Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review – Nonna


Hype in Lebanon is a very funny thing. Just watch your friends the next time the latest hotspot arrives in town:

“You must try it, it’s the perfect burger!”
“How did you not order their creme brulee?”
“The freshest sushi you’ll ever taste!!”

And now the latest statement that’s causing ripples across Beirut… “Nonna has the best pizza in town!”

So tell me ladies and gentlemen, how could I not give this place a shot?

We order a variety of appetizers. The pesto fries are extremely oily but admittedly delicious in a junk food sort of way. The melanzane is bland and lifeless, when compared to Margherita‘s perfect recipe. In fact, we practically force ourselves to finish it. As for the Bresaola, it’s serviceable but nothing special.

Now for the pizzas. Honestly, I’m disappointed. They’re good, but there’s nothing particularly outstanding about them. The crust is exceptionally thin which makes the pie lighter than your average pizza. That’s not a complaint, it’s just… different. We order two – the Zingara and the Diavola. The latter is much more impressive as the salami is both spicy and flavorful. Still, I fail to see what the big fuss is about.

We binge on the Nutella pizza for dessert and it’s quite scrumptious. Every pizza place has a variation of this dessert, but Nonna prepares it in the form of a sandwich which you cut into pieces next to strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Even though it’s overcooked and kind of hard to slice through, it’s still the best thing we’ve had tonight. We also order the Panna Cotta which my friends presumably adore. I find it interesting, but only for a few bites. Any more and I just might implode from the surplus of sweetness.

But the waiter, oh the waiter. Seriously this man deserves special mention; he’s the rudest guy I’ve ever met in my life. He’s literally throwing our plates down on to the table with attitude to spare. He ruins the experience and I wonder where the manager is to ask us how everything is going and if we have any complaints. Truly if they can be fooled into hiring somebody this rude, then the place doesn’t deserve a second visit. Oh, and we practically clean the table ourselves. He’s much too busy caring for the zillion people standing over our head waiting for their table (the place is quite small). Can’t we find somewhere else for the herd to wait?

Price: Around 40$ per person for shared appetizers, pizzas and dessert. No alcohol.
Service: Beyond atrocious.
Must try: The Nutella dessert. When is Nutella ever disappointing?
Go with: Friends. Too loud to take your family to. Or just drop by Tavolina or Margherita instead.

The food is passable, but Nonna is an overrated place with terrible service. I’m not encouraged to try it again.

Nad Rating


  1. I totally agree with you Nad! The waiter is a whole disaster, should be a candidate for worst waiter ever! 😉

  2. Really so I'm not the only one who had this horrible experience! Good to know there's enough misery to spread around 😀

  3. Nad I agree with you hundred percent. What is all this fuss about the place?! I found it average, and I was disappointed especially with the pizzas. Margherita is still the best by far! Nad I love your reviews, as always:)))

  4. Nice Review Nadim.
    I agree with you on all points. I specially loved the intro 🙂 It is exactly the same thing I felt when eating the first pizza bite. Am I different or people don't know what real food is all about?

  5. A big ditto! I thought the pizzas were unextraordinary, and the prices a total ripoff–you'd expect a corner pizzeria to be affordable and not reflect the prices of Caffe Mondo (which by the way is cheaper, tastier, and more generous!).
    I especially detested the goat cheese squirts.
    There are so many better options in Lebanon: even TSC Signature has a decent wood-fired pizza that really gives you bang for your buck.

  6. Make sure you go after 3pm, when Hassan is the pizzaiolo, and tell him I sent you 🙂 his two specials are a seafood cocktail number and a veggie pie. Bon appetit!

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