Mar Mikhael is Beirut's up and coming artistic bohemian district, an old region full of lively streets and old buildings. It is well known for its trendy bars and pubs, cafes, restaurants and lounges. It is the street that never- or rarely sleeps.
Mar Mikhael’s crowd is what makes the area exceptionally attractive. Those busy streets are mostly taken over by students and artists in the day. Strolling down the street, one can notice immaculate graffiti art, a few authentic barbershops, some abandoned buildings that are always fun to sneak into, and if one is lucky enough, Abbas the clown just might pass by on his unicycle with his humungous dreadlocks just to say hi. He is one of the Mar Mikhael’s well-known characters. Abbas the clown is usually spotted riding his unicycle around those traditional streets, with his red nose and big smile; he sometimes stops to give people a good time and a few laughs.
This street has something for everyone. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, some of the best steakhouses reside in Mar Mikhael such as the Blackrock. It offers a wide variety of meat, which is usually served raw, on a volcano rock. The rock that is extremely hot so that you can have your meat as well done or as rare as you’d like. Right next to it you can find traditional Lebanese restaurants that serve the well-known Mezza and Aarak to go along with. You can find the more local hipster crowd amidst the foreign crowd that has found culinary heaven in the traditional Lebanese cuisine residing in those places, which play traditional Lebanese music in the background and have quiet and outdoor spaces to relax and really be able to take in the streets and environment of the city of Beirut. Take your pick from a range of local and international restaurants. One can easily spot delicious Italian, Mexican, French, Chinese, Japanese, and even Armenian cuisine.
The area changes completely after sundown, the partygoers fill the streets, the pubs dim their lights and both get ready to go all night. There are a various great spots to drink in Mar Mikhael. If it’s a weekday, you’ll be sure to find a pub that’s hosting a jam night or a live acoustic band. All you need to do is follow the first musician you see holding his instrument and making his way to break out some serious tunes. Smaller bars also have a lot to offer, good music, great food and friendly vibes are the least of them. Some bars show televised scheduled soccer, basketball and boxing matches; others host extremely talented local and international DJs that keep the atmosphere spirited and dynamic till the sun comes up.
As the night goes on, the sidewalks of Mar Mikhael start to fill up with people who randomly meet up with their drinks and socialize. If you are feeling particularly bohemian, the colorful stairs of Mar Mikhael provide a place to just hang out with a few friends, share couple of beers, and probably get to meet fun locals who know that the stairs are the cheapest and among the most fun and random experiences one can have in Beirut. The weekends are naturally the busiest nights for Mar Mikhael. Numerous clubs open their doors and host some of the most legendary parties that usually become the most talked about events of the Beirut nightlife. After which the clubbers usually have breakfast in the several twenty four hour restaurants around the area; then eventually and finally call it a night, right after getting a glimpse of the stunning sunrise behind the mountains of Beirut’s breathtaking landscapes.
So whether you are an artist looking for inspiration, a social butterfly looking for good company, a food connoisseur looking to ravish your taste buds or a night crawler looking for the time of your life, the Mar Mikhael district has something for you that will definitely leave a long lasting impression