A Guide to Solana's Favorite Places in Lebanon
A Gouraud St, Beirut
T +961 70 702 002
E via Facebook page @theoriginalemali
A kiosk at a Sunday market turned most wanted Saj in town. People would line up for hours to get a taste of Em Ali's (Ali's mother) zaatar and cheese wraps. She uses organic ingredients, but the magic is in the dough. Gluten free and sugar free, Em Ali's saj makes what is usually a pretty heavy meal an light and easily digestible treat.
TIP: try the Akkawi and zaatar with extra zaatar.
A Gemmayze Pasteur street, Beirut
T +961 3 225 893
Good vibes, good cocktails. Head over for a drink before dinner, while the sun is still up, or for a nightcap before turning in.
TIP: Don't be afraid to challenge the bartender, they can take it.
A cozy little bookstore that covers art, architecture, design, photography, fashion, and travel. They also have a wide selection of magazines. We like to come here for an afternoon read and an espresso.
TIP: make sure to check out their stationary section, you could find tasteful souvenirs.
Just like Beirut, Baron's menu is diverse and filled with flavor. We mean it, this place likes to experiment with spices, so come here when feeling adventurous.
TIP: We love the sweet potato gnocchi. And try their desserts, they're delicious!
Kalei Coffee Co.
A hidden gem within the city's hussle and bussle. Surrounded by trees, Kalei is a breath of fresh air in a polluted city like Beirut. Grab one of their carefully sourced specialty coffees or pass by later for a cocktail.
TIP: We're fans of the classic espresso martini... big fans.
Bkerzay is a preservation project in the chouf mountain. Surrounded by olive groves, lush woods, wildlife, and a variety of endangered flora, it's a great place to experience the Lebanese outdoors. We recommend coming here for a morning hike followed by lunch, and maybe an afternoon swim in their infinity pool.
TIP: Check out their pottery section and ask about classes if interested.
Traditional Lebanese dishes with a modern and healthy twist. The restaurant is small, simple and clean. You'll sit on benches and see your food being cooked.
TIP: Their Knafeh is the best we've ever had! And please please try their cinnamon and star anise pot, it's a real treat.
Hole in the Wall
A Monot street, Beirut
T +961 70 304 026
Literally a hole in the wall, this place hosts some of the most talented singers in town. It's always a good time here, an intimate, down to earth experience amongst locals.
TIP: Bonus points if you catch Joy on Friday nights.
T +961 3 74 35 43
The only microbrewery in Lebanon, Colonel has a lovely setting by the sea in Batroun. The water in Batroun is considered cleaner than in Beirut. If you're going to swim, we recommend you do it here.
TIP: check out their events calendar, they sometimes host concerts.
This place is dear to us because it's not far from where our Solana's are made! Since it's opening in 1985, this place has been a culinary destination reserved for people in the know. It preserves its "hard to find" reputation and you feel you've earn your meal once seated. Onno is definitely a no frills place, you come here for the food.
TIP: arrive with a big apetite and try everything!
Beirut Groove Collective/ KED
Loyal to their vinyls, the DJ's at BGC only play 45rpm/7" records. Put on your comfiest dancing shoes - aka Solana's - they're not coming off all night. This place plays some really, really good tunes. Mainly funk, soul, and African funk. We've made some good memories on this rooftop.
TIP: the location changes seasonally, so make sure to check their Facebook page for their latest location.
IXSIR is one of Lebanon's most renowned wineries. At Batroun, they've created a charming setting where you can enjoy lunch amongst the vinyards and then take a tour of their impressive cellars. They've teamed up with famous local chef Nicolas Audi, and the result is tasty.
TIP: try the El IXSIR white.