Beirut Café, located in Stockholm’s Östermalms Saluhall, is the city’s go-to eatery for exotic flavours, frequented by tourists and locals alike. Celebrating its 24th birthday this year, this beloved deli-restaurant has even provided a hungry Lady Gaga and Harry Styles with Lebanese sustenance.

There cannot be many Swedish food outlets to which A-list celebrities make a beeline. Beirut Café, however, amongst the myriad stalls of Stockholm’s bustling Östermalms Saluhall, is such a place. Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Will Ferrell, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are just some of the famous names who have shaken hands with Beirut Café’s owner Elias Karroum, who maintains a hands-on role at the institution, despite his growing gastronomic empire.

Beirut Café: Stockholm’s star-studded Lebanese restaurant

“Our aim was only to introduce Swedes to Lebanese food,” Karroum laughs. “That said, we’ve always had many international diners – and not just of the celebrity kind!” Karroum is Lebanese by birth, but has spent his life in Sweden. “Our mezze dishes are probably our most popular,” he explains. “But with so much choice in the market hall, we need to put our head down and concentrate on our own thing.”

Beirut Café started life on nearby Engelbrektsgatan, with a deli opening in the food hall just over 15 years ago. Two years ago, the services joined forces: a restaurant with balcony seating was added to the deli, and a serving hatch now sits above the shop.

Having successfully introduced Levantine culture to Stockholm, Beirut Café’s colourful base serves as the headquarters in their drive to modernise the national cuisine. With mezze served warm and cold, the hatch provides a selection of salads and grilled meats (mashawi), while their pergola serves an extensive wine list, and a selection of perfectly curated cocktails for summer-evening wind-downs.

Östermalms Saluhall changes with the seasons, acting in winter as a warm refuge for workers and sightseers and becoming a cool escape in summer. Opened in 1888 in the presence of Oscar II, and retaining its original design, Östermalms Saluhall has in recent years been a platform for Sweden’s New Nordic revolution, and is lauded by Jamie Oliver. Now with 18 traders under its roof, many of them family-run businesses, Karroum and his celebrity friends have helped to propel this Stockholm tasting ground to culinary stardom.

Beirut Café: Stockholm’s star-studded Lebanese restaurant

Instagram: @beirutcafestockholm

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