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Food from Saudi Arabia in New York?

My new year's resolution was to eat at restaurants from every different country without leaving New York City. I've been working my way through the first few (and capturing the memories at fabulouslyunforeign.com) and come across one country I can't find any restaurants from: Saudi Arabia. I really hope people here have suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Hi rebeccaas21,

    Unfortunately I cannot help you on your present quest to find a Saudi Arabian restaurant but I just wanted to say WOW! What a fabulous idea!

    Good luck in all of you searching! I look forward to checking out your progress on your website.


    Glendale is hungry...

    1. Hmmm, that's a hard one even in the Arabian Gulf region, as the local cuisine tends to be "home food" in these countries. I think attempts to find Kuwaiti, Bahraini, Emirati, Omani etc. cuisine would be similarly frustrated, but I would be amazed and happy if you found anything.

      An Iraqi restaurant would serve a some dishes like kabsa and quzi typical of the region, but now Le Kabbr is closed I can't think of one to recommend. They love their schwarma in Saudi, but all the schwarma places I like in NYC are actually Israeli.

      I've seen Saudi dates at Fairway. And if you want to roll up your sleeves and give it a try yourself, the cookbook "Cardamom and Lime", although written by a Kuwaiti woman, contains recipes for rice and meat dishes and date-based desserts that are also typical of Saudi Arabia. You can find dried limes and other required spices at Kalustyan's.

      Your best bet might be to call the local Saudi consulate in NYC and ask where they eat when they get homesick - see http://www.saudiembassy.net/embassy/u.... They might have some sort of event at the UN cafeteria or something.

      Good luck!

      1. In Brooklyn there are a cluster of Middle Eastern places on 5th around 72, that seemed more Arabic than Lebanese.

        I liked Damascus Gate (Syrian) .

        2 Replies
        1. re: Geo8rge

          Once in London I visited an elegant Lebanese restaurant which seemed to be gettin heavy patronage from Saudis. Im thinking (maybe a bit of exaggeration?) that Lebanese may be the fine cuisine of the region.

          I think Damascus Gate may have had a name change.

          1. re: Geo8rge

            Damascus Gate is closed. The other restaurants seem to he Hookah bars. There are some nice groceries and dessert places, but I did not see and real Arabian restaurants.

          2. I was under the impression that most of the restaurants in the Kingdom are run by Palestinians, Indians, and those of nationalities other than Saudi. (IS THIS TRUE?)

            So I wonder how many "real" Saudi restaurants you would find even within the country.

            1. There are numerous Yemeni restaurants on and near Atlantic Avenue in downtown Bklyn - you would at least be eating a cuisine from the Arabian Peninsula if that would satisfy your geographic urge.

              1. Some countries, you'll find, simply aren't represented by full-fledged, permanent restaurants in New York. With diligence you'll crack three figures this year; you can add another half-dozen or so if you count temporary operations such as at the West Indian Day Parade:


                Here and there, you may also find the occasional dish "from" some country that's prepared at a restaurant whose owners hail from somewhere else; only you can say whether that counts in your tally.

                Good luck, and be sure to keep us posted on your more uncommon discoveries!

                1. The only food I found here in NY from Saudi Arabia was Maamoul (stuffed shortbread cookies), and I found them in a Bangladeshi store of all places. They were excellent, and each was individually wrapped too. I hope you find something besides cookies. : )

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Cheese Boy

                    I've run across these as well in Middle Eastern stores on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, Astoria, and Sunnyside. They were also available (at the best price I've seen) at the International Food Warehouse in Lodi, NJ (sorry, not NYC).

                    If you've seen the brand I've seen (the ones that say they're from Saudi Arabia), they come in fig, date, mixed fruit, and raisin. In my opinion, the best by far is the raisin, which I found surprising since I'm not a huge raisin fan. They're quite delicious.

                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      Omg Maamol? i ♥ Maamol! i use to work in saudi arabia as a nurse before i came here to the states. and i freaking miss eating real saudian food and yes MAAMOL is a well known brand in the kingdom.
                      The mandy chicken and kabsa in saudi is incomparable to the chicken and rice in the city.

                      1. re: tikki_princess85

                        You can get excellent Mamoul @ Damascus bakery on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn and
                        @ Mt Ararat Bakery in Bayside Queens but they don't always have it.

                        Ararat Bakery
                        220-16 Horace Harding Expy, Queens, NY 11364

                    2. I have never seen or heard of a Saudi restaurant in the NYC area. How is it different from Syrian/Lebanese?
                      For Syrian/Lebanese try Al Bustan in Manhattan
                      There are several Syrian/Lebanese restaurants on Atlantic Av in Brooklyn. Tripoli is my favorite
                      In Bay Ridge Brooklyn you will find Tanoreen and George and Sally's are excellent choices.

                      7523 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209