When people move, the kitchen follows – Lebanon to Mexico

The priest Boutros Raffoul arrived to the port of Veracruz  in 1872* from what is now Lebanon, but which then belonged to the Ottoman Empire and was brutally disputed between Muslims and Christians. Being a member of the Maronite Catholic Church, he found a great affinity with the Mexican people. For years he maintained an epistolary relationship with his family, which was interrupted after a trip to Guatemala. From then on we know no more about this character who went down in history as the first Lebanese immigrant recorded in Mexican territory.

primer libanés en méxico restaurantes libaneses
Photo: Archivo Libanés

The influence of today’s Lebanese community in Mexico can be seen in the industries from textiles to show business; we find renowned figures like the Bichir brothers, José María Yazpik, and Salma Hayek, all of Lebanese descent, representing Mexico on the international stage.

hermanos bichir libaneses restaurantes cdmx
Photo: Univisión

But it is within the culinary sphere that we can really appreciate the blending of cultures, as Lebanese cuisine has contributed to some of our favorite dishes such as tacos al pastor, which descends from shawarma, or variations of kepe (kibbe) that exist in Mérida. The herbs and spices used in their preparations, as well as their large portions meant for sharing are familiar and endearing.

Here are some recommendations for Lebanese-Arabic restaurants in Mexico City.

Al Andalus

al andalus restaurantes libaneses árabes en cdmx
Photo: @alandalus_mx

Run by Chef Mohamed Mazeh, who arrived in Mexico in 1990 and brought with him the passion and seasoning from his native Lebanon, this is a must eat in the Historic Center.

Mesones 171, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc

T. 55 5522 2528

IG. @alandalus_mx

Gruta Ehden 

Gruta Ehden restaurantes libaneses arabes cdmx
Photo: Gruta Ehden

Gruta Ehden is considered the first Lebanese food restaurant in Mexico. Generations later, it has maintained the quality and seasoning since its founding in 1930.

Pino 69, Florida, Álvaro Obregón

T. 55 5661 3863

IG. @restaurant_grutaehden

Asador Libanés

asador libanés restaurantes árabes libaneses cdmx
Photo: @AsadorLibanes

A fusion between artisanal and contemporary. Asador Libanés features a variety of lamb, beef, chicken, and fish meats, seasoned in the style of their native country.

Kansas 19, Nápoles, Benito Juárez

T. 55 6721 0127

IG. @AsadorLibanes

Don Anuar

don anuar restaurantes árabes libaneses cdmx
Photo: @donanuargastronomialibanesa

A place that has kept the recipes faithful to tradition both in preparation and ingredients for three generations. The dishes are served in abundant portions, ideal for sharing.

Zempoala 88, Narvarte Poniente, Benito Juárez

T. 55 5534 6268

IG. @donanuargastronomialibanesa

Adonis 

Adonis restaurante Árabe libanés cdmx
Photo: Adonis

Their dishes are the classics of Lebanese cuisine, and always of outstanding quality. Adonis also promotes cultural experiences through music and dance.

Hegel 205, Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo

T. 55 5531 8081

Casa Kuri

casa kuri restaurantes comida libanesa arabe cdmx
Photo: @casa.kuri

What started in 2020 as a dark kitchen with the goal of sharing real Lebanese food with all its Middle Eastern flavors, now provides the complete experience to diners in Condesa.

Tamaulipas 72, Condesa, Cuauhtémoc

T. 55 8953 0580

IG. @casa.kuri

Alay Alay

alay alay comida libanesa arabe cdmx tacos
Photo: @alayalaytaquera

We decided to carve out an exception and include this taco restaurant inspired by Middle Eastern recipes since it is a living example of two kitchens finding harmony together. Run by Lebanese-born chef Andrea Sayeg, a rising star in the culinary world.

Matías Romero 98-Local 2, Del Valle, Benito Juárez

T. 55 6813 5797

IG. @alayalaytaquera 


*There are discrepancies in the year. Some sources indicate his arrival in 1878. This article takes into account the publication of Carlos Martínez Assad: DIMENSIÓN ANTROPOLÓGICA, AÑO 15, VOL. 44, SEPTEMBER/DECEMBER 2008, UNAM.

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