Bourj Hammoud Food Tour with Aline Kamakian

by Maria Frangieh

Experiencing the tastes and flavors of Lebanon, especially with those who are equally passionate about the country, is one of our greatest joys. So, you can imagine how delighted we were when Aline Kamakian, chef, owner of the Mayrig and Batchig restaurants, and author of “Armenian Cuisine,” offered to guide us around Bourj Hammoud, an area she actively supports.

Join us for a insider’s tour to sample some of the neighborhood’s most delectable Armenian specialties.

1. Karnig Bakery

Tahinov hatz (tahini bread) is a circular pastry brushed with a generous amount of tahini and sprinkled with sugar before it is baked. This semi-sweet Armenian treat has a crispy texture and a soft interior, making it the perfect thing to enjoy whatever the time of day. While sizes vary from one bakery to the next, we love the large yet thin tahinov hatz at Karnig Bakery, which is flaky yet moist.


2. Ghassan Bakery

Located on a side street near the main square of Bourj Hammoud, almost facing Karnig Bakery, Ghassan is famous for his assorted brioches. From plain to date-filled options, you’re bound to find your favorite.

Brioche Ghassan-armenian-food-bourj-hammoud-lebanon-traveler-tourism

3. Sweet Life

This famous pastry shop is known for its flat and round Sourp Sarkis halva, which is produced year-round and sold in little bags. Saint Sarkis Day is the Armenian equivalent of Valentine’s Day, as Sarkis is the Armenian patron saint of love and youth. The halva is traditionally made by whipping the reduced liquid from boiled dried soapwort roots. At Sweet Life, you can find the halva in flat discs, as well as little rolled-up versions stuffed with walnuts or pistachios. All are covered in sesame seeds.


4. Ghazar Bakery

If you’re looking for some delicious lahmajun, head to Ghazar Bakery. The super-thin flatbread is traditionally topped with minced meat and spices, but it can also be enjoyed with pomegranate molasses and even with sujuk. Be warned, you’re likely to eat at least three or four!


5. Mano

Mano is a Bourj Hammoud staple. The place is renowned for its sandwiches, namely basterma, which is seasoned and air-dried cured beef, and sujuk, which is a dry, fermented and spicy sausage. The shawarma options are also delicious.


6. Bedo

Just a few doors away from Mano, you’ll also find Bedo, another Armenian street food spot, making it a haven for food enthusiasts seeking the irresistible flavors of sujuk, makanek, shawarma sujuk, basterma and shawarma.


7. For Spices and Pastes

For all types of herbs, spices and pastes, including the famous pepper pastes from Anjar, head to Nerses (+961 1 252 902) located on the main square of Bourj Hammoud, Tenbelian’s (+961 71 145 994) or Cafe Garo on Marash Street (+961 1 261 287).






Cafe Garo


For a full Armenian food experience

Outside of Bourj Hammoud, you can try all kinds of traditional Armenian dishes at Mayrig (+961 3 228 227) and Batchig (City Centre: 70 444 307 | Zaitunay Bay: 70 135 654 | Broumana Villa: 70 766 994).




Don’t forget to check out Batchig Sur Mer, the new Zaytunay Bay addition!


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Further Reads: Where to Eat: Top Restaurants in Shouf


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