Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
May 9, 2008 12:03 PM

Authentic Lebanese Food in Seattle area?

Hi everyone,

I've been living in Seattle for a little over a year and am missing authentic Lebanese food. I grew up in and around Dearborn, Michigan which has countless Lebanese restaurants and am looking for something nearly as authentic as what I could get back home.

I've been to several Indian and Greek restaurants in the area, but haven't found any authentic Lebanese. Does anyone know where in the Greater Seattle Area one might be able to find some?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. go to karam's on 15th ave east on capitol hill. though it is the only lebanese place i have eaten, my companion fron nyc said it was very authentic. it hought it was delicious. you better like garlic though. you can thank me later.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bighound

      bighound, I think we all appreciate your frequent suggestions, but I, for one, find your ubiquitous insistence that everyone thank you to be ungracious.

      1. re: not the bad Steve

        I concur. bighound, people will appreciate your advice far more if you don't include that.

        1. re: seattledebs

          I hear you guys, but I actually don't mind it. I take it as bighound's terse signature sign-off, sort of like "good night and good luck".

          1. re: equinoise

            And that's the way I came to appreciate it, as well, though I, too, take your point.
            And that's the way it is...

      2. re: bighound

        compared to the detroit places (I also grew up there), not much compares. I'd have to second Karam's as the best I have had here though. And second the "you better like garlic" suggestion - they use a ton.

      3. I from Detroit orginally as well. No lebanese or middle easter food here that can compare as far as I have found. Karam's in comparison to what you can find in dearborn may not impress?

        3 Replies
        1. re: kevsea

          Lebanese is a lovely and distinctive cuisine that is very tough to find in these parts. I am always looking for something comparable to the now-defunct Bacchus in DC or Lebanese Butcher in nearby VA, which offer/-ed an amazing variety of hot and cold meze. Tough to find any kibbeh around here or proper shwarma even. Med Kitchen is above average fare, but not really authentic IMO. Need to try Karam's but their menu looks pretty standard.

          Middle East food in general is lacking. I recall someone posted about hummus, and the best answer they got was a tub sold at a grocery store. One place I'd recommend trying is Truly Medditerranean in Bellevue, which is like a more upscale sandwich. Decent gyro, etc. at Aladdin in the UD and Santorini in Kirkland.

          1. re: equinoise

            But wait. The best answer was "Make it yourself - it's easy"

            1. re: equinoise

              I concur on Santorini Grill in Kirkland, equinoise. I thought the family was Greek though. Their tzatziki (sp?) is terrific. The downside of Santorini is the family goes to Greece every year for the Holidays and the wait for their return in mid-January is too long!

          2. It's not Lebanese, but there is a GREAT Afghani restaurant in Issaquah. Surprisingly, in Gilman Village. The food was absolutely delicious.


            1. I've never been there, but I drove past Omar Al-Khyam Restaurant in Renton last weekend. Has anyone been there? Is it any good? 354 Sunset Blvd N, Renton, 425-271-8300

              3 Replies
              1. re: akq

                Omar Al-Khayam has been there forever under the same chef/owner. It's great Lebanese food. Do not pass up the cauliflower.

                1. re: kirkj

                  Good to know. I'll check it out!

                2. re: akq

                  I used to eat there regularly 20+ years ago when I worked in the area, but have not gone nearly as frequently since. I do try to make it there for an occasional lunch or when I'm going home from Seatac airport. Although the menu has shrunk since the days of yore, the food is still outstanding. Their shish tawouk is the standard against which I compare others. With a swipe in their garlic paste, the chicken kebabs which have been marinated in lemon juice explode in the mouth with flavor. The baba ghanouj is the best I've tasted anywhere; I prefer it over hummus, although Omar's version is certainly no slouch. And if you like tabouli, you will love their's, although occasionally it seems the salad might've been sitting too long (wilted parsley). I don't recall what it's called, but on Thursdays, the lunch special is a ground beef entree rolled and pan-fried (or baked?) in a tortilla-like shell that is nicely coated with tomato paste and dolloped with the garlic paste made zingier with the addition of ground jalapenos. One minus is that Omar's heats their pita breads in the microwave (a practice from the beginning) that tends to toughen the bread as it cools.

                3. gorgeous george's on greenwood and 78th is far and away the best middle eastern food i've had in seattle. but he's not lebanese. he's i think a palestinan israeli. in my experience the palestinian style is pretty close to lebanese right? but i'm not an expert at all. great garlicky falafel, great schwarma (chicken and maybe lamb too), great kafta. and at dinner a lamb kabob he's very proud of but i haven't tried yet. sandwiches and plates. not cheap but worth it i think. lunch and a more sit down dinner menu. he's got quite a personality too.