A waltz around Badaro

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENTS -

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, beirut­na­tional­mu­, 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.

Lu­natic 8

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

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