Ashrafieh is in Beirut, it is one of Beirut's oldest and most charming districts and is considered an important tourist outlet in Beirut where a great number of restaurants, coffee shops and nightclubs are located. This, in addition to its important commercial venue, its luxurious apartment buildings combined with renovated traditional houses, makes of Ashrafieh an ideal place for shopping and touring within the city.
Ashrafieh lies directly to the east of Downtown Beirut. Best option is walking if visiting the closer areas such as Monot Street or Gemmayze. If visiting the areas further away then hailing a taxi is another quick (and cheap) option.
- 1 Nicolas Sursock Museum (متحف سرسق), Greek Orthodox Archbishopric Street, ☏ . Open 11:00-19:00, closed Tuesdays. The building is a perfect example of the typical 18th-century Lebanese palace. Lebanese and International art is permanently displayed in the intricately preserved interior. It was hammered by the August 2020 explosion, but hopefully it will be restored fully soon. Free entrance.
- 2 Saint Nicolas Stairs (Escalier de Saint Nicolas). The Middle East's longest staircase, located between Rue Sursock and Rue Gouraud in Achrafieh. Twice a year, open-air exhibitions are held on its 125 steps showcasing local as well as international work. Contact any Virgin Megastores branch for info about exhibition dates.
- 3 Beit Beirut - Museum and Urban Cultural Center. An exhibition on the Lebanese civil war.
- 4 Sassine Square. Where 7 streets converge, lined with cafes in a very cosmopolitan way. A car bomb went off here in 2012, but it is a people place nonetheless.
- 5 MIM Mineral Museum, inside Université Saint-Joseph Campus de L'innovation et du Sport (CIS), ☏ . Tu-Su 10ː00-13ː00, 14ː00-18ː00, closed M. Considered one of the most significant private mineral museums in the world.
- Bekhazi Art Gallery, Ashrafieh St., Saab Bldg, ☏ , fax: . M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 09:00-13:00. Contemporary art.
- Galerie L'Amateur (Antiquities, 19th century paintings), 53-57 Fernaini Street - Abdel Wahab El Inflizi, Ashrafieh, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Vestiges D'Orient Ateliers D'Arts (by Bernard Renno), Gemmayzeh, Pasteur street, Zoghbi building, 1st Floor (near Wild Discovery). M-F 09:00-18:00.
- Atelier Camille Allam, ☏ . 09:00-21:00. In Gammayze.
- 1 Empire Sodeco (6 theaters), ☏ . Sodeco, Sodeco Square. Tickets: LL 6,000-9,000
- Empire Sofil (3 theaters), ☏ . Tickets: LL 5,500-7,500
- Grand ABC (7 theaters), ☏ . ABC department stores Ashrafieh, Sasine, Beirut, Tickets: LL 6,000-9,000
- The Beauty Lounge, 210 Sassine Plaza, Achrafieh, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-21:00. This friendly and family run salon offers treatments for both men and women including manicures, pedicures, massages, body scrubs, reflexology, LPG and facials (the hydra intensive facial is LL75,000). Bikini, and other body waxing for women only are also available. The signature B Lounge manicure is very good and long-lasting – well worth the 12,000LL cost.
- Institut Nouna Baz, Itani Bldg., 5th floor, Verdun (facing Goodies), ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-18:00. Provides manicures, pedicures and facial treatments such as peeling, Vitamin C, a mesolift which rejuvenates the skin and smoothes superficial wrinkles, cleaning, whitening, and treatments for the whole body. Massages are also available (approx US$30).
- Lena Chaiban (Shiatsu), Centre Medical Pasteur Clinic, Gemmayzeh, ☏ . This therapy is akin to acupuncture without using needles. A session costs US$50/hour. An expert in kinesiology (muscular imbalance) Chaiban also offers Ampuku (abdominal massage) and Reiki.
- ABC department store, Alfred Naccach Street, Mar Meter, Achrafieh, ☏ . Shopping hours: 10:00-22:00; cinemas, restaurants, parking: 10:00-02:00. Enjoy a full day of shopping with over 200 shops, 20 restaurants, 7 movie theaters.
- [dead link] The Union, The Alleyway, Rue Gouraud, Gemmayze, ☏ . M-Sa 12:00-22:00, Su 12:00-17:00. Created for the love of all things urban, The Union is an independent freethinking store for guys and gals. They carry over 10 international street wear brands exclusive to The Union, and you’ll also find awesome collections from home-grown talent.
Ashrafieh has a sense of old-style charm, evident from its old architecture and mature neighborhood. Eating in Ashrafieh will certainly be more expensive than the other districts, but if elegance and charm is what you're after, you'll love it. Below is a selection of the best places to eat:
- Cafe Em Nazih, Saifi Urban Gardens, Pasteur St. Gemayze, ☏ . Daily 08:00-05:00. Lebanese standards and traditional dishes found only in the kitchens of Lebanese housewives. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served to a diverse clientele of locals and foreigners. Try the Tomato and Onion Man2ouche with cheese for a spicy breakfast, and don't miss the chance to taste Em Nazih's famous Kabseh (spiced rice with meat and a tomato salsa), one of the dozens of daily dishes rotated every few weeks. Great for wi-fi and coffee in the morning and drink and dancing (Arabic) in the evenings. It gets pretty wild on Friday nights when Em Nazih hosts Lebanese bands and DJs. Meal for two with drink: around US$16.
- Classic Burger, Sodeco, ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:00. The best of the Beirut burger joints. Simple, but well done. Meal for two with drink: around US$20.
- Café Blanc (Lebanese), Lebanese cuisine made hip. Try the batata harra and ras assfour (diced meat marinated in pomegranate molasses). The chicken livers are divine too and the shawarma samak is a good bet for a main course. For dessert order the Sultana Delight. ABC Achrafieh, Alfred Naccache Street, Mar Mitre. 01 211120. Open daily 10:00-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$40.
- Chili's One of the tastiest theme restaurants with much to boast about including a laid back atmosphere. Dishes to order are the spicy boneless Buffalo wings, succulently tender baby back ribs and hamburger. Wash it all down with a selection of Margaritas and share the Molten Chocolate dessert. Moawad Plaza, Elias Sarkis Avenue. 01 337171 Open Su-Th 12:00-00:00, F Sa 12:00-01:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$50.
- Pinocchio (Italian), One of the most popular Italian restaurants in the area, Pinocchio is known for its thin crust pizzas. Also order the aubergine gratin and grilled calamari. Or if you’re in the mood for pasta try the Sicilian gnocchi. Trabaud Street. 01 218234. Open daily 12:00-16:00, 20:00-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$50.
- Sushi Wa (Japanese), Offers a rich menu where you can choose from sushi, salads, sashimi and desserts. Check out the Teriyaki Salmon where a piece of grilled salmon with teriyaki topping is served with steamed rice and raw vegetables. This place’s specialty is the wine collection, where you can find Ksara, Kefraya and Wardi brands all served at affordable prices. Also order the party boat with 115 sushi and sashimi pieces nicely arranged for US$100. Sassine, Georges Nacache Street, Behind Byblos Bank Tower. Daily 11:30-16:00, 18:00-23:30. Meal for two with wine: US$30.
- Tsunami (Japanese), Good all round Japanese joint. Extensive selection of fresh tasting sushi and maki rolls with reasonably priced combo dishes. But make sure to order the tempura which isn’t too heavy on the batter. A hot dish to try is the salmon Teppanyaki. Abou Rizk Blg, Abdel Wahab El Inglizi Street. 01 397327. Open daily 12:00-16:00, 19:00-23:00. Meal for two with sake: around US$40.
- Sô (Asian, European), One of the best restaurants to offer a combo of Asian and European dishes. The sushi belt is particularly popular and the fish fresh and well prepared. Ask the chef if you have a particular favourite. If you’re in the mood for something heavier try the T-Bone USDA steak. The chocolate fondant is also a must. Saint Nicholas Street. 01 336644. Open daily 12:00-01:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$45.
- Les Vilains, (International), a charming restaurant set in an old Lebanese house, serving an eclectic but traditional menu, that changes with every season. Peruvian ceviche with its sweet potatoes, Malaysian rendang beef, chicken tajine with pomegranate, scallops with basil or pork cutlets with beetroot chutney, initiate your palate to flavors from around the world made accessible by a passionate young chef. Meal for two with wine: around US$55. "Baroudi Str., Ashrafieh. 01 323531. Open Tu-Su 14:30-16:00, 19:30-23:30.
- Al Mayass (Lebanese cross Armenian), Fantastic Armenian/Lebanese mezza and main dishes with an Aleppo twist. Order the manteh (meat stuffed ravioli in yogurt and sumac), the soujouk and basterma (beef pastrami). The kafta in hot cherry sauce is a must. Great service. meal for two with wine: around US$40. Rabaud Str., Ashrafieh. 01 215046. Open M-Sa 12:30-16:00, 19:30-23:30; closed Su.
- Beirut Cellar (French cross Italian), A city landmark, the restaurant has changed hands several times before settling in the right ones. Catering for a slightly older crowd, the menu is a cross between Italian and French cuisine – something for everyone basically. Great steaks. Shahadi Way. 01 216990. Open daily 12:00-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$45.
- El Paladar Spanish, Mexican), Pan-Latin cuisine including dishes from Argentina, Mexico and Spain in a Hacienda-style setting. Order the paella. There’s also an extensive cocktail menu with drinks originating from Chili and Argentina. 20 per cent discount on lunches all week and on holidays. Damascus Road 01 335444. Open daily 12:00-16:00, 20:00-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$35.
- Gems, (French-Mediterranean) fusion cuisine in a pleasant and trendy setting. Menu includes salads, sandwiches, pastas and meats. Order the house special and innovative bonbons de foie gras which is served with a sweet wine sauce and mixed salad. Generous portions of oriental and western brunch offered on Sunday (no á la carte for lunch). 29 Achrafieh Street, near Al Beydoun Mosque. 01 330030. Open Tu-Sa 12:00-00:00; Su 11:00-00:00; closed M. Meal for two with wine: around US$60.
- Relais de L’Entrecôte (French), French-styled steak frites restaurant akin to the restaurant on Rue Marboeuf near Paris’ famed Champs Elysées. Not suitable for vegetarians as it’s only steak on the menu accompanied by salad. The steak sauce is the pièce de resistance. For dessert try the delicious profiteroles and chocolate fondant. Good selection of local and French wine. Abdel Wahab Al Inglizi Street. 01 332 088. Open daily 12:30-15:30, 19:30-23:30. Meal for two with bottle of house wine: around US$50.
- Al Dente (Italian), Italian cuisine at this high-end restaurant decorated with chandeliers, thick drapes and faux Renaissance paintings that feels like a royal dining room. Pastas are either homemade or imported. If they are not on the menu, request the capellini with asparagus and white truffle oil or any of the risottos. Albergo Hotel, Abdel Wahab Al Inglizi Street. 01 202440. Open daily 12:30-15:00, 20:30-23:00; closed Sa lunch. Meal for two with wine: around US$80.
- Claudia's (Italian), Cosy and intimate chic Italian fare. Excellent service with decent and generous portions. Extensive wine menu and good desserts – pick the Panne Fantasia (French toast with warm caramel sauce, cinnamon and vanilla ice cream). 31 Abdel Wahab Street. 01 218999. Open daily 12:00-23:30. Meal for two with wine: around US$85.
- Cocteau (French), The chic Lebanese head for dinner at Cocteau, the prettiest restaurant in Beirut, where the walls are covered with the French artist's (Jean Cocteau) doodles and there's a waiter per person. Sodeco, Ashrafieh (+961 1 616 617).
- Gaucho (Argentinean), A glamorous Argentinean restaurant, very popular in London, specialised in a wide range of award-winning ceviches and the finest Aberdeen Angus steak cuts. A unique place in Beirut decorated with black and white cowhide and sparkling chandeliers. Don't forget to order their special Dulce de Leche dessert specialties! Phoenix Tower, Minet El Hosn (+961 1 364 801).
- Julia's (French), Great food in a chic but relaxed setting. The menu is international in essence but you’ll find French cuisine predominates. The steaks are cooked to perfection and highly recommended. Reserve on the patio and you get to see Beirut’s trendiest people drive and stroll by. Abdel Wahab Al Inglizi Street. 01 219539. Open daily 12:00-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$80.
- La Table D'Alfred (French),Sursock Street, French gastronomy and club lounge for lunch and dinner, you can discover an excellent French cuisine with the talent of the chef Sylvain Arthus and chef Alfred Asseily discover their wine cellar of more than 150 bottles of wine.
- Maki Beirut (Japanese), Beirut Homes Building, Aschrafeih, Damascus Road & Habib Basha El Saad Road (between Sodeco Square & The National Museum), ☏ . Daily 12:00-15:30; 19:30-00:00. Upscale contemporary Japanese cuisine. Good options include; Salads with raw fish (and some without), five different plates that serve chicken, Black Angus teppanyaki or lobster drowning in creamy sauce. Ichijiku Tori Teriyaki (Fig Birds!) or the rather eccentric selection of makis - over 100 options. Average per person US$40.
- Salmontini (Fish), Salmon is the name of the game at this stylish eatery. Feast on smoked salmon and salad for starters and follow through with the sumptuous salmon with couscous and harissa sauce which is spicy without being hot. There’s also salmon in white sauce for tamer taste buds. Accaoui Road. 01 337999. Open daily 12:30-00:00. Meal for two with wine: around US$130. Set menu LL40,000.
- Sushi Bar (Japanese)The restaurant for sushi buffs and Japanese food lovers. Extensive (and expensive) sushi menu of maki, sashimi and sushi, get your chop sticks around the recommended Spicy Fever maki and the salmon on ice with special house sauce. For starters order Chobu Chobu seafood soup. Abdel Wahab Al Inglizi Street, Achrafieh. 01 338555. Open daily 12:30-15:30, 20:00-23:30. Meal for two with wine: US$100.
- Yabani (Japanese), With a reputation as one of the best Japanese restaurants in town, the sushi here is pricey but good. The menu is also varied so you get to try other delicacies - check out the unbeatable chilli beef ramen. An underground eaterie designed by architect Bernard Khoury, the seating is arranged in a circular fashion reached via a boudoir-styled elevator. Damascus Road. 01 211113. Open daily 12:00-15:30, 20:00-00:00. Meal for two with sake: around US$100.
- Couqley (French), The Alleyway, Rue Gouraud, Gemmayze, ☏ , email@example.com. Open daily from 12:00-00:00. Serving lunch & dinner during the week and brunch on the weekend, diners can also choose from an extensive wine list and a fully stocked bar, offering a range of house cocktails and freshly brewed coffee available throughout the day. Dinner for two with wine: US$60-100.
- Adam (French), ☏ .
- Bar Louie, ☏ .
- Corleone Trattoria, ☏ .
- LaTabkha, ☏ .
- Le Chef, ☏ .
- Paul, ☏ .
- Soto (Japanese), ☏ .
Drinking venues are found throughout in Ashrafieh, but the areas where the nightlife are concentrated in are Gemmayze and Monot Street. Clubs in Beirut normally close at around 05:30, although with a few exceptions, most clubs will be empty by 04:00. After clubbing, some Lebanese will go on to having breakfast at one of the handful of 24-hour snacks and cafes. Few nightclubs have an actual dancefloor; most people dance around the table they have reserved for the night.
Monot Street is widely considered as the clubbing street in Beirut, although there are also many pubs. Once dominant, it has seen its status drop due to the emergence of Gemmayze as a nightlife district and the dominance of open-air clubs during the summer time in other parts of the city. Most clubs play a variety of music. Monot street is quite narrow, and mind wrecking to drive through, particularly at night when the clubs are open. Parking is nearly impossible any time of the day, so going by car should be considered only if necessary. Despite the driving nuisances of Monot, locals still prefer to drive. Monot street borders Downtown Beirut's south east corner, making it a very short walk (or taxi ride) from the city center, although few people will actually walk.
Gemmayze is Beirut's artistic bohemian quarter, an old district full of narrow streets and beautiful historic buildings from the French era. It is well known for its trendy bars and pubs, cafes, restaurants and lounges; there are few or no nightclubs. Most are located on the main thoroughfare that cuts through the middle of the district, Rue Gouraud (or Gouraud street). Similarly to Monot street, this area is old and historic, and was designed well before the invention of automobiles, so going by car through its narrow streets requires a lot of patience. There are complaints however, of foreigners buying up and renovating properties, leading to gentrification and pricing out many locals from living there. Some places have run into trouble due to noise complaints from locals. Still, they are is still charming and worth a visit, whether during the day or at night. Gemmayze borders Downtown Beirut's East side, and it too is a very short walk from the city center. Walking would be the best option (being dropped off by a taxi at the entrance of the street and walking the rest is another option).
- Barbu, ☏ .
- Dice, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Dragonfly Pub, ☏ .
- Godot, ☏ .
- Hickey's (Irish), ☏ .
- Bar Louie.
- Zeus, ☏ .
- Sinners, ☏ .
- Coop D'Etat Rooftop, Hamra Urban Gardens, ☏ , email@example.com. beer: LL5000, drink: LL10000.
- The Basement (Nightclub), Electro, Minimal and Tech-House from The Basement residents DJette (F) and Jade (Sa). Plays Western music exclusively. With a long bar, lots of cushioned seats and minimal lighting (but no dancefloor), this is located on the site of an old underground carpentry workshop. Gets crowded so your dance moves may be compromised. 01 570505. Charles Helou Avenue, Achrafieh. Th-Sa 21:30-late. Men must be 21yrs old, girls 18yrs old, no singles allowed, no admission after 02:00.
- BO18 Classic (Nightclub), Bring back the 1990s with a set of jazz, funk and Arabic music played by owner and resident DJ Nagi Gebran. The interior wall is covered with metallic chains and this theme is maintained throughout the club. 01 650606. Sodeco Square, Achrafieh. Daily 19:00-02:30. Bar food served.
- Concerto (Nightclub), One of Beirut’s well-known Arabic nightclubs. DJ Robert plays live music until 01:30, then the one man show stays late. The atmosphere is looking for a crowd that likes this sort of thing. 03 988944. Facing Bank of Industry and Work, Sodeco Main Road, Achrafieh. Daily 23:00-06:00.
- Elegant (DJ Bar), Elegant is a restored old Lebanese mansion enclosing arcades, and a rectangular bar. DJ Tony plays Latino, house, commercial, and oriental music. 03 222656. Petro Trad Street, Sodeco. Daily 20-late; US$25 entrance. Th: Karaoke night.
- La Closerie (Lounge), Alcoholic drinks, cigars, Asian food, and a romantic atmosphere are what you will find in this attractive place with an older clientele. Very much a chill out bar it feels like a living room in an English country house – the perfect place for an early evening drink before hitting the clubs. 01 331938. Lebanon Street, Tabaris, Achrafieh. Daily 17:00-01:00.
- Pulse (DJ Bar), International bar food available. Every Wed: imPULSive night playing hip hop, Funk, House. The L-Bar serves a great collection of drinks and pulse cocktails. Don’t miss the VIP section all in white, red and black with comfy seats to lounge in. 03 454445. Damascus Road, Achrafieh. Tu-Su 21:00-late. Closed on M.
- Shah Lounge (Lounge), This oriental Moroccan style lounge bar is decorated with wood and has velvet furniture. The music is primarily Arabic but the live band is one of the best in town playing famous pop and Arabic tunes. 01 330033. St Joseph University Street, Achrafieh. Tu-Su 22:00-04:00. Closed on M. International cuisine. Tue: Karaoke night; W-Su: live band and Arabic one man show.
- Tycoon (Nightclub), The decor is in a classical style with contrasting modern technologies. Crystal luster hangs from the ceiling and the bar is made of wood. Plays commercial techno, and house music till 01:30 and then features the one man show Khalil singing Arabic till late. 03 242241. Sodeco, Saadeddine Street; US$40-45 approx per person.
- Zinc (DJ Bar), Serious party beats including hip hop, jazz, trance and commercial. This popular bar in an old house with three comfortable lounge areas never goes out of fashion. The crowd is mainly trendy young professionals and as the night goes on the dancing gets increasingly lively. 01 612612. Seif Eddine Al Khatib Street, Achrafieh. M-Sa 20:30-02:00; Drinks LL9,000-LL14,000. Food served.
- 1 Saifi Urban Gardens (On Pasteur Street, behind "Coral" gas station and "Mandaloon Grill"), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A good budget and value-for-money option, the hostel is a part of an Arabic language school and is involved in a series of artistic and educational activities. Dorm beds 18, 16, US$12 (daily rate), single US$41, double US$45. Internet, breakfast and drinking mineral water are included in the price.
- 2 Hotel Sofitel Le Gabriel, Avenue de l'Indépendance, 197, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. US$140-400.
- 3 Hotel Alexandre (4 stars), Adib Ishak Street, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. L'Atrium piano bar and La Palmeraie restaurant also available.
- 4 Park Tower Suites, President Elias Sarkis Avenue, ☏ , fax: . Stay in pleasant surroundings with a short stroll from and close to all city services, in the vicinity of shops, restaurants, museums and entertainment needs. ParkTower Suites has excellent facilities, comfortable guest suites and public areas. All suites are nicely equipped to create full comfort and relaxing atmosphere. Modern, clean and spacious all-suite-hotel in the heart of Ashrafieh. Close to Monot Street.
- University Medical Center/Rizk Hospital (Lebanese American University Hospital), ☏ . Medical Specialties Surgical Specialties (General Surgery,Plastic Surgery,Heart Surgery)