Souk el Tayeb, literally translated as ‘the tasty market’, is the place to go if you want to find delicious homegrown, organic produce. This open-air farmers’ market takes place on Wednesdays in Clemenceau at the Gefinor Centre, and Saturdays in Beirut Souks. Sellers come from across Lebanon: you can find everything from organic rose and orange blossom water, to dried fruits and nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits, to more eclectic items like ostrich eggs and ostrich oil. There are also plenty of cooked foods and fresh hand-pressed juices.
My favourite thing to buy at Souk el Tayeb is faweki mjafara, a giant roll of slow-baked, dried-out pure fruit puree which is reminiscent of the American fruit roll-up candies. The Lebanese version are giant, sticky sheets of fruit – flavours include mulberry, apricot and pomegranate, amongst others. You can usually spot the sellers, a Druze couple wearing traditional clothing.
In addition to food, I also like the handmade crafts section with art work, traditional soaps and pottery – it’s a great place to find original souvenirs or gifts.