Middle Eastern food is all the rage in the United States, but there is something extra special about eating it in Lebanon’s culture-rich capital – as opposed to on a New York City street corner. Beirut is a foodie’s heaven, alive with flavors from both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Here are five foods to eat in Beirut that will make you skip the grocery store hummus in the future:

Shawarma

Purchase foreign currency before you travel to make it easy to pick up a warm, garlicky shawarma as soon as you arrive. This classic Lebanese flatbread wrap is filled with beef, chicken, or lamb (hint: ask for a combination) grilled on a rotating spit. It is then topped with veggies, hummus, and plenty of garlic sauce.

Kibbeh

Kind of like a middle Eastern croquette, this dish involves deep fried minced meat, bulgur, onions, and mint molded into football-shaped balls. They are typically served with yogurt. The meat in kibbeh is usually ground beef, but can also be made with lamb, goat, or camel meat. Kibbeh is both tasty and the country’s national dish – two great reasons to sample it throughout your trip.

Foul

This dish is far from its name’s English meaning. Foul is a traditional breakfast Arabic breakfast dish, a fava bean stew that is warm and hearty. The beans are cooked with cumin, and often mixed with chopped vegetables, such as onion, pepper, and herbs.

Kanafe

Kanafe is a dense, rich Lebanese dessert. This sweet treat is made of a cheese pastry doused in a sugary syrup, and topped with shredded coconut and nuts, usually pistachio. Certain regions trade the cheese for clotted cream and the shredded wheat-like dough for a fine semolina concoction.

Mezza

Mezza is the Lebanese version of Spanish tapas – perfect for the traveller who wants to try it all. Expect a little of everything: tabbouleh, baba ganouj, hummus, pickled vegetables, seafood skewers, grilled meats, and more. Mezza is far more than a meal – it’s a Lebanese tradition and must-have experience. This meal is typically eaten over the course of a few hours, so come ready to socialize while you savor.

Don’t rely on ATMs with poor exchange rates and high fees when you travel to Lebanon. Instead, buy currency on our website before you go. We offer front-door delivery to make your trip preparation as easy as possible. Click Buy Online on our menu to purchase foreign currency today.