Best restaurants in Lebanon: Three Beirut spots make 2023 Mena's 50 list

The destinations all break into the top 20, celebrating farm-to-table cooking, inventive vegetarian dishes and grandmothers' recipes

Em Sherif has been named one of the top places to eat in Lebanon by Mena's 50 Best Restaurants. Photo: Em Sherif
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The Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list was revealed in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Recognising top spots from the Middle East and North Africa, Dubai's Orfali Bros Bistro clinched first place, jumping from sixth last year.

Lebananese cuisine is some of the most popular in the region, with some likely to argue its reputation extends around the world, too. For many, it's no surprise that a handful of restaurants from the nation's capital made the list.

Here are the three to make the cut.


Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 ranking: No 16 (down from No 12)

Award: Best Restaurant in Lebanon

Baron has been named the Best Restaurant in Lebanon for the second year in a row on the culinary list.

Located in Beirut’s trendy Mar Mikael district, Baron is a friendly neighbourhood restaurant with a reputation for outstanding cuisine. Each plate is designed for sharing, with diners expected to select a few options as a group rather than choosing individually.

Whether it’s grilled meats, fresh fish or some of Baron’s unique vegetable creations, it is popular for having something for everyone on the menu. A crowd favourite is the lamb shank slow-cooked overnight, and crusted in mint and mustard seeds and served with farro wheat.

Diners in the UAE may have come across Baron's popular Expo 2020 Dubai pop-up.

More information is at

Tawlet Mar Mikhael

Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 ranking: No 19 (up from No 28)

Tawlet Mar Mikhael rotates its menu weekly. Photo: Tawlet Mar Mikhael

Championing a farm-to-table approach using only seasonal, organic produce, Tawlet's food is popular for being fresh and combining a multitude of flavours and textures.

The restaurant's mission is to reinvigorate recipes found around different villages and regions of Lebanon, crafted by home cooks to make sure the food is exactly as grandmothers make it, using recipes passed down through families.

More information is at

Em Sherif

Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 ranking: No 20 (up from No 22)

Award: Art of Hospitality Award

As well as being ranked at No 20 on the Mena's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list, Em Sherif took home the Art of Hospitality Award, which recognises excellence in restaurant service and dining experiences.

The spot is known to be a relaxed and charming place to grab lunch or dinner with friends, with many mezze options for sharing. It serves hearty, authentic Levantine food.

The menu is seasonal and changes to utilise local produce. However, timeless standout dishes include pumpkin kibbeh stuffed with Swiss chard, summac and walnuts; and the grilled shish tawook or kafta skewers.

Lebanese mother and daughter duo Mireille and Yasmina Hayek opened the brand's 16th location, Em Sherif Sea Cafe, at the Rosewood Abu Dhabi on Al Maryah Island, last November.

More information is at

Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 in full

  1. Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, UAE
  2. Tresind Studio, Dubai, UAE
  3. Fusions by Tala, Manama, Bahrain (also named Best Restaurant in Bahrain and won Highest Climber Award)
  4. Ossiano, Dubai, UAE (also won the Highest New Entry Award)
  5. 3 Fils, Dubai, UAE
  6. George & John, Tel Aviv, Israel (also named Best Restaurant in Israel)
  7. Kinoya, Dubai, UAE
  8. Fakhreldin, Amman, Jordan (also named Best Restaurant in Jordan)
  9. Zooba, Cairo, Egypt (also named Best Restaurant in Egypt)
  10. Moonrise, Dubai, UAE
  11. Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, UAE
  12. Kazoku, Cairo, Egypt
  13. Zuma, Dubai, UAE
  14. OCD, Tel Aviv, Israel (also won the Sustainable Restaurant Award)
  15. Lowe, Dubai, UAE
  16. Baron, Beirut, Lebanon (also named Best Restaurant in Lebanon)
  17. Gaia, Dubai, UAE
  18. Myazu, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (also named Best Restaurant in Saudi Arabia)
  19. Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon
  20. Em Sherif, Beirut, Lebanon (also won the Art of Hospitality Award)
  21. LPM, Dubai, UAE
  22. Sachi, Giza, Egypt
  23. Marble, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  24. A by Yuval Ben Neriah, Tel Aviv, Israel
  25. CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Manama, Bahrain
  26. Hoseki, Dubai, UAE
  27. La Grande Table Marocain, Marrakech, Morocco (also named Best Restaurant in Morocco)
  28. Coya, Dubai, UAE
  29. Shams El Balad, Amman, Jordan
  30. Sachi, Cairo, Egypt
  31. Masso, Manama, Bahrain
  32. Animar, Tel Aviv, Israel
  33. Coya, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  34. La Closerie, Tunis, Tunisia (also named Best Restaurant in Tunisia)
  35. 11 Woodfire, Dubai, UAE
  36. Sufra, Amman, Jordan
  37. Iloli, Casablanca, Morocco
  38. LPM, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  39. Sesamo, Marrakech, Morocco
  40. Milgo Milbar, Tel Aviv, Israel
  41. Alee, Amman, Jordan
  42. White Robata, Kuwait City, Kuwait (also named Best Restaurant in Kuwait)
  43. Zuma, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  44. Jun's, Dubai, UAE
  45. Reif Kushiyaki, Cairo, Egypt
  46. +61, Marrakech, Morocco
  47. 13C Bar in the Back, Amman, Jordan
  48. HaBasta, Tel Aviv, Israel
  49. Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  50. Bonjiri, Salmiya, Kuwait
Updated: January 31, 2023, 7:00 AM