Mar 21st, 2024, 06:30 PM

From Beirut to Paris: A Food Guide

By Tayma Saliba
Image Credit: Natalia Vega
Where to find some of the best authentic Lebanese restaurants in Paris

In Lebanon, there is a cherished saying: "between us now, there is salt and bread." Translated from Arabic, the meaning of this sentence goes beyond the mere presence of ingredients on the table. A Lebanese meal is an invitation to join a community, essentially saying, "come, and be one of us." This metaphor holds true universally, welcoming anyone, anywhere. Renowned for its freshness and rich flavors, Lebanese cuisine is all about the spirit of sharing. Let's embrace this tradition, and let me guide you through the Paris arrondissements for my top five Lebanese restaurants.

1. Diwan Beirut

Image Credit: Aishu Ned 
41 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris 

On one of the busiest streets of the 7th arrondissement, you'll find Diwan Beirut, a place inspired by a renowned restaurant in Lebanon's capital. Both a caterer and a restaurant it embodies the charm of traditional Lebanese street food. They offer everything you would typically find on a Lebanese menu, from mezze (appetizers) to high-protein dishes and homemade desserts. Everything was deliciously served by the very welcoming staff. Given how shareable and reasonably priced the food is, it's a great place to come to after classes.

Writer's pick: I would definitely recommend the Taouk plate: chicken marinated in lemon juice, garnished with garlic and thyme, served alongside a crisp salad. It even had piles of bulgur and a spicy eggplant dip, adding to the burst of flavors altogether. What ultimately held the dish together was the scrumptiously whipped garlic cream in the middle of the platter, a staple of Lebanese cuisine known for its exceptional flavor and versatility. 

2. Rimal


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22 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris 

Rimal is no stranger to the vibes on this famous avenue. A bit more on the expensive side, this restaurant is the right place for a night where one might feel like treating themselves a little extra. Plus, the service is impeccable. Again, this place has a traditional menu, with even rarer dishes in the mezze section that I've only seen in Lebanon, which was impressive. These dishes include different types of hummus and "ras asfour," a type of veal flambéed with lemon, and many more options. The portions are pretty small, so I would advise ordering more than one, especially if you're sharing. 

Writer's pick: The dessert was the highlight of this one. They served us their "mouhallabiyé," a dessert made with milk, sugar, and cornstarch, which a flan-like consistency. It also had a hint of orange blossom water and was topped with pistachios. Usually, finding a good balance of flavors for this dessert is hard, but this one did it perfectly. It was the ideal palate cleanser after the various spices from the savory dishes.

3. Eats Thyme 


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44 Rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris 

In this little corner of the 1st arrondissement, Eats Thyme, a play on the words "It's Time," is a cozy and charming restaurant/bar. The owner takes great care in welcoming and checking in on the customers, occasionally going around and offering taste tests for anyone interested. This place has less variety than others in terms of classic Lebanese dishes. While they still offer the basics such as labné, kebbé, and hummus, they make up for it with the array of flatbreads they serve. Made for sharing, flatbreads are another popular item on Lebanese menus; they're round and thin, similar to pita bread, and are usually topped with za'atar, cheese, or different types of meat. 

Writer's pick: Being a famous breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner food, it's no surprise that the flatbreads, called mana'ish, were the highlight of their menu. They're soft and flavorful, uniquely designed, and an excellent choice to share. My personal favorite was the za'atar one, a go-to recommendation I will always give out. These flatbreads make for great hors d'oeuvres to pair with drinks, especially since they create cocktails.

4. Ya Bayté 


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1 Rue Des Grands Degrés, 75005 Paris 

Close to the Seine and at the heart of the Latin Quarter, you'll find Ya Bayté. In Arabic, Ya Bayté means "my home," an expression people say to each other in my tiny hometown back in Lebanon. Because of that, and the fact that the owner was very welcoming, this place stands true to the Lebanese habit of welcoming everyone and sharing a table. Besides the traditional mezze, this place focuses on sandwiches, which all come wrapped in Arabic bread called "khobz." They offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, such as cauliflower and eggplant, as well as "sojok" (sausage). The portions are very reasonably sized, and they do an excellent job of mixing the essential ingredients for each one. 

Writer's pick: Aside from the sandwiches being really tasty, I was pleasantly surprised to find they make their own lemonade and laban, a type of liquid yogurt that goes very well with the sandwiches. I ordered both as soon as I saw them, and they did not disappoint. Both drinks were so light and refreshing, reflecting the restaurant's authentic quality and a smart way to market their place and products.

5. Kubri  

Image Credit: Natalia Vega 
108 Rue Amulet, 75011 Paris 


Nestled between the Cirque Bouglione and a small park, Kubri's aesthetic is quite distinctive. It looks like an average-looking restaurant from the outside, but on the inside, it looks like a cave was repainted in white, with red cushions added to its pre-existing concrete benches. Their menu is entirely different from the other places, as it's a creative take on Lebanese cuisine. Basically, their menu changes every few months, but their mezze stays the same. For instance, when I last went there, they had a special lamb dish with Mashaoui spices, friké, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, with a special homemade sauce. While these ingredients are all part of Lebanese cuisine, they are not typically paired together; this is Kubri's strongest specialty. 

Writer's pick: Finally, we found a perfect hummus here in Paris. This dip made from mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive, is perhaps the biggest fan-favorite when it comes to Lebanese food. It can be eaten with bread, potatoes, or meat. Kubri decided to mix it with za'atar and olive oil, which was exquisite. I found myself ordering another serving, and I highly recommend it if you're a fan of hummus.