A road trip down the Jumeirah coast yields a whole bunch of top-notch restaurants
Kaftan Fan of Turkish and Asian cuisine? This will be right up your street. Kaftan says it “brings the spirit of Ottoman”, to Dubai – and has views out to the Burj Al Arab to accompany your grub. Expect a contemporary approach to classic dishes, with menu items including izgara salmon, kuzu kusleme (steak) plus classic mezze. Open daily 9am-1am (04 338 277).
Kar Food Restaurant & Café This burger, pizza and pasta joint dishes up some whopping great burgers. The one that will catch your eye is the KAR special burger – a black bun (always on-trend), with a beef patty, fried mushrooms, guacamole, onions and Emmental cheese. You’ll also find shawarmas, grilled sandwiches, pizzas, pastas and salads. With so many amazing Italian, American and Middle Eastern options, it’s no wonder we love it. And you will, too. Open daily 10am-1am (04 399 5971).
HumYum Any place that serves up a Chips Oman paratha is absolutely A-okay in our books. And that’s exactly what you’ll find on the menu at HumYum, which has a huge list boasting some really cracking and playful dishes that take something of a twist on conventional Middle Eastern and Asian foods. You will, of course, find your traditional dishes, too, with zaatar, labneh and akawi cheese prevalent across the menu, but you’ll also find the aforementioned Chips Oman paratha, alongside a Nutella, chicken nugget and chips and cheese varieties. And we’re definitely on board with all of that. Open daily 6.30am-3am (04 388 3332).
Babu You’ll get wonderfully artistic contemporary Indian and Arabian dishes at Babu. So if you’re after a twist on the norm, you’ll find that here, with the restaurant serving up innovative burgers, tacos and biryanis. And with a creative menu, you’ll find an equally quirky space in which to dine and kick back over lunch or dinner. Open Sat-Wed 8am-1am, Thu-Fri 8am-2am (04 321 2766).
The Hamptons Café With a name originating from Long Island in New York, The Hamptons Café is a refined, classy and relaxed little spot that serves up wonderful baked treats, fresh coffee and breakfast treats. Check it outfor the rose-flavoured croissants and macarons. Open Sun-Thu, 8am-11pm; Fri-Sat 8am-1am (04 331 5118).
The Surf Café One of the most famous joints on Jumeirah Beach Road, this is where you’ll find a range of freshly prepared fish and seafood dishes, as well as a number of vegan and healthy bites, too. Try the avocado and poached eggs on toast (with pomegranate seeds). Open Sat-Wed 7am-10pm; Thu-Fri 7am-10.30pm (04 346 6292).
Scoopi Located in the hustle and bustle of Umm Suqeim 2, just around the corner from the Burj Al Arab, you’ll find this brilliant little gelateria, and you won’t be able to say no to the massive range of ice creams, and chocolates. You can even get a gold- and saffron-topped ice cream, plus black activated charcoal cones and scoops. Fancy. Open Sat-Wed 1.30pm-12.30am; Thu 1.30pm-2am; Fri 2pm-2am (800 726674).
The Stuffed Burger Co. The name is fairly self-explanatory, and you’re in for a right treat. Get your hands on some juicy burgers, with patties stuffed with a menu’s worth of ingredients. There are a couple of eye-grabbing renditions on the menu, including the pizzaburger stuffed with pepperoni and cheese and the peanut choco slider – stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate, then topped with sweet potato fries. Intrigued? You should be, and you’ll leave feeling, you guessed it, stuffed. Open Sat-Thu 11am-1am; Fri 11am-3am. (600 545 541).
X Burger Right, firstly, let us begin by saying that this burger joint seriously is not one for the faint-hearted. Insane milkshakes, massive desserts, buttery grilled corn, fully loaded cheesy fries and giant burgers complete with an embedded pipette for customisable sauce delivery (nice touch). That’s X Burger in a nutshell. This is a place for people who really, really, love their food. It’s one giant fried fest and drizzly toppings dream. You’ll even spot the odd Cheetos creations – everyone’s favourite crisps atop molten cheese. And that’s why you’re going to see us here very soon indeed. Open daily 4pm-midnight (04 339 3961).
Biryani Pot If you’re a fan of a cracking bit of Indian street food, Biryani Pot is for you. It calls itself a “gourmet Indian fast food restaurant”, and of course the humble biryani is at its core. Tuck into a list of variations on the classic rice dish (plus quinoa versions) – plus a range of fresh curries, tandoor grills and salads. Open Sat-Wed 11am-11pm; Thu-Fri 11am-midnight (04 338 2277).
Khaleej Tacos As the name suggests, this place dishes up Arabian food with a Mexican influence. Sounds interesting right? Expect fusion dishes like the taco samosa – a samosa filled with your choice of chicken, beef or veggies, served with guacamole and sour cream. Also check out the Arabic flatbreads stuffed with chilli guajillo and beef. Open daily 11.30am-midnight (04 379 1999).
Happy Egg The name might give it away a little, but this place isn’t all about eggs as you know them. You get breakfast classics with an Arabian twist here. For instance, there’s avocado and eggs on toast with dukkah, plus poached eggs with labneh and zaatar. You’ll also find pastas, burgers, salads and a range of main courses from around the world. Open daily 8am-10pm (04 394 4729).
Barracuda Enjoy a variety of fish and seafood with an Arabian edge here. It’s a great place to eat, but the service can occasionally take a while. The food is fresh, as the fish served is caught that day. Expect huge portions (plus a cheeky bit of bread and dip to boot), a vast menu and a giant barracuda tail sticking out of the roof. Open Sat-Thu noon-midnight; Fri 1.30pm-midnight (04 394 0408).
strong>Moylo’s Burgers Customising your burgers is the order of the day at this nifty eatery in Jumeirah 3. Top your wagyu beef patty with a massive choice of toppings including beef bacon, curly fries, and a whole host of sauces and cheeses. But it’s the XXL freakshake that steals the show, with a new flavour available every day. The menu isn’t massive, but that’s a good vote of confidence for what they do well. Open Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri 1pm-2am (04 388 3140).
Reem Al Bawadi This is a classic, old-school choice for Middle Eastern dishes. Interestingly, you’ll see a lot of options on the menu that come with a bit of a Mediterranean twist, but you’ll certainly find a lot of the dishes you’d expect to see – think mixed grills, hummus, manakish and mezzes. The shish taouk plate comes with tender chunks of meat bursting with Middle Eastern flavours, while the arayes meat makes for a tasty snack, with minced lamb, garlic, tomato, bell pepper and mint spread, all sandwiched between grilled, traditional Lebanese flatbread. For decent food at a reasonable price, and in a chilled-out location, give it a go. Open daily 8am-2am (04 394 7444).
Surf ’N’ Fries This Croatian brand has a trendy feel once you step inside, and has some brilliant options if you’re after a quiet bite in the middle of your Jumeirah Beach Road trip. Get your hands on some massive burgers, some gloriously battered chicken and shrimps and fries (given the name). Don’t miss the chilli cheese bites or nacho fries loaded with sour cream and guacamole, either. And then load up on the sugar rush with brownies, cookies and more. Don’t hold back. We’re all allowed one cheat day a week, right? Open Sat-Wed 11am-1am; Thu-Fri 11am-2am (04 330 6686).
Sesame It’s right up there with some of the most ambitiously healthy restaurants. The focus is on clean eating with wholesome ingredients. Check out the falafel waffle, which is topped with harissa, tomato and a poached egg. It’s magnificent, unusual and will leave you comfortably full for hours. There’s also smashed avocado with feta and honey. Lovely. Open daily 7.30am-10pm. Sunset Mall (04 399 1300).
Yummy in My Tummy It’s starting to warm up again, right? So what better way of cooling off from rising temperatures than by getting your hands on a brilliantly crafted ice cream made your way. You can also tuck into waffles and crêpes, all with almost limitless toppings. This is the place to head to when your insatiable sweet tooth won’t stop nagging you. Open Sat-Thu 12.15pm-11.30pm; Fri 2pm-2am (054 773 7738).
Café Bubble Concept A bit of everything. That’s what you get from this café. From full-on, classic English breakfasts to sambousek, loaded fries, tom yum soup, salads, crispy chicken sandwiches, fish and chips, paella, pizzas, desserts and more, you’re bound to find something that’ll whet your appetite here. Open daily 8am-2am (04 394 3666).
Grilliant Big, juicy brioche buns are the order of the day here, trumped only by what’s crammed inside of them. Whopping great beef, bacon and cheeseburgers populate the menu, along with a variety of hot dogs, fries and a cursory salad option for the reluctant healthy eaters among you. Open daily 3.30pm-1am (056 486 7474).
Al Falamanki This spot in Jumeirah 2 is a charming Lebanese eatery that has impressed us so much we gave it a Highly Commended award in the Lebanese category at this year’s Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards. It’s low-key, chilled-out place that’s known for its brilliantly moreish classic treats. We’re talking some amazing hummus (packed with pine nuts, chunky chickpeas and a spicy Jordanian sauce) and an out-of-this-world charred shish taouk skewer. But absolutely do not leave before trying one of the baked good this place that have given this place its excellent rep. Open daily 10am-5am (055 300 4550).
El Greco As its name might suggest, this is a Mediterranean hotspot with an emphasis on Greek dishes. Expect some glorious salads, side dishes featuring grilled halloumi, feta-loaded fries, pita sandwiches, tzatziki dips and more. If you’re feeling like something more substantial is needed, check out the souvlaki grill platter. Open daily 1pm-1am (04 344 4816).
Bikers Café If you love hitting the road on two wheels, make a pit stop (see what we did there?) at Bikers Café – a hub for the city’s motorcyclists. You can get some cracking bites to eat like shakshouka and, of course, burgers. Open daily 7pm-1am (04 349 3585).
That Place DXB What will immediately strike you about this place is the pasta menu – carb-lovers would be well advised to pay attention to it. The burst bun pasta is made to your taste, fresh in store. Choose your pasta type, then how you want it cooked and with which sauce. Choose your condiments and extras (like shish taouk and butter chicken), and then bury your face in a bread bowl stuffed with your pasta of choice. This place specialises in buns packed with a range of fillings. Not one for if you’re watching the calories. Open Sat-Mon 9am-midnight; Tue-Wed 9am-1am; Thu-Fri 10am-2am (04 320 0310).
Samad Al Iraqi You’ll find some traditional Iraqi dishes that will open your eyes to a variation of more familiar Levantine cuisine here. The magluba – an upside down chicken and rice dish – is well worth a try, as are the fresh meats and fish from the grill. There are some international favourites available, too, such as black pepper steak, lamb chops and chicken pesto, so there’s something to please all tastes. This restaurant is strikingly regal in its appearance, while we’re big fans of the complimentary soup served at the start of every meal. The meat borek is particularly worth savouring, too. Open daily 10am-midnight (04 342 7887).
Al Ijaza Cafeteria Something of a low-key legend on the Beach Road strip, Ijaza is kind of like a burger joint with a Middle Eastern slant. With dishes all priced very reasonably (most cost on average between Dhs10 and Dhs15, but with smaller options costing as little as Dhs4), this nifty spot is ideal for a quick fill-up, or a budget-friendly lunch or dinner. A range of grilled meats, hot sandwiches and burgers are on the menu, which you can get as combos, served with fries and a drink. And the cafeteria’s fresh juices and milkshakes are a real delight, too. Open Sat-Thu 9am-3am; Fri, 11am-3am (04 344 4874).
Comptoir 102 A stylish little boutique café-meets restaurant that fuses healthy eating with Parisian grub, Comptoir 102 is truly one for foodies. It’s also is a prime spot for a bit of relaxation, too, with its bamboo-lined conservatory that provides the perfect location for a chilled-out bite to eat. There’s specialist vegan, raw and gluten-free items throughout the menu, as well as a large à la carte selection of juices, salads and sandwiches. You’ll also be pleased to know that very little of the food here is made from frozen, so you’re guaranteed a fresh, wholesome and healthy meal. Open daily 7.30am-9pm (04 385 4555).
The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen An institution in Jumeirah 1, this family-friendly café is perfect for a bite to eat and a recline in the garden. So rest your barking dogs and get ready to tuck into some excellent cakes (including Lime Tree’s famed carrot cake, pictured), coffee, salads, sandwiches and more. You can also get a whole bunch of goodies to take home with you, including said cakes, cookies, mueslis and chutneys. Open daily 7.30am-6pm (04 325 6325).
Culinary Boutique This restaurant is what you’ll find if you combine a gourmet café, culinary school and a creative hub. Culinary Boutique serves up a huge amount of varied bites to eat, which fuse Mediterranean dishes with contemporary Arabian flavours. Think zaatar spaghetti and lobster pasta with saffron, and that’s just the start. You’ll also find a good range of breakfast dishes on the menu, as well as pastries, baked treats, desserts, fresh juices and smoothies, too. Open Sun-Wed 8am-11pm; Thu-Sat 8am-midnight (no number).
The Vintage Room It describes itself as an Italian and Indian restaurant, and The Vintage Room is, in fact, exactly that. It might seem an unlikely combination on the face of things, but with dishes such as lasagne, risotto and ravioli, merged with chicken tikka masala and lamb rogan josh, how could you go wrong? Let curiosity get the better of you with the paneer tikka pizza… Open Sun-Thu 10am-1am; Fri-Sat 8am-1am (04 330 8844).
Turkish Village This is a massive restaurant, set on two floors, each with their own sprawling terrace outside. The dishes are authentic and the staff back up the impressive menu with unquestionable knowledge of it. Make sure you try the lentil soup, the mini lahmacun, the grilled meats and, in fact, as many things as you can, because the food here really is great. Open daily 7am-midnight (04 344 9955).