16m - If you have ever been to Mar Mikhael, you’ve undoubtedly seen a number...
A flashback to Hamra's Cafe Culture
Hamra cafe offers an atmosphere of an oriental garden, crossed with a classic Beirut-style cafe troittoir, right in the middle of Hamra. This cafe began serving delicious mezze, Lebanese specialities and diner food in 2011, in a nod to Beirut's classic street cafe culture. Walking along the end of Hamra street, the place is hard to miss: the design is eye-catching and electic. Bright Red and white walls host vintage posters, and photographs of 1970s Beirut, a nostalgic touch. These are mixed with Beirut street scene graffiti, wide wooden tables which give a rural feel, and comfortable leather diner booths, perfectly fitting for its “Beirut: then, now” theme.
The large restaurant is divided into two areas, a main dining area inside, and a beautiful lush garden in the back of the restaurant. This is a popular place to enjoy an argelieh and coffee, or play a relaxed game of backgammon, while you watch the Hamra foot traffic.
Cafe Hamra serves a mix of Lebanese specialities and bar food. A tasty breaded calamari, as well as shrimp dumplings are offered at the bar, as is a full menu of Lebanese Mezze (Fattouch is 7,500LL, Battata Harra, 6,000LL), an extensive pizza selection (Four Seasons Pizza is 19,900LL) and Burgers. In a tip to Hamra Streets history, Cafe Hamra offers a “Wimpy” Burger for 22,500LL.
Delicious fresh smoothies are also a speciality of this place, some “guilt-free” (read low fat) as are their generous deserts (not so guilt free and worth every bite!). We recommend the flourless chocolate cake, or for an icy alternative, their take on the classic banana split. Cafe Hamra also specializes in a wide array of coffee drinks, including those with an extra kick: they make a great Irish Coffee with Jameson, and the “Cloud” a mix of hazelnut liqueur, coffee and Jameson, comes served beautifully in a martini glass.
Most quaintly, perhaps, menus have fun bits of Lebanese history printed on them, translated from academic texts on the city of Beirut, and of course, Hamra Street. A great place to relax, have a nice meal, and learn a bit about our city.