Oman, perched on Arabian Peninsula is one of the best countries to explore in the UAE that is known for its history and stunning architectural wonders. Not just this, Oman is also known for its rich culture and scrumptious flavors of its local cuisine. Omani cuisine is a fusion of Indian, Mediterranean, Asian, Iranian, Arab and African cuisine, mostly dominated by grilled meat, curry, vegetables and rice. To add more taste to the dishes, food in Oman is seasoned with herbs, marinades and spices. We are sure you are going to love the exotic flavors of Omani cuisine, so check out this blog to find out the best dishes to try in Oman on your next trip.
Top 12 Traditional Omani Food To Try On Your Next Trip
Food in Oman is a fusion of different cuisines, so get ready for a burst of flavors when you try these 8 best dishes on your next trip to the country.
1. Omani Bread
Omani Bread is one of the most important components of Omani cuisine that comes in different shapes and sizes. The bread is made by the local people of Oman at their homes but is also sold at different bakeries and restaurants in Oman. There are two types of Omani bread which are usually found, one is bigger in size and is thick and circular in shape while the other is smaller in size and is generally thin and crisp. It is very easy to prepare it using just three ingredients which are salt, water and flour. It is served with honey, mayonnaise or cheese or even with a meal.
Main Ingredients: Flour, Water, Salt
Where to Try: Almost all Omani restaurants
Majboos first originated in Saudi Arabia and since then the dish has become quite popular in all of the gulf countries including Oman. Majboos also known as kabsa is a mix of rice, vegetables, cooked meat or chicken sauteed in different spices. One of the best things to do in Oman is definitely trying out Majboos which forms the most important part of Omani food. It is usually served with a yogurt but can also be eaten with a salad, tomato ketchup or traditional bread. This dish is also served at big occasions in Oman like parties and engagements.
Main Ingredients: Rice, Vegetables, Meat or Chicken, Spices
Where to Try: Kargeen, Ginger All Day Dining, Shiraz
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3. Omani Laban
The list of traditional Omani food would be incomplete without adding Omani Laban to it which is sour milk made using ingredients like buttermilk and yoghurt. To add more essence and flavors to the drink, it is often seasoned with cardamom, cumin, pistachios or mint from the top. You will find it almost at every café and restaurant in Oman. Also, it is served to guests by the local people of the country.
Main Ingredients: Yoghurt and Buttermilk
Where to Try: Ubhar, Slider Station
None of the cuisine is complete without adding scrumptious dessert to it and what could be better than relishing the sweet halwa in Oman. One of the best dishes in Omani cuisine is definitely halwa which is a sweet dessert with a thick consistency, made using sugar, eggs, honey, spices and seasoned with nuts. Preparation of this dish is quite easy; however, it takes time as sugar takes time to thicken in water placed on fire. It is often served with kahwa or dates. Halwa can be stored for around 3 months without losing its original flavor and consistency, hence it also serves as a great souvenir to bring back from Oman.
Main Ingredients: Sugar, Eggs, Honey, Nuts, Spices
Where to Try: Barka Halwa Factory, Muscat, Oman
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If you are looking for Oman street food items, then Mishkak is worth-trying. Sold at almost every street in Oman, this local dish is nothing but grilled pieces of marinated mutton, beef or chicken served on long wooden sticks. Mishkak can be eaten off the stick or by removing it from the stick with freshly served Arab bread. It is often served hot with tamarind chutney and tastes heavenly. You will find Mishkak at different street vendors and also at various restaurants all over Oman.
Main Ingredients: Marinated meat, Spices, Onion, Garlic
Where to Try: Mishkak Restaurant, Muscat, Oman
Harees is a traditional Omani food that is made from wheat that has been soaked overnight, mixed with meat and sprinkled with different Arabic spices. The dish resembles a porridge when fully prepared and is infused with cinnamon and sugar before it is served. The preparation method of this dish and choice of ingredients differs from country to country, however in Oman, the main ingredients are wheat and meat. Mention of Harees is even in the manuscripts as the dish dates back to Armenian period. If you really want to delve into the authentic Omani taste, the we would suggest you to definitely try Harees.
Main Ingredients: Wheat, Arabic spices, Meat, Cinnamon, Sugar
Where to Try: Bin Ateeq, Muscat, Oman
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Kahwa is nothing but coffee in Arabic. Kahwa is quite a popular drink in Oman that is consumed by people at any time of the day. It is quite strong unlink other coffee and is served in small cups along with halwa or dates. Coffee beans are freshly prepared and therefore they taste heavenly. To enhance the flavor of coffee, kahwa is often mixed with cardamom powder. Kahwa is so important for the local people of Oman that they take it quite a several times throughout the day which makes it the most famous food in Oman.
Main Ingredients: Coffee beans, Cardamom
Where to Try: Pasha Café, Muscat, Oman
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The national dish of Oman, Shuwa is one of the best dishes to try in Oman whose preparation takes a lot of time as the meat is marinated in aromatic Arabic spices, after the marination is done, they are then wrapped in banana leaves and kept in underground sand oven for one or two days until it is fully cooked. It is the most famous dish cooked during the time of Eid and due to its longer preparation time, local people of Oman prepare it on the first day of the festival and consume it on second or third day. The unique preparation style of Shuwa enhances its flavor and taste, making it one of the most delectable dishes to try in Oman.
Main Ingredients: Meat, Arabic spices, Smoked paprika
Where to Try: Bait Al Luban Restaurant, Mutrah Corniche, Oman
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Have you ever wondered why there is a food called a date? It’s a mystery, isn’t it? Well, it is a staple diet in Oman served with Kahwa, a coffee. It is a symbol of hospitality; and is a famous food in Oman and does come in various shapes, tastes and colors. So, when you want to try something different, go have a date. You can even serve it as a dessert after a scrumptious meal. Out of the many dates, some of the most popular types are Khalas, Khunaizi and Fargh/Fard.
Main Ingredients: NA
Where to Try: All most in all the restaurants in Oman
One of the most favorite sandwiches in the streets of Oman is Shawarma. Made out of meat soaked in spices and wrapped in pita bread, the flavors will burst one’s mouth. It is almost like having a party of flavors. It is eaten nice and hot with fries or garlic paste. It is made fresh in the stalls on the streets of Oman. Tourists should try this delight that is only found in the Middle East.
Main Ingredients: Vinegar, chicken, garlic, chili powder and spices
Where to Try: Bait Al Luban Restaurant, Mutrah Corniche, Oman
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Another famous food in Oman that travelers should know about, Mashuai is a traditional Omani dish that is usually prepared with Kingfish. The delicacy is widely popular in Oman and is eaten in just about every Omani house today, the best part? Since kingfish is found in abundance in the coastal waters of Oman, travelers can find the fish in just about every corner of the country. Besides, Mashuai is prepared by spit roasting a whole fish which has been oil and spices. The best way to have this dish is to combine it with lemon rice.
Main Ingredients - Kingfish
Where To Try - Muttrah Corniche
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Another famous food in Oman that every traveler should definitely taste, Mushaltat is a soft flatbread that is stuffed with honey, meat, spinach, or cheese. The delicacy is usually baked in about 5 minutes when the bread is made out of refined wheat flour and kneaded into a thin cake. Post this, it is stuffed with different ingredients and left to bake for about 5 minutes.
Interestingly, Mushaltat is one of those dishes which can be prepared in multiple varieties. It can range from honey and kraft to chicken or plane. So, why not try this delicacy on your journey around Oman?
Main Ingredients - Flour, Honey/Chicken/Kraft
Where To Try - Falafel Al Nile
Oman is definitely a great country when it comes to relishing the local flavors. The dishes served here have unique taste and preparation style that enhances the flavor and aroma of Omani dishes. Food in Oman reflects its culture and will delight your taste buds and senses. There are various restaurants and street food vendors serving these famous Omani dishes which you must definitely try on your next trip to Oman. If you have already booked your flights to Oman, then we would suggest you to try out the above listed dishes in Oman for a burst of exotic flavors in your mouth.
The best dish which one shouldn’t miss on trying when in Oman is Majboos which is a mix of rice, vegetables, cooked meat or chicken sauteed in different spices. It is usually served with a yogurt but can also be eaten with a salad, tomato ketchup or traditional bread. The dish orginated in Saudi Arabia but since then it has become a favorite of many Arab people throughout the Gulf nations.
Some of the most popular restaurants in Oman are:
- Bin Ateeq
- Ginger All Day Dining
- Mishkak Restaurant
- Al Angham
One must definitely try these desserts in Oman as they taste heavenly and will make your taste buds dance:
- Omani Pudding
- Maho Halwa
- Halawet Ahmad
Laban is the most famous drink to try in Oman which is a salty milk made from buttermilk and yoghurt. Another popular drink to try in Oman is traditional Arabic coffee which most of the Omanu people relish at any time of the day.
Some of the most famous street food items in Oman are:
- Omani Bread
- Karak Chai
Some of the best family restaurants in Oman are:
- D'Arcy's Kitchen Shatti
- Taybat Restaurant
- Al Khiran Kitchen
Omani bread is one of the most famous foods to try in Oman. There are two types of Omani bread which are usually found, one is bigger in size and is thick and circular in shape while the other is smaller in size and is generally thin and crisp.
There are various quirky cafes worth-visiting in Oman. Some of them are listed below:
- Pasha Café
- Fauchon Paris
- Mani's Gourmet Café
- Tr.Eat Café
- Illy Caffe
- D'Arcy's Kitchen Shatti
- Café D
Mushaltat is a soft flatbread that is stuffed with honey, meat, spinach, or cheese. The delicacy is usually baked in about 5 minutes when the bread is made out of refined wheat flour and kneaded into a thin cake.
The best time to visit Oman is from October to April. This is the time when the temperatures are pleasantly warm in the country and travelers can easily explore without worrying about climatic barriers. Turtles at Ras al Jinz can also be seen during this time.
Yes, kingfish can easily be said to be the prominent choice for making Mashuai. Since kingfish is found in abundance in the coastal waters of Oman, travelers can find the fish in just about every corner of the country. Besides, Mashuai is prepared by spit roasting a whole fish which has been oil and spices.
Oman can be a tat expensive for travelers coming from around the world. The major expenses here are accommodation and transport. Usually, a cheap hotel room in Oman can cost about 12-15 OR per night while mid-range places would cost double the amount.