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Gastronomy

Lebanese food is simply extraordinary. Between the sheer abundance and diversity of dishes of a traditional meal, Lebanese cuisine never fails to delight and satisfy. The Mediterranean diet is generally considered to be one of the healthiest in the world as it is extremely rich in fresh vegetables, legumes and grains, and not only does Lebanon grow an enormous variety of produce, it has evolved and perfected its cuisine from the influence of many regional culinary traditions.

 

Wherever your travels in Lebanon take you, you’ll never be but a stone’s throw from a restaurant that serves a classic mezze spread of meats, salads, fries, dips and flatbread. Every region (indeed every family) has variations on these themes, and part of the joy of eating here is discovering the myriad interpretations of the standards amid huge plates overflowing with peppers, pickles, cucumbers, onions, olives and herbs. Remember, too, that flatbread is always served with Lebanese cuisine, and pieces of bread in Lebanon are the forks and chopsticks of other continents. 

Things to do

Lebanese Sweets

This is a selected list of traditional Lebanese sweets you’ll find in restaurants and sweet shops across the country. These are traditional...

Tabekh

Tabekh literally means “cooking,” but it’s common usage is generally meant to refer to the sort of meals that remind you of home—comfort foods, such...

Labneh, Laban and Shanklish

Labneh is the Levantine cousin of crème fraîche and sour cream. It’s made by straining yogurt and is often served with a drizzle of olive oil and...

Foul, Balila, Msabhah, and Fatteh

These classic legume dishes can be found at fawwals, which means “foul maker.” You’ll know one when you see the huge metal pots steaming away with...

Manakeesh, Lahem Ba’ajin and Kaak

Manakeesh (the ‘k’ is essentially silent) is a classic street food, and you’ll find this delicious breakfast food in furns (ovens) in every city,...

Kibbeh, Fatayer, and Savory Pastries

Kibbeh has so many variations it’s impossible to list them all here, but the basic concept behind this beloved Levantine starter (though also served...

Moutabal, Baba Ghanoush and Hummus

Confusion seems to reign over what differentiates moutabel from baba ghanoush. While both are made with grilled eggplant, moutabal is distinctly...

Fattoush, Tabbouleh and Wild Thyme Salad

Fattoush is made with chopped lettuce—typically romaine—with cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and wild thyme leaves, dressed with pomegranate vinaigrette...

Bekaa

Terbol Museum

This eco-museum in the Bekaa is under the direction of the National Heritage Foundation. It is an old Levantine farmhouse that belongs to the Rami...

Lebanese Heritage House of Artist Samir Fahed Chamoun

This museum features a broad and distinguished collection of old weapons, ancient stones, pillars and crowns. The museum also exhibits wooden works...

Miraculous Lady Monastery Museum

This monastery contains a small museum exhibiting religious objects, old stones and pottery, crosses engraved on stone, agricultural tools and a nice...

Heritage Museum of Salim Araji

The Salim Araji Museum exhibits an extensive collection of ancient daggers, spears and swords. Visitors will also find an interesting variety of...

Fayrouz Chamoun Centre of Arts and Culture

This center includes a wide collection of ancient armaments; pistols, bows, arrows, spears, shields, swords, etc. Visitors can also view stone crowns...

Emile Hannouche Museum

The Emile Hannouche museum showcases Lebanese plastic arts and Melkite oriental icons. The site was built by a French family in 1918, at the...

Baalbek Museum

Inaugurated in 1998 to commemorate the centennial of Emperor Wilhelm II's visit to Baalbek, the museum displays various archeological finds (statues...

Nabatieh

Mleeta Museum

The Mleeta Museum chronicles the resistance to the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon starting in 1982. It’s a quite modern museum, well designed...

Beirut

AUB Archeological Museum

The AUB Archaeological Museum is the third-oldest museum in the Near East, after Cairo and Constantinople, opening in 1902.   Guided tours are...

Mim Museum

Even if you think you’re not interest in minerals, this collection will stun and transfix you. Housed in a gorgeous, ultra-modern underground space,...

Planet Discovery

Planet Discovery is a children's museum in Souk Ayyas in Beirut Souks. The museum is home to a variety of exhibitions on science and technology and...

AUB Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum at American University of Beirut exhibits an unprecedented collection of specimens of plants and animals from Lebanon and...

USJ Prehistoric Museum

With more than 500 prehistoric items carefully catalogued by Jesuit scholars since the 19th century, the Saint Joseph University prehistory museum...

National Museum

Inaugurated in 1942, the National Museum is home to an extraordinary collection of important archaeological objects. Reopened after extensive...

St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Beirut’s oldest extant church, the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral is also one of the city’s most beautiful, and it’s well worth a visit.   The...

North Lebanon

The Permanent Scientific Museum for Animals, Birds and Butterflies

The museum is housed in an old school building within the St. Doumit Monastery, which was built in 1852 by Camelite fathers in traditional Italian...

The Gibran Museum

As one of the best-selling poets in history, Gibran Khalil Gibran hardly needs an introduction. He spent much of his life in the United States,...

Qadisha Valley

The magnificent and storied Kadisha Valley, also known as Wadi Qadisha, lies within the Becharre and Zgharta Districts of the North Governorate of...

Basbous Family Art and Sculpture Exhibition

This unique sculpture garden houses an impressive and voluminous array of two generations’ worth of Basbous family artworks in a variety of materials...

Mount Lebanon

St. Charbel Church Museum

This museum is situated in the entrance to St. Charbel Church, a medieval church built on the foundations of a Roman temple. Several Roman...

Wax Museum

The Historic Wax Museum in Byblos has been taking visitors on figurine tours of Lebanese history since it opened its doors in 1970. Revisit moments...

The Fossils Museum

Located at the center of Byblos souk near the archeological site, this museum exhibits a collection of million-year-old fossilized fish, animals and...

Pépé Abed Museum

Local legend Youssef Abed started a double tourist venture in 1962 by opening his own museum adjacent to a seafood restaurant he owns called the...

Mémoire Du Temps

This fossil exhibition presents pieces that are 100-million-years old. The collection was taken variously Haqil, Hgula and Ennamoura; three villages...

Louis Cardahi Foundation & Museum

This cultural and museographic center focuses on the history of Byblos. It’s located in a traditional house south of the Cathedral of St. John the...

Expo Hakel

Expo Hakel was the first natural history museum for marine fossils in Lebanon. It all started in 1970 when a young Rizkallah Nohra found some odd-...

Byblos Site Museum

This museum displays the excavations undertaken on the site of the historical preserve of Byblos. The history of Byblos, from prehistory to the Arab...

South Lebanon

Saida Soap Museum

Beautifully restored and expertly designed, the soap museum building dates back to the 13th century, though the soap factory per se was built in the...

Old Souks of Saida

Saida’s old town easily rivals its counterparts across the region. Extraordinarily well preserved, the cool, winding streets of the souk retain their...

Moussa Tiba Museum

A native of afflicted South Lebanon, Moussa Tiba was born in Qana in 1939. His studio was partially destroyed during the war in early 1975 and he was...

The Museum of Our Lady Monastery

This Christian museum features a wooden model of the church’s cupola, a collection of lanterns and old pots, big jars for oil and grain, a millstone...