Neighbourhood cafes and ethnic restaurants aplenty
Jumeirah 1 Automatic Grill Jumeirah 1 is home to one of the oldest branches of this long-established Lebanese eatery, well known for its reliably good food, reasonable prices and slightly grumpy staff. Head to Beach Centre to grab a quick, affordable and tasty sandwich to take with you to the beach, or linger over a feast of mezze and grills. Beach Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 4888).
Biker’s Café Dedicated to motorbikes and the bikers who ride them, this café serves as a meeting ground for the city’s two- (and three) wheel enthusiasts. Grab a bite to eat while you sign up for a group ride or plan an early morning outing with fellow motoring fiends. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has even paid a much publicised visit to the café in the past. Near Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 3585).
Comptoir 102 Attached to a quaint boutique store, this café offers raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free dining options on its ever-changing menu. Each day, the menu changes with a choice of two starters, two mains and two desserts based on what the chef has bought that day. Near Beach Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 385 4555).
Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa A part of Jumeirah for a few decades now, this serene, low-rise and low-key resort houses a number of great little eating and drinking spots, including Mexican hangout Loca, swanky al fresco Japanese eatery Sho Cho, quaint Asian poolside spot Thai Bistro, sea-facing Mediterranean restaurant Flooka and many more. Next to Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 346 1111).
Lime Tree Café In the shadow of Dubai’s famous Jumeirah Mosque – the only mosque open to tourists in Dubai – this villa-style eatery has become famous for its decadent cakes, tasty toasted sandwiches, healthy super salads and ‘home-made’ style of cooking. It’s family friendly, and pooches are welcome in the front garden seating area too. Next to Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 8498).
Russo’s New York Pizzeria This casual dining spot promises fresh-to-order New York-style pizzas, alongside classic Italian favourites such as arancini (rice balls stuffed with Bolognese), calamari, eggplant rollatini, flatbread sandwiches and slightly less Italian-sounding (though no less mouthwatering) ‘colossal’ desserts. Choose from 12-inch bases right up to 28-inch party pizza. Jumeirah Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (800 787 767).
Saladicious Located just behind The One on Jumeirah Beach Road, this cool, chilled-out café serves an ever-changing menu of salads (surprise, surprise), plus pasta dishes, fish and meat mains, soups and a range of tempting desserts. Breakfast is also available. Al Hudaiba Road, off Jumeirah Beach Road (04 345 5822).
Turkish Village This enormous restaurant and café near Jumeirah Mosque is hard to miss if you’re in the area. Head inside to dine in chic, contemporary surroundings or pull up a chair on the gently lit outdoor terrace if the weather permits, and enjoy authentic Turkish breakfasts, grills, salads, breads and more. Near Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 9955).
Jumeirah 2 Choco Grafix Ever wanted your face in chocolate? Look no further – this confectionery store specialises in transferring images onto cocoa goodies great and small. So forget the birthday cake – surprise a friend with their face on a selection of individual milk chocolates (Dhs5 each, minimum 30 pieces). La Plage, opposite Jumeirah Beach Park, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 385 4264).
Jumeirah Fishing Harbour Eat by the water in this relatively new district, home to Lebanese eatery Bait Misk (04 343 7332), Indian restaurant Mint Leaf (not to be confused with the also new Mint Leaf of London, Dubai), Omnia Gourmet (04 343 7181), quaint Thai spot Charm (04 344 8895) and Boteko Brasil (04 385 6668). Though the area is unlicensed, there are some beautiful sea views to be enjoyed. Off Jumeirah Beach Road, near Al Urouba Street.
Knightsbridge of London and Masgouf This single complex is home to both Knightsbridge of London and Masgouf restaurants – each serving their own cuisine. Tuck into breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and fancy cakes at the former, and classic Arabic fare such as ouzi and fish stew at the latter. Weather permitting, we recommend taking a seat on the pleasant outdoor patio. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 342 0999).
Moroccan Taste Tuck into tagines galore at this North African eatery in La Plage, opposite Jumeirah Beach Park, serving up beef and plum, beef, almond and egg, leg of veal, tripe, liver, and even brain takes on the classic baked dish. If you prefer to eat a little lighter, there are also salads, soups and sardines to sample, alongside fresh Moroccan pastries and breads. La Plage, opposite Jumeirah Beach Park, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 385 5480).
Pancake & Waffle House Adjacent to Fairouz Restaurant, this carbalicious café devotes itself to serving breakfast-worthy dishes at all hours of the day. Try the sinful-sounding cheesecake pancakes, waffles with blueberries and ice cream, French toast, or one of several interesting varieties of omelette, including halloumi and green olives, and steak and onions. Opposite Jumeirah Beach Park, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 3024).
Jumeirah 3 Al Farwaniya Cafeteria It’s easy to miss this tiny red café, wedged between a couple of small shops (you’ll find it on your right, when driving in the direction of Satwa from the Marina). Head here for delicious daily curries and filling, rolled parathas stuffed with everything from potatoes to cream cheese. Jumeirah Beach Road (no number).
Barracuda Restaurant There are few better places to get your chops around fresh seafood served Egyptian-style in Dubai. Expect liberal use of garlic and herbs plus enormous salads. As the menu depends on what the chefs have been able to get from the market on the day, clams can be hard to come by but the grilled cuttlefish is almost always available – and highly recommended. Can’t find the restaurant? Look for the giant upturned fishtail on top. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 0408).
Biryani Pot Biryani is nothing Dubai hasn’t seen a thousand times before, but this relatively new spot is doing things a little differently. Alongside classics such as chicken and lamb, you can also try healthier takes suck as quinoa biryani and prawn biryani, plus masala quinoa salad, all served in appealingly contemporary surroundings. Opposite Saga World, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 2277).
Bosporus A popular Turkish eatery on the corner of Beach Road and 9a Street, Bosporus is buzzing on weekends when the crowds begin turning out for classic breakfasts of cheese, olives, tomatoes, breads and honey, Turkish sausages and eggs, and refreshing tea. Corner of 9a Street and Jumeirah Beach Road (04 380 8090).
Burj Al Arab One of the city’s most instantly recognisable landmarks, don’t expect to get across the bridge to this island hotel unless you’ve got a reservation. Fortunately you can make one of those for the vertiginous Al Muntaha or Skyview Bar, Asian eatery Junsui, seafood restaurant Al Mahara, or Sahn Eddar for the hotel’s famous afternoon tea. Between Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel (04 301 7600).
Heat Café A favourite among the city’s gym-loving and bodybuilding community, this no-frills cafeteria specialises in lean cuisine, from low-carb to low-fat, sugar-free to high-protein. Check out the protein pancakes, grilled chicken skewers, lettuce wraps, burgers and more. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 8831).
Jumeirah Beach Hotel This iconic family-friendly resort houses a multitude of impressive eating and drinking options, from the fabulous views in Uptown Bar and Latin eatery La Parilla to the relaxed gastro-pub vibes of D&A, the celebrity dining offerings of Jamie’s Italian to brunching favourite Beachcomber’s. The hotel is also home to much-loved sea-surrounded nightspot 360°. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 348 0000).
Madinat Jumeirah An enormous complex recognisable for its Arabesque wind towers, Madinat Jumeirah spans stunning five-star hotels including Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam, Souk Madinat and its art, clothing and homewares shops, and dozens upon dozens of restaurants and bars. From casual dining in The Noodle House to award-winning romantic eatery Pierchic, which is set for a hotly anticipated reopening at the beginning of October (with the addition of a bar), visitors here are thoroughly spoilt for choice. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 366 8888).
Maple Leaf A cute Canadian café serving Montreal-style eats. Head here for smoked meat sandwiches, poutine (French fries piled high with cheese curd and gravy) and wings, all washed down with a root beer or cherry cola float. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 3001).
The Cake Bar Treat yourself to posh cakes and pastries, from elaborate cupcakes to cheesecake cups, fruit tarts to whoopee pies at this twee dessert café. Next to Arz Lebanon, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 395 6655).