Welcome to the neighborhood Cafe Hamra. Nice to have you!

Ok, so I’ll admit.  I was a little skeptical of Cafe Hamra when I first saw it.  I mean, did Hamra really need another restaurant?  But after giving it a try for the first time last Sunday, I’m happy with the new addition to the neighborhood!

The first thing you notice when you walk in, is how large and spacious it is..something you don’t find very often in Hamra..or in Lebanon for that matter..Don’t get me wrong, I love the intimacy of places like Ferdinand and Neighbors..but I’ve always been one for large open spaces and high ceilings..

Cafe Hamra

Inside Cafe Hamra

I want to say that the restaurant almost reminds me of cafeteria style dining,,but in a good way.  It just feels so relaxed…  The seating is set up in such a way that you can choose either to sit on the soft, cushy couches, or on regular chairs – for those of you who like to sit up straight and not slouch!..but for me, it was no contest..  Soft couches are where it’s at!

After parking my booty on the couch, I noticed the graffiti map of Hamra on the ceiling..which I probably should have studied more as I still, after 10 months, don’t know the street names in Hamra..

Cafe Hamra

The ceiling in Cafe Hamra - how do they do that?

I have to say, I really appreciated how much time and effort was put into every aspect of Cafe Hamra..From the graffitied ceiling, to the murals on the walls (see below), to the innumerable amount of both vintage and pop culture elements showcased all through the restaurant, to the uniforms, and the tableware..everything was on point!.  I have to give it up to the visionary mastermind behind it all.  Props to you whoever you are!

Cafe Hamra

I love Hamra!

I left it up to my friend to order, and she was feeling particularly Asian that day it seems..so we had Shrimp Spring Rolls, Fresh Summer Rolls, and Coconut chicken curry.. (oh, AND a chocolate milkshake AND fries AND desert..fatties, I know!  But we’ll talk about the desert later)..Anyhow, all of this to say that everything was superb!

Cafe Hamra

Cafe Hamra's Soft Opening Menu

There is one thing I have to comment on though, and that’s the sheer amount of servers that were on shift.  I mean, I understand that staff is cheap in Lebanon, and that the restaurant had only been open two days.. aaaand that it was still under “soft opening”..but still..did they have to tell all of their employees to come to work that day?  I think for the first time since I’ve been in Lebanon the servers were actually TOO attentive!  I should probably stop complaining, as good service is what I’ve been asking for all of this time..

Cafe Hamra

That's a lot of staff! Six servers and a manager! And that's only in a tiny portion of the restaurant..yes I know, they were still in training.. 😉

Naturally, I sat in the non-smoking section..and I just had to take a picture of this..The smoking and non-smoking sections are actually partitioned off..like with actual wood and glass!  Surprising, no?  At Cafe Hamra it’s not just a matter of putting us (the minority of non-smokers in Lebanon) in a small corner of their restaurant..but they actually give us our own section!  That’s a first.

Cafe Hamra

Cafe Hamra - actual smoking and non-smoking sections..bravo!

I took a couple of pictures to show you, my dear readers, what the food looked like..but when I was choosing which ones to include in this post..the desert stole the showwwww..  When it came time to order desert, my friend and I were in a quandary about which one to order..but we finally settled on the bread pudding..and even though it takes about 10-15 minutes to make it’s sure worth the waiiiiit! 🙂

Cafe Hamra

How can such simple things make me so happy?

Cafe Hamra

Scrummmdidliumcious..yummy, buttery, ice-creamy, caramely deliciousness! My new favorite desert..hands down!

Cafe Hamra

And what better way to top off my experience than with a cappuccino? Illy coffee + chocolate design + little cookie = perfection. Would've added a couple of more dots to the Cafe Hamra tagline though. then...now

The outside garden is due to be open soon..and I think it’s the perfect place to hold our next tweet up, what do you guys say?



Filed under life in Lebanon

18 responses to “Welcome to the neighborhood Cafe Hamra. Nice to have you!

  1. I’ve been hearing about it.. but now I know for sure I will try it! Thanks for the review! ❤

  2. Ali

    Do they have free wifi XD ?! hahhaa if so I’M IN.

  3. Dar El Akhdar

    I was there for the first time yesterday – nice joint!

    Once the garden area opens up – it would be GREAT for a tweetup!

  4. Simon

    A separate section for non-smokers! sweeeeet 🙂 that’s the sort of news that i like hearing about new places opening in Lebanon.

    Smoking really kills the enjoyment of having a nice meal at most restaurants in Lebanon.

    I’ll definitely be checking out this place this December 🙂

  5. Buttermint also do a good bread pudding.

    What was the rest of the food like?

    • meinlebanon

      Do they really? I love Buttermint too..I’m there at least once a week. The rest of the food was great, especially the curry!

  6. Yas

    I’m kind of jealous of this cafe latte with a nice drawing of yours… where I am currently living I don’t even have a nice coffee place to go to 😦

    • meinlebanon

      You’re living in Holland, right? They don’t have good coffee there? You have to be kidding me! Have you ever had ristaffle? I think that’s what its called..the Indonesian traditional meal of like 15 different plates..I had it when I was in Amsterdam and it was amazing! Which part of Holland are you in? How do you like it?

  7. The Hamra map on the ceiling is genius! luv the idea.

  8. tania

    Danielle, i like your blog a lot keep on going:)
    I was waiting for Cafe hamra to open and when i Read your good review about it, I was really happy and went yesterday night to check out the place. It was a disappointment:( Well, can’t talk about the food because I left before even trying. Well, I found it a very commercial place with no soul. They named it cafe Hamra, but it’s not a cafe, it’s a restaurant with arguileh. I know there is a non smoking area but still (and chapeau for this)! It’s the whole “ambiance”. A Cafe is usually a place to relax, here it’s a Roadster with Arguileh! It’s my personal opinion, I believe during the day it’s a different experience. It was full, a lot of people like it… Just not my kind of place:) I like to know if i am going to a lebanese restaurant i will eat lebanese, to a japanese I will eat Japanese. To cafe Hamra, well…, for a Hamra addict for a modca lover and horse shoe lover… Cafe Hamra is a disappointment… Although I was looking forward to go there and i thought finally someone will bring back the soul of Hamra after all old cafes closed… Well, not…

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