Dining in Saudi Arabia

Overview by Globlatrade.net:
Categories of Restaurant
  • Dining Restaurants and Food Courts

Rich use of spices and special flavors, which give the typical Saudi Arabian dishes their characteristic tastes.
Food and restaurants in Saudi Arabia

  • Specialized restaurants
Restaurants serving Indian, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, French, Mexican, Japanese and Lebanese cuisines are also available. Food courts serving combo meals also exist across the country. For details, visit: Restaurants in Saudi Arabia
  • International food chains
Prominent brands like Dominos, KFC, McDonalds Saudi Arabia have their outlets in the country.
Rules For Eating Out

Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the fasting hours of Ramadan will incur strict penalties.

Shops and restaurants close five times a day for prayer.

Tips are not generally offered, though the trend seems to be changing now. Restaurants have table service.

There are no bars. Alcohol is forbidden by law, and there are severe penalties for infringement; it is important to note that this applies to all nationals regardless of religion.


Price Indications

Economy Meal 10 to 21 USD
Medium Price Meal 21 to 32 USD
Good Quality Meal 32 USD and above
Food Specialties
Saudi food is often strongly flavored and spicy. The most common meats are lamb and chicken, beef is rare and pork is proscribed under Islamic law. The main meat meal of the day is lunch. Some of the popular culinary specialties of Saudi Arabia are:
- Pitta bread accompanies every dish;
- Rice, lentils, chick peas and cracked wheat are also common;
- Kultra is popular for lunch;
- Kebabs served with soup and vegetables;
- Mezze.

Consumption of alcohol is prohibited and Arabic coffee and fruit drinks are popular alternatives.
Gawha, the ritual of serving coffee, is an important part of Saudi culture.

Dietary Restrictions
Alcohol, pork, birds and shellfish is prohibited by the religion which is followed very rigorously by the Muslims.
Table Manners

- Sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee if the meal is served on floor.
- Use only right hand to eat.
- Everything that is served should be tried and tasted.
- Meals are generally served in family-style.
- The most prominent piece of the meal such as a sheep's head is offered to the guests.
- Saudi hospitality is a true example of generosity towards guests which means the hosts will offer food in abundance.
- Conversation during meals is limited to allow the diners to relish the food.

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