34m - A neighborhood pizza place, a family-run business, a homey eatery, whatever...
Hurry up and book your table at Onno: Now open in the trendy district of Badaro, this Armenian eatery is out of the Bourj Hammoud closet and about to blow your taste buds out of the water.
This was the best-kept secret of Armenian cuisine. The original Onno, a hole in the wall of a place nestled within the maze-like streets of Bourj Hammoud (The little Armenia of Beirut), has always been a culinary destination exclusive to people in the know. Trap doors and hidden alleys no more. The restaurant is now out in the open, in one the up-and-coming streets of Beirut. While its ancestor, open since 1985, could be likened to a homey kitchen rather than a full-on restaurant with its barely-there décor and skimpy 24 seats, the Badaro branch is everything you would expect for a delicious trendy Armenian eatery.
Founded by Karnigue Nigolian and remaining a family affair ever since, the place that has now become one of the worst-kept secrets in the city, is still serving up traditional home-cooked Armenian dishes to an ever-increasing crowd. Cooked with skill and passion, the restaurant and food is a reflection of Nigolian himself. "I'm not a cook, I'm self-trained, I didn't learn in a culinary school. I'm an artist and my food is my creation," he said. Well it seems experience is indeed the mother of all creations in this case. The place’s reputation has made it all the way to Anthony Bourdain’s best list. Do not miss the Ras Asfour karaz (meat with cherry glaze) or their Basterma with quail eggs, another classic.