Khobar — the last exit before you hit the famous causeway from Saudi to Bahrain — continues to bring new, promising spaces to its residents, month after month. Laced with stunning beaches and colorful nightlife, this city offers the perfect blend of culinary traditions from around the world in a fashion that appeals to both nationals and expats alike.
Recently, several new vegan-friendly eateries have popped up around town, making it easier than ever to get your fix of delicious plant-based meals.
This popular chain is making waves with its cheery tropical ambiance, flamingo-adorned walls, and photogenic dishes. If you’re popping in for breakfast, allow us to recommend the vegan scrambled eggs, which feature tofu in disguise with subtle heat from peppers and a side of plump cherry tomatoes tossed in turmeric and served on bread.
The Poke Bowl and Super Bowl offer a delightful blend of fresh, nourishing ingredients, including tofu, hijiki, edamame, and takuwan. Also worth a mention is the vegan sandwich, with its “meatballs” made from mushrooms, tomatoes, parsley, and white beans spiced with garlic and chili. The “meatballs” are sandwiched in a crisp bagel and come with a side of sweet potato fries and vegan mayo.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for a burger, this is the place to get it. Circle’s version is a soft vegan patty made from chickpeas, cashews, and quinoa resting on a generous portion of portobello mushrooms alongside fried onions, tomato slices, avocado, lettuce, and coconut.
We have it on good authority (from the head chef himself) that more vegan dishes will soon be added to the menu.
Tel: (+966) 13 897 7711
Saravanaa Bhavan has been hugely popular among Indian vegetarians, and we were thrilled when they opened up a branch in Khobar. If you are new to the South Indian concept, it’s important to note that they offer a huge menu of vegetarian dishes that put the versatility of cereals, pulses, and legumes to good use. The best part about the menu is that the majority of the dishes can be customized to be purely vegan, and many of them can be enjoyed as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The humble idly, which is a dish of steamed rice and lentil patties, holds the first place if you want to have a truly comforting meal that is both light and nourishing. It comes with three varieties of coconut chutney, sambar, and spicy gun powder. The vada, which is a deep-fried lentil doughnut, is often included as well.
The dosa is another versatile dish that we keep coming back to. It’s a crepe typically made from fermented rice and lentil batter that can be eaten with a spicy potato stuffing as a masala dosa. If that sounds like it’s right up your alley, we would suggest opting for the rava masala dosa, which differs in that it is made with a semolina and rice batter.
Next up on the must-try list is the classic poori — deep-fried wholewheat dough that is thin and flaky — paired with a simple potato curry and a mixed vegetable curry. The chana bhatura is also made with a deep-fried dough from all-purpose flour, yogurt, and yeast. It tastes incredible when accompanied by the quintessential chickpea curry.
With a ten-plus-page menu offering endless possibilities, it’s safe to say that you’ll be spoiled for choice at Saravanaa Bhavan.
Tel: (+966) 54 507 7755
Bohemia Art Café
Art, coffee, and vinyls. These are just some of the unique elements that make this quirky café a one-of-a-kind space for the vegan community. Expect vibrant art pieces and designated cozy spaces, people working, studying, chatting, or play board games, and even an upstairs record-store lounge with a retro spin, where you can purchase a record player or a timeless vinyl.
Now to the food. Bohemia Art Café caters to vegans, people following a Paleo diet, and those staying clear of gluten.
The vegan cinnamon rolls are the perfect doughy consistency with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar glaze. Other unmissable items include the zaatar rolls packed with flavor and the superfood cookies made with flax seeds and oats. While these are regular go-to delights, there are also a few interesting items that make an appearance once or twice a week, such as flapjacks, an espresso bar, the ‘Temptation Salad’, the ‘Hong Kong Garden Salad’, and banana bread.
Bohemia Art Café also boasts a long list of coffees that can be brewed with coconut, almond, or soy milk. The ‘Boheme Latte’, served cold, is uniquely brewed in coconut milk, while the iced latte with almond milk is ideal if you’re looking for more flavor and acidity. If you’re more of a tea person, opt for the popular ‘Passion Tea’, which is an iced tea prepared with passion fruit purée.
Every city needs a grab-and-go spot, especially when it comes to quick bites, breakfast bowls, mid-meals, and salads. Greens has been able to meet that need with ease by devising a menu with lots of customizable options. While we waited for our order, we noticed how much the place holds value for those needing a quick, healthy bite or beverage. It doesn’t disappoint for a dine-in experience, either. From the all-day breakfast and vegan bites to the açai and oatmeal bowls, you have the option to customize practically anything.
For a light and nourishing meal, opt for the fully vegan ‘Aubergine Miso Salad’ or the surprisingly simple ‘Thai Salad’ made with peppers, cucumbers, napa cabbage, peanuts, sesame, and rice noodles dressed in a delicious peanut butter sauce. The dessert bar offers raw vegan brownies and banana muffins, which promise to satisfy any sweet tooth, especially when paired with the earthy turmeric latte or the beetroot-agave-based ‘Pink Latte’.
Green also offers juice cleanses, whey protein products, and more for post-workout-meal enthusiasts.
Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Road
Tel: (+966) 56 083 9605
Elma D’Souza is a passionate cake artist and lifestyle blogger based in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Working on cakes that involve extensive hand painting and sculpting with textures are her best-loved methods of self-expression. Food styling, curating shoots, and documenting thoughts from those frames based out of mundane moments spent in day-to-day life are her other interests. You can follow her @theovenaffairs.