Cream of the Crop: The continued rise of Riyadh as a culinary hub

Cream of the Crop: The continued rise of Riyadh as a culinary hub

The city has been officially recognised as the Middle Eastern epi-centre excellent gastronomic experiences
29 December 23

Riyadh, the cultural and culinary hub.

Often overlooked in favour of cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Riyadh has now officially been recognised world wide as the culinary destination of the Middle East.

Riyadh is most definitely a rich and growing city with an un-matched culinary landscape - something that locals and residents of the Kingdom's capital city have known for a long time.

With a plethora of cuisines to try, from internationally acclaimed restaurant outlets to cherished local gems, Riyadh has unquestionably evolved into a burgeoning epi-center for exceptional gastronomy and unforgettable dining experiences.

Whether you're seeking global inspiration or craving the comforting flavours of local delicacies, Riyadh's culinary scene has something to satisfy every taste and the city has unquestionably evolved into a burgeoning epi-centre for exceptional and unforgettable dining experiences.

A vibrant and diverse cultural melting pot, the city of Riyadh has been cherished by both locals and residents of the Kingdom's capital, and at an awards night held in Dubai in the latter quarter of 2023, the World Culinary Awards further recognised the growth of Riyadh.

Check out all the unique and exciting dining destinations at Via Riyadh, right here.

Not only was the city recognised as hub of culinary delights, two restaurants in the Kingdom were also recognised: Shang Palace at the Shangri-La Jeddah (Best Hotel Restaurant in Saudi 2023) and Nozomi KSA (Best Restaurant in Saudi 2023).

Internationally recognised restaurants have chosen to open outlets in Riyadh, especially in newly redesigned areas of the city such as Via Riyadh, Ramla Terraza and Diriyah's Bujairi Terrace. From the British-born EL&N Cafe, to Cipriani, Mr Chow, Chi Spacca, Sadelle's, Gymkhana, Les Deux Magots, ROKA and Scott's to name just a few.

The surge of international brands and Michelin star establishments choosing to cement their Middle Eastern presence in Riyadh can be attributed to a dynamic interplay of several factors. First and foremost, Riyadh's culinary landscape has been evolving at a remarkable pace, with residents and visitors alike expressing an increasing appetite for diverse and exceptional dining experiences.

This socio-factor is supported the city's growing economic readiness, and is solidified by a strong business-centric environment, which only lends itself to the capital city's culinary growth and transformation. Of course, as a major city in the Middle East, Riyadh boasts a large multicultural and cosmopolitan demographic, which, in itself is a reflection of the city's growing international profile, making it an ideal market for renowned global dining establishments.

With this in mind, the Saudi government's ambitious Vision 2030 plan has positioned the development of the tourism and leisure sector as a key pillar. This strategic approach has significantly contributed to the favourable conditions for investment in the food and hospitality sector. In a concerted effort to diversify the economy and boost tourism, the government's policies have facilitated the entry of international culinary giants and Michelin-starred establishments.

Riyadh's culinary scene is now enriched with an array of offerings, spanning various cuisines and cooking styles, further solidifying the city's reputation as a global culinary destination and as an alluring hub for discerning food enthusiasts.