A historic port town and pilgrim gateway, Jeddah is a city used to welcoming the world, and in doing so, feeding it too. Little wonder then that the city’s cuisine brims with international flavours.
These days, huge expatriate communities have enhanced Jeddah’s cultural melting pot tag, ensuring it is a place where every culinary whim can be satisfied. Whether it’s fine dining at one of the city’s award-winning restaurants, or spicy street eats in a bustling ethnic neighbourhood, we’ve got it covered in this list of some of the city’s best international eateries.
Once upon a time, this little-known Pakistani eatery was popular with just the local expats that hang around, a karak chai in hand, late into the night here in Jeddah’s Little India – just off the King Fahd Road in Sharafiyah.
But not anymore. Somebody has spilt the beans, and now when you tuck into your tantalizingly spicy karahi gosht (fried mutton curry) with daal chana (spiced lentils and chickpeas) in this simple, no-frills eatery, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with western expats and smug locals, all revelling in knowing where to get Jeddah’s best curries for little more than the price of a trendy cup of coffee.
Keep that wooden pointer green side up (turn it red and that means stop) and sit back, as the waiter returns with yet another deliciously spiced rack of grilled meat.
Jeddah’s first Brazilian churrascaria is a carnivore’s culinary fantasy. South Americans are famous for knowing how to grill their meat, and this elegant restaurant on the first floor of the Intercontinental Hotel, offering great views over the bay and out to Jeddah’s King Fahd Fountain, is no exception. It’s an all you can eat buffet, so you might want to fast the day before.
You’ll have to fight your way past the huge groups of Indonesian pilgrims that set up camp in this popular South Asian buffet, located on the edge of Al Balad, near the Corniche Commercial Centre.
The name means 'the man from Solo’, a city on Indonesia’s Java Island that is the inspiration behind the restaurant’s authentic Javanese cuisine, and the dishes are described as “the closest taste to real Indonesia” by the diners you’ll find there. Try the refreshing mee bakso: a delicious meatball and noodle soup served in a light, tasty broth.
Situated in Al Khaliddiyah, this stylish restaurant evokes the spirit of Ottoman Turkey by serving up the finest Anatolian fare in Jeddah.
Succulently grilled meat, flamed chicken wings, and skewers of Adana kebab are delivered on steaming mountains of flavoured bulgur and steamed rice. This is best served with a hearty salad, woodfire-baked bread and a host of traditional Mediterranean dips, such as hummus and ali nazik.
The ambience of Turkuoise is always pleasant and welcoming, and if you’re unsure what to order, just ask the friendly waiters who know their stuff. Whatever you try, don’t leave without devouring at least one slice of the restaurant’s signature sweet dish, the indulgent kanafeh.