A few weeks ago, I had this idea of highlighting old food places in the old city of Tripoli and I tweeted a tweet asking for suggestions. The idea in the beginning was more of an introduction article but the number of names I received was high and one of them gave me the name of a family member of one of Tripoli’s oldest and most famous restaurants for authentic Tripolitanian food. It was Albor’ei Restaurant. It is well known for traditional food and it has been running through generations of the family for years.
I reached out to the family member I was referred to and the surprise was that she recognized me and turns out that we had our high school senior exams together 10 years ago! I lost contact with her ever since.
I couldn’t remember her at all but she remembered me right away and told me some stories from that year and then, I sort of remembered her. She mentioned my best friend who was with me at that time. I felt embarrassed because my memory is really bad but she was really nice and considerate.
It was a nice coincidence after all these years. She was open to my request to know the story of her family’s restaurant. She told me that the first who opened the restaurant in Tripoli’s old town was Alhaj Yousef Albor’ei.
It is located in Bab Alhurriya Square in the Old Town of Tripoli. His son, Alhaj Mohamed Albor’ei then took the management of the restaurant after his father. After that, his sons took over the management. It is passed from one generation to another in Albor’ei family.
The restaurant was open in 1933 but the family member told me that it was first open in the early 1800s. It is known as Alhaj Bor’ei restaurant. It is a local and simple restaurant, its walls are decorated with drawings inspired from the Traditional Libyan heritage.
People came to his place to have all the traditional authentic Libyan food that is special for Tripoli. One of the famous dishes is called Fasouliya Bil-Karsha which is a thick beans gravy with sheep’s shredded and cooked abdomen. After that, the entire family was into cooking and the restaurant has been managed by generations and the current manager is Alhaj Khalifa Albor’ei. Their famous dishes are Fasouliya Bl-Kawarae, Bazin, Haraimy, Couscous with fish.
The term ”Albor’ei” on itself indicates to the restaurant without even using the term restaurant with it because people now know it right away from the last name. It is special for serving lunch only. The changes they have now made from the past is that they cook for social events such as weddings and they cook non-traditional dishes as well.
This restaurant is part of Tripoli’s history and heritage. It is a landmark that people will advice you to visit if you’re ever in Tripoli. If you want to experience the real food experience in Tripoli then Albor’ei restaurant is the place to be. Many people have precious memories with this place and to know the story behind it made it more special. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece and hopefully, I get to highlight more authentic food places in the beautiful city of Tripoli in upcoming articles.