September 01, 2015 Lebanon Middle East

A Trend on the Rise: Armenian Restaurants in Lebanon

Taste&Flavors Magazine: Keeping up with THE CUISINE.

Everywhere you go, you find Italian and French restaurants, pizzas parlors, burger joints, Lebanese restaurants but have you stopped to think of the richness of Armenian food? More and more, Armenian food is gaining popularity in Lebanon.

Here are my favorites:

Al Mayass

Nested in the heart of Achrafieh, on the way up from Tabaris is Al Mayass, this Armenian restaurant has been a reference for good Armenian food since 1996. Basterma Al Mayass: Soft and slightly heated bread topped with a basterma slice and a beautiful egg on top. The mix of basterma and eggs together is superb. I fell in love with it. Put it in one single bite and feel the flow of the warm egg yolk and the stickiness of the basterma that is even softer than smoked Parma ham. Mouhammara: Wow! Sweet, soft and tasty with a light crunch sealing the majestic experience. Some pine nuts on top add the finesse it needs. This is a dish not to miss. Asmaliyeh Mayass: 10/10: Crunchy and fresh asmaliyeh, covered with white sugar candy and sugar syrup on top. Crunchiness, sweetness and passion all in one. This is a one-of-a kind dessert. Pure rich unsophisticated Armenian cuisine the real authentic way.

Achrafieh 01 215046



Opened in 1976, today, the son handles the shop, which is divided into the air- conditioned dining area on the upper floor, and the sandwicheria down below. The place has a certain positive vibe, an Armenian feel where hundreds of hungry customers pass by every day to indulge in these renowned sandwiches. The kebab with nuts: Four fingers of kebab, soft and mixed with crushed nuts, it offers a unique taste and a subtle spiciness. Yum! The ribs: An extraordinary sauce, spicy and rich. Value for money is excellent. Many come here for the meat, while others say Apo has the best Kebab in town and I might agree on that. Give it a try.

Bourj Hammoud 01 261789


Bab Sharki

Bab Sharki, located in the heart of Achrafieh has become the most talked- about restaurant in town for its innovative and delicious offerings. Let's eat some tasty Allepine specialties. A special dish called Harak Esba3ou or in English (he burnt his finger) is a delicacy composed of lentils, fried pieces of puff bread, crunchy and non-oily mixed with fried onions. What a plate! A must try for sure. After that, landed the potatoes, those special pillows known in the region of Anjar and now available on the market. Come here and ask to eat toshka. Two loafs of Lebanese bread are turned upside down, drenched with kafta and white cheese then toasted. The bread absorbs more heat giving it a crunchy pleasant feel while the meat and cheese melt in your mouth. Yum!

Achrafieh 01 218550



Badguer (Maison du createur et de L'Artisan), is a large space divided into many sections - a shop, a kitchen and a restaurant. The meals at Badguer: Armenian culinary specialties prepared by women known for their expertise in authentic Armenian cuisine. The menu: I was happy to discover some new Armenian specialties not found at other renowned restaurants around the city. I enjoyed meeting the ladies behind the dishes as well as the restaurant manager, who is passionate about the project. Food was accompanied by an Armenian sweet wine made from pomegranate, not grapes; a first for me. After dinner, the dessert of choice was 3en el Ghazel, created from wheat, lemon zest, and butter and decorated with peanuts and walnuts.

Bourj Hammoud 01 240214



Sealed with a kiss of flavors and colors, Batchig means a kiss in the Armenian language. Let’s indulge in this fine sophisticated food: Itch is Armenian tabbouleh, and this is one salad you don’t want to skip! It’s heavy on tomato and bulgur, and parsley is merely an afterthought, contrary to the Lebanese version. On its own, itch can constitute a meal, especially if you scoop it with the cabbage The fishna:—which means cherry —was hands down one of the best dishes. Call it the pièce de resistance, or the Armenian form of fatteh, this combination of kebab balls, crispy pita squares, plain yogurt, and sour cherry couli was absolutely divine. Even those who are not usually fans of savory and sweet will melt at the delicious intermingling of these tastes. Simply wow! Hommos Batchig: Hummus with a special mix of lentils. The perfect hummus with an exquisite mix in the middle. A must try. No meal is complete without dessert: Mount Ararat: features four scoops of ice cream—marzipan, almond, pistachio, and rose water— stacked high with Lebanese cotton candy, or ghazel el banet. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect end to the feast.

Dbayeh 04 444307


Leave your ego home and come and enjoy the finest homemade food Lebanon has ever witnessed. The chicken liver is one of kind. I don’t know how they do it, but it tastes nothing like the Lebanese one we know. Soft like butter and extremely juicy, each bite gets you closer to addiction. Sou beureg is "THE" Armenian dish each and everyone has to taste it at least once in their life. This is a mouthwatering piece of magic. In my opinion it is an award winning dish - creative, tasty and innovative. I’m simply in love with it and Onno does it perfectly. Thin layers of puff pastry cooked with butter, cream and cheese. Mante: I’m out of words... Close your eyes and feel every piece of tiny meat coated in crunchy bread, all floating in a bowl of laban. Wow! Cherry kebab is something out of this world: A gooey dark red cherry chutney that is satisfyingly sweet, mixed with tender and juicy lamb kebab and covered with crunchy fried cashew nuts and almonds. Quail eggs and basterma: Heaven on a plate.

Bourj Hammoud 03 801476



If you feel like enjoying a good meal, in a "non a-la-mode" restaurant, Seza is it. Dinner: Tchi-Keufteh is where the story began. A famous Armenian specialty which is a mix of raw meat, lentil, borghol, onions and spices. It’s a good one. Mortadella and mouhammara: Beef with pistachio served with mouhammara on the side. Very juicy meat served cold with crunchy pistachios. The mouhammara has something very special to it with a hint of spiciness, a pinch of sweetness. The itch is yummy. Served warm, this Armenian tabbouleh is a mix of bulgur, spices, tomatoes and olives. The cheese rolls with soujok are not to be missed. Served extremely hot, oil-free and stuffed with melted cheese and soujok chunks. Sou beureg: Awesome! A super, melting, extremely tasty butter and cheese piece of heaven. Something that's not light, but enjoyable at least once a month, but leave the guilty feelings aside.

Mar Mikhael 01 570711


Shish Beureg

Shish Beureg is a beautiful and colorful eatery that welcomes you to a whole new world where Lebanon and Armenia blend tastefully in every bite. It's no wonder the #ABAW is used everywhere... Abaw means "wow effect" in Armenian. The house specialty is the homemade Mante. Let's eat: The Abaw Burger: A flame grilled Angus patty topped with a thick layer of melted cheese, laying next on some lettuce and mayo with crunchy sweet pickles. Crosscut potato fries add an interesting crunch. The bun is so tender and smooth and is topped with sesame seeds. Juicy and rich in flavor. This is a recommended burger. Orfa Kebab: Lebanese bread stuffed with a skewer of eggplants and tomatoes grilled to perfection. The strong spiciness of the peppers, juicy grilled tomatoes and eggplants, hummus for the flavor and a good quality meat. Toshka Kafta: French bread is stuffed with kafta kebab spread on the bun, mixed together with cheese and decorated with tomatoes for freshness and pickles for crunchiness. That's a favorite!

Naccache 71 961888



Varouj's fame is second to none and visiting it was crucial to understanding the hype behind it. Menu: Bemye bel zeit took me back down memory lane, I’d forgotten how it tasted since my grandma last cooked it ten years ago. If you like authentic Lebanese food and preparation, bemye is a must try. Main plates. Mante, Sou beureg, chicken liver and soujok. The soujok was sliced a centimeter thick and served in an oil bath surrounded with sliced tomatoes. Rich in flavor, it was good, juicy and tasty. But the best until now: the chicken liver, cut in little tiny bits mixed in oil and lemon juice; a premium mix of tenderness that I enjoyed so much.

Bourj Hamoud 03 882933



Ichkhanian Zalka is like entering a modern bakery while the one in Beirut has an authentic touch back from the 1940s. The difference between Beirut and this branch is that you can order Mante and Sou beureg by the portion as well as Tahinov bread by the piece. Lahmadjun like they call them around here contains garlic except for the pomegranate and mushrooms. A thin dough topped with a mix of vegetables and mushrooms without meat surrounded by a crunchy toasted border. Pomegranate is even a dozen times better. Mante followed. A small clay jar filled with bread bites stuffed with meat bathing in laban. Super hot bread, cold laban... Amazing is the least that can be said.

Zalka 04 717586



Celebrating 10 years of authentic Armenian cuisine, Mayrig, tucked away in Beirut's popular Gemayzeh is a restaurant that adapts the popular classics of Armenian cuisine, while generously borrowing from Lebanese and other Mediterranean influences, in order to feast guests on a dazzling array of flavors. Menu: Biberov Hats (bread chili) Vospov Keufteh: Lentil kebbe that looks like moujaddara but is white in color. It's yummy Tchi-Keufteh: Raw kebbe Armenian style. Hummus Basterma: Hummus topped with Armenian smoked beef. Sou Beureg: Layered pastry with three cheeses. This is my favorite Armenian dish. Desserts: A Mouthwatering experience: Banirov maamoul (hot cheese maamoul) Awesome! Just add sugar syrup and enjoy. Sare Bourma (Armenian style walnut bakhleva) Delicious! Crunchy and sweet, filled with nuts and cinnamon.

Gemmayze 01 572121


Basterma Mano

Basterma Mano is not about any shop but about one who’s specialty is shawarma, basterma and soujok, the real Armenian way. Nestled in the heart of Bourj Hammoud, Mano is a reference for any person craving Armenian street food. Enter a large shop loaded with hungry people coming here to enjoy the richness and authenticity of spicy Armenian sandwiches. Basterma, soujok, chicken, shawarma,... they have it all. Not only that, but Mano is the man behind the soujok shawarma innovative creation, the huge skewer packed with meat blended with Armenian spices. Generously filled, these sandwiches are a must try.

Bourj Hammoud 01 268560


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