Destinations

Where to Eat an Unforgettable Meal in Beirut

Visual artist Yasmine Nasser Diaz recounts her most beautiful restaurant experience.

MOST READ CUISINE

Guides

The Design Lover’s Guide to Mexico City

American design icon Kelly Wearstler shares her top spots for aesthetic awe.

Destinations

A Roman Holiday (for Four)

A traveler considers the timeless pleasures of Italy — and the need to reset...

Food and Drink

Iced Out

A premium Italian appliance makes ice cream so silky you’ll feel like you’re on...

Highly subjective takes on life's most interesting experiences.

The most beautiful restaurant experience?

In 2019, my husband and I went to Beirut for the first time. His great-great-grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Lebanon, but he had never had a chance to visit until then. One of our most memorable afternoons was the day we went to Bourj Hammoud, Beirut’s Armenian neighborhood. We started with some window-shopping and then stopped at a place called Badguer, an Armenian restaurant and cultural center. It felt like being in your grandparents’ house — immediately cozy, inviting, and filled with nostalgia.

We were greeted by Arpi, the founder, and her father, who was in his nineties and was cracking jokes the entire time. We stayed for lunch and I still remember the meal. Spicy potatoes, beef kebab with sour cherries, and soujouk cooked in a spicy, tangy sauce with onions and tomatoes. It was easily one of our favorite meals of the trip. Afterwards, Arpi took us on a tour that ended in a room filled with hundreds of Armenian embroideries. She carefully picked out some of her favorites to show us, filling us in on the history of various designs. The detail of the needlework was incredible.

It was the kind of experience that stays with you in a way that a visit to most four- or five-star restaurants does not. It is also one of my favorite things to do while traveling abroad — spend time in diasporic communities. Regardless of the country or the origin of the migrant community, I somehow feel more at home in these areas. Perhaps this is because of the intensely diverse immigrant community I grew up in on Chicago’s north side. There is a special kind of “home-making” that those in diaspora create. While the people, customs, and flavors may differ, there is a unique familiarity that undeniably resonates across borders.

MOST READ CUISINE

Wine and Spirits

A Classic Martini

A drink from New York City’s Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel.

Food and Drink

The Perfect Cup

Terra Kaffe’s espresso machine elevates your morning ritual with the press of a...

Wine and Spirits

The Easy Going Spritz

A drink from The Clumsies in Athens.


Advertisement
Our Contributors

Yasmine Nasser Diaz

Yasmine Nasser Diaz is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice weaves between culture, class, gender, religion, and family. She uses mixed media collage, immersive installation, fiber etching, and video to juxtapose discordant cultural references and to explore the connections between personal experience and larger social and political structures. Born and raised in Chicago to parents who immigrated from the rural highlands of southern Yemen, her work is often rooted in personal histories and competing cultural values.

Victoria Rosselli Illustrator

Victoria Rosselli is a multidisciplinary creative and consultant based in Brooklyn, New York, operating in media. She specializes in art direction and design for brand, film and editorial.

',
Newsletter

Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.

Come On In

U.S. issued American Express Platinum Card® and Centurion® Members, enter the first six digits of your card number to access your complimentary subscription.

Learn about membership.