A trip to Beirut is never complete without trying our delicious Lebanese cuisine. The list is countless, the food is amazing and those specialties are all over the country. While Lebanon is known for its Rich Mezza, Famous Kebbe and delicious salad called Tabbouli, there is much more to try in this country. What am I talking about?
Well our famous street food, or quick bite food is everywhere and let me tell you a Secret it is our favorite food. In fact, when I am travelling this is what I miss the most. A simple Manouche or a delicious Knefe can make our day.
Oups 🙈 have I said too much? I think it is about time to tell all about those specialties. While those can really be numerous, I limited my list to in my opinion are the top 5!
Oh and if you are really a food lover and would love to try some of the best dining experiences in Beirut, Check out my related article: The top Cool Restaurants & Bars in Beirut❤
And for your full Beirut Experience, check out this one: My Beirut❤ The top things to do in the Capital of Lebanon.
Now Let’s enjoy together those delicious and Various food specialties🤩
1- Our one of a kind “Manouche“😋
So Basically this is the most popular and loved Lebanese specialty by all of us. You can’t be a Lebanese and not eat a Manouche at least 3 times per week.
While it is known to be eaten mostly at breakfast, you can have it anytime you want during the day. But what is it?
So our Manouche consists of a dough that is originally topped with our delicious one of a kind thyme “Zaatar”. While this is the Original Manouche, you can also have it topped with cheese or meat.
Tip: If you want to try the Manouche meat, you will be asking for the delicious “Lahm bajin”. Try it with extra spice and lemon!
Where you can find it?🧐 In any bakery all over the country. You will probably find it in the street you are staying in. You can simply grab one to go or enjoy it quietly.
This is the cheapest food you might have in Lebanon one Manouche will cost you less than 1$
2- The delicious Knefe🥯
The knefe is OUR most famous dessert. While we usually eat dessert in the afternoon with a cup of tea, Eating Knefe is most popular in the Morning or after Partying in Beirut.
Seriously after-party?😮 Yes! And oh with time we developed this dessert and the Lebanese chefs added some twist of their own.
The Lebanese Knefe is mainly made of Knefe Dough and a sort of Lebanese cheese. So yes it is our own version of Cheese cake.🍰
My favorite way to eat the Knefe is in its original wrap called Kaake. The whole thing is an ultimate pleasure. 😋
But wait here is your surprise! You can chose to eat the normal original Knefe, but also chose to try one in Ashta, with Chocolate or a Croissant Knefe.
Tip: don’t even try to count the calories!😅
The price of one Knefe varies from its type. But with the nowadays inflation it wont cost you more than 1$.
3- The Famous Shawarma🌯
This one of my favorite street food ever! This sandwich will fill all your appetites and can be the highlight of your day. Your trip to Lebanon is never complete without tasting its delicious Shawarma sandwich. Whether for lunch or late night cravings Our special shawarma should be your answer.
What is it?
Let me put it this way: Thin and fresh bread, wrapped around a portion of meat or chicken (you get to chose) alongside accompaniments. The sandwich is juicy, crispy, so yummiiiiii! I just felt like having one right now😅 Oh and what about the accompaniments? Well everything good! It is filled with lettuce, pickles, and parsley with a tasty creamy sauce called Tarator. Oh and adding fries is always an option.
Where to find it?
Everywhere in the city! Many restaurants and food Market have mastered the Shawarma. But here the name of the place I think all Lebanese agrees that it has exceptional shawarma nearby Beirut: Joseph at Sin el fil.
Hint: If you don’t have any preferences, I would Recommend that you try both! The chicken and the meat shawarma. Enjoy it😋
Tip! Try it when you are hungry and craving good fast food because it can be a bit heavy and you wouldn’t want to leave any bite of it behind.
4- The Falafel🥙
This is one of the specialties that you will find in the whole middle east.😎 The Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and fava beans. Its taste is really unique and different from anything you might have ever tried in case you are not from the region.
So how is the falafel served?😋
This traditional Middle eastern street food is commonly served in a special pita. It is Wrapped there along with some accompaniments which are mostly pickles and some special vegetables along with the “Tarator” juicy sauce.
Although it is not made of any meat or chicken, This sandwich is very consistent and mostly eaten for lunch.
5- The Lebanese Sweets🍬🍮
Like all cuisines and cultures we also have a wide range of Lebanese sweets, I can’t be telling you about everything because trust me there are plenty. BUT you need to know about the most famous one that has become part of our heritage and customs:” The Baklawa”
This special sweet is well known from anyone from the area because it originates from the Ottoman Empire and was brought here during their rule. Although, it is not originally Lebanese, it has become the small sweet gem that is served everywhere to guests in celebrations and during holidays.
This sweet is made up of layers of crispy sweet dough stuffed with nuts and Katr. (Lebanese sweet syrup). It is prepared by spreading the mixture on a pan, baking it as a whole and then cutting it into small pieces and selling it by piece.
How to chose?🤔
You usually to visit a Baklawa shop to try just one piece of that. It is sold by weight and you can pick a mix of them. And that is what I would suggest for you. You can also get a pre-packed Box that will contain mostly all the flavors.
Some other delicious pastries!😋
Once you visit any Lebanese pastry store, you will find all those succulent pieces displayed in front of you and I can assure you that you wont know what to pick. But let me tell you about my favorite 3 and well trust me those are one of the best.
- Znoud El Sit
- Halewet El Jeben
Tip: Ask to try one of those if you are hesitant, everyone is so friendly and would love to offer you a piece of each.