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Restaurants in Beirut

There is a wide range of choice when it comes to dining out in Beirut, from fine dining restaurants to hole-in-the-wall cafés serving budget-friendly local fare. The Beirut restaurants below have been handpicked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over LBP100,000)
Moderate (LBP50,000–100,000)
Cheap (up to LBP50,000)

These Beirut restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service.

Expensive

Harry’s Bar

Cuisine: Italian

The Beirut outpost of the infamous Venetian restaurant is also dressed up like the eponymous original: all silver service and ivory-coloured tablecloths. The food is authentic Italian too with pastas and risottos aside its meat and fish dishes. Try the lobster spaghetti with a bottle chosen by the knowledgeable sommelier.

Address: Saifi Village, Gouraud Street, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 996 600.
Website: http://www.harrysbarbeirut.com

Mayrig

Cuisine: Armenian

Although Mayrig is officially Armenian, it borrows heavily from Lebanese gastronomy, and looks across the Mediterranean towards Italy. Wildly popular among locals, the atmosphere is super friendly, while portions are hearty and unfussily presented. The spicy mezze is the main draw but don't leave without trying the Sou Berag (Armenian Lasagne).

Address: , Pasteur Street, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 572 121.
Website: http://www.mayrigbeirut.com

Yabani

Cuisine: Japanese

Beirut's top spot for Japanese cuisine, Yabani is pricey by Lebanese standards but really knows its stuff. On the menu are typical Japanese dishes such as sushi, tempura and bento boxes, as well as a Nobu-esque take on black cod and utterly moreish slow-cooked salmon. The wine list, although heavy on the local brews, is extensive and excellent.

Address: , Rue Damascus, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 999 137.
Website: http://www.yabanirestaurants.com

Moderate

Café Blanc

Cuisine: Lebanese

Serving a modern take on traditional Lebanese cuisine, the decor of Café Blanc mirrors its ethics with moucharabieh-style partitions matched by brightly decorated cushions. Even the waiters wear funky versions of the cherwal outfits. The beautifully presented mezze is worthy of your Lebanese pound, but don't miss the scrumptious Halawi Chocolate for dessert.

Address: Mar Mitr, ABC Mall, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 211 120.
Website: http://www.cafe-blanc.com

The Palms

Cuisine: International

With its generous buffet, this is the place to go when you really need to fill up. The live cooking stations serve up every kind of cuisine imaginable, but the shawarmas (kebabs), which are served on Sunday, come highly recommended. Position yourself close to the huge plate glass windows for super views of the hotel grounds.

Address: , Golden Tulip Galleria Hotel, Rue Adan Al Hakim, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 840 540.
Website: http://www.goldentulipgalleria.com/en

Waterlemon

Cuisine: International

A fabulously chic juice bar with ultra-cool brushed steel fittings, Waterlemon does hearty salads, plus a smattering of less healthy classics such as steak and fries. The menu changes seasonally and the portions are generous. You'll need crampons and a pickaxe to get through the chef's salads. Round off your meal with tasty fruit kebabs.

Address: Ashrafieh, Alfred Naccache Street, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 211 118.
Website: http://www.h2o-lemon.com

Cheap

Leil Nhar

Cuisine: Lebanese

Open 24 hours a day, Leil Nhar specialises in cheap but tasty Lebanese food. For breakfast, it's all about traditional manoushe flatbread, washed down with freshly squeezed orange or carrot juice. Later on, tuck into the mezze or the chicken cheese but leave room for the Leil Nhar knafeh (syrup-soaked cheese pastry).

Address: Mar Mikhael, , Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 325 326.
Website: http://www.leilnhar.com

Souk El Tayeb

Cuisine: Lebanese

This weekly farmer's market is open every Saturday from 9am until 2pm and serves up mounds of minty tabbouleh, tubs of spiced dumplings, pots of fresh blackberries, and jars and jars of brightly-coloured mouneh (preserves). For a taster, try Tawlet's wholesome kitchen, which is manned by a different chef each day.

Address: Downtown, Fakhry Bey Street, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 1 442 664.
Website: http://www.soukeltayeb.com

Thea Rituels de The

Cuisine: Café

Lebanon may be known for its thick, eye-wateringly strong coffee, but tea specialists, Thea Rituels de The, breathe life into the humble cuppa. Every continent is represented in the huge tea menu, but the one to try is the Jasmine Green with one or two of the homemade cakes and pastries. Non-smoking.

Address: Jal El Dib, Jal El Dib Highway, Beirut,
Telephone: +961 4 711 782.

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Casa d'Or

The Casa D'Or is a welcoming, comfortable alternative to functional budget hotels or the home-stays that dominate the lower end of the market. It's not especially glamorous but rooms are clean, comfortable and well appointed, and a decent breakfast is included in the price. It also offers low season discounts.

Talal Hotel

Talal Hotel offers bright, clean rooms complete with comfortable beds for next to nothing. Better still, it's within striking distance of Gemmayzeh and Place des Martyrs. The atmosphere is lively and the hotel also has a communal kitchen. The result is friendly but a bit like living as a student.

Regis Hotel

At first look, you could be forgiven for thinking that you'd just pitched up at the Lebanese Fawlty Towers. However, staff are warm and welcoming, rooms are clean and the breakfast is excellent. All rooms have modern air-con, fridges and TVs, but better still is Regis' proximity to the Corniche.

Pension al-Nazih

Close to the main sites, including the Place des Martyrs, Pension al-Nazih is a small 10-room budget hotel offering pleasantly comfortable rooms complete with cable TV and 24-hour hot water – neither guaranteed in Beirut. Rooms are plane and a little dated, but it's still an excellent budget option. Wi-Fi and breakfast cost extra.

Port View Hotel

It's no Hilton but the Port View Hotel is comfortable, clean and well appointed, which is more than can be said for many mid-range sleeping spots in the Middle East. Set a little off the beaten track in the quiet Gemmayzeh district, it's convenient for the main drag to but still peaceful.

Cedarland Hotel

Located in the heart of the buzzing Hamra quarter, the Cedarland is comfortable, safe and set well back off the road. Relatively quiet compared to other Hamra hotels, rooms are pretty beige and bland but have everything you need and some have sea views (read: views through gaps in the city skyline). Breakfast is extra.