Last week, my friends and I decided to go discover a new place in Beirut. Passing by the busy streets of Ashrafieh, a new place pops up on the main way to Sassine.
A very “chill” place with what looks like an eco-friendly atmosphere. Located next to Caribou Café, this place looks like a Café but actually for Wine lovers. A terrace with authentic brown chairs (those that remind you of the good old days) and a bike hanging on the wall are the first things you see when entering “Cantina Sociale”.
Cantina is a new concept wine Café opening in Lebanon, yet not so new abroad. It started in fact in Europe as a collaboration of farmers/wine makers to sell their harvest/wine in one place. Indeed, the place is here is wine-full of varieties from different countries in the world (Portugal, Spain, France, South Africa, etc…).
The space is very friendly, casual and good for groups. The servings offered are more of bites, suitable for a café. Nothing too fancy, nor too light. The menu ranges from Salads to Sandwiches, Cheese… oh my… good Cheese and Charcuterie.
The best part of the place is actually the wine machines. Whether you drink or not, you must check them out! Placed in many places in the shops, each specific for a type (red, rose or white), country (France, Italy, New Zealand, Australia and MANY more), those machines operate through a pre-purchased card on the counter. All one has to do is to get a glass from the shelves, insert the card and chose what wine to order (Sip, half a glass, full glass).
We ordered a Cheese Board and a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
The food is good. The grilled cheese sandwich was delicious. Full of flavor, perfectly home – made.
Cantina also offered popcorn, refilled every while.
Cantina Sociale’s Pros:
1- New Concept in Lebanon (I am sure it will be a success story) – Wine Lovers, this is the perfect hangout place.
2- Cantina’s location is ideal, on the main road, meters away from Sassine Square.
3- The space is cozy, friendly and very inviting – the decoration is simple yet peaceful.
4- The place is affordable for a café with a twist.
5- Popcorn. Better than salty crackers. Just Yummy!
Cantina Sociale’s Cons:
1- The place lacks music. Adding music (classical is the first to come to my mind), would make the stay more enjoyable.
2- Considering the concept is still new, the service was a bit slow. (Yet to be fair, the place is operating for less than a month and its crowded).
I definitely recommend this place. Cozy, good to try with good company. I enjoyed the experience and would definitely go back there!
Inviting you to try it out, whether for the food, the mood or the joy that comes with new experiences!