You can find healthy food at Dubai restaurants if you know where to look
Time Out Dubai staff
77 Veggie Boutique This vegetarian café in JLT places a strong emphasis on healthy sourcing when selecting its ingredients. As such, coffees and teas are organic and recipes use wholewheat. There is also a calorie count on every dish, making it easier for you to watch your intake. Tiffany Tower, Cluster W, JLT (04 422 4116).
Balance Café Residing right next door to a spa, this café’s menu abides by the ancient Indian principle of ayurveda, which uses different spices and herbs to achieve a balanced effect on your health. Macrobiotic principles also feature highly on the menu. Oasis Centre, Al Quoz, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 515 4051).
Bestro This counter inside Lafayette Gourmet is Dubai’s first (and currently only) eatery to abide by strict vegan and raw principles. The menu is also sugar- and gluten-free and you’ll find recipes such as spaghetti made of raw courgettes. Just remember to avert your eyes from the nearby pastry displays. Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall (04 339 9933).
Biorganic Café Inside this large organic grocery store on the edge of TECOM is a dine-in café. You’ll find classic, international favourites on the menu, but the ingredients are organic and dishes contain no artificial additives, chemicals or preservatives. I-Rise Tower, TECOM (04 443 3535).
Comptoir 102 With its stylish interior, the Comptoir 102 café serves a largely (although not strictly) vegetarian and even vegan-friendly menu that changes every day. Many recipes are made using raw food principles and the majority of fresh ingredients are sourced from a local UAE farm with an organic approach. Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Beach Centre (04 385 4555).
H.E.A.T. Café & Grill This southern Californian-style diner has a very simple menu, largely built around ideal calorie counts versus protein to carb ratios for those who want to eat out without wasting that hard work in the gym. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 8831).
Kauai This Hawaiian-inspired fast food concept has a healthy focused menu. It may be full of burritos and sandwiches stuffed with fillings, but the recipes themselves are apparently put together with reduced calorie counts. Try looking for some fries on the side and you’ll find only brown rice and roasted vegetables. Park Island, Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina (800 52824).
Kcal Low calorie is very much at the heart of this healthy fast food concept. Across the international menu selection you’ll find that everything comes with a calorie count. While this brand is a popular delivery option in Dubai, you can also dine in. Various locations including Metro Central, TECOM, www.kcalhealthyfastfood.com (600 595 955).
NKD Pizza Dubai’s popular home-grown pizza chain uses only organic vegetables and fresh produce (including herbs, garlic and onions), sourced from a UAE farm. As for the crust, you can opt for original (made from an artisanal blend of grains), skinny or gluten-free. Various locations including Dubai Marina, www.nkdpizza.com.
Nonno Boldly claiming to be the pizza option of supermodels with Dubai’s skinniest pizza crust, Nonno is a good option for diet-friendly pizza in Dubai. Bay Avenue, Business Bay (04 446 9808).
Omnia Gourmet Chef Silvena Rowe’s café-deli serves an omnivore menu that includes meat, however, a vast number of the options are vegetarian and vegan friendly. The chef also uses principles such as raw food, gluten-free and sugar-free in many of her recipes and fresh produce is predominantly local and organic. Gourmet Souk, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour 1, off Jumeirah Beach Road (04 343 7181).
Organic Food & Café This popular organic grocery store has branches across the city and also offers a dine-in café space. The menu is classic, but with an emphasis on organic ingredients. Various locations including Sheikh Zayed Road, www.organicfoodsandcafe.com.
Social by Heinz Beck This is not strictly speaking a diet-friendly restaurant, but if you’re looking for a fancy, fine dining blow-out option, Social by Heinz Beck is a good choice. The three Michelin-starred chef tells us he is dedicated to producing healthier and lighter fine dining recipes, while you’ll also see plenty of trendy superfoods on the menu such as amaranth. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah (04 818 2222).
Sweet Connections Last year, the Dubai-born bakery brand launched its first-ever café. It is notable for its bread and sweet items, all of which are strictly gluten-free. Building 2 (opposite Standard Chartered Bank) DIFC (050 558 2679).
The Cycle Bistro Fans of the paleo diet trend can try this style of eating out at Dubai’s only café dedicated to it. Dubai Autodrome Grandstand Shop B6, Dubai Motor City (04 425 6555).