Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Beirut Lebanon to Try & Video

Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Beirut Lebanon to Try

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Culinary Journeys: Street Foods of Beirut Lebanon to Try

Beirut, the vibrant capital city of Lebanon, is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and diverse culinary scene. One of the best ways to experience the local flavors and immerse yourself in the culture is by exploring the street food scene. From savory snacks to sweet treats, Beirut offers a wide array of delicious street foods that will tantalize your taste buds. In this article, we will take you on a culinary journey through the streets of Beirut, highlighting some must-try street foods.

Manakish: A Lebanese Breakfast Delight

Start your day like a local by indulging in manakish, a traditional Lebanese breakfast staple. Manakish is a flatbread topped with a variety of ingredients, including za’atar (a fragrant blend of herbs and spices), cheese, and minced meat. It is typically baked in a wood-fired oven, resulting in a crispy yet soft texture. The combination of flavors and textures in manakish makes it a perfect way to kick-start your culinary adventure in Beirut.

  • Za’atar Manakish: A classic choice, this manakish is topped with a generous amount of za’atar, mixed with olive oil and sesame seeds. The aromatic blend of herbs and spices creates a burst of flavors in every bite.
  • Cheese Manakish: Cheese lovers will rejoice with this option. The flatbread is topped with a blend of akkawi or halloumi cheese, creating a gooey and savory delight.
  • Lahmeh Bi Ajeen: This meat lover’s delight features a minced meat mixture seasoned with spices and spread over the flatbread. It is then baked to perfection, resulting in a savory and satisfying treat.

Keywords: manakish, za’atar, Lebanese breakfast, cheese manakish, lahme bi ajeen

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Beirut Lebanon

Falafel: A Vegetarian Delight

For those seeking a vegetarian option, falafel is a must-try street food in Beirut. These deep-fried balls or patties are made from ground chickpeas or fava beans, mixed with herbs, spices, and onions. The result is a crispy exterior and a soft, flavorful interior. Falafel is typically served in a pita bread, accompanied by fresh vegetables and tahini sauce.

  • Classic Falafel Sandwich: The traditional way to enjoy falafel is by stuffing it into a warm pita bread, along with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and a drizzle of tahini sauce. The combination of textures and flavors creates a satisfying and wholesome meal.
  • Falafel Platter: If you prefer a plate-based option, try a falafel platter. It includes a generous serving of falafel, served with hummus, tabbouleh, pickles, and pita bread. This allows you to taste the various components individually and savor the flavors.
  • Falafel Wrap: Perfect for on-the-go, a falafel wrap is a convenient option. The falafel balls are wrapped in a flatbread, accompanied by fresh vegetables and a drizzle of tahini sauce. It’s a portable and delicious snack to enjoy while exploring the streets of Beirut.

Keywords: falafel, vegetarian, chickpeas, pita bread, tahini sauce, falafel platter

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Beirut Lebanon

Shawarma: A Flavorful Meaty Delight

Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern street food that has gained worldwide recognition. It consists of marinated meat (typically chicken, beef, or lamb) that is slow-roasted on a vertical spit. The meat is thinly sliced and served in a warm pita bread, accompanied by various toppings and sauces. The combination of tender meat, aromatic spices, and flavorful sauces makes shawarma a must-try street food in Beirut.

  • Chicken Shawarma: Tender slices of marinated chicken, slow-roasted to perfection, are the star of this dish. It is typically served with garlic sauce, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.
  • Beef Shawarma: If you prefer red meat, opt for beef shawarma. The thinly sliced beef is marinated with a blend of spices and roasted until tender. It is commonly served with tahini sauce, onions, and parsley, adding a refreshing touch to each bite.
  • Lamb Shawarma: For a more indulgent experience, try lamb shawarma. The succulent slices of marinated lamb are packed with flavor and are often paired with a tangy yogurt sauce, pickles, and fresh herbs.

Keywords: shawarma, Middle Eastern, marinated meat, chicken shawarma, beef shawarma, lamb shawarma

Ka’ak: A Traditional Lebanese Bread

Ka’ak is a ring-shaped bread that has been a part of Lebanese cuisine for centuries. It is often sold as a street food snack and comes in various flavors and toppings. The dough is typically made with a combination of flour, yeast, water, and olive oil, resulting in a soft and slightly chewy texture. Ka’ak is perfect for a quick bite on the go or as a light snack between meals.

  • Sesame Ka’ak: The most common variety of ka’ak is topped with sesame seeds, which add a nutty flavor and a slight crunch to the bread. It pairs well with a variety of spreads and dips, making it a versatile option.
  • Spicy Cheese Ka’ak: For a more indulgent treat, try the spicy cheese ka’ak. It is filled with a mixture of melted cheese and spicy peppers, creating a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Za’atar Ka’ak: If you can’t get enough of the aromatic za’atar blend, opt for the za’atar ka’ak. The bread is generously topped with za’atar, creating a flavorful combination that is hard to resist.

Keywords: ka’ak, Lebanese bread, sesame ka’ak, spicy cheese ka’ak, za’atar ka’ak

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Beirut Lebanon

Knafeh: A Sweet Delight

No culinary journey through Beirut is complete without indulging in knafeh, a beloved Middle Eastern dessert. Knafeh is made from shredded phyllo dough, layered with a creamy cheese filling, and soaked in a sweet syrup flavored with rose water or orange blossom water. It is then baked until golden and crispy, creating a delightful contrast of textures.

  • Traditional Knafeh: This classic version of knafeh features a generous layer of creamy cheese sandwiched between layers of shredded phyllo dough. It is soaked in a sweet syrup and garnished with crushed pistachios for added crunch and flavor.
  • Nutella Knafeh: For a modern twist, some vendors offer Nutella knafeh. The creamy hazelnut chocolate spread is added to the cheese filling, creating a decadent and indulgent dessert that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Knafeh Rolls: Another popular variation is knafeh rolls, where the shredded phyllo dough and cheese filling are rolled into bite-sized portions. These bite-sized delights are perfect for sharing or enjoying on the go.

Keywords: knafeh, Middle Eastern dessert, shredded phyllo dough, traditional knafeh, Nutella knafeh, knafeh rolls

Mankoushe: A Lebanese Pizza

Mankoushe is often referred to as the Lebanese version of pizza. It is a flatbread topped with a variety of ingredients and baked in a hot oven. The dough is typically made with a combination of flour, yeast, water, and olive oil, resulting in a thin and crispy base. Mankoushe can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack throughout the day.

  • Za’atar Mankoushe: This classic version of mankoushe is topped with a generous amount of za’atar, mixed with olive oil and sesame seeds. The flavors of the aromatic za’atar blend beautifully with the crispy base, creating a simple yet satisfying dish.
  • Spinach and Cheese Mankoushe: For a more filling option, try the spinach and cheese mankoushe. The flatbread is topped with a mixture of sautéed spinach, cheese, and spices. It is then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Soujouk Mankoushe: Meat lovers will enjoy the soujouk mankoushe. Soujouk, a spicy and flavorful sausage, is sliced and placed on top of the flatbread along with cheese and other toppings. It is a delicious combination of savory and spicy flavors.

Keywords: mankoushe, Lebanese pizza, za’atar mankoushe, spinach and cheese mankoushe, soujouk mankoushe


Exploring the street foods of Beirut Lebanon is a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more. From the traditional flavors of manakish and ka’ak to the savory delights of falafel and shawarma, and the sweet indulgence of knafeh, Beirut’s street food scene offers something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant food culture of this incredible city.