To all our American readers, we wish you a happy Independence Day, which takes place this week on Friday July 4. Looking to find a suitable spot so to join in the emirate’s celebrations for America’s national day? With a deluge of fare on offer, you can opt for a taste of New York, Louisiana or California in Dubai. As it happens, that search is becoming much easier in the city. Following the launch of US favourites Ihop and The Cheesecake Factory, back in 2012, the following years have seen the arrival of yet more American-born or American-inspired eateries. Now, US-style eating is becoming as big in Dubai as a typical state-side portion size. Happy eating, oh and and have a nice day...
Burger Joint NYC Initially launched in New York, Dubai’s first branch of this burger concept serves up some surprisingly ordinary burgers. The charm, however, is in the grittily reimagined vision of pared down New York, from the cardboard menu, to the two-choice selection of sandwiches, and the mass of brickwork and graffiti in the decor. Citywalk, Jumeirah 1 (04 344 4459).
Claw BBQ A home-grown concept from the brains behind Okku brings to Dubai the spirit of a Southern American style crabshack and grill. While this laidback yet lively spot draws in the crowds partly for the atmosphere, the food, from mac ‘n’ cheese, to buffalo jumbo prawns is of an enjoyable standard. The crab involves messy hacking and splatting but that’s half the fun, and it’s certainly worth the effort involved. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 432 2300).
Clinton Street Baking Company Winging its way to Dubai, from New York, this bakery and café bills itself as an acclaimed brunch option in the city of brunches. That means eggs at midday, mind you. There is a full selection of breakfast dishes, featuring buttermilk biscuits, cheese grits, fried chicken with waffles and more, as well as plenty of patisserie items such as classic cheesecake or maple pecan pie. Burj Views, Downtown Dubai (04 428 1331).
Cravin’ Cajun Opened in late 2013, this restaurant is inspired by the natural ethnic fusion of food in America’s Deep South, known as cajun and creole. Cravin’ Cajun also tries to capture the spirit of Louisiana with bouts of live jazz in the evenings. Live music will not be performed during Ramadan. Novotel Dubai Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 304 9000).
Cut by Wolfgang Puck Currently Dubai’s only fine-dining American import, this (originally) LA-based steakhouse from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, now has outposts from London to Singapore. Having only opened in Dubai in May, there’s already word of region-wide expansion for Austrian-born master chef Puck. In the meantime, head down to The Address Downtown Dubai, where you can try Kobe beef, Wiener schnitzel or Peking-style duck. The Address Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
HEAT Cafe & Grill Inspired by the Southern Californian fashion for casual diners that serve athlete-friendly food, ideal for pre or post gym meals, this battered-looking spot in Jumeirah serves simple dishes, in which the protein, fat and carb content has been carefully weighed in the balance. It’s a bodybuilder’s paradise. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 8831).
Ihop International House of Pancakes, as it is in fact called, serves a hearty and simple selection of all-American, all day breakfasts. That’s pancakes in every flavour and topping, yes, but also omelettes, biscuits and gravy, steak and eggs and more. Not really one for health food enthusiasts though, be warned. Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 385 0891). Other location: The Walk, JBR (04 361 2410).
Ketchup Backed by celebrity pretty boy (and actor) Ashton Kutcher, the concept at Ketchup is an all American selection of cooking. As such the menu ranges from burgers and steaks, to items such as Philly steak sandwiches, barbecue ribs and peanut butter milkshakes. Boulevard Plaza, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 363 8595).
Lemonade This recent import to Ibn Battuta Mall is a Southern Californian comfort food concept, but with a healthier twist than those words usually evoke. Inside the eatery, there is a canteen-buffet style selection, with salads, hot pots and much more besides. The selection here is primarily international and homely, but American classics to choose from include mac ‘n’ cheese (plus a white truffle version), lemonade in multiple flavours and more. China Court, Ibn Battuta Mall (800 5366 6233).
Mo’s This friendly and casual dining spot in Citywalk has a little touch of modern New York steakhouse class to the design, with dark leather booths and tiled walls. The menu is crammed full of American spirit, taken from across the country, with the New York flavours of lox bagels and Reuben on rye sandwiches to the Latin influence dishes of the south such as quesadillas and tacos. Citywalk, Jumeirah (04 344 3305).
Mooyah A burger concept born in the one-star state of Texas, Mooyah is a colourful and fun fast-food spot. There’s a choice of beef, chicken of veggie-friendly black beans for the patty, and classic combinations such as mushrooms with Swiss cheese, or Texan-style barbecue. China Court, Ibn Battuta Mall (04 453 9815).
SoHo Bar & Grill Taking inspiration (and its name) from the New York borough of SoHo, the steakhouse has a modern and industrial design and a generally very good menu of beefy treats, from steaks cooked on hot stone, to crammed, greedy burgers. Century Village, Garhoud (04 286 8520). Other locations: Wafi Mall (04 396 6141).
The Boutique Kitchen This is a brand new addition to the burgeoning café scene in Al Quoz. The menu has a definitely American tone, featuring panko-crumbed mac and cheese balls, Texan beef chili with tortilla chips, crispy chicken wings, and Philly steak with cheese sandwiches. Al Quoz (04 388 3549).
The Cheesecake Factory When The Dubai Mall opened the emirates’ first branch of The Cheesecake Factory, it wrestled with queues around the block. No surprises then, that the second branch (in Mall of the Emirates) is in fact their largest anywhere the world. Frankly, we’re not sold on the savoury menu here, mac n cheese stuffed burgers et al, but the sheer variety of gluttonous cheesecake recipes is worth a try. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 325 3521). Other location: Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 409 9000).
The Hamptons Café Inspired by, but not from the Hamptons, this new café aims to emulate the sophistication of the infamous Long Island getaway in New York State. The venue is spread over three floors, including a roof terrace. There’s also a herb garden and a tea salon. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 331 5118).