For me, the perfect coffee-shop has to have a relaxing atmosphere, a great espresso, and reliable wi-fi (the real deal-breaker). Here are my top ten spots in Beirut. They all come highly recommended.
10 – Costa (Ashrafieh – Sassine Square)
This place has a good feel to it. The internet connection is good, and the espresso is nice and consistent. However the atmosphere is a bit too relaxed! I wouldn’t spend more than an hour here.
9 – Ristretto (Hamra)
A unique cafe that’s been around for a while. The espresso is quite good, as is the internet connection. The mood isn’t always conducive to working though, and it can feel a bit like you’re with the oldies.
8 – Caribou Cafe (Ashrafieh)
Funky place with fine espresso, relaxing ambiance and a strategic location. Can get very boring after an hour or two.
7- Gloria Jean’s (Hamra)
I love the diversity here. It has an interesting mix of university life and older people stopping by on their strolls through Hamra. If the place is crowded, you’ll have a hard time using the internet. While the food isn’t the best, the mood more than makes up for that.
6- Dar Bistrot & Books (Hamra)
A calm place to work in with a tasty, health-conscious menu. It’s a bit too secluded however, and the wi-fi could be better. Impressive bookstore though.
5 – Ginette Coffee Shop (Gemayzeh)
Trendy new hotspot. It’s a bit expensive and the indoor area isn’t great for work, but there’s a pretty great variety of food and a peaceful atmosphere.
4 – Second Cup (Raouche)
A nice change to city life, with a view of the sea. The mood is quiet and the place is definitely not as crowded as its neighbor Starbucks. Good coffee but nothing really interesting on the food menu.
3- Cafe Younes (Hamra – Abdel Aziz)
Lovely mood and tasty food. The espresso isn’t very consistent but when they do get it right, it’s exceptional.
2 – The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Hamra)
A spacious place with a reliable wi-fi connection. The espresso’s great and the atmosphere is always inviting. All the other coffee shops in Hamra are concentrated in one area, so this benefits from being a bit farther (thus less crowds).
1 -Urbanista (Gemayzeh)
This place has it all. From a great wi-fi connection, to a top-notch espresso and the perfect atmosphere to go along with it. The food is delicious and thankfully quite healthy. I can’t recommend it enough.