I remember the quote, “If at first the idea is so absurd, then there is no hope for it.” There are a lot of changes today in Riyadh that we all had little hope to happen six years ago. I know because I was one of those hopeless newcomers who would sigh at the lack of weekend activities. And then one day, we The Pink Tarha ladies and our friends dared to go out and walk in Tahlia Street when the sun has barely come up in the horizon. I’m not saying we’re the first ones who revolutionized walking in Tahlia! Haha! But it’s an absurd idea during that time because Riyadh is a ghost town during mornings. But look at Riyadh Center now. It’s up and abuzz in the morning! Almost everyone is waking up for brunch! Yalla, ladies, let’s go!
Brunch was a novelty back then. Buffalo’s Southwestern Cafe and Restaurant started the brunch fad and now, a lot of restaurants have come up with their own version of the morning meal. Actually, let me take that back a little. Brunches in Riyadh is from 9AM to 12NN. Technically, it’s not too early. But on weekends, waking up at 9:00AM is a ‘wtf are you kidding me?!’ kind of thing. Anyway, brunch, yes brunch! Here are top 5 restaurants in Riyadh where you can go and have brunch, complete with amazing ambiance! They definitely kickstart your day right!
1. Appetit Kitchen
This restaurant is Instagram-worthy! Yes, all corners… even the industrial ceiling if you want. But the food takes center stage. Cram the table with your favorite breakfast delights and you have yourself a heavy yet delightful brunch with your friends. I haven’t been to France and enjoyed one of their restaurants but I’m guessing eating in Appetit Kitchen is close to that experience.
Early-Risers: Omelettes (SR 48), British Scones (SR 12), Sour Cream Hazelnut Waffles (SR 49), Pancakes (SR 52), Cappucino
They don’t have a lot of variety when it comes to their omelettes but they’re filling. Their scones are tall; almost like muffins. Spread some jelly and cream and you’re good to go for the day.
Wildcard: Frozen Hot Chocolate
It’s not hot but who says you can’t have something cold in the morning? Nothing will wake you up like a brain freeze so you should definitely order this drink! Check out their entire breakfast menu here.
Al Loulou’a Center (beside Localizer Mall)
Tahlia Street, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Brunch Hours: 9:00AM-12PM
2. Piatto Italian Restaurant
Yes, yes, we know we’re pretty much biased. You always see us eating in Piatto. However, who can blame us? They have way too much good food. Add to that their brunch offering! One time, we stayed from 9:00AM until 12:00 noon just to savor every bite and every conversation! Its airy and patio-like interiors has a good way of perking us up! We couldn’t seem to stop eating and talking! (Uhmn not at the same time! Haha!)
Early-Risers: Baked Traditional Quiche Lorraine (SR 42), Eggs Benedict (SR 46), Chicken and Wild Mushroom Omelette (SR 46)
I’ve always been a fan of their Wild Mushroom Chicken dish so seeing its fluffy omelette version made me squeal in delight. And you know how fluffy these omelettes are? It’s as if you’re eating clouds that are packed with awesome savory flavors.
Wildcard: Artisan Cheese Board (SR 48)
For the cheese lovers in your group, they will surely enjoy this wooden board filled with four kinds of cheeses and grapes. Check out the entire brunch menu here.
Piatto Italian Retsaurant
Panorama Mall, Takhasussi Street,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (only this branch offers brunch)
Brunch Hours: 9:00AM-12:00PM
3. PAUL Bakery and Restaurant
France is big on cafes and bakeries. Thank goodness their known bakeries branched out to Riyadh because what will we do without PAUL? Paul has garnered a good reputation in Riyadh with its French rustic cooking and traditional baking. As you know, bread is a staple in breakfasts so where do you go for bread? Yup, this is the place to be.
Early-Risers: Parisian Set (1 hot beverage + 1 viennoiserie + butter&jam), Continental Set (1 hot beverage, 1 orange juice, 1 viennoiserie + butter&jam), Complete Set (1 hot beverage + 1 orange juice + 1 viennoiserie + butter&jam + 1 plain omelet), Eggs Benedict
The sets are satisfying but if you want to add more, the eggs benedict with salmon is delicious!
Wildcard: Cheese Platter
What I love about their cheese platter is the pairings it instantly offers. Beside the cheeses are suggested items like chocolate chips, cherry tomatoes, grapes, and nuts to elevate the cheesy experience more. I like the goat cheese with the chocolate chips the best!
PAUL Bakery and Restaurant
Aknaz Center, Tahlia Street
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Brunch Hours: 8:00AM-11:00AM
4. Lavazza Expression
Lavazza is one of the most popular coffee brands used by restaurants and cafes all over the world that’s why it’s no surprise that they come up with their own coffee shop. In Riyadh, Lavazza Espression is tucked in Localizer Mall and they’re open for breakfast! The breakfast menu is simple but adequate. Plus, it’s really the high-quality Italian coffee that will make you want to visit.
Early-Risers: Croissant Set, SR 33 (croissant stuffed with smoked turkey + toasted bread + jam, butter, grated potatoes, coffee, and juice), Italian Set, SR 29 (croissant, toasted bread, muffin, jam, butter, orange juice, and coffee), English Set, SR 37 (omelette, sausages, toasted bread, butter, jam, coffee and juice)
Choosing a breakfast in Lavazza is a no-brainer because there are only three choices and they’re all complete!
Wildcard: Nocciolato (double espresso, Nutella, whipped cream, and hazelnuts)
A double dose of espresso will certainly wake you up! Oh, and the sweetness overload will do too.
Localizer Mall, Tahlia Street
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Brunch Hours: 7:00AM – 12:00NN
I know, you’re surprised that we have placed Kudu in here… that’s because their breakfast menu is probably the best breakfast menu among fast food in Riyadh. We’ve had it ever since we started in working in Riyadh and up until now, it is still the most convenient, most accessible and cheapest brunch we can recommend to anyone. They don’t have a lot of choices but they’re really adequate. And they deliver too!
Early-Risers: Kudu Breakfast (SR 16), Steak&Eggs (SR 18), Club Breakfast (SR 16), Pancakes (SR 10)
Pick among the loaded plates and you’ll get a meal enough to fill your tummy for half a day.
Wildcard: Waffle (SR 8)
As big as a plate, their waffle is crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. Lather up on butter!
There are so many brunch places in Riyadh now. We’re so happy with this development yet at the same time quite nostalgic because almost all restaurants are now full to the brim. Our weekend mornings outside are no longer just ours to savor. Of course, this city is not ours to keep to ourselves. We’re just glad that we have these options now. Waking up early is no longer a chore because we still have a lot of brunch places to discover! Happy brunching, Riyadhizens!