Attention all foodies! Check out our pick of the best new restaurants in Riyadh and Jeddah and secure your next dinner reservation today
With dozens of new restaurants opening every week in Riyadh and Jeddah, whittling down a shortlist can be challenging. But worry not - MCC’s Booking’s team has made it easy with our pick of best new and recent restaurant openings you won’t want to miss.
In Riyadh, Italian restaurant Il Baretto has made its mark in the few months since it opened, and Hotel Cartagena brings Colombian fusion food to add to Saudi Arabia’s diverse dining options. International brand Coya has just opened and Italian stalwart Signor Sassi is just opening.
Meanwhile in Jeddah, Nobu has opened to much acclaim, bringing Japanese/Peruvian fusion food to the city, and Russian restaurateur Arkady Novikov has brought his eponymous restaurant to enliven the Asian food scene. MCC members can secure reservations for these, and hundreds of other top destinations, by contacting our Bookings service, or messaging a member of the team via WhatsApp on +966 533 633 607.
1. Il Baretto
Fresh from Marylebone, London, upscale Italian restaurant Il Baretto opened in November 2021 and is quickly making its mark as the first restaurant in the King Abdullah Financial District. It’s been launched in conjunction with Saudi restaurateur Mohammed Jawa and is the brainchild of Arjun Waney (Zuma, Coya, Roka, LPM, The Arts Club) and Giuliano Lotto ( Zafferano, Memory of China, Aubergine).
As in its London flagship, the menu at Baretto celebrates authentic Italian cuisine and regional specialities. It includes old favorites as well as modern classics such as veal Milanese, lobster linguine, salmon carpaccio, and wood-fired pizza. The elegant decor reflects the Marylebone branch, and there is an outside terrace for alfresco dining. - ilbaretto.sa
2. Hotel Cartagena
It’s not really a hotel but this newly arrived Colombian fusion restaurant on the U Walk aims to create the atmosphere of a South American hotel and restaurant with the fictitious backstory that it was inherited by the owner in the 1950s and displays artifacts from her travels. There’s another branch in Dubai, too.
The jungle-style decor and atmosphere are the background to a menu that includes meat and fish cooked on a wood-fired grill – plenty of hefty steaks to appeal to hearty eaters – as well as shrimp, fish, tacos and empanadas. Watch out for Ladies’ Nights, with offers on mocktails and music from a DJ to see diners through until late. - hotelcartegenariyadh.com See
3. Signor Sassi
The international brand has now brought its signature Italian food to Riyadh. Signor Sassi started in London in the 1980s but was bought by restaurateur Carlo di Stefano in 2007 because he’s eaten there for 20 years and liked it so much. It’s now in his San Carlo restaurants group and is franchising in the Middle East.
Riyadh’s new Signor Sassi on Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Musaid Ibn Jalawi St in As Sulimaniyah, is smart and upscale but its menu showcases the dishes that have made the restaurant one of the best in London, lobster pasta and octopus carpaccio among them. - @signorsassiriyadh
Following pop-ups in Riyadh and Jeddah, the flamboyant Peruvian restaurant Coya has opened its doors at a permanent address in Riyadh’s As Suimaniyah in February 2022, to a warm reception. Founded in London in 2012. The brand has gone on to have global branches, including Paris, Mykonos and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Chef Sanjay Dwivedi discovered Peruvian food on a year-long trip to South America and it gave him the inspiration for the Coya concept, which takes flavors from Japanese, Chinese, Spanish and African influences. The decor is luxurious – diners can watch chefs preparing dishes at an open ceviche counter, or sit at an indoor terrace, or enjoy an alfresco meal on the garden terrace. The extensive menu includes ceviches, grilled skewers and signature dishes such as Chilean sea bass, corn-fed baby chicken with aji panca, and char-grilled sea bream in banana leaf. - coyarestaurant.com
No major world city seems complete nowadays without a branch of Nobu, the upscale Japanese/Peruvian restaurant brand founded by chef Nobu Matsuhisa – with the help of Hollywood superstar Robert de Niro and film director Meir Teper.
Now Nobu has arrived in Jeddah at the Al Nawras resort on the Corniche, bringing its signature dishes to a new audience: fine dining, lots of fish, including the famous black cod in miso, and an elevated dining experience. The surroundings are sleek and expensive – rather like much of the food. Meat is available for die-hard carnivores, but seafood is the main ingredient in everything from soup and sushi to squid and sea bass. There is a Sunset Omakase menu for those ready to enjoy the chef’s choice of dishes.- @nobujeddah
Russian entrepreneur and restaurateur Arkady Novikov has brought his popular restaurant concept to the Boulevard Mall in Jeddah in what is becoming a big international brand. Founded in London in 2011, Novikov in Mayfair was distinctive in operating two styles of restaurant within the same building – Asian and Italian. Novikov Jeddah is concentrating on Pan-Asian cuisine. The Novikov style always includes an open kitchen, where a large international staff works in front of big displays of seafood and produce, evoking the atmosphere of a marketplace. Expect sushi, dim sum, dishes from the robata grill, wok dishes and more, all beautifully presented in smart, contemporary surroundings. - @novikov_restaurants See MCC listing
- Did you know we can also help with your domestic and international travel plans? Get in touch to find out more
GOT A RESTAURANT SUGGESTION?
We’d love to hear about it! Write your suggestion in the comments section below and we’ll add it to the city listings (if it’s not already included), and we may recommend it other members in future articles.
– Jeddah's 9 best restaurants, according the MCC members
– Riyadh’s best brunches, according to our members
– Riyadh’s 10 best restaurants according to MCC members
– Plan your winter break with our ultimate ski & snowboard guide
– The Hot List: Top 7 travel trends for autumn/winter 2021
– 8 best London restaurants for al fresco dining