Shemali’s is a Lebanese cafe and grocery store located at 3301 New Mexico Ave NW inside a small mall. The cafe itself is a friendly but rather spare place aside from the beautiful pictures of Lebanon on the walls. They have tasty Lebanese food in the cafe, like fattoush, hummus and shawerma (though I think the shawerma itself is really just ok- I used to live a couple blocks from Shawerma Reem, the best shawerma place in Amman, Jordan, so I’m pretty
spoiled). The cafe also serves pretty good Turkish Coffee. In addition to Lebanese options, the cafe has Greek food like gyros and greek salad (because people are silly and assume that all Mediterranean food is the same, so this stuff sells), as well as options for the even less adventurous sort, like deli sandwiches and half smokes.
In some ways, I like the grocery portion even more than the cafe portion. The grocery carries a wide range of Lebanese products at generally very reasonable prices, including mamouls, ground coffee with cardamom, tea, dates, rosewater, and olive oil soap that smells amazing. The grocery also has a deli counter that has delicious hummus, labne, kibbeh, spinach pies, baba ghanoush, and baklava among other things. This is a great place to buy a bunch of food for hors d’oeuvres if you’re hosting a party.
You might just leave this place singing a Fairouz song in your head: