Cuisine: Traditional Lebanese
Price range: Minimum charge of SR115 (c. $30) on Sun, Tues and Weds. SR200 on Thurs, Fri, Mon.
Highlights: Umm Ali, kunafa, hummus, baba ganoush, mixed grill.
Additional information: Many visitors head to Houn Beirut to sample the shisha in the outdoor section overlooking the fountain. The service is excellent, but the place may not be to everyone’s taste, as the music can be loud. Portion sizes are generous, making this a good choice for group outings. Overall, a lively, fun experience.
Cuisine: Café-style food and coffee
Price range: Dallah of coffee = SR156
Highlights: Ice-cream desserts, Saudi coffee, date cake, cinnamon pecan cake
Additional information: A great place to grab dessert and coffee after dinner, Toqa is a high-end café famed for its excellent service, Saudi coffee and popular with foodies who like to post their dishes on Instagram. We found the dallah a little too small for sharing, so opted to individual cups of coffee (at SR33 each). Outdoor seating on the second floor offers a great view over the boulevard’s fountains.
Price range: Dishes average between SR40-65
Highlights: Cheeseburger, Korean fried chicken, chicken alfredo pasta with crisped parmesan slices
Additional information: No minimum charge and no set menu make Paradox a popular choice for the more-casual diner, as do its wide range of menu options, including some delicious desserts such as the crazy cookie, the Nutella choc-chip cookie, and the Lotus apple crumble. Paradox also regularly hosts live music, including performances on the oud, accordion, guitar, saxophone and violin, accompanied by vocals.
Price range: Minimum charge of SR150
Highlights: Tiramisu, truffle pizza, truffle balls, curly corn
Additional information: Many customers head to Public just for the tiramisu — and rightly so, the restaurant’s take on the classic Italian dessert is superb. What really elevates the experience at Public is the staff — friendly and outgoing, they created a fun and welcoming environment for guests. Our only gripes? Like so many other restaurants in the area, the music plays at a volume that can make conversation difficult at times, and the spicy rigatoni pasta — which was highly recommended — left us disappointed.
Price range: Minimum charge of SR150
Highlights: Slow-cooked Marrakech tanjia, tajine, couscous
Additional information: A rare peaceful retreat in this buzzing area, Kasbah Moroccan Lounge features interiors inspired by Moroccan culture and is definitely one of the best high-end Moroccan dining experiences in Saudi Arabia. The knowledgeable staff really come into their own when serving the restaurant’s excellent Moroccan tea, turning it into an interactive experience for customers.
Le Relais de l’Entrecote
Cuisine: French steakhouse
Price range: Minimum charge of SR195
Highlights: Sirloin steak with walnut salad and French fries, crème brûlée
Additional information: After the success of its original location on Tahlia Street, Le Relais de l’Entrecote opened its second Riyadh branch in The Alley in Boulevard City, and it has proved just as successful. This is high-quality fare for meat lovers, but might even tempt in some vegetarians with its magnificent crème brûlée — which features a special vanilla cream recipe topped with crunchy caramel.
Price range: Minimum charge of SR100 Sat-Weds; SR150 Thurs-Fri
Highlights: Mezze, vine leaves, shisha
Additional information: While it’s not the best Lebanese restaurant in the area, Petit Café remains popular with visitors because of its lively atmosphere and its outdoor shisha area overlooking the fountain. The staff play a large part in that lively atmosphere, often breaking into impromptu dance performances throughout the evening. It’s an ideal spot for a fun night out with friends.