KSA

33 of the best restaurants in Riyadh

From A.O.K Kitchen to Yauatcha, the Saudi Arabian capital is full of respectable restaurants. So whether you’re in search of international heavy-hitters like COYA, LPM and ROKA or local hotspots that have stood the test of time, here are the best restaurants in Riyadh.

A.O.K. Kitchen

The latest opening in the upmarket King Abdullah Financial District, A.O.K Riyadh offers a unique dining experience that doesn’t just cope with dietary requirements but wholeheartedly caters to them. Incidentally, A.O.K. stands for ‘All is Okay’, translating to a brand philosophy of curating a feel-good dining experience that accommodates everyone – puppies and small dogs included. Made using quality ingredients that are from small and artisanal producers, A.O.K Kitchen’s menu offers wholesome dishes inspired by the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean and California. Think: Acai bowls and gluten-free blueberry pancakes for breakfast to seabass ceviche and homemade gluten-free gnocchi to take diners from day to night.


Akiba Dori

Neon lights, lo-fi hip hop and Tokyo-esque pizza can mean only one thing: Akiba Dori Riyadh is here. The fun and casual dining destination presents a modern store-front styled space, with its design and vibe inspired by the food halls and buzzy streets of Akihabara, home of anime culture and all things electronic in Japan. Here, diners can indulge in a selection of redefined Japanese favourites, sharing-style appetisers and a unique pizza experience. Expect a range of Akiba Dori beverages paired with the restaurant’s signature street food and pizza, including salmon ceviche, tuna tartare, chicken katsu curry and Akiba’s homemade super-soft Lotus cheesecake.


BB Social Dining

BB Social is one of Dubai’s award-winning, homegrown brands, and it has brought some of that foodie success to Saudi Arabia. BB Riyadh opened during the spring in the capital’s Panorama Mall, and includes indoor and outdoor seating. The venue may be casual but the food is spectacular. Dig into the modern Asian cuisine, which features bowls, baos and barbecue. Not sure what to order? The Insta-worthy habibti, a soft-shell crab poking out of a bao bun, is one of the most popular dishes.


BeefBar Riyadh

Meat lovers will be falling knife over fork for Beefbar Riyadh, and – as the name suggests – it’s all about beef, glorious beef. The new restaurant in Riyadh is bringing some of the glitz of Monaco to Saudi Araba. You’ll find opulent Art Deco touches across the Riyadh restaurant, which boasts high ceilings, tall curved mirrors, gold hues and plush cream seats. Sure, Beefbar includes exclusive imported beef cuts and there’s a gold steak for the gram, but it is not a pretentious dining experience. Instead, it aims to change your expectations about the classic steakhouse – for example, you’ll even spot a cheeky emoji print on the plates. 


Billionaire Riyadh

The glamorous Riyadh outpost of Flavio Briatore’s luxury hospitality brand Billionaire has already seen huge success in Dubai and now offers captivating dinner shows in the Saudi capital. A multidimensional playground, with the performances very much at the core of the experience, Billionaire Riyadh has handpicked the most talented singers and dancers to create a thrilling spectacle of luxury entertainment. Here, gastronomy reigns supreme with extraordinary food presented with an elegant and theatrical touch. The new Asian selections on the menu include lobster salad and short ribs in addition to sushi, sashimi, and the Billionaire brand’s signature maki rolls. Among the Italian offerings are house-made spinach and ricotta ravioli, Wagyu-beef carpaccio, and burrata with cherry tomatoes.


Cipriani Riyadh

With locations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New York, Miami and now Riyadh, Cipriani is a name associated with upmarket Italian dining. Decked out with Murano glass chandeliers, blue and white terrazzo flooring, high gloss oak tables and bespoke blue leather chairs, Cipriani Riyadh is undeniably chic. The Italian dishes are prepared using only the finest, purest ingredients and feature Cipriani’s signature beef carpaccio, the light and moreish langoustine scampi al forno and a selection of appealing selection of homemade pasta and pizzas. Ensure you save room for the vanilla meringue dessert – we promise you won’t regret it.


COYA Riyadh 

Promising COYA’s signature ambience and famous vibes – plus a number of tantalising dishes that are unique to the brand – the luxurious new COYA Riyadh in the city’s Sulaymaniyah district keeps guests well and truly entertained. Featuring a live, open ceviche counter and an indoor terrace with a DJ corner in addition to the main dining area and outdoor garden terrace, COYA Riyadh translates into a unique aesthetic with a cultural touch. As for its most distinct feature? The indoor dining area under the veranda, where a variety of elements have been used to create a warm and luscious environment. Expect all of your COYA favourites including slow-cooked beef ribs glazed with miso, corn-fed baby chicken with panca chilli and salmon with miso, not forgetting the Insta-worthy COYA dessert platter.


Hotel Cartagena Riyadh

If jungle vibes are more your thing, escape into the fun and exuberant urban jungle environment of Riyadh’s Hotel Cartagena. Here, diners are met with oversized birdcages and towering tropical plants while indulging in a Pan Latin menu of ceviches, empanadas, tacos and grills. With food and beverages as eclectic as the bohemian decor, you can expect a night of sheer unadulterated fun.


Il Baretto Riyadh

The Riyadh outpost of Il Baretto is famed for its à la carte offering, featuring Italian favourites and modern classics. As the first restaurant to open in King Abdullah Financial District, Il Baretto brings a true taste of Italy to the heart of Riyadh. Drawing influence from regional Italian specialities, the menu combines Italian classics, including veal Milanese and salt-baked seabass, with modern classics such as lobster linguine and wild seabass carpaccio. The northern Italian-influenced pizza, cooked in an open wood-burning oven is not to be missed.


La Maschou

Located in the heart of Riyadh’s vibrant Al Safarat neighbourhood, La Maschou promises diners an epicurean journey through French cuisine. The original La Maschou can be found in Cannes, but the Riyadh outpost captures much of the charm of the French flagship, with brushed stone walls, atmospheric lighting, bold artworks and antique mirrors. The rustic ambience is complemented by hearth-roasted ingredients from the open fire, where popular choices include dry-aged beef, roasted chicken and salmon fillets.


LPM Riyadh 

Renowned for its ingredient-led French Mediterranean and Niçoise-inspired cuisine, LPM Riyadh offers everything we’ve grown to love from the LPM brand. Here, diners can expect fine dining in a stunning setting, complemented by fantastic service and a lively atmosphere. Like its global counterparts, the Riyadh venue is achingly chic with white walls, quirky artwork, and a menu of signature dishes, including burrata, snails with garlic butter, and lamb cutlets with smoked aubergine. Don’t skip the vanilla crème brûlée or LPM’s world-famous cheesecake for dessert.


Lusin

With two locations in Riyadh, in addition to restaurants in Jeddah, Al Khobar and London’s trendy Mayfair neighbourhood, Lusin has well and truly captured the hearts of Saudi residents. The popular Armenian restaurant (Lusin means ‘moon’ in Armenian) serves dishes rooted in tradition and renowned for distinctive aromas and flavorful preparations. Relish the rustic environment whilst tucking into centuries-old Armenian ghapama, stuffed lamb, Armenian harissa, manti and pomegranate puff pastry.


Mamo Michelangelo

Bringing Italian hospitality and Provençal charm from Antibes, France, to Riyadh, Mamo Michelangelo can be found at one of the Saudi capital’s most recognisable addresses – Al Faisaliah Hotel. A charming setting, colourful crockery and an ingredient-driven menu combine to create an instantly memorable meal full of Italian charm. Unmissable dishes from the menu include the creamy burrata from Napoli, lamb shoulder perfectly cooked in the wood-fired oven, and the signature truffle focaccia. Wrap up your experience with a sweet treat with a choice between traditional tiramisu or the zesty lemon tart.


Marble Riyadh

Ranked 30th on the inaugural MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Marble offers an intimate dining experience anchored around the craftsmanship of butchery. The restaurant can be found in Riyadh’s Turki Square and is a haven for all things meat. With just four items offered with a side of fries, Marble’s brisket, ribs and ribeye steak have captured the attention of carnivorous Saudi citizens. However, it’s the Marble burger encased in a brioche bun and topped with caramelised onion, cheese, and marble sauce that has become the talk of the town.


Mohalla Riyadh

Paying homage to the rich culinary cultures across India, Dubai’s homegrown restaurant Mohalla has taken up residence at The Esplanade. The restaurant houses two levels of seating, offering both indoor and al fresco options, and a statement bar. The open kitchen, meanwhile, allows diners to catch a glimpse of the behind the scenes action, much like the street food outlets of India. Mohalla Riyadh’s menu echoes that of the Dubai branch, except for a few special kebabs curated exclusively for diners in Riyadh. Signature dishes here include the likes of raj kachori, avocado papdi chaat, keema pao, spicy chili chicken, Rayalaseema prawn curry, tender chicken kebab, raan biryani, and the always-popular jalebi.


Morini Riyadh

Morini may have just opened in Riyadh but this New York-style Italian Restaurant is already causing a stir. Situated inside Riyadh’s Jareed Hotel, this authentic Italian eatery comes to us from Altramarea Group, the team behind Dubai’s vibey Marea restaurant. The chic dining room is decked out in a cream colour scheme and features black and white portraits across the walls, whilst an intimate balcony overlooking the dining room offers the ideal spot for an intimate meal. When it comes to the menu, diners can expect homemade gnocchi, octopus and pan-seared salmon.


Meraki

From London’s Fitzrovia to Riyadh’s upmarket Al Faisaliah Hotel, Meraki presents modern Greek cuisine in a stunning contemporary setting. With a reputation as one of the Saudi capital’s most luxurious dining experiences, diners can escape to the Cyclades with a menu of beetroot carpaccio, prawn souvlaki, courgette and feta rigatoni, grilled seabass, lamb pregola, and truffle rice. Beautiful interiors and a sun-soaked terrace transport guests to the Aegean Sea without leaving KSA.


MNKY HSE

This Latin American restaurant has recently made the jump from London to Riyadh and, in the process, has become one of the city’s hottest reservations. Expect an atmospheric dining room adorned with monkey motifs and plenty of tropical foliage. From the menu, diners can tuck into tacos, sushi, ceviche and meats from the robata grill. However, when it comes to dessert, you’ll want to order the show-stopping ‘Spnk The Mnky’ – a piñata made of active charcoal and filled with a selection of petit fours, truffles, fresh berries, dulce de leche candies and lollies.


Myazu 

Whether in Jeddah or Riyadh, Myazu has become a go-to for contemporary Japanese cuisine. Expect modern dishes formed using traditional culinary techniques and top-quality ingredients that create a harmonious balance between smoky, sweet and spicy. Having gained the highest ranking for a restaurant in KSA at the MENA 50 Best Restaurant Awards at number 15, Myazu’s menu highlights include gyoza, tempura, sandos, carpaccio, sushi, maki rolls and meat from the robata grill.


Nusr-Et Riyadh

SaltBae’s worldwide domination continues with the latest opening for Nusret Gökçe’s Turkish restaurant empire. The 28th global Nusr-Et restaurant opening sits happily at the far end of U Walk and offers everything that diners have come to know and love about the brand. Interactive dining is the name of the game at this Turkish steakhouse, with the Riyadh menu featuring all of the expected signatures, including lokum, meat sushi, the Nusr-Et sizzling tenderloin and the ever-popular Nusr-Et burger. So let the salt sprinkling commence.


Okku Riyadh 

When it comes to Japanese destination dining in Riyadh, it has got to be Okku. The multi-faceted restaurant offers several eye-catching spaces with locally designed Japanese contemporary artwork, feature pieces and furniture. An enormous Moon Jelly Fish Tank flanks Okku’s main dining area, but there’s also an open plan sushi bar, robata grill kitchen and a walled Japanese garden. However, when it comes to the food, it’s the ‘O’ style signature dishes that you want to try, offering an appealing selection of robata grilled fresh fish and meats.


Porterhouse 

It’s all about meat, meat, meat at Porterhouse, and that’s clear from the moment you enter, from the carving knives on the wall to the fridge with prime cuts on display. The Saudi born brand feels like a classic New York steakhouse, and the menu includes a wide range of meats cooked just the way you want. Take your pick from a 250g New Zealand grass-fed tenderloin to a 800g dry-aged Australian Angus steak for two. If you try one thing, make it the wagyu sando – it’s return-worthy good. So, settle into the black leather sofas, admire the rustic interiors, from the piles of logs to the open kitchen, and get ready to be wowed by the marvellous meats.


ROKA Riyadh

The Riyadh output of contemporary Japanese restaurant ROKA offers a la carte and tasting menus to diners. Suppose you’ve visited ROKA in Dubai, Istanbul, Kuwait or London. In that case, you know exactly what to expect, and that’s excellent signature dishes such as salmon tartare, black cod and king crab dumplings, sea bream fillet and lamb cutlets with Korean spices plated to perfection. If you’re searching for a vibey Japanese dining experience, look no further.


San Carlo Ciccheti

This chic but casual Italian hotspot has opened in both Riyadh and Jeddah and is known for its pleasing menu of pizza, pasta and everything in between. Foliage hangs seductively throughout the dining room, where chairs upholstered in turquoise leather provide pops of colour that are almost as vibrant as the cuisine. The octopus salad, truffle and parmesan risotto and calzone fritto would be our personal picks from the menu, but you can’t really go wrong. Come hungry, as you’ll want to devour everything.


Social Pizzeria

What Social Pizzeria lacks in size, it makes up for in its quality pizzas. The Neapolitan pizza bar has a wood fire oven and countertop seats, so you can get a slice of the action and the top-tasting pizzas. The restaurant is bright and zesty with floor-to-ceiling windows, plush teal seats, lemon motifs on the wall and lemon plants on the shelves. The vibe changes in the evening, as children are not allowed after 7pm and there are queues to get in. Take your pick from classic pizzas like beef pepperoni, margheritas and, if you want to indulge, truffle-topped ones. The local’s favourite is the Arabian Beauty, which is topped with aubergines. The menu also includes pastas, salads and lasagnes. Oh, and since you’re in an Italian restaurant, it would be rude not to end the night with a gelato. 


Spazio77

Situated high up on the 77th floor of the Kingdom Tower, Spazio77 is the epitome of dinner with a view. Spazio has built its reputation as the place to go for exceptional fine dining in Riyadh, with a unique ambience and prestigious clientele, including members of the Royal Family, Presidents and famous artists. A menu of high-end Italian cuisine is enough to rival the sky-high views, with highlights including the Black Angus beef carpaccio, lobster risotto and pain perdu. Whether you are looking for a flawless romantic dinner, a social gathering, or a business meeting – look no further.


Suhail

Saudi restaurants come and come, but Suhail stands out from the restaurant crowd. In Arabic, the name means brightest star, which is a fitting moniker for a restaurant that is lighting up both Riyadh and AlUla’s dining scene. Local favourites are given an upgrade, from the jareesh soup (traditional vegetable soup) to the chicken kabsa (rice and spiced roast chicken served with tahini sauce). The restaurant is understandingly elegant and inspired by the soaring rocks in the AlUla desert – there are high ceilings, gold hues and tables nestled in quiet corners.


Sultan’s Steakhouse

More is more at Sultan’s Steakhouse, as it is set in a sprawling venue and has an extensive menu. So, come with your crew and come hungry, as there is meat. Lots of meat. Whether you’re after the 1.1kg tomahawk, Sultan’s king meatballs with cheese or the golden black burger, the menu aims to please with meat in a variety of ways. While there is a section labelled non-meat lovers, we have to warn you: it only includes chicken cutlet and salmon. The massive restaurant includes floor-to-ceiling windows, indoor and outdoor seating, plus an open kitchen and live cooking stations. 


Tokyo Riyadh

Tokyo Riyadh is one of the most popular Japanese restaurants in the capital – not only has it been open since 1985, but so many locals rave about the food. While there are two branches, the As Sulimaniyah one is where its food story started and where yours should, too. The staff and price point are not intimidating, so you can make your way through much of the menu. While the restaurant serves the usual sushi and sashimi, check out the impressive list of noodles, soups and salads. Plus, the taco starters may pass you by on the menu – as you’re in a Japanese restaurant, after all – but they’re oh-so good. 


Villa Palma

Located in the heart of Riyadh, the contemporary Villa Palma draws influence from the culinary traditions of Greece, Spain, Italy, Morocco and the South of France to curate a dining experience that transports diners to some of the region’s most beloved destinations. The extensive menu features famed regional favourites and modern classics that are prepared with the finest ingredients and freshest produce. Highlights include the tuna tartare, fritto misto, truffle ricotta, black truffle pizza, wagyu tenderloin, salt-crusted seabass, and the paella de Marisco. It all culminates with Villa Palma’s dessert selection, which features indulgent must-haves such as vanilla panna cotta, flourless chocolate cake and Basque cheesecake. A majestic Moroccan courtyard, meanwhile, comes to life with live performances on a custom-made stage.


Walton Street Scalini

Like its counterparts in London, Doha and Dubai, Scalini in the Saudi capital offers pleasing Italian cuisine in a chic environment. The restaurant’s acclaimed a la carte menu features bresaola with creamy ricotta, the popular penne all’ arrabbiata, grilled whole baby chicken and tagliatelle con pollo e funghi. The crescendo of this Italian feast comes with an indulgent reward in the form of a velvety tiramisu or a decadent Nutella cheesecake. One of Dubai’s most popular Italian restaurants is clearly replicating the same levels of success and service in the Saudi capital.


Yokari 

Riyadh residents and visitors apparently can’t get enough of Japanese cuisine. Yokari at Centria Mall combines modern and traditional cuisine, where craft and technical precision are displayed through a vibrant range of Japanese dishes, fused with a delicate and atmospheric dining experience. Gyoza, tataki, tacos, tempura, maki rolls and robata grills all take pride of place on the Yokari menu, however, our personal favourite is the crispy rice cakes topped with seared wagyu beef and edible gold leaf.


Yauatcha

You know your dim sum is in safe hands, as Hakkasan, the dining heavyweight, is behind Yauatcha. While Hakkasan specialises in high-end dim sum – the Dubai branch is located in the Atlantis, The Palm, no less – Yauatcha is all about accessible dim sum. Even though there’s a cheaper price point, there’s no scrimping on quality. Instead, the menu meets all your Chinese food cravings with dim sum platters, baos, cheung fun rolls, noodles and seafood dishes. Plus, the décor is playful with a cherry blossom tree, bright lime chairs and views of the capital. 


What's your reaction?

Excited
2
Happy
2
In Love
2
Not Sure
0
Silly
0
David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA. This sneakerhead may also be Kanye West's biggest fan.

You may also like

More in:KSA