakish and even pizzas!
After filling our bellies, we took a break from our Beirut breakfast food tour. Instead, we hopped in the car and drove up to the Jeita Grotto near Jounieh. It’s made up of two interconnected karstic limestone caves and was a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition!
Cameras aren’t allowed inside, and the lower cave was closed. During the summer, you can take a boat ride through the lower cave. In the winter, the upper cave is open.
It’s a beautiful area near a river. The cave is beautiful, but I couldn’t take my camera inside. As we continued back to Beirut, I saw lots of houses along the hills and mountainsides.
We arrived at an Ottoman bridge about 500 years ago. Beyond it is an aqueduct. It looked like a Roman aqueduct, but it’s not Roman. The bridge spans the Dog River!
From there, we headed to Torino Chicken, where they make some of Beirut’s best fried chicken! It’s deep-fried in a pressure cooker! They sell wings, drumsticks, and breasts. Nico’s parents had their first date here!
We ordered half a chicken for $5 USD. Nico had been talking about this place for the entire trip. We had four pieces with some fries, pickles, and garlic sauce. The skin was outstanding, and the meat was super juicy.
I loved the garlic sauce! It’s very creamy and potent, but it pairs incredibly well with the crunchy chicken. It’s only made of garlic and oil, so it’s as pure as it gets. The fries were fantastic with the sauce. Then, I had some pickles as a great palate cleanser.
What an incredible Beirut breakfast food tour to end my time in Lebanon!
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