Practically every Beiruti you meet will tell you to make at least one visit to the Rawda café. At first, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Hidden behind an amusement park about 3 km from the city centre, this out-of-the-way café by the edge of the sea looks quite undistinguished. With its plain, plastic tables and chairs and concrete tiles, it certainly does not leave the impression of being worth a special detour.
However, Rawda does have one, unique asset. It is located in the midst of a wildly verdant garden, which, at the height of the summer, looks like a patch of forest that has begun to encroach upon the concrete and asphalt landscape of the city. In the Beirut of the 2010s, where chaotic urban development has turned more than one, green, city park into a dusty construction site, such oases of greenery are becoming a rarity.
Rawda is also a favourite haunt of the local intelligentsia and has acquired a legendary status all of its own. During the evenings - enveloped in the clouds of fragrant tobacco smoke wafting up from customers' water pipes - the café becomes an ideal place to watch the sun set into the sea, and if you are so inclined, to dip your feet into the waters of the Mediterranean.
Chouran St, Seaside Manara next to Luna Park
Open daily 10am - 8pm
Posted 04/2010Share it:
Keywords: Beirut, restaurant