Rafaat Hallab & Sons: The oh so famous sweets of Tripoli
Tripoli is very well known for it's sweets and Rafaat Hallab & Sons is the best place to experience them. With multiple locations - the one nearest Tell Square the easiest to find - you'd be selling yourself short if you did not try it out. Grab some coffee or tea and pick something.
Menus are in English and Arabic.
Favorite Dish: something, something Tripolitian...didn't write the name down :-P
Chopsticks: if you fancy Chinese food while in Tripoli.....
Chopsticks Restaurants were founded in 1998 and the company has several branches in Lebanon, offering tasty Chinese food at reasonable prices.
There's the usual array of starters such as spring rolls, won-tons and dumplings as well as soups and salads from LL3 250-11 750, rice, noodles and vegetables from LL 2 750-10 750, mains such as sizzlers, chicken, beef, fish, seafood and duck from LL13 500 - 77, 500. There are also rice and noodle combos from LL13 500-21 000 as well as desserts and beverages.
The restaurant we visited in Tripoli was very clean and modern and staff were helpful. Food was relatively quick to be served.
Open daily from 11am - 12pm.
Favorite Dish: Sweet and Sour Chicken, Beef in Oyster Sauce.
Various: Shawarma on Rue Tell
Rue Tell, the major thoroughfare that passes by the Ottoman Clock Tower, has numerous small local eateries that sell shawarma and falafel sandwiches. This is definitely the place to go for lunch to sample a Tripolitan-style sandwich.
- Food and Dining
Rafaat Hallab & Sons: Tripoli Sweets
Rafaat Hallab & Sons is the best place to eat Tripoli's famous Arab sweets, which are actually small cakes, not candy. They are perhaps most famous for their baklava and maamoul. They started making sweets in 1881 and now export them worldwide. The interior is bright and modern.You can buy a mixed assortment to eat on the premises or you can buy a package to take out. You pay according to the weight.
The staff are very helpful and friendly, and are clearly used to seeing lots of foreign visitors.
- Food and Dining
- Road Trip
Hooters Cafe: All I had was juice, but the name sucked me in.
I only had orange juice here. The name of the place made me laugh because of the Hooters restaurants in the United States. This one of course is in no way similar to the American version.
The chef was very talkative with me. He read the whole menu to me in order to practice his English.
Cafe Fahim: The purest example of a Middle East coffee shop
In Tripoli, you will find no better example of a local spot than this as far as the cafes go. Fillds with mostly old men playing cards and smoking nargilleh, its rustic nature reassures you of the fact that you are where you are - far away from home. The gritty interior will go perfectly with your coffee or tea. Inexpensive and untainted, it's definitely worth the LL1,500 for a tea, just to be able to sit and soak it all in.
Just be aware though...this is pretty much a mens only joint. There were no women inside and I am not sure exactly what the reaction would be if any foreign ones wandered in. Might as well give it a shot though...but who knows...be prepared for staring to occur.
Al Amina - Baladi: As local a joint as you will find I'd say...
If you want a local joint, my guess is this is as good a one to check out as any other. The menu is ONLY in Arabic. So I just pointed to a picture for my lunch and pointed to some script for my drink. The food was very good as was the fresh juice.
When taking the bus in from Beirut, it is the very vibrantly colorful restaurant with large glass windows on the left side of the street. Goodyear Tires are on the other side of the street.
Silver Shores: Seafood in Al-Mina
Touted as the best seafood in town, it certainly better be at these prices. One fish alone will clip you nearly $40 if it is the right one. When I asked for a recommendation, the waiter actually took me to the kitchen and showed me the fish available. I picked one, they weighed it to show me it's size, and then it was prepared whole. Overall it was a bit stuffier than I'd usually go for. But the setup was decent and the service was excellent. It seems more a place for an older crowd and the monied.
Abdul Ralman Hallab & Sons: Oh God...more sweets...
Compared to Rafaat Hallab & Sons, this place is a little bit swankier with just as good a selection. The interior is cleaner than the Tell Square location for Rafaat, more thought out, and simply more attractive.
Abu Hassan: Lebanese Petit-Dejeuner
It was 1100 when we asked one of the money-changers on the main street where we could find somewhere to eat. We were looking for somewhere with lebanese foul and hummus.
The directions given seems long and complicated (I only got the gist of half of it, being somewhat slow with my Arabic), but a few streets later and a couple more sets of directions .... there it was!!!
The decor was a few old posters, the ever-present Lebanese flag and some regulars. But it felt friendly and the room was light and airy.
Favorite Dish: Favourite dish?? Well the set menu consisted of piping hot foul, hummus, soft fresh arabic bread and fresh/pickled vegetables. All the food was yummy and it was interesting to sit and watch the other customers and people passing by.
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
- Arts and Culture
Restaurant Damoun: Mezzes (and very little else)
The restaurant is.. well, just a simple restaurant. Definitely not the one we were looking for (the Wardeh restaurant), but since neither we nor taxi-drivers could find it, we ended up in the nearest place we could find: Restaurant Damoun.
Favorite Dish: The restaurant serves only mezzes: we had 4 different ones: 2 cold and 2 warm ones. They were ok, but not special. The hummus was unhappily swimming in oil. OK if you're starving, otherwise you'd better pass on
Sweets in the Old City and dinner in Al Mina
During our visit to the old town went also to one of the famous sweet-shops Raf-at Hallab Fils and tried the famous local sweets.
For dinner we went to Al-Mina. There are a lot of restaurants and street shops at the Corniche opposite the fishing harbour.
We just sat on the side walks and had nice and varied snacks with bread, vegetables, chicken or shoarma and salads. The fresh fruitjuice with at top strawberries, almonds, cream and honey was really delicious.
Cafe Fahim: traditional
Cafe Fahim is a traditional coffee/teahouse, where local men gather to smoke hubbly-bubbly and play backgammon. I had a coffee here and it was excellent.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel