A waltz around Badaro
Over the last few years, the sleepy residential neighborhood of Badaro has blossomed into one of the hippest Beirut districts. Lebanese guide company Zawarib explores the more chilled part of town, where cafes and restaurants sprawl out onto its wide, tree-lined sidewalks Once part of Ottoman Beirut’s pine forest, Badaro still oozes the spirit of an urban garden. Developed in the 1950s, this neighborhood’s broad sidewalks dotted with trees and Art Deco architecture, remains true to its lively yet serene ambience from day to night. Surrounded by the Beirut Hippodrome and Horsh Beirut, the Actor’s Syndicate, the Lebanese University’s Fine Arts department and the Smallville Hotel, Badaro attracts an interesting combination of both local creative residents and trendy travelers. On any given day, one can expect to see art students sketching away at their surroundings as well as the odd foreigner fumbling around with a professional camera. Each location in Badaro has a unique identity, making it one of today’s favorite hangout spots.
Start your walk at the National Museum ( 1 – 01 426703, beirutnationalmuseum.com), where Lebanon’s ancient history is on display. Be sure to also visit the museum boutique to find an equally impressive array of some of the country’s leading designers’ latest pieces.
Very close by is the magnificent Syrian
Catholic Patriarchate ( 2) set within tranquil and well-manicured gardens. For lunch, Villa Badaro ( 3 – 01 385155, Villa Badaro) offers a truly beautiful and charming encounter. Try their signature steak and fries while seated in their perfect (and still secret) garden. Across the street is Troika ( 4 – 01 384517, Troika Badaro), a café-bar offering refreshing and alcoholic beverages, Lebanese mezze and outdoor seating.
The outdoor atmosphere can also be enjoyed at one of Badaro’s favorites, Wall Street ( 5 – 76 997992, Wallstlb), ideal for both lunch and dinner, where a superb menu and cocktail list awaits. For a lazy morning or busy afternoon, catch up with a friend at the bubbly Roy’s Public House ( 6 – 01 390308), one of the very first institutions to open in the area. Another excellent all-day place is 27 ( 7 – 01 382202, 27cafepub. com), a sophisticated café/bar serving delicious salads and pizza with a jazzy flair. Try not to miss out on their all-day happy hour on Mondays.
Nearby, ( – 01 393443, lunatic. com), a design concept store filled with witty Lebanese prints, is the place to shop for unique gifts for all occasions. Across the road, imagine the former life of one of Lebanon’s most well-known authors, Amin Maalouf, at his former humble apartment.
If you’re looking for a quick and healthy bite, visit Crumb ( 9 – 01 383183, Crumb Badaro) just off the main road and try one of their nutritious sandwiches. The spot works equally well when craving a midnight snack. For a splash of art and culture, take a look at
The Sunflower Theater’s ( 10 – 01 381290) summer schedule, where both performances and workshops can be enjoyed all season long. Many of the theater’s regular actors and directors live close by and are frequently spotted around the neighborhood.
At nightfall, a variety of concept bars are worth a visit. Named after the father of American mixology, The Jerry Thomas
Experience ( 11 – 70 151328, The Jerry Thomas Experience) offers an array of creative cocktails in a warm lively interior. Next door at Eden ( 12 – 01 380599, Eden Badaro), get intimate with a loved one over an exquisitely-presented fresh fruit cocktail. Concealed around the corner is The Attic Bar ( 13 – 01 382073, The Attic Bar Badaro), a room covered with antiquated accessories where a DJ spins music out of an old closet on Fridays and Saturdays.
For more on Beirut’s hidden treasures, pick up a free copy of Zawarib’s “Best of Beirut” found at most hotels, galleries and local hangouts.
Alternatively, download the Zawarib Beirut app or visit their FB page A collaboration between Lebanon Traveler and Zawarib – guiding you around Beirut The Mapping Company