Best of Omani Cuisine: Try These Traditional Dishes From Oman

The traditional dishes from Oman are not just meals but expressions of a long-held heritage
Middle-eastern cuisine
Middle-eastern cuisineOman

Nestled at the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman beckons travellers with its diverse terrain encompassing rugged mountains, golden deserts, and pristine beaches. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen—countries that have inspired and influenced the Omani cuisines for a long time.

Culinary Traditions: A Fusion of Heritage and Climate

Fjords near Khasab, Musandam are a testament to the diverse landscape in Oman
Fjords near Khasab, Musandam are a testament to the diverse landscape in OmanShutterstock

Omani cuisine stands as a testament to the intricate interplay of climate, landscape and history. The cuisine's foundation rests on staple ingredients like rice, wheat, and dates, while the availability of fish, meat, and aromatic spices brings a harmonious balance to the palate. Over centuries, Omani cuisine has evolved through interactions with traders and explorers, leaving an indelible mark of Persian, Indian, and African influences. If you've always wanted to try dishes from Oman, here's a list to start with.

Shuwa, a delectable dish from Oman
Shuwa, a delectable dish from OmanShutterstock


Shuwa, a dish of legendary status, is rooted in Omani history. This slow-cooked dish consists of marinated lamb or goat, rubbed with a blend of spices including saffron, cardamom, and coriander, then wrapped in banana leaves and slow-roasted underground for up to 48 hours. The result is tender, succulent meat with a mesmerizing fusion of flavours. Shuwa is traditionally prepared during festive occasions and celebrations, a testament to its cultural significance. This iconic dish finds its heart in Salalah, a coastal town in southern Oman, where the traditions remain alive.


Mashuai captures the essence of Oman's coastal lifestyle. Slow-cooked roast lamb or goat is combined with a fragrant blend of spices and rice. The dish is crowned with a garnish of crispy caramelized onions and toasted nuts. The unique combination of tender meat and aromatic rice embodies the maritime heritage of Oman, with the dish often being enjoyed during gatherings and ceremonies. The best mashuai experiences can be savoured in the bustling alleys of Muscat's Mutrah Souq.


Maqbous, often likened to biryani, is a rice-based dish elevated by the fusion of spices, vegetables, and succulent meat. The rice is infused with saffron and enriched with a medley of ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, and dried fruits. The dish exemplifies Omani hospitality, as it is traditionally shared among friends and family. The ancient city of Nizwa, surrounded by historic forts and date palm groves, is the perfect setting to savour the rich layers of flavours in Maqbous.

Restaurants to Explore

Bin Ateeq

Located in the heart of Muscat, Bin Ateeq is renowned for its mastery of Omani cuisine. The restaurant's dedication to preserving traditional flavours is evident in every dish, offering an authentic taste of Omani heritage.

Kargeen Cafe

Nestled in the charming old quarter of Muscat, Kargeen offers a serene oasis to indulge in classic Omani dishes. The restaurant's picturesque setting adds to the joy of the dining experience.

Al Angham

Set within the surroundings of the Royal Opera House Muscat, Al Angham artfully weaves contemporary luxury and Omani tradition together. Diners can relish a fusion of heritage and innovation while savouring timeless Omani dishes.

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