Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most interesting dishes in the world. People visit Lebanon for its food, among other things, and get a good fill with local vegetables, oils and fresh fruits. Eating and drinking in Jounieh is a popular tourist activity in Lebanon since Jounieh basks in its reputation as an exciting party city with its lights, sounds, music, food, drinks, and the world-famous Casino du Liban.
Along Jounieh’s crescent bay area are rows of restaurants, hotels and cafés leading all the way to the sister-city of Maameltein. There is so much to taste and savor in this part of the country. If you are visiting Jounieh for the first time, make sure to try the famous yakhneh or Lebanese stew. This aromatic dish is made up of lamb shanks, vegetables and rice, and flavored with garlic and mint pesto. The type of yakhneh depends on which vegetable was used. Every meal could change from a zucchini yakhneh to spinach yakhneh to green bean yakhneh.
The Lebanese diet, especially in a sea-side town as Jounieh, is basically composed of fish, seafood, whole grain, poultry, and plenty of garlic and olive oil. Lebanese love their herbs and spices. Lamb and goat meat are popular in the mountain areas. A staple is the Lebanese flat bread.
When eating at a restaurant or a friend’s house, know that a Lebanese meal is not complete without mezzes or tiny samplers that serve as appetizers leading up to the main course. Mezzes light up the table with different tastes and colors. The most common mezzes are hummus, raw vegetables, pickled vegetables, salads, breads, small portions of meat, or baba ghanoush (eggplant in olive oil). Mezzes are also served with drinks because Lebanese rarely drink without having any food to down.
The most popular drinks are local coffee, Lebanese wine and arak, which is the national alcoholic drink and widely popular among locals. There are several restaurants, hotels, clubs, and cafés around the city serving all sorts of drinks. In Jounieh, there shouldn’t be a dearth of the most commonly loved alcohol and beverage.
And what is a meal without dessert? The most popular Lebanese sweet is the baklava. If you have not sunk your teeth into a slice of baklava before, you should. It is not hard to find along the stone souk (market) area in Old Jounieh near the port. A baklava is a rich and sweet pastry with chopped nuts and honey or syrup. Other popular Lebanese sweets are the kaak, maamoul and stouf.
Some of the most popular restaurants that serve authentic Lebanese mezzes, fish and grills in Jounieh are Rafaat Hallab 1881, Chez Sami, Al Sultan Brahim, and Al Balad. However, if you wish to try other types of dishes when eating and drinking in Jounieh, the city doesn’t disappoint. You can go to Roadster Diner for a taste of Americana, Eatalian for Italian cuisine, La Table Fine for French foods, Margherita for pizzas, and Burger King for burgers.
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For a warm sip of coffee, go to Na3Na3, and for the best cocktails, try the Company Bar and Restaurant.