Lebanon fosters exquisite cuisine ranging from a mezza of vegetarian dishes such as tabouleh, fattoush, and warak anab to delicious dips like hommos and moutabal.
Must haves include Lebanese barbeque such as shish tawouk (barbequed chicken)- usually consumed with garlic, lahm mishwe (barbequed meat, and kafta (another form of barbequed meat).
A full meal at an arabic restaurant can cost as little as 8 us dollars (12000 LL).
Lebanese fast food is also available as sandwiches offered in roadside shops, such as shawarma sandwiches (known in other countries as doner – or gyros in greece. Shawarma, as opposed to doner is seasoned with tarator sauce based on sesame oil, vegetables and is rolled in lebanese thin bread). Various barbequed meat sandwiches are also available, and even things such as lamb or chicken spleen, brains, lamb bone marrow or lamb testicles can be served as sandwiches.
Breakfast usually consists of man’ouche which looks like a folded pizza, most common toppings are zaatar (thyme), jebne (cheese) and lahme bi ajin (minced meat). Some new trendy places such as zaatar w zeit experiment with new toppings, such as halloum and bacon. Zaatar w zeit stays open 24 hours a day and partygoers often go there for a bite at 4 in the morning.
Another traditional breakfast food is knefeh; a special kind of breaded cheese that is served with liquid sugar in round bread. It is also served as dessert, but somehow it tastes better in the morning.
Lebanon is also very famous for its arabic sweets which can be found at leading restaurants. The city of Tripoli, however, is THE city for Lebanese sweets. Many critics refer to it as the Sweet Capital of Lebanon.
Lebanon and specially Beirut is famous for the excellent night life. The choice can vary from international nightclubs such as the famous Buddha Bar to many local clubs that cater from teens to seniors.
Favourite areas to go out are Monot and Gemmeyzeh Streets in Ashrafieh area of Beirut and the newly built down town area. The downtown area is popular with tourists, particularly Arabs from the Gulf.
For teenagers and as anywhere else, the cool clubbing spots vary by the day but a classic is to see the B018 (especially popular for cocaine users) in the Karantina area of Beirut, or the various clubs at Monot Street.
For adults and especially the 30 plus,Crystal (Monot Street) is the in place (especially for the extremely rich, pretentious, and arrogant crowd… ie, think of an obnoxious Paris Hilton). Many Christian Lebanese enjoy frequenting Element (Ashrafieh), which tends to rarely play any Arabic music. For a sample of clubs that locals frequent, Al Mandaloun (Ashrafieh) focuses more on Arab-pop music than Western dance music.