Food in Lebanon
Lebanon’s food is excellent, with vegetarian meals like tabouleh, fattoush, and waraq ainab, as well as delectable dips like hommos and moutabal.
Lebanese barbeque, such as shish tawouq (barbecued chicken) – typically eaten with garlic, lahm mashwiye (barbecued beef), and kafta, are must-haves (barbequed seasoned minced meat).
Depending on where you go, a full dinner at a local restaurant may cost as low as 15 US dollars (22500 LL), but there are also more costly choices.
Sandwiches, such as shawarma sandwiches, are also available as Lebanese “quick food” at roadside kiosks (known in other countries as doner – or gyros in Greece). Shawarma is wrapped on thin Lebanese bread. Various barbequed meat sandwiches are also available, as are lamb or chicken spleen, brains, lamb bone marrow, and lamb testicles.
Breakfast typically consists of manaeesh, which resembles a folded pizza with zaatar (a spice blend of thyme, olive oil, and sesame seeds), jebneh (cheese), or minced meat as toppings (this version is more properly referred to as lahm bi ajin).
Another typical morning item is knefeh, a kind of breaded cheese served in a sesame seed bread with a thick syrup. It’s also a dessert option.
Lebanon is also known for its Arabic sweets, which can be found in many of the country’s top restaurants. Tripoli, on the other hand, is known as “the” city for Lebanese sweets, and is often referred to as Lebanon’s “Sweet Capital.”
International food chains may be found all throughout the country. Italian, French, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines, as well as cafe franchises (such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and others), are very popular in Lebanon, with a greater concentration in Beirut and the urban sprawl north of the city.
Drinks in Lebanon
Lebanon’s wines are well-known throughout the world. Grapes have been cultivated in the Bekaa Valley since antiquity, and the vineyards provide the base wine for distillation into the national spirit Arak, which, like Ouzo, has an aniseed flavor and becomes murky when diluted with water. Meze is traditionally served with Arak.
However, the grapes have also been utilized to produce wine in the past. The troops and officials who arrived to govern the French mandate following World War One generated a demand for red wine, and vast acreages of the Cinsault grape were planted specifically for that purpose. These have been complemented by the most popular foreign varietals, including as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, during the past 20 years.
Wineries often provide wine tastings and are friendly. Chateau Musar is located near Ghazir, 15 miles north of Beirut, and imports grapes from the Bekaa region. The huge Kefraya, Ksara, the oldest winery of all, Massaya, a popular new producer in Tanail, and Nakad in Jdeita, which, like Musar, has adhered to an eccentric old fashioned method, are among the wineries in Bekaa. In the West Bekaa area, Kefraya also has a great restaurant, and the landscape is lovely to travel through.