Travel Guide: Restaurants in Saudi Arabia
This beautiful and culturally rich country has so much to offer, from its breathtaking landscapes to its historic sites. One of the most important aspects of any trip is the food, and Saudi Arabia has a thriving culinary scene. In this guide, we will introduce you to a variety of local and international restaurants to make your dining experience in the Kingdom both delightful and memorable.
Introduction to Saudi Arabian Cuisine
Saudi Arabian cuisine is a mix of traditional dishes and modern interpretations of Middle Eastern and global flavors. The food is generally rich and flavorful, with a variety of spices and herbs. Common ingredients include lamb, chicken, rice, and a variety of vegetables. One of the most famous Saudi dishes is kabsa, a spiced rice dish with meat, usually chicken or lamb, and vegetables. Other traditional dishes include jareesh, a cracked wheat and meat stew, and mutabbaq, a stuffed pancake-like dish. Now that you have an idea of what to expect, let’s dive into some of the best restaurants Saudi Arabia has to offer.
1. Najd Village (Riyadh)
Najd Village is a unique and delightful restaurant located in the capital city of Riyadh. It offers a traditional dining experience, with guests sitting on the floor and enjoying their meals on low tables. The restaurant’s menu features a variety of authentic Saudi dishes, including kabsa, jareesh, and mutabbaq. The decor is stunning, replicating a traditional Saudi village, complete with mud walls and wooden ceilings. It’s a great spot to try traditional Saudi cuisine in an unforgettable setting.
2. Al Baik (Various Locations)
Al Baik is a popular fast-food chain in Saudi Arabia, known for its delicious fried chicken. The chain has several locations throughout the country, making it a convenient and affordable option for travelers. The menu also includes seafood, sandwiches, and various side dishes, such as corn on the cob and coleslaw. Don’t miss their signature garlic sauce, which perfectly complements their crispy chicken. Al Baik is a must-try for fast-food lovers visiting Saudi Arabia.
3. Nozomi (Riyadh)
For those craving international cuisine, Nozomi in Riyadh is an excellent choice. This upscale Japanese restaurant offers a refined and elegant dining experience, with contemporary decor and exceptional service. The menu includes a variety of sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and artful presentation. Guests can also enjoy an extensive sake menu to complement their meals. Nozomi is perfect for a sophisticated night out or a special occasion.
4. Byblos (Jeddah)
Located in the coastal city of Jeddah, Byblos is a renowned Lebanese restaurant that offers a delightful culinary journey through the flavors of the Levant. The menu includes a wide selection of mezze, grilled meats, and seafood dishes, all prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with live music and a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the Red Sea. Byblos is an excellent choice for those who wish to enjoy delicious Lebanese cuisine in a picturesque setting.
5. Shawarma House (Various Locations)
Shawarma House is a popular chain with locations throughout Saudi Arabia, offering a delicious and affordable taste of Middle Eastern street food. Their menu includes shawarma, falafel, and various wraps, all prepared with fresh ingredients and flavorful sauces. The restaurant’s casual atmosphere makes it an excellent choice for a quick and satisfying meal. Vegetarian options are also available, making Shawarma House a great choice for everyone in your group.
6. Bistro Lounge (Khobar)
If you’re in the mood for a European dining experience, look no further than Bistro Lounge in Khobar. This chic restaurant offers a diverse menu of French, Italian, and Mediterranean dishes, all expertly prepared with the finest ingredients. The atmosphere is elegant and relaxed, with stylish decor and a lovely outdoor seating area. Bistro Lounge is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner or a leisurely meal with friends or family.
7. Yildizlar (Makkah)
Yildizlar is a well-known Turkish restaurant located in the holy city of Makkah. The menu offers a wide range of authentic Turkish dishes, including kebabs, pide (Turkish pizza), and delectable desserts like baklava and kunafa. The restaurant’s warm and welcoming atmosphere, complete with traditional Turkish decor, will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to Istanbul. Yildizlar is an excellent choice for visitors seeking a taste of Turkey while in Saudi Arabia.
8. Element (Riyadh)
Element is a stylish and modern restaurant in Riyadh that offers a fusion of international and Middle Eastern flavors. The menu includes a variety of dishes, such as seafood, steaks, and pasta, all prepared with creative twists and unique combinations. The restaurant’s sleek design, attentive service, and diverse menu make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Element is a great option for those who appreciate innovative cuisine in a contemporary setting.
9. Mama Noura (Various Locations)
Mama Noura is a beloved chain of fast-food restaurants in Saudi Arabia, offering delicious and affordable Middle Eastern cuisine. The menu includes a variety of shawarma, falafel, and other sandwiches, as well as fresh juices and smoothies. With multiple locations throughout the country, Mama Noura is an easy and convenient choice for a quick meal on the go.
10. Toki (Jeddah)
Toki is an upscale Chinese restaurant located in Jeddah, known for its exquisite cuisine and elegant atmosphere. The menu includes a range of traditional Chinese dishes, such as Peking duck and dim sum, as well as modern interpretations of classic recipes. The restaurant’s beautiful interior, featuring traditional Chinese art and design elements, creates a luxurious dining experience. Toki is a must-visit for those seeking a refined and memorable meal in Jeddah.
With this travel guide to restaurants in Saudi Arabia, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the diverse culinary offerings of this fascinating country. From traditional Saudi Arabian dishes to international cuisines, there’s something to suit every palate.