(FOOD HUB is our series of entries where we write about places in Riyadh where you can find a lot of restaurants and food stores and shops. Sometimes, they also have shopping stores and other service establishments like spa, fitness centers, etc. Our first Food Hub feature was the Al Bujairi District in Historical Diriyah. And here comes the next…)
When we featured Amorino a year ago, we mentioned it was in Fiorenza La Piazza. Readers went “where is Fiorenza La Piazza?” When we featured Magnolia Bakery a few months after and mentioned it’s in Fiorenza La Piazza, people were still asking where it is. When we featured the newest Chef’s Menu of Paul Boulangerie and Restaurant last month, readers were still asking us where the heck is Fiorenza La Piazza! Seriously people, are you not residents of Riyadh?! Fiorenza La Piazza is the newest, hippest place in Riyadh when it comes to dinner and desserts! Keep up, Riyadhizens! Haha! If you do not know still where it is, okay, okay, we’re here to help. Fortunately, there are a lot more reasons to visit this place because YOU.JUST.HAVE.TO!
Fiorenza La Piazza is along Takhasussi Street. But it’s nowhere near Panorama Mall which is also along Takhasussi. Fiorenza is further up North in the Al Mohammadiyah District near the Imam Saudi Bin Abdulaziz Bin Mohammed Road. It’s right across Marble Slab Creamery and Sugar Sprinkles. Please consult this map if you can’t still imagine where it is. Fiorenza La Piazza may translate to the “city square in Florence” (correct me if I’m wrong because honestly, I couldn’t find any “About” page on Fiorenza La Piazza). This makes sense for me because the whole area looks like a plaza in Italy. The well-designed buildings and paved paths will take you to another place and time. (For those who are itching to go out of Riyadh even for a minute, this is one of those places you have to visit!) Like a city square in most Italian cities, Fiorenza La Piazza has shops and restaurants around it. I love the shops here because they’re worth visiting, even for just dessert. A bit far from the city center but we just have to be resigned to the fact that most new establishments in Riyadh are venturing out of the center already.
So what’s in Fiorenza La Piazza? A LOT.
We’ve featured Paul a few times in the blog; recently, we’ve written about their to-die-for Lobster Thermidore and Short Rib Sandwich. We have our staple favorites dishes in Paul and you probably have yours. Instead of going to their first branch in Riyadh located to the very busy Tahlia Street, you may want to opt for the branch in Fiorenza. They have a second floor that has a warm lighting and an outdoor family area with air-conditioner. Paul never gets old in our foodie book.
Leila serves fresh and genuine Lebanese dishes. We haven’t eaten in Leila but we can see from the get go that their decoration and furniture are on point. It truly embodies the theme of tradition merging with modernity. With hot and cold mezzes, grilled meats and platters, and fresh juices, Leila brings back diners to the historical Lebanon in a glamorous yet comfortable setting. Truly Leila is a unique and soulful restaurant and we can’t wait to try it.
We’ve written about this famous, beloved bakeshop that found their popularity with their cupcakes, especially their red velvet cupcakes which we love topped with their cream cheese frosting. We have since been fans of their Banana Pudding. When we wrote the entry in the blog in March, they still don’t have their cafe at the back of the store. They now have a family area where you can enjoy your cup of coffee and great desserts.
This unique gelato store has won our hearts when we first visited it in October of 2015. We were smitten with their rose-shaped gelato that comes in various luscious and decadent flavors. We didn’t know what to get at first and we had the serves picked the most colorful, beautiful rose they can make out of the flavors. Funny how that went for us; we were giggling like kids at the mixed flavors we got: fruits and coffee and chocolate in one cone? Well, it’s a burst of flavors indeed. We also liked their waffles and coffee. Amorino is continously winning the hearts of Riyadhizens so you should definitely visit now. (Tip: top your rose ice cream with their ice cream macarons, yummy!)
When we visited last month and had dinner at Paul, we can’t help but admire the new stores that opened in Fiorenza La Piazza. The one store that truly got our attention was Chunk. We love the store’s interiors, the designs and displays, the smell of the sweets, and the friendly staff. The place looks like a bakeshop in New York with its industrialized yet airy, bright look. This store is Instagram-worthy! Don’t be shocked: it’s a Saudi brand! Well, well, well… we totally love the concept! They have the cruffin which is a combination of croissant and muffin (basically a croissant shaped like a muffin, lol). They also have various cakes and creamy jars. In the middle, they make fresh waffles and crepes. What a refreshing bakery and cafe this is!
Another Saudi brand in this plaza, Poplars has been around since 2000. Their first branch was located in Kingdom Center and now, they opened a new one in Fiorenza La Piazza. We haven’t tried their chocolates but they look delicious especially with the packaging that they have. Their chocolate sets are perfect for gifts; they look so elegant and beautiful when arranged. Next time we visit Fiorenza, we’ll surely try this chocolaterie.
We love Fiorenza for the choices of desserts it offers. There’s a shop that specializes in cupcakes, chocolates, gelato… and now, tiramisu. If you’re a fan of this coffee-flavored Italian dessert consisting of ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese dusted with cocoa powder, then I Tre Mercanti is the shop to visit. This dessert spot was started by three guys in Venice (this is one of the stores that’s really meant for Fiorenza if only for their Italian roots) who wanted to find and serve the best ingredients of the Italian culinary tradition. Now, I Tre Mercanti is known for making their tiramisu fresh and shown in their glass window. Also, they didn’t stop at coffee flavor alone; they have over 20 experimental fusion recipes of this classic that will surely bring a smile to your face.
Jeff de Bruges is not a person. It’s just a name of a Belgian chocolate brand created by a French. I understand Philippe Jambon’s decision to just name his shop after a song titled “Jef” and the town where their first chocolate factory was built (Bruges). In his own words, “When your name is “Jambon” (ham in English) and you want to sell chocolate, you have to be practical and realize you will not be able to give your own name to the brand.” Ham and chocolate in one sentence? They’re hard to connect, haha! Jeff de Bruges is the shop to go when you’re looking for chocolates AND ice cream. It’s also the shop to look for personalized dragees, a bite-sized confectionary with a hard shell (looks like elongated Mentos, hehe).
This brand is probably the oldest one in this list. Founded in 1829 by Balthazar Roiz Castanheiro in Lisbon, Portugal, this tearoom was popular with Portugal’s most famous and the elites. They said that Confeitaria Nacional, firmly focused on maintaining tradition and quality, still uses all the original recipes and carefully picked ingredients. Wow! They’re known for their King Cake which has dried fruits, Pastel De Nata (egg tarts), and Sonhos (choux pastry with orange zest). I’m actually kicking myself for not looking at the delicacies closer and trying one of them. Oh well, all the more reason to visit Fiorenza La Piazza again! Haha!
So your girlfriend or wife (not both of them! lol) is bored with the usual Hershey’s, Cadbury, and Patchi. It’s time to level up, gentlemen! Forrey & Galland is the name for luxury chocolates which your partner deserves! This chocolaterie has a hundred year old history and legacy that started in Paris, France in 1912. They sell elegant boxes filled with selections of chocolates and marzipan infused with various exquisite fillings and vibrant tastes. Flavors include Earl Grey Tea, French Biscuit, Orange Blossom, Rose Truffles and Mint. They’re into another level of romance and elegance in this shop you guys!
Uhmn technically, the Forrey & Galland Chocolatier is not yet open hehe but by the looks of it, they’re opening soon! There are more sweet shops that are opening soon like Treat Factory, Kunefis, and La Luna. Saudi restaurant Bialah is also opening a branch here. We’re super excited for another Japanese restaurant called Mizo. This area is really sprawling with establishments to eat! It will be hard to choose, that’s for sure.
However, Fiorenza La Piazza also houses non-food establishments like the Shi Spa (can’t wait to try their services), Spring Rose, Pashmina, and Number Nine Concept Store.
We can’t wait for everything to open on this newest food and shopping hub! I wonder if I’ll get diabetes just by looking at all the stores in Fiorenza La Piazza! LOL.
Again, the MAP: