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Jul 25, 2006 01:56 AM


I will be in Aleppo for a few days in October and would very much appreciate recommendations. I may be off base but imagine that solo dining is less usual there so am especially interested in places where I might expect not only great food but also a warm welcome. (Of course, I may be entirely off base in my assumption and corresponding concern). Also: is alcohol generally unavailable at Syrian restaurants?

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  1. I'm sorry I couldn't help you sooner. I hope this will help someone who visits Aleppo in the future!

    I wish I could provide accurate names, but I don't remember them. What I can tell you however, that Aleppo's food is just extraordinary (although the food all over Syria is great!) Be sure to try cherry kabobs--definitely an Aleppine speciality. In 4 days I had it twice! Sour, sweet, perfectly tender meatballs.

    Street food is fantastic. You can get a red-pepper version of maneeash (flat bread) grilled with cheese for $1. Shwarma, kababs are top renditions and available on any street corner. Good ice cream everywhere, although I didn't find any as unique as Bakdash in Damascus.

    There is a block known as the "juice street" because there's shop after shop selling fresh juice. One of my favorite shops mixed mango, berries, and raw honey--other shops used sugar ( but that's still good). You can even fill water bottles--even 2 liter bottles!--with juice at most of these stands and they'll give you a good $2 or so.

    Check out the babaghanouj--if the waiters speak English, find out if it's the more ordinary type with tahini or the Syrian/Lebanese style of chopped eggplant and peppers doused in pomegranate syrup. Really delicious. Supposedly they call the tahini-type a different name but it was confusing...I would just order "babaghanouj" all over Syria and most of the time it was the chopped kind, twice it was with tahini.

    Solo dining is not a problem, even for women. Generally people are quite friendly all over Syria, and while some men are being friendly for ulterior motives, I find they act on their interest much less than, say, men in Egypt. Some places do have alcohol, but it's hard to generalize.