Dubai Restaurants

After some time mimicking dining scenes in other cities, importing chef names and restaurant chains, Dubai has developed quite a complex and singular dining culture with more and more regional influences. Expats, trade, and tourism has brought all corners of the world to Dubai's doorstep, and there is something for any budget in almost every conceivable cuisine.

There is no Michelin guide in Dubai, but dine on the upper-end and you'll find establishments of the highest quality. Restaurants here get worldwide recognition, and the greatest chefs on the planet often pop up for unexpected residencies.

Middle-of-the-road dining will take you beach-side for gourmet burgers, into gastropubs and speakeasies, out to the desert for pizza on a rooftop, or sampling some very fine regional cuisine within particularly decadent spaces.

Some may argue that the most exciting element of Dubai’s cuisine culture is the budget sector, which provides a tantalizing and authentic array of cultural choices, sometimes just for loose change. Examples can be found at the rising number of food trucks around the city, but the originals will tend to be holes-in-the wall around the older parts of Dubai.

Even though Dubai is a Muslim country, pork products and alcohol are still available. Licences for both are restricted to restaurants and bars in large hotels and clubs. The prices at licensed premises tend to hover a little higher than elsewhere, and the venues sometimes suffer from blandness that can come with hotel restaurants, so it might be worth considering if you really need that drink; some of the greatest cuisine in the region is found in simple roadside ethnic eateries.

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  • 1. Bait Alqadeem

    $ | The North Bank | Middle Eastern

    Unless you've accidentally drifted away from the souks or visited the nearby Heritage House, it's very unlikely you'd ever discover Bait Alqadeem...Read More

  • 2. Abshar

    $$ | Jumeirah Beach | Middle Eastern

    The Jumeirah Beach Road is lined with ethnic restaurants—Turkish, Saudi, Lebanese— all inside villas. Most are very good, and Abshar is a favorite...Read More

  • 3. Al Hallab

    $$ | The North Bank | Lebanese

    For some grassroots Middle Eastern cuisine without jumping too far out of the box, Al Hallab is perfect. Their pedigree is supreme—more than...Read More

  • 4. Al Ustad Special Kebab

    $ | The South Bank | Middle Eastern

    For those willing to go out of their comfort zone for a great kebab, Ustad (also known as Ostadi) is definitely worth seeking out. It's a cozy...Read More

  • 5. Aroos Damascus

    $ | The North Bank | Middle Eastern

    If you want an inexpensive feed oozing with local flavor, this heaving establishment is the place to go. Authentic Emirati food might be elusive...Read More

  • 6. Biryani Pot

    $ | Jumeirah Beach | Indian

    For a feast costing only around 35 dirhams, this is a great choice in the otherwise pricey Jumeirah district. As the name would suggest, the...Read More

  • 7. Calicut Paragon

    $ | The South Bank | Indian

    Close to the Karama shopping district, many like to come here for thali , a south Indian meal involving bottomless refills of vegetarian curries...Read More

  • 8. Fumé

    $$$ | Dubai Marina | Eclectic

    The original Fumés (there are now two in the city), this location is in Pier 7, a swanky tower overlooking the Dubai Marina, with seven restaurants...Read More

  • 9. Irish Village

    $$ | The North Bank | Irish

    This truly is a Dubai institution—a veritable dinosaur in Dubai years, founded when everyone who was anyone lived on the airport side of the...Read More

  • 10. Yum!

    $ | The North Bank | Asian

    It’s a little hard to decide on a favorite in the Radisson Blu Dubai Creek—Shabestan (Iranian), Fish Market (fresh seafood), and Al Mansour...Read More

  • 11. Zagol

    $ | The South Bank | Ethiopian

    Although it's in the sleepy end of Karama, it's best to make a reservation as Zagol only fits about 20 people. The food is authentically Ethiopian...Read More

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