Where to Eat in Kuwait
Ironically the first thing that comes to our mind about things to do in Kuwait relates to food. Plans for family or friends that visit us from the USA, almost always revolves around food. The most relevant weekend plans always include some restaurant… and we complain about our waist line :)) !
Kuwait has slowly been gaining a reputation as a bastion of food innovation… and we don’t doubt that for a bit. We have been dining in some of Kuwait’s best-kept secrets for many years now, and we have to admit it’s quite an experience. This so-called food revolution has seen many of the country’s local chefs birthing new restaurants sprouting like mushrooms in this seemingly small country. And for those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other, look no further …!
Consider this; as of 2016, the country has 17,820 square kilometers (6,880 square miles) of land with the population at 2016 estimated at about 4.17 million, and about 70% of the population includes expatriates. We haven’t really bridged the cultural diversity and as far as multicultural acceptance is considered, Kuwait is more like a mosaic rather than a melting pot. But this does not completely hold true when it comes to the cuisine. While to understand a culture, you need to understand it’s cuisine, in many respects food does bridge the cultural divide. To state it plain, food integrates!
The Kuwait of the past was far too deferential to the interests of big companies, too invested in a corporate-serving narrative of personal responsibility with no parallel requirement of social responsibility, and too culturally wedded to a food model of quantity over quality. Western fast-food franchises ruled most appetites. Wildly popular items like pizza, burritos, nachos, quesadillas and pasta here were almost all bastardized versions of their original incarnations and they reflect the wonderful American ability to try out new foods and create an food following that is multiculturally accepted. While the Burger King, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut certainly still has their own legion of cult followers, I think that we hear their triumphant shouts fade. It may soon become a thing of the past. The modern diner is different, he is an epicure and we believe this is more a cultural phenomenon of this era. Organic burgers is not a luxury anymore. Today Elevation Burger serves grass-fed, free range, premium organic meat in the price range of a pre-made, frozen, microwaved patty used in the strangely popular fast food restaurants.
Nestled amid the lofts and malls that peppers the city’s trendy facade, there seems to be something for everyone. From falafel and dosas to shawarma and sausages, the local eateries serve up tasty, affordable meals. Just follow the crowds (and your nose) to find something delicious. The shawarma is to the Arab what a hotdog is to the American. It’s almost ubiquitous!
This culturally diverse country houses dozens of under the radar ethnic enclaves that go far beyond a basic Arabic fast-food restaurant still serving a falafel sandwich for 0.100 fils and the staple Irani quboos for 0.050 fils. From the industrially set-up fathayer and kebab joints to luxurious sushi houses, Kuwait can be labeled an epicure’s paradise (in the making). Statistics from a 2014 survey interestingly revealed that Kuwait spends over Kd 700 million (average of Kd 2 million per day) in restaurants. A total of 5000 restaurants is visited by 615,000 people daily. Kuwaiti consumers spent 10% in restaurants daily. A peek into the F&B sector shows about 19% constitute fast-food chains, 40% dine-in restaurants and 41% cafe & sweets… and this industry is projected to grow at a staggering 15%. The influx of local trendy fusion concept chains serving food that can motivate us to house our own Masterchef duel, and many home-run businesses serving everything from sushi to decadent desserts, make this a highly competitive industry. So the million dollar question remains, ‘where do I eat..?!’
While the restaurants listed in this article will continue to evolve and we hope to list 5 choice restaurants in every category. The restaurants are categorized based on the cuisines and prices. We will also include home-run businesses, making this a ‘Foodie’s Indispensable Guide’.
Fine Dine – Meal costs an average of Kd 8 and above per head.
Fun Dine – Meal costs an average of Kd 3 – Kd 8 and above per head.
Budget Bytes – Meal costs an average of Kd 1.500 – Kd 3 per head.
Frugal Friendly – Meal costs an less than Kd 1.500 per head
(Disclaimer – *The titles don’t denote a persons social status or lack of spending, it’s about finding food that gives a bang for your buck
– *The names are listed in random order in each category and does not mean one is better than the other)
- Fine Dine – Open Flame Kitchen, Burger Boutique Black, Salt Sea Food Restaurant, Pepper Steakhouse
- Frugal Friendly – IKEA Restaurant, McDonald’s
- Fine Dine – Kei (Japanese), Peacock, Ora
- Budget Bytes – Wok&Go, Pei Wei
- Frugal Friendly –
- Fine Dine – Kumar, Asha’s, Taal, Bukhara
- Fine Dine – Villa Fayrouz, Sultan Chef, Leila, Burj Al-Hamam
- Fun Dine – Ayyame, Kosebasi, Green Apple (Persian), Mais Alghanim, Snawber
- Fine Dine – Burger Boutique Black
- Frugal Friendly – McDonald’s, Burger King, Hardees,
- Fine Dine –
- Budget Bytes – Joy
- Frugal Friendly – Gelatissimo
Instagram Based Home-run businesses