Experienced by crowds of pilgrims undertaking Hajj and Umrah every year, Jeddah is one of the most visited cities in the entire world. Thanks to the diversity of all these travellers, the area enjoys a big selection of restaurants and cafes catering to a number of different tastes.
So, read on to find out more about Jeddah’s range of fantastic foods – and what you should try when you’re there.
What should I try?
Thanks to the city’s proximity to the Red Sea, the fresh seafood in Jeddah is second to none. Grilled shrimp is available in most restaurants, as well as a range of barbecued seafood dishes that are teeming with flavour. The multicultural nature of the city has also wound its way into its dining with Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Turkish restaurants, while American fast food restaurants such as Chilis, Appleby’s and KFC are incredibly popular with locals.
Jeddah’s best restaurants
Al Nakheel: Jeddah’s warm climate means that you’ll want any excuse to enjoy the open air as much as possible, and dining at Al Nakheel leaves you perfectly placed to do so. Offering outdoor dining next to the Corniche, the restaurant is a favourite with local foodies. While here, we recommend trying the restaurant’s famous madhbi – seared chicken served on a stone - or the magliya – Jeddah’s delicious take on a falafel. And once you’ve finished your meal, you can try out some local shisha, listen to the local musicians or walk the length of the Jeddah Corniche and take in some art.
Byblos: Offering Lebanese cuisine served with Mediterranean flair, Byblos has something for everybody. Their menu is dominated by seafood standards, with some standouts including calamari prepared according to local custom and succulent, marinated shrimp. The restaurant is also a favourite with vegetarians thanks to their generous vegetarian platters that includes hummus, labneh, mujadara, moussaka, and much more. Though, If you’re an avowed meat-eater, their charbroiled rack of lamb and grilled salmon fillets will provide memories that last a lifetime.
Aubergine: For those looking for an extra-special meal, it’s almost impossible to do better than a visit to the rooftop restaurant at the Assila hotel in central Jeddah. Marrying Lebanese, Turkish, and Armenian fare, diners should expect dishes like home-made tabbouleh, Yalanji, and the house special aubergine rolls. Diners should expect a meal that’s healthy, classy, and luxurious in every way that matters. Private dining is also available, with table-service even extending to the restaurants’ trademark cabanas by their rooftop pool – making it the perfect place for a romantic or reflective meal.