List of Famous Lebanese Foods
When it comes to Lebanese food, many Middle Eastern countries swear that this country’s cuisine is one of the best in the region, even though they might be biased. What makes Lebanese dishes great is using locally grown ingredients, using simple materials and adhering to traditional cooking methods. Overall, this country is also great for vegetarians as some national dishes are completely meat-free yet still very flavorful.
Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad
Tabbouleh is the most famous among Lebanese foods because it has gained respect in vegetarian communities around the world for its fantastic flavor and nutritious ingredients. This simple dish consists mainly of chopped parsley, diced scallions, mint leaves, tomato slices, and the most essential component, bulgur. This dish has been part of the mountain region of Syria and Lebanon since the Middle Ages but is perceived to be weak because of a lack of meat. Nowadays, the health benefits of Tabbouleh have made it part of Lebanon’s culture. You can have it all over the country, regardless of the social class of the place.
Shish Barak Yogurt Dumpling
One of the Lebanese dishes that has its roots in Lebanon and has inspired other similar dishes in the Middle East and Central Asia is Shish Barak. This is simply Spiced meat-filled dumplings cooked in yogurt soup and garnished with garlic bits. This dish is a comfort food as it is primarily served in lower-end eateries across Lebanon.
Lebanese Chickpeas Hummus
There is no doubt that Hummus is the most famous of the Middle Eastern dishes that has even gained popularity across the Western world. There are many variations of Hummus in the Middle East but this Lebanese food has its own unique taste because of homegrown chickpeas, olive oil and lemon juice. This dish is excellent with flatbread and easily accessible everywhere and at any time of the day. Hummus is nutritional and is a cheap meal for those on a tight budget.
Fattoush Levantine Salad
Lebanon can be a food heaven for those on a vegetarian diet as they have many Lebanese dishes that do not have meat, like the Fattoush salad. This salad is from the Northern part of the country and is basically made out of herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and leftover Khubz bread. This combination may not seem like much but the flavor is extraordinary and these ingredients go very well together. The salad is readily available from the beachside cafes to high-end restaurants in Beirut. Just take note that this is mainly like an appetizer, but taking a large quantity of this salad can be quite filling.
Beef Kafta or Kofta
Now let’s talk about one of the most loved Lebanese foods: beef kafta or Kofta. This meat dish is similar to Middle Eastern kabobs, but the difference is that the size of these koftas is smaller and, as a result, more flavorful. The main ingredient of Lebanese Kafta is ground beef mixed with onions and parsley, and let marinate for a few hours with some added herbs. Even though many like the ground beef Kafta, some places offer chicken and lamb variations, which are equally delicious.
Lebanese Manakeesh Za’atar Bread
This pizza-like Lebanese food has been around for a long time, and it has been the food that many workers and travelers used to eat during ancient times, though with slightly different ingredients. Nowadays, Za’atar and cheese are the main ingredients of this simple flatbread pizza, and it is easily the most flavorful cheap option when it comes to street food in Lebanon. Sometimes, the sellers add ground meat and thyme to make a more hearty version for lunchtime.