My Favorite Food Delivery Joints in Beirut
Lebanon thrives on food deliveries. In fact, a casual dining spot doesn't hold a chance of surviving without offering customers the luxury of home or office delivery. And I’m not just talking pizza, as is customary elsewhere in the world. Everything from freshly-squeezed carrot juice to a boeuf bourgignon can be delivered around these parts, and you can bet your britches restaurateurs have gotten clever with the packaging, too.
The options are innumerable--a dime a dozen, in fact--but here’s a selection of some of my favorite joints delivering within Beirut and the greater vicinity.
If you work downtown, you've surely heard of Palette, the purveyor of all things salad, sandwich, burger, panino, and more. Don’t try following the deliveryman back to the source—this place is built around takeaway and deliveries. The freshly-baked baguettes are generous in size and substance, and you’ll have a field day trying to pick among their two dozen salads, sized in both regular and large. For a hearty, healthy fix, try the Picasso (16,750 LL), brimming with strips of grilled beef tenderloin atop a bed of rocket leaves, Parmesan shavings, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, walnuts, and croutons.
2. P'tit Creux
P’tit Creux literally translates to “peckish,” or hungry, and this French grub hub promises to sate your appetite. It serves a mouthwatering range of sandwiches, including Jambon de Parme au Pistou (13,500 LL), or Parma ham and brie slathered in pesto and stuffed inside a multi-cereal baguette together with sun-dried tomatoes and rocket leaves. This is also the place to store on speed dial for any croque, quiche or crepe cravings.
3. Durée Resto
The last in the trio of scrumptious sandwicherie is Durée Resto. If you've ever swung around the SNA building in Tabaris in the direction of Paul Gemmayze, you’ll notice the scrolling marquee indicating where the narrow shop stands. Expect reliably good sandwiches, bagels, clubs and panini with fresh-baked bread. Don’t get too lost in the Bible of a menu Durée boasts—the first thing that catches your eye is fair game, cuz it's all tasty.
4. Tabliet Massaad
For a classic Lebanese wrap, you gotta go with Massaad. A relatively new entrant on the Beirut dining scene, Tabliet Massaad is a foodie landmark originating in Zahle and spreading its empire into Beirut and beyond. I probably don’t need to extoll the merits of the signature taouk tablieh (11,000 LL), for which the restaurant is named. Served like a diced sushi roll and smeared with zaatar and olive oil, this chicken wonder comes with all the fixings: creamy hummus, garlic paste, pickles, and fries.
Gemmayze: (01-446526, 01-445370
5. Spin the Hen
Good, clean chicken, be it in sandwich or rotisserie form, can be had at Spin the Hen. Try the classic (7,500 LL), deliciously simple with a lick of garlic and a few pickles tucked inside tannour bread. If you want to kick it up, order the Mexican or Indian (both at 8,500 LL). Indulge in the tamrieh (7,500 LL) if your sweet tooth overcomes you.
Even though I avoid using TripAdvisor as a reference, Jai has rightfully earned its top marks among the 532 listed restaurants in Beirut. In fact, I've encountered nothing short of solid praise for the Pan-Asian kitchen, which dishes out healthy nosh from the Far East. The shrimp summer rolls (10,000 LL for 3) are a guilt-free affair marrying well with the accompanying sweet chili sauce. I’m in love with the spinach and peanut sauce salad (15,000 LL), whose focal point is the spicy, crushed-nuts dressing. If you’re scouring Lebanon for Pad Thai, look no further: Jai's your paradise (19,000 LL).