Food in Kuwait
Kuwait has a diverse range of eateries. Because there is practically no nightlife, most people go out to restaurants and shopping centers. In high-end restaurants, a broad range of foreign cuisines are offered, but certain strongly pork-based cuisines (German, for example) are notably missing. Kuwait is well-known for its culinary specialities as well as its catering services. Restaurants may be located in mall food courts, and many foreign restaurants are clustered together in certain locations in Kuwait, namely:
- Behind the Roman Catholic Church in Kuwait City
- Outside the Mövenpick Resort in Salmiya
- In the Marina Crescent
Simply asking any local where the “Eateries Road” is will lead you to a road in Salmiya lined with local restaurants offering a wide variety of speciality sandwiches, juices, and snacks. Alternatively, visit any of the big shopping malls, which are also teeming with eateries serving everything from quick cuisine to fine dining. Every imaginable American corporation has a presence in Kuwait! Traditional Kuwaiti cuisine is still available at a few places. The Al-Marsa restaurant at the Le Meridien Hotel (Bneid Al Gar location) serves authentic Kuwaiti fish at a reasonable price. A better choice is the charming Shati Alwatia restaurant inside the Behbehani Villa complex in Kuwait City’s Qibla neighborhood (behind the Mosques), and another Kuwaiti restaurant is Ferij Suwailih in the Salmiya neighborhood. If you don’t feel like going out to dine, almost every restaurant and bistro in the nation will bring meals to your door. Order online from a variety of sites and enjoy the same menu options as at the restaurant for a little delivery charge (typically 200 to 400 Fils) added to the order total.
Each district has its own ‘Co-operative Society’ (Jumayya) for general food shopping, which typically consists of a supermarket and a general D.I.Y. store. When you pay for your groceries, the cashier will typically ask whether you have a receipt (which is given to local customers as a way to build up credits). It is also common for someone to load your shopping bags for you and bring them to your vehicle, unless you specify differently. If they do go to your vehicle, it is traditional to tip them approximately 1/2 KD, but they do not usually wait for it. Kuwait also has a diverse range of different supermarkets, ranging from high-quality local brands (The Sultan Company) to hypermarkets run by international heavyweights such as Carrefour, Geant, and an Indian chain, LuLu. All of them provide genuinely worldwide choices at generally reasonable rates.
Drinks in Kuwait
Tap water is drinkable, but much of it is desalinated and not especially delicious, and in the heat, you may have difficulty distinguishing between hot and cold taps. Bottled water is available for a few hundred fils everywhere.
Alcohol is prohibited in Kuwait: it may not be imported, produced, or supplied, and media often announce arrests of illicit distilleries.