These are the best dining experiences in the Saudi capital.
The inaugural FACT Dining Awards Riyadh 2023 saw 37 awards given out across 18 categories, covering more than 100 hotels and independent restaurants.
The primary objective of the FACT Dining Awards Riyadh is to acknowledge excellence within the food and beverage industry in the capital. The winners were chosen through a combination of public votes and the evaluations of industry critics. So, without further ado, here are the 2023 winners, as chosen by the FACT editorial team.
All Day Dining
La Brasserie at Al Faisaliah Hotel
Al Faisaliah Hotel is located in one of Riyadh’s most iconic buildings. La Brasserie is a modern, multi-cuisine restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The space boasts interactive stations, buffets and an à la carte menu. The breakfast spread is extensive, and includes a gluten-free corner, freshly baked pastries and specials ranging from Chilaquiles to Moroccan Shakshuka.
Black Tap at KAFD
Black Tap injects fun into King Abdullah Financial District. Great for families, the casual diner is famous for its Insta-worthy Crazyshakes. The dessert meets milkshake look like a Willy Wonka creation, as they are piled high with ice cream, toppings and endless sweet treats. The burgers are also a draw, and range from cheeseburgers to chicken burgers.
Urth Caffé at Various Locations
If you’re looking to catch the crowds, then head to Urth Caffe. The brand started in 1989, and can be found in Dubai, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh venues are always buzzing with locals and expats, especially at lunchtime on the weekends. The menu includes Breakfast Burritos, Classic Belgian Waffles and Stuffed French Toast.
AOK Kitchen at KAFD
A.O.K Kitchen in King Abdullah Financial District is a casual yet chic spot for afternoon tea. The name stands for all is okay, and sums up the brand’s philosophy of a feel-good dining experience. The dishes are made with high-quality ingredients from artisanal producers, and offer wholesome plates inspired by the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean and California. The afternoon tea is free from refined sugar and limited in gluten and dairy. The result: a light meal that feels as good as it tastes.
Najd Village at Alyasmin
Najd Village is a restaurant that combines Saudi’s history and heritage into a memorable dining experience. The atmosphere takes you back in time, as guests are encouraged to sit in the majlis-inspired seats on the floor. The menu showcases traditional Najd dishes including Al-Qursan, Al-Tatli, Kabsa, Jareesh and other delicacies.
North American and Caribbean
7 Ribs at Al Malqa
The homegrown concept, 7 Ribs, is loved by locals. The restaurant was one of the first local smoked meats spots in the Kingdom, and prides itself on its premium steaks. The menu includes smoked meat from a Brisket Sandwich to Short Ribs, and grilled meat from a Rib Eye Steak to Tenderloin Steak. Plus, high-quality Wagyu steaks.
Yauatcha at Al Olaya
Yauatcha has made its mark in Riyadh and is one of the city’s best Chinese restaurants. From the team behind Hakkasan, the concept aims to be an accessible fine dining experience. The menu includes dim sum, tea and pastries. Look out for special menus throughout the year, from Valentine’s Day to Chinese New Year. We’d recommend sitting on the terrace for a stellar view.
Coya Riyadh at As Sulimaniyah
COYA Riyadh keeps guests entertained with its fantastic food, live cooking counters and DJs. Located in the Al Sulaymaniyah, choose between the indoor dining area under the veranda or the outdoor garden terrace. Expect all of the brand’s greatest hits including corn-fed baby chicken with panca chilli, salmon with miso, slow-cooked beef ribs glazed with miso, and the Insta-worthy dessert platter.
Middle Eastern & North African
Em Sherif Café at The Zone
Nestled within The Zone, Em Sherif Café invites diners to experience authentic Lebanese delicacies in a new light. The menu offers a fresh take on Middle Eastern cuisine and masterfully blends local, seasonal, fresh, and organic ingredients. Among the signature dishes, you’ll discover the famous Lebanese Tabbouleh in three variations, classic creamy hummus adorned with roasted pine nuts, and the flavoursome Kishk and Awarma. Em Sherif Café has become a culinary sensation across Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, enchanting diners with its exquisite Lebanese fare and warm hospitality.
Marble Steakhouse at Turki Square
Marble Steakhouse has been, well, raising the steaks. The sophisticated yet simple approach is what sets it apart. The menu includes only four mains with a side of fries, and each dish has been cooked to perfection. The options range from the Marble Bun to the Ribeye Steak, which are made from high-quality ingredients. Not only is it a FACT Dining Award winner, but it also got a nod from the MENA’s 50 Best.
Mohalla Riyadh at The Esplanade
Dubai’s homegrown restaurant Mohalla has made its mark on Riyadh. Located in The Esplanade, the concept pays homage to the rich culinary cultures across India. The signature dishes include Avocado Papdi Chaat, Keema Pao, Spicy Chili Chicken and the always-popular jalebi. Sit near the open kitchen, which allows diners to catch a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action.
Il Baretto at KAFD
Il Baretto is one of the classiest restaurants in the city. This was the first restaurant to open in King Abdullah Financial District, and it brought a true taste of Italy to the heart of Riyadh. Drawing its influences from regional Italian specialities, the menu showcases premium dishes with lobster, oyster and Wagyu. Don’t miss the northern Italian-influenced pizza, which is cooked in an open wood-burning oven.
LPM Restaurant & Café at Al Olaya
Renowned for its ingredient-led French Mediterranean and Niçoise-inspired cuisine, LPM Riyadh offers everything we love from the LPM brand. Diners can expect fine dining in a stunning setting, complemented by fantastic service and a lively atmosphere. The Riyadh venue is achingly chic with white walls, quirky artwork, and a menu of signature dishes, from Burrata to Lamb Cutlets. Make sure you try the Cheesecake or Vanilla Crème Brûlée for dessert.
MYAZŪ at As Sulimaniyah
Whether you’re in Jeddah or Riyadh, MYAZŪ has become a superb spot for contemporary Japanese cuisine. Expect modern dishes inspired by traditional culinary techniques and top-quality ingredients, which create a smoky, sweet and spicy flavour. The highlights include gyoza, tempura, sandos, carpaccio, sushi, maki rolls and robata grilled meat. The team have already gained critical acclaim, and it is ranked at number 15 on the MENA 50 Best Restaurant’s list.
Homegrown Saudi Restaurant
Maiz at Bujairi Terrace
Maiz has elevated Saudi cuisine. Located in Bujairi Terrace, the décor combines tradition and modernity to create a one-of-a-kind dining destination. The interior includes woven cushions, shelves stacked with spices and palm trees on the wall. The menu reads like The Kingdom’s greatest food hits, and brings together the best dishes from the thirteen provinces. So, get ready to go on an adventure from the comfort of your maiz (aka table).
Al Khobar & The Eastern Province
Nozomi at Al Matal
The Japanese restaurant Nozomi gives traditional flavours a modern twist. The elegant space serves brunch, lunch and dinner. The menu includes small dishes, sashimi, skewers and more. The signature dishes include Marinated Yellowtail, Seared Salmon Tataki and Wagyu Beef Tataki. If you can’t travel to Al Khobar, don’t worry – there is also a branch in Riyadh.
Kuuru at Al Khalidiyyah
Kuuru has set Jeddah alight with its Nikkei cuisine, and will be making its way to Riyadh’s KAFD. Combining the flavours of Japan and Peru, the fusion dishes include Black Cod Criollo, Chicken Panca Truffle and Tiger Shrimp Anticuchero. The colourful plates are so stylish, you’ll want to snap them before you start – we’re not judging.
Gymkhana at Via Riyadh
Gymkhana is loved by celebrities, critics and the FACT Team. The restaurant first opened in London in 2013, and can now call Riyadh home. Located in Via Riyadh, the concept draws its inspiration from Indian gymkhana clubs, which were popular during colonial times. The menu is filled with flavours from North India, and offers a contemporary twist on classic dishes.
Restaurant of the Year
MYAZŪ at As Sulimaniyah
Whether you’re in Jeddah or Riyadh, MYAZŪ has gained an international reputation for its fine dining Japanese cuisine. Drawing inspiration from traditional culinary techniques, it has used top-quality ingredients to create modern dishes. The highlights include gyoza, tempura, sandos, carpaccio, sushi, maki rolls and robata grilled meat. Not only has it gained critical acclaim, as it is ranked at number 15 on the MENA 50 Best Restaurant Awards list, but it is now a multiple FACT Dining Award winner.