What surprised me most about Riyadh was the sheer amount of American and international restaurants in the city. From Buffalo Wild Wings to the Outback Steakhouse – America seemed to greet me at every corner. And while the city lacks more of a local cuisine, you can find a number of international restaurants that are worth visiting.
Below you’ll find my favorite restaurants to dine at when you visit Riyadh.
By the way, if you’re looking for takeout, don’t miss: The Best Restaurants (in Riyadh) on Hungerstation
The Best Restaurants in Riyadh
Awani – Lebanese
My first time every having Lebanese food was at Awani – and I fell in love. From the baba ghanouj to the labneh, Awani was incredible. Awani is located in The Zone – a great place to people watch, walk around, and shop!
COYA – Latin American
COYA is an international restaurant with locations in Peru, Paris, London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Monte Carlo, Mykonos, and Doha. With popularity growing around the world, COYA is a must-visit restaurant in Riyadh if you’re looking for an upscale experience.
Molo – Indian
While I recommend every restaurant on this list, Molo is my absolutely, positively, number one choice for food. The Indian food here is so incredibly tasty. Riyadh has a lot of GOOD restaurants, but Molo is GREAT. Molo would stand up in New York City, Chicago, or LA… mark my words.
Located in the Riyadh Front shopping space, Molo is one Indian restaurant you just can’t miss.
Moon Shell – Vegan
Moon Shell is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for dessert or breakfast. They are well known for being a vegan cafe serving “nice”-cream, açaí, and a variety of other breakfast-y foods. Plus the interior is beautifully, minimally designed; the only downside is that there isn’t any wifi in this hip hangout.
Najd Village – Saudi Arabian
I had to include Najd Village on this list because not only is it local food, but they do a great job of creating a local atmosphere. When you walk into this “village” restaurant, you’ll notice many different “rooms” – some private, some public. You take off your shoes and dine on the floor – a very traditional experience.
I will say, however, that I don’t think that this is the best example of local food. I LIKED the food – but if it weren’t for the atmosphere – I wouldn’t recommend it.
Sociale Cafe – Modern Eastern Cuisine
Sociale Cafe is a great spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Its healthy food menu and variety of drink options caters to a variety of people. Plus it’s a great spot if you’re looking for somewhere to work.
Urth Caffe – American
Urth Caffe is an American cafe, first originating in Manhattan Beach. It has since expanded all over the globe to locations scattered in California, Las Vegas, and Saudi Arabia. There are multiple Urth Caffe’s in Riyadh and they are all equally as good (I’ve been to three!). My favorite thing about Urth Caffe is their expansive dessert bar, it’s the perfect place to go if you’re craving a sweet treat!
New restaurants are always popping up in Riyadh. The city is growing so quickly that it’s been hard (but fun!) to keep up with the ever-evolving restaurant scene.
For a different type of experience, don’t miss Afternoon Tea at The Globe