This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (June 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Saudi Arabian cuisine" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) .mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Arabic. Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 384 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Arabic Wikipedia article at [[:ar:مطبخ سعودي]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|ar|مطبخ سعودي)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation. (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Saudi Arabian cuisine (Arabic: المطبخ العربي السعودي) encompasses the cuisines and foods of Saudi Arabia. In spite of the existence of many common dishes, Saudi Arabian dishes vary from a region to another as the culture itself varies.[1]

Traditional cuisine

Foods and dishes

Kleeja, a cardamom cookie also known in Iraq
Kleeja, a cardamom cookie also known in Iraq

Some of the common food items in Saudi Arabian cuisine include wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yogurt, potatoes, seafood and dates.

Some additional foods and dishes include:


See also: Arabic coffee

Traditional coffeehouses (maqha) used to be ubiquitous, but are now being displaced by food-hall style cafes. According to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, "serving Gahwah (Coffee) in Saudi Arabia is a sign of hospitality and generosity". Traditionally, the coffee beans were roasted, cooled and ground in front of the guests using a mortar and pestle. The host would then add cardamom pods to the coffee beans during the grinding process. Once the coffee was brewed, it would be poured for the guests. Today, though, gahwah is not prepared in front of the guests; instead it is elegantly served in a dallah and poured into small cups called finjan.[2]

Yoghurt is normally made into a drink called laban[3]

Sobia is a cold drink usually made in the Hijaz but now available all over Saudi Arabia, especially during Ramadan. It is made from a light fermented mixture of barley/brown bread, date palm sap, herbs and spices. It may be either white or colored depending on the flavor.[4]

Fast-food and chain restaurants

Chain restaurants have been slow to gain ground in Saudi Arabia, yet are steadily becoming a part of the local cuisine. Although chain restaurants only account for 25% of sales in the service industry, chains have seen far more growth than independent players in recent years.[5] Al Baik, a chain focused on the sale of broasted fried chicken, has led the charge as far as Saudi-owned chains go, and has expanded operations into several neighboring gulf states.[6]

Islamic dietary laws

Islamic dietary laws forbid the eating of pork and the drinking of alcoholic beverages. This law is enforced throughout Saudi Arabia. According to Islamic law, animals must be butchered in a halal way and blessed before they can be eaten.

According to the Saudi Arabian cultural mission, "guests are served hot coffee and dates as a symbol of generosity and hospitality. The same practice is carried out in the month of Ramadan. Muslims in Saudi Arabia break their fast with dates, water and Arabian coffee. The caffeine in the coffee and the carbohydrates and iron in dates nourishes the fasting person with a lot of energy. This helps them perform the Tarawih held in the evenings during Ramadan."[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Saudi Arabia profile". BBC News. November 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "History of food in Saudi Arabia" (PDF). Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Smoked Laban - Ya Salam Cooking". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Sobia: A thirst-quenching Ramadan drink -". Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  5. ^ "Saudi Arabia's Fast Food Segment Continues to Grow". Aaron Allen & Associates, Global Restaurant Consultants. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  6. ^ "Al Baik to open its second Dubai branch in Mall of the Emirates". The National. 2022-04-18. Retrieved 2022-04-24.

Further reading