Winners Revealed: Fact Dining Awards Riyadh 2023

The inaugural FACT Dining Awards Riyadh ceremony took place on Thursday, 23 November, live from the Saudi Feast Food Festival in partnership with the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission.

This year, the Kingdom’s food and beverage professionals turned out to celebrate the very best of the industry. 37 awards were given out across 19 categories, which covered over 100 hotels and independent restaurants, resulting in over 45,000 online votes cast by the public. More than 300 guests enjoyed a sociable evening of canapés, free-flowing mocktails and live entertainment overlooking the Riyadh skyline.

Speaking after the event, Edward Smith, at FACT Magazine FZ LLC, said: “Now in our first year, the FACT Dining Awards Riyadh looks to become a highlight on the hospitality calendar in Riyadh, and an event that we are very honoured to host. It’s our privilege to recognise and award the efforts of all the excellent food and beverage outlets here in the Kingdom.

The dining scene in Riyadh is so diverse and dynamic, with so many beloved venues alongside exciting new ventures that are opening up all the time. As members of the media, it is our duty to give credit to the venues that have become such a big part of daily life here in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

“I would like to congratulate all of the winners – you are the heartbeat of this great city and this is just our way of showing appreciation for your continued hard work. It’s incredible to see the mutual support shared and received between the media and the hospitality industry in Riyadh, especially because there are so many high-quality venues.

We thank everyone who has helped us to commend the best in the culinary game, and we’ll be back next year with more to celebrate,” he said.

The FACT Dining Awards recognises excellence in the food and beverage industry, with winners awarded based on public votes and critics’ opinions. Each category was given two awards, the BEST and the FAVOURITE. The latter is the result of a popular choice decided through online voting, and the former is the critics’ choice chosen by the FACT editorial team and an independent panel of industry experts.

This year, a staggering 45,000 unique votes were cast online by diners in the Kingdom. Some standout accolades included ‘Best Newcomer’, which was awarded to Gymkhana in Via Riyadh, whilst the ‘Favourite Newcomer’ went to RŌBATA in Hittin. The ‘Best Restaurant in Riyadh’ for 2023 went to the ever-innovative MYAZU in As Sulimaniyah. A slew of independent and homegrown venues also walked away with accolades, namely Maiz for ‘Best Homegrown Saudi Cuisine’, Marble Steakhouse in Umm Al Hamam Al Sharqi for ‘Best Steakhouse’, and Najd Village in Alyasmin for ‘Best Al Fresco Dining.’

Sponsors on the night included Classic Fine Foods, the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission and our trophy partner, Crystal Corp.

Social media was abuzz, as the Kingdoms’s dining elite shared their photos on Instagram and TikTok, with the FACT team taking readers behind the scenes of the event on their InstaStories @factksa.

FACT Dining Awards is part of a wider initiative by FACT Magazine FZ LLC, with popular dining awards taking place in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar.