5 Places Offering Vegan & Vegetarian Or Gluten-Free Delights In Lebanon

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Photo credit: https://mintbasilmarket.com/blogs/mint-basil-market-blog/tagged/health-tips

Food, without a doubt, plays a central role in Lebanese culture. One cannot argue that we love food and everything that revolves around it: mouth-watering pleasures combined with a social context of friends and family gathered together to taste the finer things in life. It’s an appealing cuisine that integrates a wide range of nutrients: fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts and pretty much anything else you can think of. It really is one of the world’s healthiest and delightfully scrumptious cuisines available and usually comes with excellent service and high aesthetic value. One can almost always eat a vegetarian meal in any restaurant or combine mezze style dishes in a way that easily leaves out meats or fish. Intentionally, vegan and vegetarian options are starting to make an appearance on the scene too as a younger generation is demanding alternative choices, as well as gluten-intolerant eaters and those simply exploring culinary diversity.

Mint Basil Market

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/OHBakehouse/

Mint Basil Market is an e-commerce platform that offers Lebanese clients impressive products that are gluten-free, vegan, healthy and organic, as well as cosmetic and household cleaning products that are all conveniently delivered to your door. Wow! The two daring women behind this business, Vanessa Zuabi and Lara Noujaim, wanted to build a community around healthy, mindful living. Mint Basil Market already carries 20 different brands and over 200 products carefully selected for you. In the words of Noujaim, “We aren’t trying to just launch an e-commerce website, but to create a community of people where the partnerships we have created will help facilitate our aim to raise education and awareness.”

They have partnered up with two chefs, Laura Ariss and Sally Jane, who both contribute alternative, nutritious recipes for their blog. Although the platform may still be in its early stages, they offer exceptional prices, a wide variety of products, and fabulous recipes that bring together mindfulness and healthy alternatives to integrate into your culinary pleasures. We say, “way-to-go ladies.” It’s not a restaurant but will easily offer you healthy snacks and gluten-free, organic products you can use at home. Check out their site to order products or find fantastic recipes to play with:https://mintbasilmarket.com/

Luna’s Kitchen

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/lunaskitchenlb/

Luna’s Kitchen is the first 24/7-restaurant serving 100% vegan food. They are a part of a growing community offering diverse options for people who have decided to go completely ‘green’ as they say. They offer a wide selection of homemade dishes and they really are always open. Yes, you heard that right! They offer delivery, take-out, catering and in-and-outdoor seating that is child and group-friendly. They are constantly making exceptional efforts to improve their cuisine, listen to customer feedback and even meat lovers eat there. They’re in the charming district of Luna village in the colourful building on Tannoukhyine Street, which you can find in Hamra. The menu is very affordable, healthy and they’re definitely introducing alternative options for people in Lebanon. They have a Facebook page that you can check out here.

 

The Wooden Factory Pizzeria

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/thewoodfactorypizzeria/

The Wooden Factory Pizzeria is not specifically a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, but it’s definitely a gem of a place and worth noting as a perfect summer setting to eat a healthy meal with loved ones. The outdoor patio is really something to see along with the décor on the inside that’s loaded with little details that catch your eye. It’s tucked away on top of the mountain in Baabdat and is as authentic and unique as they get. Vegetarians can find delicious fresh salads and amazing pizzas that any Italian would approve. The ambiance is cozy and charming, the music is excellent and one can easily feel the love and care the owners have put into the place (furniture is handmade by the owner) and the staff are just as welcoming. Oh, everyone raves about the one and only dessert they offer, the chocolate cake! They often host special events there too! Here’s all the info: https://www.facebook.com/thewoodfactorypizzeria/ or here: https://www.instagram.com/thewoodfactorypizzeria/

Kitchen Confidential

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/KitchenConfidentialBeirut/

The intention behind Kitchen Confidential is to use only organic and natural ingredients in their international menu. They explore gluten-free flour and make in-house baked breads, which is extremely inspiring and unique. All their products in the kitchen are free of gluten, yeast, soy, oat, trans-fats, canola oil, MSG, additives, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Wow! Another interesting twist to the place is they actually pay attention to the equipment they cook with: toxic-free cookware, bakeware and utensils. And to top it all off, they use eco-friendly, toxin-free and 100% compostable packaging. Isn’t that impressive? So if you are looking for a gluten-free sandwich with vegan cheese, or an organic pumpkin kebbe, or maybe a tempting organic, dairy-free, vegan chocolate tart, you can find it right here. They’re busy experimenting with new ways of cooking and baking while promoting healthy eating and eco-friendly living. If you have a friend who’s a meat eater, they can still join in on the fun. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/KitchenConfidentialBeirut/  And here: http://www.kitchenconfidential.org/

Oh! Bakehouse

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/OHBakehouse/

At Oh! Bakehouse, they specialize in baking healthy breads and desserts that are not only exquisite, but also free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Their aim is to “revolutionize the way we eat desserts and bread, and to prove that traditional pastry ingredients can be easily replaced with healthier ones and still taste good, if not better!” Most of the ingredients they use are certified organic and they also avoid canola oil and replace it with coconut oil or olive oil. They take pride in being transparent and use the best possible ingredients they can find. Baking with alternative and healthier ingredients is what they do best! You can find all the info here: https://www.ohbakehouse.com/

That’s all for now. There are many other interesting places in Lebanon; we thought we would share a few options that offer something unique, alternative and healthy. Share any interesting places that you love, we’d love to hear from you.

 

References:

http://beirut-today.com/2018/03/29/vegans-rejoice-lunas-kitchen-opening/

https://en.annahar.com/article/792908-mint-basil-market-glutenfree-pleasures-at-your-door

https://www.beirut.com/l/43161

https://www.ohbakehouse.com/

 

 

Sophia is a photographer, sound therapist, traveller and freelancer. Her background in Western Culture and Society, Communication Studies, and Fine Arts Photography allows her to love all things multi. In her sound therapy work, she uses a variety of modalities, such as Sound Healing, Reiki, Complete Cellular Mind Body Alignment (CCMBA) and The Black Pearl Technique (a mix of chinese meridians and use of chi (prana) energy), aromatherapy and crystals.

She continues her studies with The Foundation for Shamanic Studies, helping her connect with spirit and earth. She’s currently exploring writing, sound, yoga of sound, ecstatic dance and photography while travelling in search of universal truths.

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