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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Restaurants in Riyadh - Learning a Culture through Cuisine

A perfect blend of Western influence and traditional Arabic culture, Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh is rapidly becoming a favourite tourist destination in the Middle East.

1

The Globe

Taking its name from the Shakespearean theatre, the Globe is on par with the most exclusive luxury establishments in the city like Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh. It is a romantic place with a view that can leave you breathless, and a menu that will leave no one wanting. Why the restaurant is named the Globe is self-evident upon seeing the place, as it is a spherical glass dome perched atop the Al Faisaliah Tower. You can enjoy a selection of Arabic cuisine or fine dining the Western style. It is necessary that you make a prior reservation, though, as it is very much in demand.

2

Elements

If you are into secluded dining, you are better off enjoying a meal in the privacy of serviced apartments in Riyadh. However, if you are looking for an interactive experience, you must pay a visit to Elements. While you take your pick from their expansive menu that spans across different cuisines, their well-experienced chefs provide entertainment by whipping up your dishes at their live action stations. It is a cosmopolitan location with a strong sense of vibrancy that takes dining as an experience to a whole new level.

3

Spazio

Spazio is endorsed by the royalty itself, and is the favourite dining spot of Prince Waleed bin Tala. It specialises in Italian cuisine, while at the centre is a sushi bar, thus incorporating the orient into its mix. Spazio has a great view too but is at its best during sunset. Being located in the second tallest building in Saudi Arabia, it is little wonder that guests love to dine here in the night. You can take a post-dinner walk on the sky bridge to complete the otherworldly dining experience that is Spazio.

4

Najid Village

Najid Village is a restaurant that takes its name from Riyadh's old name. It was established in 1996 and is one of the oldest restaurants on this list. They serve traditional Saudi fare, in the most traditional manner. Although they do serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, the decor of the place strictly adheres to Islamic traditions and customs. It is a place to visit if you are looking for an authentic experience. However, it is best to read up on the traditions of Islamic dining before your visit.

5

Set Al-Sham

A blend of three different styles - Egyptian, Lebanese, and Syrian - Set Al-Sham is popular for private dining. You can request for dining in private and be seated in a room with intricately designed lanterns, wooden furniture, and a Syrian vibe. It is more about intimate dining and is a good place for a couple or for an anniversary celebration. Unlike the other restaurant on the list, though, Set AL Sham serves buffet which is prepared in the Middle Eastern Style. This means that Set Al-Sham is a good place to visit if you are able to eat well and would like to taste the diversity of Arabic cuisine. Although there will be a lot of deserts to choose from, make sure that you have at least a bite of umm ali - their speciality.