I’ve been an avid Hamra visitor for years, at first because my friends loved it, then because it was close to where I was studying, and without realizing it, Hamra became a place I couldn’t go a few days without stepping in. One of my favorite places in Hamra is Raseef Beirut, originally a small sidewalk restaurant and pub – hence the name: “Raseef”, which translates to “sidewalk”.
The new location does Raseef a lot more justice than the old one; although the old location was cozy, this new location is warm. Situated in a traditional Lebanese building, Raseef’s new location is split between a guesthouse on the second floor and a restaurant pub on the first, staying true to its name. For food, Raseef serves a Lebanese menu of mainly hot and cold mezza, as well as some local favorite main dishes. The food is impeccable, especially their Mousakhan rolls. Raseef also offers daily platters, all of which are traditional home-cooked meals made exactly the way a mother would. The staff at Raseef are always welcoming, nice, and ready to help. And, while they don’t have a wide cocktail menu, they do offer several drink options for those who want a refreshing non-alcoholic sip, coffee, or a nightcap.
Next time you’re unsure where to spend a night out on a weekday, where to have lunch, or what to do on a Sunday afternoon, spend it on the sidewalk or in the beautifully decorated old home that is Raseef Beirut.