The start of each season brings with it new places to go and new things to do around the country. Some new places open, others re-open for the season and some have been around for several years. We’ve compiled a list of the hip and happening venues around the country that are either outdoors or on a rooftop. Here is a selection of places you can’t miss out on if you want to live the ‘Beirut Summer’ experience.
Top Beach Resorts
Riviera: Located on the Raoucheh strip, this gorgeous beach lounge is a destination for Beirut’s trendy crowd. You can either chill by the corniche if you want some peace and quiet or by the pool and bar for some loud music, drinking and dancing.
La Plage: Situated in Minet el Hosn, this St. Tropez inspired beach club attracts the lavish people of the city in an intimate setting around the pool. The restaurant by the sea is an excellent place to enjoy a delicious lunch under the warm sun.
Eddé Sands: Right on the shore of Byblos, it’s possibly the country’s most beautiful resort; flooding its customers with scenic landscaping and the color pink. You have the choice of relaxing quietly by the VIP pool, renting a bungalow with friends for the afternoon, chilling on the beach beds by the sea or joining the rest by the pool or on the lawn. The resort also boasts a variety of restaurants, a lively beach bar, and a long stretch of sandy beach.
Lazy B: This is the place to go if you want to enjoy a relaxing, private afternoon in Jyeh, while feeling as though you’re in Jamaica or on some laid-back island. Its fresh colors and straw umbrellas make it very different from the rest with its minimalist approach, but that’s what makes it so appealing. Visit once and you’ll fall in love with its simplicity.
Orchid: Tucked away in the picturesque Jyeh area, this stunning beach lounge is a treat for your eyes. The color white engulfs the resort that is reminiscent of pool lounges on the Greek Islands. It is relaxed but refined and stylish. You can either sit by the main pool or rent a bungalow with its very own private pool that can fit a big group of friends.
Pierre & Friends: A very cozy, simple and fun pebbly beach in Batroun, with a restaurant and bar. You can either book a beach bed or a lunch table for the afternoon. The bar is a very fun hangout spot overlooking the sea, where you can enjoy drinks, good music and carefree vibes till late at night.
Bonita Bay: It is a picturesque gem in Batroun with its very own pebbly beach, spacious and comfortable terrace, and an island-like bar that is simply irresistible. Its beautiful blue, pink and white colors add style and originality to the place. The entire charming concept by Add-mind is very similar to resorts in the south of Spain. It’s definitely not to be missed. Enjoy the live band on Sundays.
Tyr Beach: No matter what anyone says, the golden stretch of sand in Tyr is still the most beautiful in the country. Those of you who care less about comfort and facilities, and more about the authentic beach experience itself, this is the place for you.
White: Located on the Dora seaside road, White is Add-mind’s huge summer rooftop club. Its name describes the décor – everything is white. The massive bar alone is a great place to mingle; otherwise you can book a table downstairs or lounge upstairs for more privacy. Sexy dancers, rocking DJs and a big psychedelic screen set the mood for night.
Pier 7: Round in structure, Crystal Group’s amphitheater-inspired club is surrounded by sea on the Dora seaside road. Its focal point is the stage where performances wow the crowd each night. The bar surrounds the stage and tables are situated on different levels, with the highest level being designated for the VIP suites.
Sky Bar: Needless of an introduction, Sky Bar raised the bar for clubbing in Lebanon and other countries as well, making its way into the list of top bars around the world. Located on a rooftop in Biel, this exclusive venue provides a magical clubbing experience that Lebanese people, immigrants and tourists look forward to each summer. Its thrilling décor and beautiful backdrop of sea and stars go along perfectly with the exciting music and refreshing breeze.
Top Rooftop & Outdoor Bars
Iris: Located on the Annahar Building in Downtown Beirut, Iris is a charming and stylish rooftop garden that transports you to an enchanting world. The garden setting includes two bars, one common table, several tables and lounges where you can start your evening at sunset. It’s always packed and is one of the most happening places during summer, bringing together a crowd of beautiful people where you’re bound to run into someone you know.
Capitole: Overlooking the Downtown area, Capitole is a chic and cozy rooftop bar with a very fresh and friendly vibe. It’s a great place to meet people if you choose to sit on one of the bars. There are tables and lounges for larger groups.
Cherry on the Rooftop: This elegant and stylish bar and lounge is located by the captivating pool at Hotel Le Gray in downtown Beirut. It’s the place to go for a classy but relaxed evening out or as a pre-clubbing destination.
Coop D’Etat: Hidden away in the Saifi Urban Gardens, this rooftop bar attracts an artsy crowd with its minimalist décor, themed nights and affordable drinks. It is certainly very different than the rest and is always packed with tourists.
The Roof: Classy, chic and calm, The Roof is located on top of the Four Seasons Hotel, boasting a magnificent view of the bay. It’s a great place to enjoy a few drinks over conversation before you go clubbing.
Square: Located right on the sea, Square is the Mövenpick Hotel’s outdoor bar and lounge, where you can enjoy a chill evening in the lounge, at the bar or on one of the tables. The view is breathtaking, the music is just right and the setting is fresh and spacious.
Gem: Right on Gemmayzeh’s St. Nicolas Steps, Add-mind’s Gem has an intimate terrace with a bar, lounge area and tables that are placed very close to each other to encourage meeting new people. It’s a very cool place to spend a fun and relaxed evening.
The Gathering: a spacious private terrace in Gemmayzeh combines all three venues of The Gathering in a very European outdoor seating and dining area. It’s the epitome of charm and a gorgeous place to enjoy a good bottle of wine.
Dictateur: The hip and artsy bar is a hidden treat in a Mar Mikhael alley, bringing together different genres of people in a raw and industrial setting. It’s very laid-back and an excellent place to see new faces and meet people. Its terrace has a very charming unfinished feel and is a definite must-see.
Amethyste: Located poolside at the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel, this captivating venue exudes a charm reminiscent of the days of the Greek gods and goddesses. The lounge music, soft breeze, hanging drapes and lanterns, fountains and seating arrangement set a unique mood that can’t be found anywhere else.
February 30: This upside down, topsy turvy Hamra bar is like a little a little piece of Alice in Wonderland brought to reality. Its colors, bizarre pieces of furniture hanging from the walls and ceiling, and wall painting are a mindboggling treat for an unforgettable evening out. It’s a unique venue that’s not to be missed.
Main Street: Its outdoor area is right on the street where you can enjoy the music and ambiance of the bar while being in the middle of the Hamra energy. It has a comfortable and casual vibe and is always packed.
Tonic: One of the first bars to open in Jounieh, Tonic has a charming outdoor seating area with high tables, lounges and a bar. You will find yourself in the middle of the Jounieh strip that’s filled with pedestrians and cars. The bar has its own unique vibe that makes you feel right at home.
Byblos Bars: We simply can’t pick just one, since all the bars in the charming Byblos Souk are clustered together and offer a universal feel-good, fun and unpretentious atmosphere where people are singing, dancing and barhopping free-spiritedly from one venue to the next. No Lebanese summer is complete without a night out in Byblos. Another interesting bar in Byblos is April, which is not close to the rest, in a very cute and intimate terrace.
Table Fine: Located on the picturesque Jounieh bay, Table Fine is a high end Mediterranean restaurant run by three-time starred Michelin Chef Jérôme Seres. Its light cuisine is perfect for hot summer days. Enjoy some wine and excellent food with a beautiful view of the U bay.
Punta Del Este: This is certainly one of Jounieh’s hidden gems, located in an alley in the old souks street next to all the happening bars. It serves delicious Peruvian Argentinean cuisine and also has a bar where customers can enjoy cocktails and lively latino music. Its outdoor seating area that’s open during warm seasons boasts a breathtaking view of the sea and the stars.
Chez Sami: Overlooking the sea on the Jounieh seaside road, this venue is one of the most popular in the country. Beirut residents drive all the way to Jounieh during weekend nights and sunny afternoons to enjoy the fresh fish and mezze on the restaurant’s cozy terrace.
Al Sultan Brahim: The latest addition to the ever-growing and ever-popular Al Sultan Brahim restaurant chain is located on the Jounieh bay, overlooking the glittering blue sea. The usual high quality of food and service is made even more enjoyable thanks to the impressive décor and view.
Top Restaurants in Byblos
éCafé Edde Yard: Belonging to the Eddé Sands group, this delightful little place is located in the old Byblos Souks, with possibly one of the most charming outdoor seating areas in the country. With the souk’s old structures as a backdrop and countless tourists and locals passing by, it’s like escaping to a European city for the evening. Its simple but delicious French food is very affordable and enjoyable.
Mother: Also located in the old Byblos souks, this little venue has a homey feel to it that’s absolutely heartwarming. Its outdoor seating area is relaxed and comfortable, while still engaging you in the energy of the pedestrians and bars. Its French cuisine is very simple and fulfilling.
Locanda: with the Byblos citadel as a backdrop and a menu that you could get lost in for hours, this restaurant is certainly one of a kind. It serves very strange platters from the Lebanese cuisine with all sorts of special twists and unique changes. You’ll certainly love it for how deliciously different it is.
Bab el Mina: Certainly one of the best seafood restaurants in the country, Bab el Mina’s added value is that it overlooks the ancient Byblos port – one of Lebanon’s most beautiful locations. Tourists love to come here, so you’ll almost always find a table or more with happy foreigners who are expressing their fondness of the place and the area.
Al Azraq: Surrounded by the Byblos Sea, you can feel the waves crash as you sip your wine and savor the appetizing fresh seafood amidst families and big groups of friends who are constantly filling up the place.
Top Restaurants in Amchit
Chez Zakhia: Casual, simple, affordable and delicious, this restaurant may be difficult to reach to, but the trip is well worth it. You will lose track of time with every bite as you become more and more engulfed in the scenery and the comfortable surroundings.
Mhanna sur Mer: Boasting one of the most beautiful views, this venue is located right on the sea with a vast spacious terrace that creates an ideal summer setting during both the day and night, where you can indulge in the rich mezze and flavorful fish.
Jammal: One of a kind in Lebanon, this is a hidden gem where you can enjoy insanely delicious seafood while sitting in sea. Many arrive to this restaurant by boat, and are then given the choice to have lunch either on the terrace or on the tables in the water.
Zaitunay Bay:Since its opening, Zaitunay Bay has been one of Beirut’s busiest locations every day and night of the week. Families and friends of all ages flock towards the trendy bay to see and be seen on its famous boardwalk or in one of its stylish restaurants.
Here is a selection:
Cro Magnon: An upscale New York style steak house with delicious meat, oysters and appetizers. Although it’s on the expensive side, it is certainly the tastiest on the bay and is the place to go if you want to enjoy a succulent sirloin with a view of the marina.
Salmontini Riva: Following the success of Salmontini in Beirut and Dubai, Salmontini Riva serves delicious seafood platters with the specialty being salmon of course. The design of the place is inspired from the Riva boats, and the outdoor dining area and lounge are possibly the nicest place to sit overlooking the yachts and boardwalk.
Cosmo: This casual venue serves everything from sushi to pizza among other items to suit all tastes. Its outdoor seating area is very spacious and nicely located.
Cappuccino: This is a comfortable café where you can sit for hours without feeling time pass. Its menu features a wide selection of food and drinks. It is always packed with people who hang around there till sunset, feeling right at home.
MyWaterFront: A MyBar spin off on the bay with a very relaxed and loungey vibe. Its bar is a cool place to start off your night. Finger food is available as well.
Beirut Souks: For almost two years, Beirut Souks has been filled with energy, people and interesting events. Its variety of outlets, architecture and location made it so appealing to the general public, and attracts large crowds – even if just to walk around – especially on weekends. It is home to some impressive restaurants as well, all of which have both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Balthazar: A meeting point for the trendy, where people sometimes linger around the restaurant waiting for a table outside where they can watch everyone who’s coming and going. It is famous for its mouthwatering pain perdu that has become one of the most talked about desserts in the country.
Sweet Tea: One of the most beautiful venues to open in Lebanon, its magical and secluded rooftop garden setting is an absolute sunny afternoon delight. Enjoy some tea and signature desserts by three-time starred Michelin Chef Yannick Alléno in this little piece of paradise in the heart of the city.
S.T.A.Y.: Also by three-time starred Michelin Chef Yannick Alléno, this gorgeous venue is one of the most stylish, lavish and nicely decorated restaurants in the country. Its menu is a gourmet wonderland and its intimate terrace is so tastefully designed.
Momo: While it’s known for its trendy crowd and lively atmosphere at the bar section, let’s not forget Momo’s Moroccan cuisine. Enjoy some cocktails and bites out on the terrace while listening to the DJ’s interesting selection of music.
Top Restaurants with a Terrace around Beirut
Le Sushi Bar:One of Lebanon’s finest and oldest, Le Sushi Bar will impress you every time with its delicious sushi, maki and kitchen
specialties. The intimate bar on the terrace is a nice place to start out your evening with some wine.
Stove: Located in Monot, the venue is a renovated old house that oozes with charm. One would never guess that there’s such a beautiful setting inside. The terrace at the back is a beautiful meeting point for a group of friends who are in the mood for gourmet French food.
Fiona’s: This Italian restaurant in Saifi has a beautiful private terrace around the back where you can enjoy some good risotto in the warm sun and cool breeze.
Albergo Roof: Charm, luxury and comfort come together on the rooftop of one of Beirut’s most beautiful buildings, the Albergo Hotel. One of the nicest outdoor places in town, it serves a delicious selection of French and Italian platters.
La Posta: The villa in the backdrop, the fountains in the courtyard and the overall architecture make this one of Beirut’s most picturesque terraces. Travel back in time to a romantic era while enjoying some gourmet Italian food.
The Grill Room: Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, this restaurant is one of the best in town for carnivores who want a good steak. Add to that its extraordinary foie gras and spacious terrace overlooking the sea, and you’ve got yourself an evening that’s a delight for the senses.
3enab: A new addition to the Lebanese restaurant scene, 3enab opened its doors in Mar Mikhael only a couple of months ago. Not only is its food excellent, but its décor is just beautiful. Aside to the many indoor sections of this charming old house, its spacious terrace is a gorgeous setting where you can enjoy a nice long lunch.
Top Cafés with a Terrace around Beirut
Balima: A hidden gem tucked away in the beautiful architecture of Saifi Village, its terrace is a perfect place to enjoy a quiet afternoon coffee.
Mandaloun Café: Right on Charles Malek Avenue, you won’t be surprised to run into people you know anytime you go there. Its terrace is packed every day of the week.
Must See for Summer 2012
Massaya Vineyard Restaurant: Take a long road trip and head to the Bekaa, specifically where you can enjoy the most amazing lunch outdoors at the Massaya Vineyard Restaurant. The buffet consists of Lebanese platters prepared by several local housewives and the meal goes on for hours as you and your friends finish one bottle of wine after the other. The setting is in a garden reminiscent of the one at your grandma’s house in the mountains while you were growing up. Be sure not to miss out on the famous Sunday Massaya brunch. It’s an experience you won’t forget.