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Traditional Riyadh Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Riyadh is complete without tasting the traditional Riyadh food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Riyadh to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Baba ghanoush: is an Arab dish of aubergine (eggplant) mashed and mixed with various seasonings.
  • Baladi Cheese: a soft, white cheese originating in the Middle East.
  • Ka'ak (كعك): can refer to several different types of baked goods.
  • Kubbat Maraq: balls of rice shaped around a centre of fried ground meat, set to simmer in a tomato sauce.
  • Samboosak: fried or baked triangular, semi-lunar or tetrahedral pastry shell with a savory filling.
  • Zaytun Msabbah: spiced olives.



  • Fattoush: salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables.
  • Ful Madammas: Arabian bean salad.
  • Shepherd's Salad: salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions.
  • Tabbouleh: salad made of bulgur, parsley and mint, tomato and spring onion.

Main courses

  • Al-Mathbi: seasoned lamb or chicken grilled on flat stones.
  • Al-Sayadiah: fish cooked with rice and onions.
  • Arabian Lamb Casserole: prepared of the cubed lamb meat, tomato and vegetable soup, dried mint, natural yoghurt.
  • Biryani: rice-based foods made with spices, rice and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables.
  • Bukhari Rice: chicken and rice stir-fried with onion, lemon, carrot and tomato paste.
  • Eggs in Oil with Sumac: fresh eggs and sumac are fried in olive oil without breaking the yolks of the eggs.
  • Fraykee With Pine Nuts: bulgur boiled with cinnamon, garnished with pine nuts and butter.
  • Kabsa: family of rice dishes, made from a mixture of spices, rice, meat and vegetables.
  • Kharuf Mahshi: baby lamb stuffed with rice, nuts and raisins.
  • Lubya Khadra Billahma: lamb with green beans.
  • Mandi ( المندي): made from meat (lamb or chicken), basmati rice, and a mixture of spices.
  • Mufallaq: stew made with meat, crushed wheat and vegetables.
  • Mujaddara: lentils cooked with groats, wheat or rice, garnished with roasted onions that have been sauteed in vegetable oil.
  • Qursan: dried thin wheat loafs saturated with gravy.
  • Saliq: Arabian Lamb with rice.


  • Baklava: rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey.
  • Date Rolls: Arabic sweets prepared from flour, sweet butter, sugar, oil, milk.
  • Figs in Syrup: dried figs, sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and orange juice.
  • Ghorayebah: almond cookies
  • Halva: dense, sweet confections.
  • Kanafeh: Arabic sweet made of very fine vermicelli-like pastry.
  • Muhalabia: rice pudding.
  • Sesame Candy: sesame seed candy is a confection of sesame seeds and sugar or honey pressed into a bar or ball.
  • Tumr bel Nargine: coconut dates.

Fast food

  • Aysh abu laham: pizza-like leavened dough, egg-rich and flavored with seeds of fennel.
  • Murtabak: stuffed pancake or pan-fried bread.

Street food

  • Falafel: deep-fried chickpea balls.
  • Kebab: meat dish, served on the skewer or wrapped in bread with a salad and a dressing.
  • Shawarma (شاورما): sandwich-like wrap of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or a mixture thereof.

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

  • Arabic Coffee: a general name that refers to the way coffee is prepared in many Arab countries.
  • Bedouin Coffee: coffee served without sweetening and flavored with cardamom.
  • Laban Drink: is a cold beverage of yogurt mixed with cold water and sometimes salt.
  • Saudi Champagne: sparkling water and apple juice.

Drinks (Alcoholic)

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