Libya Restaurants and Dining

(Libya, LY, North Africa)

Istiqlal Street photograph taken in Tripoli, off Shuhada SquareIn Tripoli and larger urban areas, it is possible to find a variety of both international cuisine and traditional local dishes. Outside of the capital city, visitors may find that the choice of cuisine is more limited, with restaurant menus showing more of an Arabic influence. As the consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Libya, meals are accompanied by soft drinks when dining out.

Tripoli's hotel restaurants generally open for evening meals from 19:00 to midnight. Those that offer lunchtime menus open from roughly 12:00 to 15:30.

Photo of historic gateway in Tripoli

What to Eat

Traditional Libyan dishes include stews made from either lamb or chicken, or vegetables. These are mostly accompanied by the local staple of couscous or potatoes. Food is generally cooked using olive oil.

A local speciality is 'bazin', a sort of hard dough that is made using barley, salt and water. Another popular dish is 'batata mubatana', which consists of sliced potato that is stuffed with meat and then fried in breadcrumbs.

Picture of mosque in Tripoli

Where to Eat

In Tripoli, dining out is generally a good experience, with restaurants offering decent food at reasonable prices.

In recent years, the choice of dining venues has extended to include several new cafes-cum-bistro venues and even some fast-food chains. These offer a mixture of both Arabic food and Western-style dishes. If you are looking for atmosphere when choosing a restaurant, it is best to head for the city's Old Town or Medina district.

Image of modern hotel in downtown TripoliOutside of Tripoli, in the more remote villages and towns, very few restaurants exist.

Indeed, it may be a case here of shopping in small stores for likely picnic ingredients or stopping for a snack at one of the many fast-food stalls that spring up by the side of the road.