One of the highlights of the summer season (for us, at least) is a fresh, chilled bowl of gazpacho when the heat goes up. The cold soup is a classic Spanish dish that may differ from city to city, but is generally made up of lots of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cucumbers, bell peppers, bread and spices.
Since my gazpacho-filled summer in Spain two years ago, I’ve craved it, tried to make it at home (too messy) and then took to searching for it on any restaurant menu that might possibly have it.
Luckily, we didn’t need to look far to find a few nice places in Beirut that served it. We included our personal ratings for the dish in each place in case you’ve been searching for the perfect gazpacho here as well (and don’t mind paying a bit more for it).
Paul’s (Gemmayze) ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Great presentation and we love how it is served is a very Paul’s-esque manner with little side dishes of cucumber and rustic bread. The only con is that the portion of the gazpacho itself is small (more of an appetizer than main dish) and it’s not always available for order.
Balima (Saifi Village) ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Today I spotted gazpacho for the first time on their menu under “Chef’s Recommendation” so, naturally, I went for it. It’s pretty standard and for the 12,000 L.L. for a generous bowl, it’s certainly good value for your buck. Not terribly exciting flavor-wise though but it hits the spot if you’re having the craving.
Indigo at Le Grey (Downtown Beirut) ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
By far, this one is our favorite so far and the closest to the dish served in Sevilla (where they happen to make some of the best gazpacho). It’s creamy and rich with flavor but eat sparingly to truly savor it. Remember, it’s not just a soup.
Cafe M (Downtown Beirut) ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Cafe M serves one of the most generous portions of gazpacho among the other options on this list, but also more of your standard dish. It tastes very fresh, no doubt, and can be best enjoyed while sitting outside to take in the city life around you.
Dic/ta/teur (Mar Mikhael) ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
We tried out our first cucumber gazpacho at Dic/ta/teur recently. We’d never had it before and we were pleasantly surprised with the refreshing combination. It was served a bit warm and takes a bit of getting used to if you’re used to tomato-based gazpacho so maybe it’s not for everyone but worth a try.
At the end of the day, nothing beats making it yourself as you can hand-pick your ingredients and customize to flavor. Feeling experimental? Try out these different variations “Mom’s Gazpacho Recipe“, “Watermelon Gazpacho“, “Cherry Gazpacho with Basil“, “White Gazpacho“, “Mango Gazpacho” and the classic “Gazpacho Andaluz“. Our friend, Christian, who spent some significant time in Spain also recommended this recipe.
Side Note: If you know some other places that serve gazpacho in Lebanon, drop us a line so we can add it to our list!