There’s no better way to experience a country than through its food. You can’t go to Hungary without trying goulash, or Japan without tasting sushi, or even the Middle East without dipping into some hummus.
With so many spots claiming to offer up traditional Omani food in Muscat, it can be difficult to know where to go.
Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up seven of the best spots for traditional food in Muscat. Read on for our picks.
Located inside the Royal Opera House Muscat, this restaurant is all Omani, from the architecture inside to the silverware you use and tables you dine at. Here you’ll get to try the most famous traditional dish, shiwa, and for desert you can tuck into halwa, a sweet beloved across the Middle East.
Sat-Thu noon-4pm, 7pm-11pm. Royal Opera House Muscat, Shatti Al Qurum (2207 7777).
Bait Al Luban
This gorgeous spot is inside a 140-year-old former guest house, and you’ll certainly be made to feel like a welcome guest on any visit. The water is infused with frankincense and you’ll enjoy coffee and dates with your meal. Make sure you book a spot on the balcony for views of the sea as you tuck into Omani delights.
Daily noon-11pm. Muttrah Corniche (2471 1842).
If you want to get the full Omani experience, you have to head to Bin Ateeq. Here you’ll get to sit on the floor and eat traditional dishes with your hands – you’ll almost feel like you’ve stepped into someone’s home. The most famous dish here is the harees, a wheat-based dish that is often mixed with meat.
Wed-Sat 24 hours; Sun 11am-1am; Mon-Tue 11am-midnight. Bin Ateeq, Al Khuwair (2447 8225).
Step inside Dukanah Cafe and you’ll instantly feel as though you’ve stepped into an Omanis house from centuries ago. A visit here will give you a proper experience of Omani food, and there are plenty of great tea and coffee options too.
Daily 8am-11pm. Dukanah Cafe, Al Ghubrah South (9900 0204).
The foliage-covered garden alone should be enough to draw you into Kargeen Restaurant, but once you try the food, you won’t want to leave. We recommend trying the Omani breakfast along with one of the many tea options.
Sat-Thu 8am-midnight; Fri noon-midnight. Kargeen Restaurant, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos (9925 3351).
This spot offers a modern take on Omani food, and you can get everything from camel biryani (the signature dish) to saffron crème brulee. The staff here go above and beyond to help newbies to the cuisine so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.
Ubhar Restaurant, Shatti Al Qurum (9876 5555).
As unique dining experiences go, dining in what looks like an old fort is pretty up there. This spot, which serves up amazing Omani food, gets busy, so make sure you head here early to avoid the crowds.
Daily 8am-11.30pm. Rozna Restaurant, Muscat (2202 2220).