I can’t complain about our national food. The mezza and everyday dishes are nothing but healthy (unless you over-use oil or fatty ingredients) and full of flavor. But my weakness for spices and that mix of different ingredients that varies from one culture to another, gets the better of me every time I have to choose where to go out for a meal. I’m afraid to say that I prefer a great ethnic meal over our traditional food contrary to Jean’s opinion, but we’re working towards a compromise 😉

What I mean by the word “ethnic” is precisely what I mentioned above. For some (like myself), ethnic is food from other cultures, in which ingredients we know are used differently and ingredients we don’t know are there for us to discover. For others, the meaning of ethnic is different as it is only meant for specific cultures or countries around the world.

So when we don’t feel like cooking at home, here are the top ethnic food places we visit in Beirut that give my palate what it needs to feel satisfied.

1) Mótto, Mar Mikhaël, Beirut. This charming bohemian-style little place is located in one of Mar Mikhael’s streets. We went there several times for brunch (once for Sri Lankan and another time for Palestinian which was cooked by my good friend Hisham from Cook in 5 m2). I heard they also make exquisite Ethiopian meals so that’s on my list!

ethnic food | breadonbutter

ethnic food | breadonbutter

2) Little China, Monot, Beirut. If you’re looking for a simple and authentic place to have a casual dinner with friends, that’s your place to go. Food is delicious and affordable.

ethnic food | breadonbutter

3) Onno, Bourj Hammoud or Badaro, Beirut. Onno is the place to go for the best Manti in town. Both Bourj Hammoud and Badaro restaurants are agreeable for a nice and cozy dinner.

ethnic food | breadonbutter
Photo by Fadsfood

4) Jaï, Clémenceau, Beirut. Thaï food places are rare in Beirut. Jaï satisfies your Asian food cravings provided you reserve in advance as the place is tiny. They deliver but I’d advise you to go and have your meal there for a fresher experience.

ethnic food | breadonbutter
Photo by Fadsfood

I have yet to try one of the Indian restaurants here in Beirut and let you know which one is my favorite. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated 🙂

What are your favorite ethnic food restaurants in Beirut? I’d love to know!

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  1. Patrick Herbeaux Reply

    You can try the very very authentic sri lankan eateries in Dora round about they are very cheap very authentic. But of course not the same venues as those you suggested.
    Where is little china in Monot? On Monot street or near by?
    Keep up this great blog!

    • Hi Patrick! Thanks so much for the advice, I’ll visit Dora soon!
      Little China is at the end of Monot Street on your right just before O Monot hotel and facing the big Monot parking. It’s on the second floor of an old building, painted blue from the outside!
      Thank you so much!! 🙂

  2. Awesome list! I agree with you. I didn’t know Onno opened in Badaro.
    I haven’t tried Little China yet, I’ve been told about it, but I always pass by between 5 and 7, they close at that time.

    • Little China is great! Yes I guess they open at 7! And I loved Onno Badaro.. next frebells meeting there? 😉

  3. Hi! Try the Al Hindi at the Palm Beach hotel they have an Indian chef.

  4. New in Beirut and not quite familiar yet with the good food places in town. Thank you so much for your great tips, much more interresting than the “posh” overpriced and often very disappointing eateries that seems to be mainstream rule here. Any clue of a good korean restaurant ? Pulgogi, bibim pap, kalbi chim and kimchi are a “must be tried”.

    • Thanks Lama! I’m so glad you’re happy with our recommendations! 🙂
      I so wish we had a good korean restaurant! I’m on a constant hunt for a good bibimbap. I’ll sure let you know if I find one!
      Good luck here in Beirut! 🙂

  5. Good list! At Little China, its advisable to order off the menu as they have some great authentic dishes that they have not put on the menu. Try the spicy beef with potatoes – a sizzling dish, which is probably the best item they serve.
    Unfortunately the South Asian fare served here is sub-standard at best. Being a South Asian myself, I have not yet discovered anything worth mentioning here.

    • Thank you so much for the tip! I’ll definitely order the spicy beef with potatoes next time 😀 I agree with the lack of South Asian food 🙁

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