7 Best Things To Eat (Or Drink) In Abha For A Soul-Satisfying Experience

by Anupriya Mishra
7 Best Things To Eat (Or Drink) In Abha For A Soul-Satisfying Experience

Abha is quite famous in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East for being cool even during summer. It’s no secret that the majestical high mountain peaks and the rich historical past draw hordes of tourists. However, Kamiya Jani, our Editor-in-Chief, on her recent trip to the beautiful city with a breathtaking landscape, showed us another reason why you must visit this beautiful region.

Well, it is especially a paradise for foodies, as they will find an exquisite selection of sumptuous dishes that are truly going to leave them spoilt for choice. It’s no secret that the food culture of any place is highly influenced by its surroundings and this is the case with Abha as well.

Since it is surrounded by mountainous ranges, people are nearly always busy with strenuous physical activities. Whether they are herding, farming, or even climbing steep peaks, they need a lot of nourishment to keep them energised throughout the day. As a result, all the three meals in Abha are quite heavy. So, here’s a look at some of the best things to eat (or drink) in Abha!

Best Things To Eat (Or Drink) In Abha

1. Areekah At Happy Dose

Pic credits: Internal

As mentioned previously, since this is a region of people who have a history of indulging in immense physical activities, the food here, as a result, is quite heavy. An example of this is the traditional breakfast, Areekah. Quite a famous Asiri dish, it’s made with a bunch of nutritious ingredients!

A melange of soft flavours at play that will leave you satisfied, Kamiya was seen relishing this traditional breakfast at a local restaurant in the Asir region, called Happy Dose. The dish itself has a slight resemblance to a casserole, and it’s baked with white and brown flour coupled with honey, dates, and ghee.

In case you’re wondering about the restaurant, it’s quite famous for offering a delectable selection of dishes falling under the umbrella of Arabic cuisine. So, if you’re in Abha and are on the lookout for a place where you can start your day on a hearty note, this restaurant is just the place to be. There are other places where you can try this dish in the city, like Areekah Reefy.

Where: Happy Dose – 5158 King Fahd Road, Al Manhal, Abha & Areekah Reefy – 62528, Abha, Saudi Arabia

2. Haneeth At Matbakh – Hirra Restaurant

Pic credits: Internal

The traditional dish of Saudi Arabia, Haneeth can simply be defined as a rice and meat-based dish that’s slow-cooked to perfection. However, the rich flavours of this tempting dish that’s fit for a feast are definitely going to leave you swooning. It’s slow-cooked in an underground clay oven which is called Al-Taboon and the oven is fired up with wood sticks.

Did you know Haneeth is essentially cooked for over three hours? Yes, after it’s been cooked to perfection, one gets fluffy rice packed with oodles of flavour and soft meat that falls off the bones! At this point, it should be noted that Asiri people are quite particular about the meat they eat!

They only prefer lamb from the mountains and they’re also quite particular about the portion of the lamb used for each serving. So, whether you wish to enjoy this meal as a group of four people or as a party of an entire family, they’ll have the lambs portioned out accordingly. Another place where you can find this delectable delight is the Haneeth Ali Ramzi Restaurant.

Where: Haneeth Ali Ramzi Restaurant – Haneeth Ali Ramzi Restaurant & Matbakh – Hirra Restaurant – 67RG+P86 Al Ous’ 63453, Saudi Arabia

3. Baraat Chai At Al Areesh Restaurant

Baraat Chai Abha
Pic credits: Internal

This is a famous tea and, to be honest, if you go to Saudi Arabia and don’t indulge in the flavourful tea options offered there, is your trip even complete? Whether it’s for breakfast or at a small kiosk at Abha Airport Park, you will find Baraat Chai that’s certainly going to soothe your soul.

This aromatic tea is brewed by boiling water and then flavouring the same with black loose-leaf tea and fresh mint. You can, however, sweeten the same according to your preference! Whether you enjoy the sharp sweetness from the crystal sugar granules or want a flowery note from golden honey, the end result is going to be the same – a soul-satisfying sip.

So, while you’re in Abha, don’t forget to get your fill of this famous Arabic tea, we’re sure you won’t regret it! Since this is a highly popular beverage, you can find it across the city.

Where: Al Areesh Restaurant – King Abdul Aziz Rd, Al Muftaha, Abha, 62521, Saudi Arabia & Falaq Restaurant – Abu Huraira Rd, Abha 62527, Saudi Arabia

4. Tasabea At Happy Dose

Pic credits: Internal

The next name on this list is a dish that’s generally served on celebratory or traditional occasions. Tasabea is a scrumptious delight that’s often prepared by heavily relying on milk and water. For making this masterpiece, flour which has been cooked on fire is added to milk or water, and it is then cooked until it’s completely done. And it’s often served with margarine.

In case you’re wondering, margarine is a spread that’s often used in flavouring, baking, or even cooking. As it happens, it’s also used as a substitute for butter quite often! You can relish this delightful dish at the Happy Dose as well!

After all, the good folks here do have a comprehensive menu, one that encompasses the best of the Arabic cuisine. Another place to relish Tasabea is at Al Bait Baitak.

Where: Falaq Restaurant – Abu Huraira Rd, Abha 62527 & Happy Dose – 5158 King Fahd Road, Al Manhal, Abha

5. Miva Bread At Happy Dose

Miva Bread Abha
Pic credits: Internal

Completing most of the Asiri dishes, Kamiya Jani was also seen relishing this supple Arabic bread with her meal during her trip to Saudi Arabia’s Abha. As such, this bread is also baked in an oven, and the folks in Saudi Arabia use one called Tanour to create this flavourful albeit soft dish.

In case you’re wondering what goes into the making of this supple bread, Miva dough, which is used for making the bread, is first left to ferment for a very long time. After it’s been fermented for the ideal amount of time needed, it is then shaped into an oval, which is then baked until it’s perfectly cooked.

At this point, it is worth mentioning that this bread is quite similar to its other Saudi counterparts, such as Southern bread and Khmer bread. As this is a highly popular bread, you can find it at nearly every restaurant offering local food across the city.

Where: Meshraq Restaurant – The Sun, Al-Hizam Road – Al-Wardatayn (Al-Hizam, Abha)

6. Labneh Manakeesh At Al Areesh Restaurant

Labneh Manakish
Pic credits: Internal

Simply speaking, this is a Saudi Arabian flatbread that’s often served with honey. Another great dish to relish in the region, this one is quite a charmer for foodies! While Manakeesh has a wide variety throughout the Middle East, those available in Abha are certainly soul-satisfying.

Not to mention, Manakeesh is made from stretchy dough, when it’s combined with labneh, it’s absolutely lip-smacking! And for those who are unaware, labneh is derived from straining an already-strained yoghurt, so the end result is quite creamy. Finally, when this delicious combination is coupled with the sweetness of honey, the end result is a symphony of flavours dancing on one’s palate.

You can dive into this delightful dish at Al Areesh restaurant. And if you’re wondering, the thatched roofs complemented by bamboo furniture give this place a beachy vibe, which just adds to its charm. You can also try other types of Manakeesh at Karadeniz Kirsal.

Where: Karadeniz Kirsal – 7257 King Fahad Hajla Road ( 4402 7257), & Meshraq Restaurant – The Sun, Al-Hizam Road – Al-Wardatayn (Al-Hizam, Abha)

7. Tamiya At Al Areesh Restaurant

Tamiya Abha
Pic credits: Internal

Tamiya are basically deep-fried falafels that are absolutely a must-have and of course, deserve to be on the list for this very reason. After all, falafels do happen to be quite famous in the Middle East!

Those served in Abha are often coupled with thinly sliced boiled eggs, diced fresh veggies, and a generous drizzle of a savoury sauce. The flavourful balls have a crunchy exterior which has been achieved by frying them to perfection.

On the inside, there’s a melange of spices that have been perfectly combined often with broad beans, ground chickpeas, or both. A highly popular snack, falafels can easily be found at other restaurants, such as Shataer Alfalafil – Falafel & Rouhya Fatayer al falafel or even on street-side kiosks.

Where: Shataer Alfalafil – Falafel – Alarin, the district, Abha Saudi Arabia & Rouhya Fatayer al falafel – 7712-7832, King Faisal Road, Alqura, Abha

These were just a handful of things that are worth trying in the region. So, with this elaborate range of yummies on offer for foodies, doesn’t Abha sound like a paradise for people who love to go on a little food adventure? Well, plan your trip to Abha soon!

Cover Image Courtesy: Internal