So, what is mezze?
Often mistaken for "appetizers", mezze is a selection of diverse finger foods that is a staple part of the Levant dining experience. Mezze culture is a social one, as it brings people together over a table of food made for sharing with your closest friends or neighbour. Whether you're looking to dive into a plate of hummus or indulge in a variety of pastries, Look no further! At Dikkeni, we have prepared a list of our favourite mezze places in some of our most beloved cities just for you. So, if you're looking for a taste of Lebanon or want to recreate the mezze experience abroad, check out our top picks:
Founded by Mounir Fadel in 1970, Mounir is located in the beautiful mountains of Broumana, surrounded by a pine forest and stunning views. Mounir has been serving the public for four decades now and has built quite a reputable reputation amongst the locals. Whether you're looking to wine and dine with a large group on a Sunday or enjoy a glass of Arak with a friend or two, Mounir is exactly what you are looking for.
Originally a part of Souk Al Tayeb, a weekend market that promotes Lebanese farmers and producers, Tawlet has evolved into its own restaurant in Mar Mkhayel. And here's the best part… no menu! Tawlet serves fresh traditional Lebanese dishes prepared by local farmers from across the country. Their dishes change daily, leaving both you and your taste bud on your tippy-toes. Grab a couple of friends and head to Tawlet to enjoy quality produce and traditional Lebanese dishes. We promise you won't regret it.
Located in Knightsbridge, the restaurant initially opened in 1988 in the Belgravia area. Since then, Ishbilia has built quite an impressive reputation in London for producing authentic Lebanese food. So, if you're looking for a taste of home or want to try something new, head down to Ishbilia and enjoy a taste of Lebanon.
If you're looking for a laid back atmosphere with an elegant twist, look no further. Located in Notting Hill, Al Waha serves a diverse selection of authentic Lebanese food and mezze platters. From Hummus to Kibbeh Nayeh, Al Waha has and does it all. Not only can you explore their menu at the restaurant, but you can also try some of their delicious recipes at home. Head to Al Waha for a fun dining experience with friends, or check out their website for free and tasty recipes.
Although the Lebanese Bakery doesn't serve mezze, we just couldn't resist! Looking for a hangover cure? Hungry and need a quick bite that won't disappoint? Go check out the Lebanese Bakery. Located in both Covent Garden and Harrods, the Lebanese Bakery is a "speciality bakery and eatery inspired by Lebanon's flavours and the traditional manousheh (Middle eastern flatbread)." Brought to life by two Lebanese brothers, the bakery honours the traditional pillars of Lebanese culture and cuisine. Check out one of their locations and try a selection of their signature manakish.
With the goal of unifying global cultures and spirits, ilili is located in New York's Flatiron district. The restaurant welcome's guests into the world of both modern and traditional Lebanese cuisine. Run by Phillipe Massoud, ilili's concept offers a melting pot of Lebanese, Levantine, and Mediterranian inspired cuisine mixed with a New York Flare. If you happen to find yourself in the city that never sleeps, make sure to add ilili onto your lists of places to visit (and most definitely overeat in).
Located on Rue de la Banque, Liza is an ode to mezze culture in Lebanon. Opened in 2005, Liza has been serving the buzzing streets of Paris for 16 years now. Much more than just a restaurant, Liza's food and atmosphere look to revive Lebanon's spirit with every bite. From the classics like hummus to everyone's all-time favourite mixed grill, Liza serves a variety of Lebanese dishes that will have you wanting more!
Simsim, a homey Levantine eatery concept that serves authentic dishes with a modern twist in a contemporary setting, is just what you need for a casual Friday night out. Drawing inspiration from Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese kitchens, Simsim claims to bridge the gap between authenticity and modernity by preserving ancient traditions with innovative techniques. If you're looking for warmth and hospitality, stop by Simsim because, according to them, "the guest is always king", and who wouldn't want that?