Nestled in the heart of historic Alexandria, Virginia, Zikrayet is an authentic Lebanese cuisine restaurant that aims to bring a little slice of the Middle East to the shores of America. With a vibrant atmosphere, live music, and high-quality menus for both cocktails and food, Zikrayet offers a truly unique dining experience and something excitingly outside the norm for a social scene.
The restaurant space is designed around the idea of social interaction, with a floor dressed with tables set for groups of four to eight and a large patio to be enjoyed in fair weather. The interior features a dark square-patterned faux-tile ceiling, with walls done up in an elegant symmetrical wave pattern in much lighter color. Column reliefs identical in color to the ceiling help stagger the visual and section off the wall to add structure and visual interest. Below this is a low band of light green natural stone that enhances and grounds the chic, open impression of the styling. The bar is expansive and there’s always music playing, often provided by live performers on a stage set up along a nearby wall. Every Saturday, Zikrayet hosts Arabic musical talent ranging from local artists to those who’re renowned world-wide for their musical prowess. If you’re in the mood for a high-energy Beirut nightclub experience without the need to look for a flight, Saturday nights at Zikrayet are the time and place to visit.
While the social vibrancy of this restaurant makes it stand out among its peers, many will visit primarily for the dining, and Zikrayet has you covered in that regard. The menu is packed with traditional Middle Eastern staples: fresh hummus, baba ganouj, moussaka, and stuffed grape leaves are available to whet the appetite, while entrees such as braised lamb shank, chicken shawarma, and a mixed grill selection promise to fill any empty stomach with the splendor of rich, rustic flavors. For those with lighter appetites, there are a variety of artisanal salads, specialty sandwich wraps, and four different styles of flatbreads, including one seasoned with a rich, aromatic zaatar blend and another with spiced sujok sausage and cheese.
To round out a meal, the menu features no fewer than seven desserts. Three are classic fine dining fare (lava cake, chocolate cake and tiramisu, but the other five are traditional Middle Eastern: these include a house-made baklava and halawet el jibn, a sweet cheese desert sprinkled with pistachios and offered with a side of rosewater syrup. No matter what you order, the variety is excellent and the flavors are vibrant. All of these exquisite items can be enjoyed in the comfortable indoors area as well as in their expansive and elegant patio.
Zikrayet offers a number of libations, from soda and draft beer to wine and expertly crafted original house cocktails, such as The Phoenicia, Beirut With Passions, and even a Creme Brulee Martini. For those with a go-to drink or who are in the mood for something more mainstream, the bar and bartenders are sure to have both the ingredients and know-how to fix whatever your thirst may call for. Aside from alcohol, however, Zikrayet offers an experience altogether different: hookah. From traditional to modern, Zikrayet has no fewer than nineteen separate flavors available, including popular favorites such as watermelon and strawberry Starbuzz. Altogether, Zikrayet is a truly unique venue and dining experience built around a solid core of vibrant social atmosphere and delightfully satisfying Lebanese cuisine, sure to satisfy any and every customer.
For more information, menu and a beautiful gallery of images we recommend you visit the Zikrayet restaurant website.