Top Ten Restaurants in Riyadh

Here are my top ten restaurants in Riyadh. There are so many good restaurants it’s not easy to pick only ten!
I am always amazed to see restaurant reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and others. They have stuff like McDonalds, Chilis and TGI Fridays and various average burger and pizza places on the top of their lists.
I would not place those places in my top 100. I would not even call McDonalds a restaurant!

So what makes a great restaurant?  It’s not only the good food, but the atmosphere, ambience, decor and service are all very important too.
Some restaurants in Riyadh are ridiculously overpriced for what you get in return and you’ll find they are not included in this list.

Restaurant in Riyadh are not in any particular order.

1. Il Terrazo Brazilian restaurant in Faisaliyah hotel. Situated on a terrace overlooking the Globe and the Faisaliyah courtyard fountains, this is a buffet restaurant serving a multitude of meats barbecued on the open grill. Good music, relaxed atmosphere, heavenly food, excellent Saudi “champagne”, no gender segregation. 

2. Tao Lounge on Tahlia street. The ultimate hip hangout for the trendy complete with high ceilings, comfy sofas, unbeatable ambiance and excellent international cuisine. Update: Bistro by TAO at Najoud mall is worth going to for some delicious cakes and specialty desserts, innovative and creative menu.

3. Lenôtre restaurant in Centria Mall. The famous French restaurant branch in Riyadh can be found on the third floor of the mall. They have a wonderful outside terrace overlooking both Faisaliyah and Kingdom towers. Delicious food and heavenly desserts! Owned by a Princess, and it is one of the few places in Riyadh where women can dine outside. 

4. Najd Village Restaurant next to Prince Sultan university. This is THE place to go for expats in Riyadh and also popular with locals. The restaurant is built in a traditional Saudi house and serves original Saudi cuisine. An experience not be missed especially for first timers in Riyadh! read more form this post: Al Qaryah Najdiya- Najdi Village Restaurant.

5. Rosso Italian at Four Seasons Riyadh- five star service and five star delicious food cooked by Italian chefs.

6. PAUL on Tahlia street. Especially lovely place to have breakfast, freshly baked croissants and breads from the famous bakery. Outside seating area is also open to ladies. Read a detailed review here: PAUL Restaurant and Bakery Riyadh.

pauls riyadh bakerypaul bakery riyadh

7. Maya Chocolaterie on Tahlia street. A chocolate lover’s paradise. This restaurant is all about chocolate, they even have liquid chocolate flowing in pipes! Indulge in heavenly fondue, rich aromas of the desserts, exquisite chocolate delicacies and get on a sugar high!

8. Mirage Chinese restaurant. Asian cuisine in a delightful setting, large fish tanks all over the restaurant will keep the kids busy. Guests can dine in chalets set over small pond with large goldfish in it. For a list of the Top restaurants to take the kids in Riyadh click here!eats-8.jpg

9. Nozomi, Tahlia street. Chic, low key ambiance, delicious sushi, fantastic service, gorgeous setting. For a list of the Top most romantic restaurants in Riyadh, check out this post: Top 14 Most Romantic Restaurants in Riyadh.

10. Elements in Four Seasons Kingdom Center. A new restaurant with an exiting concept of four different interactive open kitchen stations. Very impressive modern decor and relaxed atmosphere. For families they have amazing brunch with kids own buffet and play area on Fridays.

What is your favorite restaurant in Riyadh? For a complete list of Blue Abaya restaurant reviews click here!
If you’re in the Eastern Province, here is a list of the Top 10 restaurants in Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran and Jubail: Top Ten Restaurant in the EP.

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Hello there, I’m Laura, the founder, author and manager of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010.  Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 69 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Having visited all corners of the Kingdom with over a decade of experience, I have a vast knowledge base about travel and tourism in Saudi Arabia.

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  • NoorJanuary 18, 2012 - 8:28 am

    I love all those places Ninos is also one of my favorites they have the best burgers and of course we love The Noodle House in Centria Mall oh and La Vela.ReplyCancel

  • LinaJanuary 18, 2012 - 6:34 am

    riyadh must have hundreds of hamburger places! seems the saudis are crazy about burgers and do not appreciate other kind of food too much.
    thanks for the list there are some I must try, but I like furosato and trader vics most.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahJanuary 18, 2012 - 12:00 pm

    Noor-I wanted to include Noodle House, one of my favorites too! Vela is nice but their food has been a disaster a few times and service is slow.ReplyCancel

  • AbdullahJanuary 19, 2012 - 1:26 am

    I would like to see Finnish restaurant in alriyadh. Why don’t you establish a new business and bring the Finnish taste to the the lovely desert. I think you can make this offer ”buy a meal and get Nokia mobile free”.ReplyCancel

  • DentographerFebruary 2, 2012 - 10:37 pm

    though not a luxury place or a place for a night out,i do love thier food,probably the only place that offers mexican food, its called Amigos,its on the street where tamimi is in King abdulaziz street if i remembe right.

    well done Layla,ill plan to visit all those..and i have been waiting for my wife to take me to intercote which she promised me about two years before we got married :pReplyCancel

  • LaylahFebruary 6, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    Dentographer-thanks for the hint I will check that one out! Haven’t found a decent Mexican yet!

    When are you guys coming back? I want to meet your wife!ReplyCancel

  • FarooqFebruary 6, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    IMHO, the best chinese in Riyadh is Riyadh Chinese Restaurant in Sulaimaniya. The taste is great while the prices are very fair. Noodle house in Centria Mall has great food which tastes a lot like Singaporean food (my wife is Singaporean so you can understand the interest), but the prices are definitely on the higher side compared to other chinese places.ReplyCancel

  • LaylahFebruary 8, 2012 - 4:19 am

    Farooq-thank you for this information I will have to visit this Chinese restaurant as well!ReplyCancel

    • Amad HumairDecember 5, 2012 - 7:58 pm

      Hi Layla are you sort of food critic?ReplyCancel

    • LaylahDecember 5, 2012 - 8:38 pm

      Hi Amad, well I guess you could say so :)ReplyCancel

  • Food-Shop-TravelMarch 3, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    They are all my favourites. I like Diamond, Noodle House, Avadh & Copper Chandni too.

    Visited Lenôtre recently and loved it, not only the food is good but enjoyed the ambiance too. :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousMarch 28, 2012 - 5:50 pm

    We love Copper Chandni on Tahliya street. Their lentil soup is to die for! The ambiance is really nice. By the way Burger Boutique have a very rich menu ranging from grilled meats to sandwiches, great appetizers and salads!! We dont go there for Burgers, which by the way are not bad!ReplyCancel

  • JohnJune 18, 2012 - 11:16 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousSeptember 13, 2012 - 11:39 am

    Lusin is good when the chef and cooks are in a good mood. They are often out of several items on the menu and lack consistency in quality and inventory.

    ReplyCancel

  • MarjaMarch 26, 2013 - 8:24 am

    I left Riyadh allmost five (!) years ago after spending there wonderfull three years. I still miss Riyadh!
    I still remember TAO-restaurant and the delicious Chocolate-fondue!
    The Brasilian restaurant and TAO where my top two restaurants…I whish I could visit them…
    There was one good Turkish restaurant…and a Moroccan.
    This is a great blog!ReplyCancel

  • MarjaMarch 26, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I left Riyadh five years ago after spending there wonderfull three years. The Brazilian and the TAO-restaurants where on my top ten restaurants. I whish I could visit them one day! Still remember the delicious chocolate-fondue!
    There was also a good Turkish and Moroccon restaurant.
    This is an excellent blog!
    ReplyCancel

  • RecipeG IrlApril 22, 2013 - 9:03 am

    I miss Riyadh!!!!! Hopefully I get to visit those restaurants when I get back! Such inspirations.

    Anyway, I’m actually a chef in our local community, and our restaurant just recently branched out. Problem is, I’m having a hard time managing inventories and recipes! Can you guys give me an advice on this? Thank you in advance!ReplyCancel

  • jhunOctober 28, 2013 - 12:02 am

    I Am a food lover…if you love Chinese style cuisine try to visit TOKYO RESTAURANT…Burger lovers well definitely A NEWLY OPEN RETRO CLASSIC DESIGN…AT TAHALIA STREET…BUD’S ROAD DINER…YOU WILL LOVE IT…ReplyCancel

  • momoOctober 28, 2013 - 9:43 am

    dear Laylah

    have you visited a Restaurant called Sultana , Moroccan cuisine with Modern twist , check it out and i would love to have it in your listReplyCancel

    • LaylaOctober 31, 2013 - 1:20 pm

      Thank you for the tip, no I haven’t yet!ReplyCancel

  • momoOctober 28, 2013 - 9:44 am

    sultana location: takhassussi street , nest to Hot stone spa and JuliasReplyCancel

  • sijDecember 9, 2013 - 7:54 pm

    How expensive is mondo restaurant intercontinental?ReplyCancel

  • TessaMarch 14, 2014 - 5:55 am

    Have tried out a few restaurants in Riyadh, my favourites are
    Kosebasi- for good Turkish food
    Sultanna – Moroccan
    Noodle box
    LusienReplyCancel

  • Sunny ThomasMarch 18, 2014 - 1:11 pm

    kombil
    ReplyCancel

  • s.mohamed bilalMarch 24, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    riyadh food super i am uttract in food so good and tasty again food eat insaallahReplyCancel

  • omarAugust 28, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    Hi, great blog by the way! but I must say that there are not great restaurants in Riyadh, at best there are some good restaurants. The latest restaurant I have tried is Kampai, and will never go back there as it was below average in terms of food. I am tired of lebanese resaurants, burger joint and so forth. The tastiest thing I have ate here is Abo Adnan’s Falafel in a little street off King Abdulaziz road beofre Exit 5 when you are heading north. Other than that restaurant food is so average and boring in this city.ReplyCancel

  • jinkySeptember 15, 2014 - 4:27 am

    Can you recommend a good japanese restaurant here in riyadh? ThanksReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2014 - 4:36 am

      I will ask my followers on Facebook and get back to you on that!ReplyCancel

  • yusoffNovember 17, 2014 - 7:07 pm

    i would perform umrah on this 13th dec. how could i reach the restaurant ? which place is the nearest..from medina or mecca..how many km ?. Reply.ReplyCancel

  • yusoffNovember 17, 2014 - 7:12 pm

    layla- could you recommend the transport to reach the restaurant ? what about my previous question i.e.( i would perform umrah on this 13th dec. how could i reach the restaurant ? which place is the nearest..from medina or mecca..how many km ?.) Reply.ReplyCancel

    • LaylaNovember 18, 2014 - 2:27 am

      the restaurants are all in Riyadh!ReplyCancel

  • SaebNovember 25, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Hey Layla,

    Thanks for being a proper insider source on Riyadh!

    I’m a consultant working between Riyadh and Dubai, and looking to take my Saudi client team out for a business lunch. We’re tired of hotels and looking for something a bit more Middle Eastern, but not as fully cultural as Najd for example.

    Any thoughts on that? Thanks again!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaNovember 25, 2014 - 6:02 pm

      Hi Saeb! Thanks for stopping by :) Here’s some suggestions to try out:

      Lusin, Armenian Centria mall
      Bab al Yemen, tahlia street
      the Moroccon restaurant Sultana on Takhasousi
      Fairous Garden on Olaya
      Karam Beirut Tahlia
      Kosebasi Turkish restaurant on Tahlia
      Burj al Hamam takhasousi streetReplyCancel

      • SaebNovember 25, 2014 - 6:10 pm

        Thank you! That’s a great list, and quick response. Much appreciated Layla!ReplyCancel

        • LaylaNovember 25, 2014 - 6:31 pm

          you’re welcome! Please let us know how they liked it and which one you went to :)ReplyCancel

          • SaebNovember 25, 2014 - 6:35 pm

            Will do! Thanks!

  • […] Top Ten Restaurants in Riyadh at blueabaya.com […]ReplyCancel

  • […]  2. TOP TEN RESTAURANTS IN RIYADH […]ReplyCancel

  • Faizuddin AlimAugust 4, 2015 - 10:14 am

    Hi, can anyone guide how many egyptian restaurants are there in riyadh compared to number of labanese restaurants ? Can anyone list top 10 of each?ReplyCancel

  • ajApril 3, 2016 - 4:39 pm

    Where can I find pizza that is similar to New York pizza in Riyadh??ReplyCancel

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