Throughout its major cities, you’ll encounter international celebrity chefs and award-winning culinary concepts. However, it’s possible that once you’ve delved into the aromatic national cuisine, your head (and palate) may be permanently turned.
The capital’s culinary scene is thriving. From outstanding traditional cuisine to multiple Michelin-starred chefs plating just-so, there’s something for everyone.
The trendy Via Riyadh complex is the current epicentre of the city’s food scene. Concealed behind the panache of the mall’s Salmani architecture, you’ll find an array of international big-hitters. Gymkhana, with its ambiance of an elite club, offers the same mouthwatering modern Indian that brought its London branch a Michelin star.
There’s also Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, with its startling synthesis of culinary influences from three continents that won it two stars in Beverly Hills.
For something a little more casual, stop into Via Riyadh’s Les Deux Magots for French bistro classics. If you’d like to try Paris’ favourite burger, elbows at the ready—at the time of writing, Riyadh Ferdi is the most popular restaurant in Via Riyadh.
Prefer something a little more exclusive? Ascend to the Skybridge. Probably the most recognizable element of the Riyadh skyline, it’s possible, through Roam, to experience an intimate, candlelit three-course gourmet meal while seated 300 metres above the city streets.
Of course, while you’re travelling through Saudi, you’ll want to discover the local cuisine. In Riyadh, try Suhail, Takya, or Nadha Village for sumptuous menus. Or head to Diriyah—the UNESCO-protected village close to Riyadh that was the birthplace of the Saudi kingdom. After working up an appetite amid the historic architecture, sit down for traditional Saudi fine dining at Takya.
Jeddah’s second-city might have you asking for thirds, such is its impressive culinary offering. Expect breakfast wreathed in the smells of fresh pastry right through to a sumptuous dinner with a sunset-over-the-Red-Sea view.
Begin the day with one of the Kingdom’s most outstanding breakfasts/brunches at either Maison de Ziad, Urth Café, or the delectable Baker & Spice. Located in the elegant surroundings of The House Hotel Jeddah City Yard, everything from Baker & Spice’s shakshuka to the crisp focaccia di recco will command your complete attention.
Amid the palms and pools of the seafront Jeddah Yacht Club you’ll find many of this historic city’s upscale culinary destinations. Push the boat out with fine-dining full of the umami-rich flavours of Tuscany at the yacht club’s Madeo restaurant. For a more casual, but no less exquisite Italian experience (via Cannes), book a table at Le Vesuvio.
Or, for something completely different, try the signature Wagyujiro at the Yacht Club’s Mashi No Mashi—a Wagyu Beef Ramen that’s stewed for 24 hours in Kobe beef bone broth. Remain with eastern flavours by booking one of Jeddah’s trendiest tables at robata and sushi venue, Roka.
Private dining at the Waldorf Astoria is perfect for a truly special evening, with Venetian-inspired Italian cuisine while you gaze out over a Red Sea sunset. Of course, all those sea breezes might have you thinking of fresh seafood in this ancient coastal city. If so, your evening will be made at Twina.
This awe-inspiring UNESCO-site continues to attract some of the most pioneering names in hospitality, serving incredible cuisine against a stunning desert backdrop.
Stop into the eco-friendly Banyan Tree resort for superb Middle Eastern mezze at its upscale Harrat restaurant. The delicious produce used in its kitchens, like many of the restaurants in the area, is sourced from AlUla’s sustainable farms.
Arabian and Mediterranean fusion—think beef shawarma bao and Palestinian musakhan—awaits at the Somewhere restaurant, found near the Al-Jadidah district. Somewhere is also well known for its flavourful mocktails, as is Chef Ntinos Fotinakis’ avant garde OKTO restaurant.
Set up at OKTO’s bar for a dazzling desert sunset before selecting from the all-black themed menu. Afterwards, after you digest your squid ink pasta, gaze up at the spellbinding stellar light show through one of the telescopes on hand.
Start your day in this vibrant mountain city at High City outdoor mall with its multitude of excellent coffee shops. Pair your morning cup with a croissant from Dough Source and panoramic views from the terraces. For a traditional Saudi breakfast, find your way to outstanding Al-Areesh on King Abdul Aziz Road.
For regional flavours, check out Bab Alturath. Or for Lebanese grill and tabbouleh find Aala Bali overlooking the jacarandas in Abu Kheyal Park.
If this blog tantalises your taste buds then consult with one of our Travel Advisors to tailor your itinerary to include the latest foodie hot spots across Saudi Arabia. Get in touch via the link below. Roam specialises in crafting customised packages tailored to your specific requirements, taking care of all the finer details, so you don't have to.