An underrated gem in Carlisle is serving up some of the tastiest slices of the Levant in the area.

Beirut Bites, which started in the former Tribe, based in Bitts Park, has been operating from a space in the Greenmarket area of the city for a while now.

Boasting many Lebanese dishes from arayes (crispy filled flatbreads), falafels, shawarma, and kofta, as well as desserts and Lebanese drinks, there’s plenty to choose from.

News and Star: Menu at Beirut BitesMenu at Beirut Bites (Image: Ollie Rawlinson)

I’ve been on a vegetarian kick recently so was happy to see some enticing options.

I ordered the cheese arayes to start and the falafel main, to takeaway.

The interior of the restaurant is clean and comfortable, and I was able to wait for my food on one of their tables.

Almost on the minute of opening, hungry labourers arrived for their lunch having been there before, so it seems the joint is no stranger to repeat custom.

You can order on the internet to pick up or to takeaway, as well as sit in.

Arriving back after a 10-minute walk, the food was still hot and presented well in a tray almost made for it.

News and Star: Cheese arayes from Beirut Bites. Cheese stuffed flatbreads, crispy on the outside.Cheese arayes from Beirut Bites. Cheese stuffed flatbreads, crispy on the outside. (Image: Ollie Rawlinson)

News and Star: Falafel main. It comes served with a side salad, houmous, and rice.Falafel main. It comes served with a side salad, houmous, and rice. (Image: Ollie Rawlinson)

Garlic sauce, houmous, a salad, and rice accompanied the meal, and for the overall price of £14.40, I had a meal that could easily serve two well, and three to four if it was a light snack for each.

The portions are big, which is great news if you’re on a budget, but they don’t skimp on the quality.

The houmous was some of the best I’ve tasted, and the fragrant olive oil shone through.

Falafels came warm with sesame seeds on top and were decadently crispy and perfect when dunked into the houmous or garlic sauce.

The rice was fresh and perfectly cooked and was topped with vermicelli to add a crunch – it was also seasoned well with herbs and citrus.

The side salad, consisting of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and herbs, cleansed the palate and served as an ideal way to cut through the robust flavours.

The cheese arayes were stuffed with cheese and perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, one order of these is more than enough on its own to stand for a filling lunch, I could barely finish it all.

There are no faults from the business on the food or service front, but the only thing I wish is they would be open for longer.

Their opening hours are 12pm to 7pm, so anyone coming home from work wanting to order for a late-ish dinner is out of luck, sadly.

Everyone has their own schedules, but I would be pleased to see if they would explore opening for longer, perhaps closing at 9pm.

Overall, it’s a fabulous spot that deserves the high praise.

If you’ve never tried proper Lebanese cuisine, give it a go and be amazed