Have you been to the Najdi village restaurant in Riyadh yet? I would highly recommended visiting this amazing Saudi restaurant as a learning experience for all expats about the traditional Saudi lifestyle, architecture and of course food!. The Najdi restaurant is also THE place to take guests visiting Riyadh for the first time.
The below is my article which was published in the first-ever issue of Destination Riyadh magazine.
There are two more branches of the Najd Village restaurant, one is located on Takhasousi road, open to singles only during the week, Fridays being the only family days.
There is one family section branch set in beautiful surroundings in historical Diriyah al Bujairy square. Read more about Diriyah and find the location of the Diriyah branch of Najd Village in this post: 10 Things to do in Historical Diriyah
The building itself has many interesting details and vividly displays the traditional Saudi lifestyle, decor and architecture. Guests will enjoy not only the delicious Saudi heritage cuisine, but the entire building and little details which make it almost like visiting a cultural museum. Stepping into the restaurant is like stepping back in time.
The restaurant is divided into singles and family sections. The men’s entrance is lined with intriguing artifacts, colorful old doors, cooking utensils, Bedouin jewelry, spices and food items. Guests are lead to an open air courtyard typical to Najdi homes from back in the day when ventilation and light was provided through it. The courtyard is surrounded by the dining majlis and a watermill.
The family entrance is from the side of the building, visitors pass by some antique cars on the way. Najdi style decorations, architecture and friendly waiters dressed in traditional Saudi attire welcome the visitors.
There’s a choice to dine in an open area, tent-like rooms or private rooms decorated to look like Najdi living rooms, majlis. There’s a watermill in the center of an open air courtyard which allows the natural light to enter during daytime and star-gazing during the evenings. The majlis are complete with air-conditioning and fireplaces. The tents are very romantic with lanterns hanging from the ceilings. No chairs or tables here, seating is on cushions on the floor and food is served from traditional plates placed on large straw mats.
The restaurant is quiet during daytime but in the evenings and especially weekends it gets very busy and reservations are recommended.
A meal with five dishes would cost around 100 riyals. Portion sizes are so generous that it’s enough for two persons to eat a filling meal and still have some left to take home. Najdi Village is the best place to try unique and authentic Saudi dishes and of course camel meat!