Posts Tagged 'hamra'

A Day in Hamra

For the last few weeks, I’ve been reaquainting myself with Hamra, the magical context of my university days.  Every year, my university friends from all around the world return to Beirut and it’s back to the basics from there.  We ditch our cars, we dress according to comfort and not what anyone else thinks, we make coffee runs like every hour (mainly for the AC) and we just enjoy the good old treasures that Hamra and it’s parallel streets have to offer… good prices, variety, international items and kind down to earth people. 

Everyone knows that Hamra is a shopper’s bliss if you have the right pair of shoes and you choose a day that’s cooler in temperature.  Retail outlets include clothes, shoes, accessories, electronics, music and hairdressers.  Hospitality venues include hotels, restaurants, cafes and internet and gaming stations.  If you get tired of the hustle and bustle of Hamra, a tour of AUB will put you in a different world of green, trees, amazing architecture and students that think they are the coolest students to have ever entered the “Main Gate” 😉

Although the adage “out with the old and in with the new” is a key factor for most cities, Hamra still holds its oldstyle charm and the cozy little places that made Hamra our second home.  The places that are 10 years old and going strong that keep me coming back to Hamra are two restaurants:  one for breakfast and one for lunch or dinner.  Those two places are Flying Pizza and Ristretto.

  • Ristretto:  This little spot is probably as small as a master bathroom but it never fails to pack up at all hours of the day especially during Breakfast hours.  They serve up some of the tastiest breakfasts from regular croissants to full on pancakes, egg and hashbrown.  Located on Mahatma Gandhi street.
  • Flying Pizza:  One of the best pizza joints in all of Beirut.  It’s something about the cheese and the specially made hot sauce that you put on top of your pizza.  Opened since 1982 on the street parallel to Bliss, this cozy little joint will always be on my agenda whenever I visit Hamra.

If you enjoy festivals, the Hamra Street Festival will be happening on September 10 until September 12 including competitions, parades and alot of entertainment. 




Cristobal Colon – Hamra

Hamra street still manages to dazzle me with life, uniqueness and culture.  Yesterday evening, Sara dragged Pierre and I to an alley off of Makdessi street (parallel to Hamra) to try the pub scene in Hamra.  Little did we know that by 10:00pm, this empty alleyway transforms into a bustling United Nations with pubs filled to the brim with laughter, stimulating conversation and a different nationality with every glance.   

We chose to do our “catching up” at Cristobal Colon over lovely Sangrias and Spanish tapas.   I highly recommend the Sangria!  It’s one of my favorite drinks and although I have tried it so many different places, I have only truly enjoyed it at Solea (which is now closed) and Cristobal Colon.  The Spanish bar (named after Christopher Columbus) was cozy, drinks were very reasonably priced:  12,500 for cocktails and 10,000 for sangrias, food was reasonably priced as well between 11,000 and 20,000LL for a tapas, salad or entree.


Le Rouge Restaurant

Last night, my girls and I went down to Le Rouge in Hamra.  Sadly enough, I haven’t been back to Hamra much since I graduated university which is a big mistake.   Every street seems to have cozy restaurants and lively pubs with clientele of all ages just hanging out and really enjoying themselves.  Le Rouge, located on Makdessi Street (parallel to Hamra), is a lovely restaurant with a more antique and homey touch.  The perfect setting for a nice glass of wine and great company.  The menu consists of a tasty selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza and daily specials ranging from 13,000LL to 25,000LL.  Branches available in Hamra and Gemmayze.

For more information, contact them on 01-353585 or visit their website :

Cafe Younes – Hamra

Cafe Younes, a cozy little cafe/bakery right off of Hamra street, is an ideal place for coffee and snacks.  What I liked about Cafe Younes was the trees surrounding the cafe and the homey two floor interior providing a change of scenery from the noise and traffic of Hamra.   The cafe seems to be a popular stop for students and residents of Hamra.  I wouldn’t be surprised with the great prices, free wifi, books to enjoy and comfortable couches. 

For more information, check out their website on


Trendy Accessories at H&M

H&M is one of the best stops for up to date trendy accessories such as scarves, hair clips, colorful earrings and bangles.  Updated every few months, the great thing about H&M accessories is that they are fresh, creative, colorful and the perfect addition to a classic casual outfit.  I’m not much of a fan of the H&M clothes selection but the accessories section more than makes up for that.  H&M stores located in Downtown, ABC Achrafieh and Hamra.

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