Mediterranean cuisine is renowned for the way its rich ingredients inspire innovative food-fighting techniques. Skillfully execute the Kebab Eye Jab or the Hummus Humdinger with today’s Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of Middle Eastern fare at Lebanese Taverna Café. This Groupon is redeemable at the following four café locations: Annapolis, Silver Spring, Rockville Pike, and Gibbs Street in Rockville. Each location features a slightly different design and atmosphere, but all provide patrons with a globe-trotting array of edible options.
Lebanese Taverna Café coddles Mediterranean-seeking taste buds with a menu of entrees, dips, sandwiches, and vegetarian offerings. Chickpea enthusiasts can start with dippable hummus made with fresh lemon juice and garlic ($4.25), or opt for the hummus special topped with spiced ground meat, pine nuts, and almonds ($5.95). The finger-fixated can choose handheld edibles such as falafel ($1.50 each) and chicken shawarma sandwiches enrobed in garlic sauce ($6.75). Sample-friendly platters include the Mediterranean, stocked with fattoush salad, eggplant-studded shakshouky, smooth hummus, a spinach pie, and a grape leaf ($9.95), ideal for two amorous diners or one lonely, empty-bellied grizzly bear. Finish with a dessert of phyllo dough baklava ($2), or find refuge for thirst-deprived throats in an extensive wine list, available by the glass, bottle, or poured directly into cupped hands.
Lebanese Taverna Café in Annapolis was reviewed by the Washingtonian and has a four-star average from Yelpers. The Silver Spring location has a 3.5-star average from Yelpers, and TripAdvisors give the Rockville Pike location an average of four owl eyes.
- The concept is fast-casual, usually the product of corporate calculation. But these homey offshoots of the Lebanese Taverna restaurants dish up authentic cooking at rock-bottom prices. Little wonder they draw crowds heavy on stroller moms at lunch and singles at dinner. – Washingtonian
- I love the food here: extremely fresh, affordable, and satisfying. The portions are huge, so you can probably split an entree with another person. The food can sometimes be on the salty side, however, the pita and garlic hummus spread is superb! Try it with their chicken shawarma and it's a great meal all the way around. – Sunmy B., Yelp, Silver Spring location
In the dead of night in 1976, the Abi-Najm family boarded a cargo ship bringing only what they could carry; an escape from Civil War in Lebanon called for a quick getaway. They traveled across the ocean to safety in Arlington, Virginia, where they were able to open a small cafe in 1979. To save money, they changed the eatery’s name from “Athenian Taverna” to “Lebanese Taverna” so that they only had to update one word on the eatery’s marquee.
From these modest beginnings grew a series of eateries that today comprises of six cafes and four quick-service cafés, all still operated by the Abi-Najm clan. One look at the menu explains the success: chicken shawarma, spicy hummus, lamb tartare—all Lebanese staples that helped the restaurant earn a spot on Northern Virginia magazine's list of 25 Iconic Eats. There's even kibbeh, or stuffed meatballs, which blend ground beef, lamb, almonds, and pine nuts into fried spheres suitable for felling miniature bowling pins on top of the table before entrees arrive. The decor is as striking as the cuisine; inside the Bethesda location, light filters through the colored glass lanterns that decorate the dining room.