Around the world in one go: A review of Food District

Jinan Moumneh
Staff Writer

Food District opened its doors in Hamra on Nov. 16, introducing a new dining experience to the area. The restaurant/cafe houses five different stations: “City Wok”,  “Sushiritto”, “Taco Diablos”,  “Soul Food”, and the “Daily Roast”, catering to all tastes and preferences.

Located on Jeanne D’arc street, just opposite ThreeONine Hotel, Food District is appealing to many students and customers with its attractive exterior.

Upon walking in, one finds an even more eye-catching interior design. Giving it an organic touch, the interior is composed of bricks and wood. For an extra spark, a touch of greenery surrounds the walls. It is definitely hard to miss this intricately designed restaurant and the vibe that comes along with it.

According to Danny Khattab, one of three founders of Food District, the goal was to create what he called a “homey” vibe; making it a comfortable space for students in particular.

“The whole project was set in motion about 11 months ago”, said Khattab.

After looking at multiple locations, the three entrepreneurs were most attracted to this specific location, so much so that they signed the lease the very next day.

The original infrastructure of the space was a three-bedroom apartment. As they plunged deeper into the development of the concept, and with the obvious compartmentalization, they decided to make use of the division and create a distinct identity for each one of the ‘bedrooms’.

That is how the concept of the Food District came to be.

According to Khattab, after performing a market study of Hamra, they realized that there is fierce competition around, and a need to develop a competitive advantage that would set Food District apart from the rest of the area’s bustling restaurants.

Combining the desire for quick, delicious, and gourmet food that still resembles street style food, the founders built on the foundation of their concept further.

As a huge fan of noodles, Khattab realized that there are not many places in Hamra, let alone Beirut, where one can go for delicious and practical noodles. This gave birth to the second cuisine – “City Wok”. I got to experience these flavorful noodles, where I had the option to choose my own base, add-ons, sauce, and vegetables.

I chose egg noodles with chicken, broccoli, and oyster sauce, which were prepared in almost five minutes and were of great quality. I could feel the freshness of the meal with every bite, while truly enticing my taste buds with flavors.   

At “Soul Food”, one can find everything from burgers, to pancakes, to chicken waffles. The pancakes are unique and a treat for those with a sweet tooth. They are flavorful and actually doused with both maple syrup and Nutella – something I found out of the ordinary!

As Khattab puts it: “Burgers are the backbone” of any restaurant. What truly differentiates Food District’s burgers from other restaurants is that they “combine the gourmet style with the street style burger.”

Having tried the Butter Burger, I agree with this statement. For cheeseburger lovers, like myself, this is a special delicacy. There is an authentic taste to the burger; the tender and juicy beef, and the soft buttery bun. It is definitely a spin-off of gourmet and street-style food.

Finally, it was crucial to incorporate the “Daily Roast” to have a facility that makes “grab-n-go” easy to achieve. At the “Daily Roast”, you can find cold cuts, ready-to-eat salads, desserts, and coffee.

Whether you’re looking for a buttery burger, fresh noodles, or extremely friendly staff, Food District is definitely the place to be.

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