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Ravenous in Riyadh: The Poshest Restaurants to Visit This New Year’s

From Michelin-star restaurants to homegrown fine dining establishments; this list has something for everyone.

Fadila Khalid

Ravenous in Riyadh: The Poshest Restaurants to Visit This New Year’s

Known for its opulence, glamour, and extravagance, Riyadh features some of the world's most luxurious restaurants, becoming a hub for the elite and the food connoisseurs alike. From fine dining destinations with Michelin-star chefs to exclusive eateries with breathtaking views, these posh restaurants promise an unforgettable culinary experience. So, loosen your belts, put on your best attire, and get ready to indulge in these extravagant Riyadh restaurants.

MADEO

One of Los Angeles’ finest Italian establishments, Madeo has crossed continents with decades of culinary acumen and family history and settled in the heart of Riyadh. Tracing its roots all the way back to Tuscany, this cherished family-run culinary gem spearheaded by Alfio Vietina along with his wife Elvira Buffoni and sons, has been serving Forte dei Marmi cuisine for generations.

Combining the freshest local ingredients with premium European elements to create an exceptional flavour combination, Madeo draws inspiration from timeless comfort over contemporary trends, a philosophy reflected in its venue in Riyadh.

WAGYUMAFIA & YAKINIKUMAFIA 

Offering champion-grade Japanese Wagyu beef, Wagyumafia is the culinary lovechild of Chef Hisato Hamada. Earning itself a flamboyant reputation with sizzling fires and showstopping live kitchen theatrics, Wagyumafia serves only the rarest Wagyu cuts exclusive to its members.

But fear not if you are no member, dearest reader, Wagyumafia shares its space with its sister venue, Yakinikumafia, where the fire is just as hot - albeit not quite as exclusive.

LES DEUX MAGOTS

One of the oldest cafés in Paris, Les Deux Magots was established in 1884 and has since been christened the most famous literary bistro in the world. A hub for literary masterminds and artists alike, and often frequented by Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, Les Deux Magots brings a taste of Parisienne history to the Kingdom’s capital.

Whether savouring their classic Croque Monsieur or sipping on a refreshing mocktail, just be sure to have a notebook handy, who knows what sort of inspiration will find its way to you within the walls of Les Deux Magots?

CHI SPACCA

Italian for ‘she who cleaves’, chi SPACCA is a carnivore’s dream brought to life. Melding rustic Californian with authentic Italian flavours, seasoned American Chef Nancy Silverton’s Italian holiday turned into a culinary endeavour that has now reached the Saudi capital.

Putting the art of butchery front and centre with open fire grills and wood oven cooking, chi SPACCA is famed for its bone marrow pies, dry-aged porterhouse steaks, and its succulent smash burgers.

SPAGO

The OG open kitchen experience, when Spago first opened in 1982 by Chef Wolfgang Puck displaying kitchen staff in full action to diners, the game was forever changed. Now in VIA Riyadh, Puck’s signature cuisine combining seaside Californian fare with Italian influences uses only locally sourced ingredients served in an atmosphere of urban sophistication.

Be it your braised beef short rib rendang or your Spago kunafa, watching your dinner be prepared before your very eyes guarantees a feast that is truly for all the senses.

SCOTT’S

Most renowned for its specialty shellfish and oysters, London-based Scott’s Riyadh venue retains the signature Scott’s ambiance of dining underneath timeless art-deco glamour in its first foray from the Great British isles. From seared scallops complemented by Yozu Kushu butter sauce to Monkfish Masala, Scott’s service transcends both time and taste.

GYMKHANA

Hailing from London, elite Indian cuisine restaurant Gymkhana packed up its signature chutney and Michelin star and flew straight to Riyadh. Inspired by the 19th and 20th century elite clubs of India, Gymkhana brings an elevated yet authentic taste of the subcontinent in a classic fine-dining atmosphere.

CHEZ BRUNO

From France’s rustic Lorgues to Saudi’s ‘futuristic’ Riyadh, beloved-French classic Chez Bruno packed up its pots, pans, and family recipes and took to the not-so-barren desert. With each dish given the treatment of a delicate art piece, a dining experience at Chez Bruno goes beyond the realms of gastronomy.  Whether enjoying lamb shoulder cooked in the oven for 5 hours with garlic and thyme or sipping on a ‘Madame Marie’ mock-tail, Chez Bruno will take you on a provincial voyage.

HAKKASAN

Cantonese? Uhm, yes please! Dim sum and then some, Riyadh’s Hakkasan at Bujari Terrace serves up upscale East Asian specialties in a luxe dimly-lit venue that truly shines the spotlight on the delicacies presented. Hakkasan frequently entertains with live bands, so you and your stomach will both be dancing in glee.

SUHAIL

Perhaps one of the most luxurious venues throughout the Middle East serving traditional Saudi cuisine, Suhail shines as bright as its namesake star. A refined dining experience combining Saudi fare with desert-luxe, Suhail is an earth-toned haven honoring Najdi, Hijazi, and myriad other aeons-old cooking techniques. Piece of advice, try their Lamb Kabsa.

ROKA

Discover one of the finest and most talked-about restaurants in Riyadh with ROKA. This award-winning Japanese eatery offers a unique contemporary cooking style and the renowned robatayaki concept. ROKA Riyadh is home to signature dishes such as sake no taru taru (salmon tartare with den miso and yuzu) and kampachi sashimi no salada (yellowtail sashimi, yuzu-truffle dressing). Make sure to visit during cooler months for a charming terrace

MAMO MICHELANGELO

Excitement ensues with the mere mention of Mamo, a glamorous French Riviera import that has found a home in Riyadh. True to its Antibes counterpart, Mamo's dedication to French-Mediterranean flavours remains unwavering, as is evident in signature dishes such as the flavorful veal Milanese, the fresh truffle pizza, and the refreshing burrata salad. The restaurant's charming interior is a testament to its five-star dining experience, utilising old materials from Italy and Provençe to create an authentically elegant ambiance.

BILLIONAIRE

Billionaire is a luxurious restaurant that brings the flavours of Italy and Asia to the heart of the Sulaymaniyah district in Riyadh. The elegant interior sets the mood for an unforgettable dining experience, complete with attentive service and an extensive menu of authentic Italian classics and modern Asian cuisine. Guests can indulge in mouth-watering dishes such as margarita pizza, tacos, ravioli lobster, and salmon truffle roll. The dessert selection is equally impressive, featuring classic options like tiramisù and Tortino Al Cioccolato. To complete the experience, the in-house mixologists create an array of delicious cocktails that perfectly complement the menu.

AOK

For lunch and dinner, A.O.K Kitchen Riyadh offers a diverse menu of dishes that cater to all dietary requirements, including vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. Some of the restaurant's signature dishes include the truffle cauliflower steak, the spicy tuna bowl, and the vegan burger.

A.O.K Kitchen Riyadh is not just a restaurant; it's an experience. With its elegant decor, relaxed atmosphere, and attentive staff, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with family, friends, or colleagues.

CIPRIANI

Cipriani is a famous Italian-Japanese-style restaurant known for its luxury and sophistication. It has many distinguished and well-known branches in different cities around the world such as London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, New York, Moscow and of course Riyadh. Located in one of the most prestigious districts in the Kingdom's capital, the Riyadh branch draws on a four-generation family history and serves Venetian classic dishes in a timeless atmosphere. The restaurant welcomes guests to its signature Italian cuisine with Murano glass chandeliers that spell the brand’s DNA. All food ingredients are fresh and the staff are friendly, helpful and professional.

VILLA PALMA

Savour the taste of regional favourites and modern classics made with the freshest ingredients at Villa Palma. Impress your lunchtime date with mouth-watering starters like Tuna Tartare, Beetroot and Lentil Salad, and Focaccia di Romana Rosa. Mains to die for include Black Truffle Pizza, Wagyu Tenderloin, and Paella de Marisco. For a true dining experience, make sure to call ahead and reserve your table.

IL BARETTO

Il Baretto is your go-to for authentic Italian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. With a charming, traditional dining experience and a menu filled with Italian favourites like Veal Milanese and Lobster Linguine, you can't go wrong. Plus, their wood-fired Northern Italian Pizza is not to be missed.

LPM

Transport yourself to the French Riviera with LPM, an elegant and relaxed dining experience in Riyadh. Admire the impressive art collection curated by Director Bob Ramchand and savour the creamy Burrata et Tomates and rich Escargots de Bourgogne. Don't forget to try the world-famous Côtelettes d’Agneau Vivienne and sumptuous Gâteau au Fromage Frais.

MERAKI

Indulge in upscale Greek cuisine with a wide selection of main dishes made from the freshest Greek produce at Meraki. From Bottarga from Mesologgi to tomatoes from Santorini and butter from Crete, Meraki has scoured the Greek regions to find the most tantalising ingredients. The restaurant's warm and sophisticated Mediterranean style is enhanced by the infamous olive trees that decorate the interiors.

HOTEL CARTAGENA RIYADH

Kick start your weekend with Hotel Cartagena Riyadh, a colourful Latin American restaurant that's perfect for after-work catch-ups. Meat lovers will adore the Brazilian Picanha Steak and Puerto Rican Ribs, while seafood fans can indulge in a wide selection of fish dishes and Maki rolls. Don't forget to try the tacos!

MYAZU

For extraordinary Japanese cuisine, head to Myazu, a sleek and sophisticated Japanese restaurant serving exotic fusions. With a traditional Japanese serving style and dishes like crispy short rib, smoked eel maki, and salmon tataki, you'll feel right at home in the joyful atmosphere.

THE GLOBE RESTAURANT

The Globe Restaurant is located in the golden sphere at the top of the Al Faisaliah Tower, offering spectacular panoramic views of Riyadh, including the iconic Kingdom Tower. It is a perfect place to relish amazing views of the city and indulge in world-class food. This fine dining restaurant offers a variety of modern European cuisine, including dishes like salmon gravlax, braised beef cheek, beef tenderloin, appetisers, and a selection of mouth-watering desserts. The restaurant also serves high tea on weekends.

SPAZIO77

Spazio77’s contemporary design, warm and natural colours, stylish furniture, and intimate lighting have made it home to a slew of celebrity guests. It is located on the 77th floor of the Kingdom Tower and provides an unsurpassable panoramic view of the Riyadh skyline. Spazio77 has hosted prestigious clients from around the world, including members of the Royal Family, Presidents, Prime Ministers, and famous artists. Whether it is a romantic dinner, a social gathering, or a business meeting, this setting with beautiful panoramic views will be a perfect choice.

AL ORJOUAN

Al Orjouan is the flagship all-day open dining buffet restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh five-star hotel. They offer one of the largest buffets in Riyadh with a wide variety of international and Middle Eastern cuisine. The restaurant's lavish interior makes the dining experience unforgettable. They also offer themed nights, including a Seafood night on Wednesdays and an amazing Friday Brunch. The Chef's Brunch, a new Friday Brunch experience, is available with a unique concept, where each station serves a special cuisine from different parts of the world.

LUSIN

LUSIN is an upscale restaurant that provides delicious Armenian cuisine, including different grills. This restaurant features luxurious, elegant, and comfortable décor, along with distinguished fast service, which makes it one of the top restaurants in Riyadh. It serves distinct Armenian meals, which include dolma, grills, LUSIN grills, in addition to Amazon kebabs and Khashkhash kebabs, which have wonderful aromatic flavours.

WALTON ST. SCALINI

Established in 1988, Walton St. Scalini is a famed Italian restaurant that provides a multi-sensory experience in the heart of Riyadh, offering a plethora of home-cooked classics in a unique environment. It is one of the well-known upmarket stylish Italian restaurants in Riyadh, offering a wide variety of options, including appetisers, salads, pizza, pasta, and traditional mains. The simple yet elegant interior reflects the atmosphere, making you feel like you're in the heart of Italy. The restaurant also offers outdoor seating in the fresh air with air conditioning.

SAN CARLO CICCHETTI

San Carlo Cicchetti, located in the Sulaimaniyah district, offers the perfect blend of delicious Italian cuisine and warm hospitality. The handmade pasta served here is a delight for pasta aficionados with its rich flavours. Besides the comforting and heart-warming dishes, Cicchetti’s inviting atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for an intimate catch-up or a romantic date night. The restaurant's convenient location and welcoming ambiance make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to savour some quality Italian cuisine experience, complete with lush greenery and comfortable seating.

MNKY HSE

MNKY HSE is an award-winning restaurant that has brought its contemporary Latin American cuisine all the way from London to Riyadh. From the moment you step inside, you will be captivated by the bold and vibrant space, the cosy lighting, and the pleasant music. MNKY HSE is known for its decadent sharing menu that puts a new spin on Latin American food. Their signature tacos with diced tuna, truffle ponzu, wasabi tobiko, and avocado are a must-try. Other standout dishes include the hamachi tiradito and the confit duck with compressed watermelon, pomegranate, and cashew cream. For dessert, indulge in a fun and unique experience with a hollow chocolate monkey that is filled with candies and petit fours for sharing. The lounge at MNKY HSE offers a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for socialising with friends, having a business meeting, or celebrating a special occasion with family and friends.

OKKU

Allow us to introduce you to the multi-award-winning OKKU, where the dining experience is more than just a meal. As you step into the dark and stylishly designed restaurant, you are greeted by life-size samurai statues, setting the mood for an unforgettable evening. At OKKU, the chefs have taken Japanese cuisine to a whole new level by putting their own innovative twist on classic dishes. The servings may be modest, but each bite is packed with incredible textures and flavours, such as the mouth-watering salmon sashimi with micro cress, chopped peppers, and ginger citrus-soy vinaigrette.

NUSR-ET

Nusr-Et is a globally recognized dining destination that recently opened its 28th restaurant in Riyadh, located at the end of the popular 'U Walk' plaza. Created by the viral sensation, Salt Bae, this restaurant offers an innovative menu and exceptional service. The lower floor of the spacious and stylishly decorated venue is open for fine dining, with the upper floor yet to open. The Riyadh menu features signature items from other Salt Bae restaurants, including the famous 'Golden Tomahawk,' 'Sauteed Mushrooms,' and 'Salt Bae Burger.'

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