This Is The Largest Restaurant In The World

To comprehend the scale of the world's largest restaurant, it helps to think of it as a destination more than a dining venue. Located on the outskirts of Damascus in Syria, Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant (Damascus Gate Restaurant) claimed the Guinness World Record title for largest restaurant in the world on May 15, 2008. At 54,000 square meters (via Tita S Travels), the dining area alone is about the size of 10 5,351-square-meter football fields (via Justintools). Ten football fields. Let that sink in.

But there's more to earning the record than laying out a landscape of tables and chairs. According to a report by Reuters, in order to be considered for the world record, a restaurant has to be capable of efficiently serving guests relative to its size.

"During our examination of the restaurant we were surprised to find that some of the equipment had been custom made for Damascus Gate, transforming the kitchen into a mini-factory to cater to its massive clientele," Guinness country operations executive Qusai Hasala told Reuters in a 2008 interview.

The official Guinness World Records report pegs Bawabet Dimashq's seating capacity at 6,014. Tita S Travels reports the restaurant's total kitchen area comes in at 2,500 square meters (about half a football field). That's 6,014 people in a 54,000-square-meter dining area, serviced by 2,500 square meters of kitchen space. Clearly, they've come up with a system that works and satisfies the functionality parameter.

What's it like dining in the world's largest restaurant?

If your idea of a perfect night out is a table for two in a cozy neighborhood bistro, this may not be the place for you. But if you live by the mantra of bigger is better or want to travel for a unique experience, Bawabet Dimashq Restaurant might be right up your alley.

Opened in 2002 (via Tita S Travels), Bawabet Dimashq is the brainchild of Syrian business owner Shaker al Samman. The unique venue has garnered attention worldwide, especially in the years following its Guinness designation.

According to a 2020 report by Tita S Travels, the labyrinthine structure features indoor and outdoor seating. In what Reuter's described as something akin to a movie set, Bawabet Dimashq is composed of six sections, each offering a unique food experience — Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Syrian (per Tita S. Travels). Fountains, waterfalls, and replicas of ancient ruins punctuate the gargantuan space. During peak season, the complex employs up to 1,800 workers, including trained chefs capable of turning out 25 to 30 servings per minute of simple, but popular, menu items like hummus.

While some outlets, including Tita S Travels, report that the restaurant was partially destroyed and closed during the height of the Syrian Civil War (which began in 2011), a 2021 report by the Syrian Arab News Agency stated that the restaurant reopened in 2018. Additionally, Guinness still lists Bawabet Dimashq as the world's largest restaurant.