Al Qaryah Al-Najdiya-The Najdi Village Restaurant

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 Destination Riyadh magazine.

Al Qaryah Al-Najdiya-The Najdi Village Restaurant
 For the ultimate Saudi experience, a visit to the Najdi traditional village restaurant is a must for all expats and visitors to Riyadh. The restaurant, located on Abu Bakr Rd. opposite the Prince Sultan University, is a traditional Najdi style mud house which is hard to miss from the road! GPS Coordinates:   24°44’33″N   46°42’17″E.

There are two other branches of Najd Village restaurant, one is located on Takhasousi rd. but is open to singles only during the week, Fridays being the only family days. There will soon be one branch opening in the newly renovated Historical Diriyah.

najdi village restaurant riyadh food

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.

The food is very tasty and reasonably priced allowing the visitors to order many different Najdi specialties. For groups of more than seven people the best way to sample all the different flavorful dishes is to order the elaborate set menu. It includes everything from various freshly baked breads, dips, salads, soups, chicken, vegetable, lamb and camel dishes, dessert and Arabic coffee, tea and dates.

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!

Especially nice here are the Jareesh (barley grain with yogurt and caramelized onions), Haneeni, (wheat dough, dates, butter and milk) Marasiya (Saudi pancakes) and Mataziz (wheat dough pieces cooked with vegetables and meat). The chicken dishes are especially succulent and tender. On the menu are also some more “modern” Saudi foods such as chicken Kabsa.
All meals include complimentary flat bread, Arabic coffee and dates. Eating is with hands, but utensils are available for those not accustomed to eating the traditional Saudi way. The best indication that the food here is delicious and authentic in taste is seeing how many Saudi families enjoy the Najdi Village restaurant. It doesn’t get more authentic than this!

 

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  • DianneApril 5, 2013 - 3:40 am

    I should have listened to my self…visit your blog tomorrow morning. It’s midnight here in US and reading this made me hungry! lol!

    Thanks for this review. I will keep this restaurant in mind if I visit Saudi someday. Hopefully we’ll see each other! :)

    DianneReplyCancel

  • LaylaApril 5, 2013 - 11:10 am

    Hi Dianne, I really do hope to meet you one day and maybe I can take yo there for dinner :)ReplyCancel

  • muslimah mummyApril 5, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    WOW Jazakullah for sharing this place looks fantastic, inshaAllah would like to visit it one day. :) Your photography is great! xReplyCancel

  • C. LaSalleApril 9, 2013 - 10:04 pm

    Thank you so much for your postings. Every since childhood I’ve been fascinated by the cultures of the dessert! Your pictures and posts make it come alive for me.ReplyCancel

  • Tina maryamJune 4, 2013 - 6:16 am

    salaam waluakumm sister, :)

    how can someone from canada obtain saudi fabrics like the one found on the majlis picture?? :))

    I really am in love with saudi fabrics lol. jazak Allahu khayran sis <3
    Tina

    ReplyCancel

  • KateOctober 9, 2013 - 9:09 pm

    Hi Layla

    This may come as a stupid question but at which restaurants in Riyadh can expats dine with friends that are male and female? So we would all like to sit at the same table..

    Thanx!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 10, 2013 - 12:39 am

      Scalinis in DQ is your best bet :)ReplyCancel

      • MaryJune 3, 2015 - 8:35 pm

        Hello Layla!

        Other than scalini in DQ can you recommend any other places to dine with male and female friends?

        Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Top Ten Restaurants in Riyadh | Blue AbayaFebruary 26, 2014 - 11:14 am

    […] Najd Village Restaurant next to Prince Sultan university. This is THE place to go for expats in Riyadh and also popular […]ReplyCancel

  • VeronikaJune 9, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    Very nice!! Thank you for this post, I have to visit this place!! :))ReplyCancel

  • […] of this lovely Saudi food restaurant. Read more about why this restaurant is so amazing here: Al Qarya Najdiya-The Najd Village restaurant.  The Diriyah branch is overlooking the ruins across the wadi, the views are incredible and food […]ReplyCancel

  • CRAIGNovember 23, 2015 - 1:01 pm

    Great blog, and a great posting. i ate there a few weeks ago. Do you know where I can buy majlis Arabian cushions, drapes and soft furnishings in Riyadh?ReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaNovember 23, 2015 - 6:40 pm

      Thanks Criag, yes you can find those in Souk al Owais and Tayba souk. Both next to each other between King fahd and olaya rd.ReplyCancel

  • Kate Roberts- DaviesMarch 24, 2016 - 10:54 am

    Do you have the telephone number for this restaurant so I can make a booking with them?ReplyCancel

  • […] historical setting. Lots of nice restaurants in the area like the Saudi traditional food restaurant Najd Village and Bab al […]ReplyCancel

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    […] un article de BlueAbaya sur un restaurant servant des plats typiques uniquement, ici […]ReplyCancel

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