Bar Beirut is about as close as you’ll get to the nightlife of Lebanon’s capital without leaving Canberra. Co-owners Soumi and Chantelle Tannous met in east Beirut’s bar scene, and they’ve brought some of its vibrancy to this 40-seat cocktail bar and restaurant in the heart of town.

To eat, it’s a meze-style offering featuring modern interpretations of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes. Expect snacks such as smoky baba ganoush and Lebanese flatbread, and vine leaves with labneh and zuni. If you’re going large, the lamb is a showstopper: ten-hour braised rump with creamy artichoke puree and spiced pangritata.

But the cocktails are no afterthought, and put signature spins on classics like the Martini (infused with cucumber and wasabi) and the Negroni (made here with blood orange). Boozy bubble teas are also on offer, and there’s a Martini cart whipping every iteration of the classic drink you can think of.

The moodily lit space is rich in red hues, with a romantic archway and hand-woven lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Low dining tables with banquet seating line the sides of the restaurant, leaving room for belly dancing performances every Wednesday and Thursday night. The bar area is decked out with high tables perfect for drop-in cocktails and snacks.

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Updated: November 4th, 2022

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