Home Sweet Home: An Eclectic Gem in Mar Mikhael

“Welcome home…” says the professional manager, Jonathan Naji, as he opens the door and greets us into Home Sweet Home… We feel at home already.

Tucked away on one of the smaller side streets, just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bubble of Mar Mikhael’s main street, there’s a gem of a place called Home Sweet Home. This cozy spot, owned by Rayan Raad, breathes fresh air into Mar Mikhael’s dining scene.

Walking up to it you soon discover a collection of tables and chairs awaiting you on the sidewalk. Heading inside, there’s a boutique space on the left while the restaurant extends from the door all the way until the end.

Colorful chairs and sofas exude a true sense of comfort, as if, as the name hopes to imply, you have just come home. Welcoming and relaxing, there’s a coffee bar replete with homemade pastries that feels like a homey kitchen counter; flowerpots hang, filling the space with floral tones and a cage-like display element covers the ceiling. Full of different colors and patterns, the space is simply fun, relaxed and inviting.

Digging into the menu, we loved the Aubergine Tower. Layers of eggplant, zucchini, goat cheese, tomato confit and mixed greens, it’s a sumptuous, healthy treat that we couldn’t get enough of. Home Sweet Home’s Avo Toast is served on pain de campaign with a mix of lime, sumac, tomato, coriander and avocado that’s at once both fresh and interesting. The Quinoa Grapefruit salad is fantastic. Roasted almonds, basil, parsley, pomegranate and avocado, all in a light vinaigrette, it’s light, delicious and just plain different. We loved it. We rounded it all out with the great Asian salmon and noodles before finishing with a delightful toffee date cake and the obligatory coffee.

It’s hard to describe just how good Home Sweet Home is. This open, 200-meter space is found among the area’s traditional workshops, this is part of a community, a vibrant, living space. Everything, including the pastries, is homemade, it’s simply charming.

Welcoming, warm and engaging, Home Sweet Home is a fun, stylish experience. Inspired by Raad’s own home, it certainly serves up good food in a unique setting.

See something you like at the restaurant? The chances are it can also be found in their boutique. Filled with handpicked items exclusively available at Home Sweet Home, the boutique also carries designs and products made exclusively for the store by local artisans and craftsman.

Raad has even taken this bespoke approach a step further in creating a line of candles. Raad created two scents, The Manoushe (mint, zaatar and thyme) made from all natural oils; this iconic, Beiruti scent takes you on a journey around the streets of the city. Another scent, called Home for the Holidays, is again entirely natural and takes you back family holidays and fond memories of relaxation and fun.

The perfect spot for any time of the day, brunch, lunch, dinner or just coffee would all be an experience. The retail space sells all sorts, including chocolates, books, even clothes for your pets and the owner and his team are always challenging local craftspeople to create exclusive designs. Discover Home Sweet Home, one of Beirut’s most intriguing spots.

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