Where To Eat Traditional Kuwaiti Cuisine in Kuwait City

Kuwaiti chefs prepare meat kebabs
Kuwaiti chefs prepare meat kebabs | © Kirrily Morris / Alamy Stock Photo
Nikita Carol Ferrao

Kuwaiti cuisine is one of the most popular worldwide, representing the fusion of Lebanese, Indian, Persian and Mediterranean flavours.

Kuwait has a number of interesting places, attractions and activities to enjoy, but the cuisine is definitely something you won’t want to miss out on. From sophisticated fine dining restaurants to tiny informal rooms that serve up mouth-watering dishes, there’s something for everyone.

Traditional grilled fish is a typical dish of Kuwait

If you do have a trip to Kuwait planned, make sure you enrich your cultural experience by eating authentic Kuwaiti food at one of these incredible establishments.

1. Khaneen

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Grilled meat kebab with vegetables
© Nadia Borovenko / Alamy Stock Photo

A jewel in Kuwait’s cuisine crown, Khaneen provides the best place to enjoy traditional Kuwaiti food. It boasts a menu filled with pan-fried dishes, charcoal grill, soups, salads and desserts. For a dash of crunchy salads, choose between the fattoush or house salad, which adds texture to your meal. For the main course, try out their mouth-watering biryani options of lamb or chicken, or the Chicken Machboos. If you prefer something simple however, there is meat kabab, mixed grill and kabab and yogurt. Wrap up with the traditional Kuwaiti baked custard – elba, which provides a perfectly sweet finale to a very enjoyable meal.

2. Dar Hamad

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

An exterior shot of Dar Hamad restaurant in Kuwait
Courtesy of Dar Hamad

Embark on a cultural culinary journey at this beautifully constructed modern Kuwaiti fine dining destination. This two-story villa-esque restaurant is built in a way that embodies the artisanal qualities of the sandooq mubayat (the traditional dowry box) and is decorated in a way reminiscent of old Kuwait. Expect to find traditional food that has been served within Kuwaiti households for the last 50 years, as well as dishes with a new twist. Start your meal with some delicious murabyan (rice and shrimp), before savouring the mouthwatering salmon fillet from the grill and finishing off the night with some delicious date pudding.

3. Dikakeen

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Dikakeen is a Kuwaiti fusion restaurant that combines the best of traditional in Kuwait, with a fun and engaging souk-style atmosphere. Dikakeen offers a whimsical vibe, filled with vintage Kuwaiti memorabilia. Meals come in shareable platters, ready to be eaten with your hands or scooped with fresh bread that a baker will prepare right in front of you. Here, you can expect to find some family recipes passed down from the owner’s mother, along with other original creations. Don’t miss out on the classics like shawarmas, falafels, kubba (meat balls), and mishaltit (flat pastry), with the option of adding a modern twist.

4. Shatea Al Watyia

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Established over 15 years ago and housed in a 50-year-old building, Shatea Al Watyia is filled with pictures and artifacts preserved from the last half decade. Its heavy wooden doors and window frames are original, and so are the thatched reed ceilings. Here, you will find the waiters dressed in traditional attire: dara’a (long dress) for the ladies and wizar (plaid cloth wrapped at the waist) for men. Try their famous machboos with fresh na’ime Arabic Beef. All dishes are served with Kuwaiti ajar (tomato sauce), maboush (flatbread) and fresh vegetables.

5. Amiti Noura

Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Located in one of The Avenues’ Souq squares, Amiti Noura serves authentic Kuwaiti cuisine with a homemade touch. This restaurant mimics an Arabian market with outdoor street seating and upon visiting you will find yourself noticing the beautiful abayas that the hostesses are wearing as they welcome you inside. Watch the chefs in the open kitchen as they make magic using fresh ingredients, spices, herbs and large pots. Try out the chicken machbous and murabyan as main dishes and don’t leave the table without having some tea. Keeping up with true Arab hospitality, the shiny copper teapot that is brought to the table has its own heating contraption to keep the tea nice and hot and the beverage is served in the traditional small gold-trimmed glass cups.

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