Step into the streets of Lebanon and feast on the gorgeous blend of the nation's finest street food. From Arabic flavour profiles to the colours and textures of the Med, Lebanon is no stranger to phenomenal food, and it is dished up in the streets of eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Whilst the food in Lebanon gets better with every bite, this article gets better each time you scroll. Turn your browsing into a first-hand experience and add the streets of Lebanon to your bucket list!
Whilst there are a number of locations in Lebanon that dish up fresh, traditional street food dishes every day, the capital, Beirut, is arguably the nation's top spot for all things food. Boasting its unique and hidden culinary secrets shaped by tradition and culture, Beirut dishes up some of Lebanon’s tastiest dishes.
Lebanese Salads 🥗
Opt for something lighter to line your stomach when exploring Lebanon's narrow and traditional streets. Traditional Lebanese salads pack a lot of flavours, are healthy and can be paired with other food finds for the ultimate Lebanese-style meal.
Tabbouleh – Parsley Bulgur Salad - A unique Lebanese salad made from parsley, mint, bulgur, chopped tomatoes and onions topped with a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil. This simple dish that is bursting with flavour and is the perfect side to pair with other tasty street food treats. Traditionally served with a Lebanese Mezze (e.g. Hummus, Tarama etc.), it is a popular dish to eat anytime.
Fattoush - Pitta Salad - Fattoush is another extremely popular Lebanese salad accompanying the traditional Mezze. Made from lettuce, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and fried pita bread, this has a crunch and a fresh taste. This salad has a rich element and is dressed with lemon juice, oil, and pomegranate molasses.
Mezze Options 🍴
No trip to the Middle East is complete without indulging in a traditional mezze dip or two. Enjoy hand-made mezze that is bursting with flavour like no other.
Hummus - Chickpea Dip - Who doesn’t love hummus? Hummus is one of the most popular and beloved dishes from the Levantine region in the world. Made of chickpeas, tahini paste, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of garlic, this dip is a tasty savoury that can be paired with a number of foods; pitas, vegetables, meat kebabs etc.
Muhammara - Red Pepper Dip - A traditional, deep, rich roasted red pepper dip with a slight kick. The word Muhammara is derived from Arabic and means to turn red. Made from fresh red peppers, which are first cooked and then ground into a paste with walnuts, breadcrumbs, and olive oil and can be spread on bread or toast.
Savoury Options 🧆
Man’ouche – Topped Dough - Man’ouche is an extremely popular and traditional bread served as a Lebanese breakfast. It can be found across Lebanon at local bakeries and restaurants served in different ways. Similar to a pizza, it is circle-shaped, but this dough is mixed with thyme and olive oil and topped with a wide range of toppings. Popular choices include cheese mixes, labneh, kechek (dried yoghurt).
Kibbeh – Spiced Meat Balls -Kibbeh is Lebanon’s national dish. Essentially, Kibbeh is spiced ground meat mixed with bulghur wheat. Whilst there are hundreds of variations of Kibbeh in different regions of Lebanon, with different families adding their own unique touch, the most popular recipe can be found in the North of Lebanon. This recipe sees the spiced meat rolled into a large ball, filled with spices and liquid fat, and cooked at high heat.
Shawarma - Meat or Chicken Slices - This is one of Lebanon’s most sought-after street dishes, and we can see why! Thinly but juicy cut slices of beef, chicken, lamb, and other meats stacked into a fresh pita stuffed with fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion and whatever else your heart desires! Most vendors will drizzle your Shwarma sandwich with a tahini sauce and a garlic paste for that extra punch of flavour.
Sweet Options 🍯
Knefe – Sweet Cheese Semolina Pastry - Dive into tradition and enjoy a sweet cheese dessert. Knefe is made of thin noodle-shaped pastry mixed with semolina dough. It’s layered with sweetened white cheese, called Achta cream. Best served piping hot, this allows the sweetness of the dough and the syrup to mix with the melting cheese, making for the most amazing flavour.
Maamoul – Sweet Stuffed Cookies - Enjoy a portion of Maamoul cookies from one of the many vendors serving them fresh daily. They are traditional cookies made from semolina dough, stuffed with different fillings such as; pistachios, dates or walnuts and then baked. This is a very special sweet treat as it is is made during major religious holidays in Lebanon, such as Easter or Eid Al Fitr, as well as for big family gatherings.
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