Time Out Dubai has the lowdown on the best burgers in Dubai, from fast food joints to some of the best restaurants in Dubai. Just check out the pictures
By Amy Mathieson02 November 2016
Okay, so we’re not advocating trying one of these every day, but we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you quite how much you’d probably enjoy it.
From sliders to slop, kobe beef to Cajun chicken (and even quinoa), this list has a little something for everyone.
Time Out sensibly split the job of Dubai Burger Taster across our team – otherwise our sport and outdoor section might feel a little left out. And to help you out, we’ve divided the list below into convenient groups.
Here’s the complete list of locations: Big Daddy’s, Burger & Lobster, Big Smoke Burger, Five Guys, Burger Pit, The Burger Joint, Habibi Burger, Elevation Burger, Moylo’s, Salt, Reform Social & Grill, Retro Feasts, The Rose & Crown, Johnny Rockets, Shake Shack, Buns & Cows, Perry & Blackwelder, The Gramercy, The Eloquent Elephant, The Backyard, Nando’s, BurgerFuel, The Tap House, Under 500, Mooyah, Garden on 8, Brunswick Sports Club, Switch and Circle Café.
Brand-new to Dubai’s BurJuman shopping mall, Big Daddy’s arrives in the city fresh from New York, where it first opened in 1969. Famous for its ’80s theming – including arcade games, tater tots, thick shakes and soda floats – the diner’s All-American burger, featuring American cheese, lettuce and tomato, is a relatively gentle introduction to a menu that reaches the wacky heights of The Real (Mac)Coy (stuffed with mac ’n’ cheese and beef bacon) and the Grand Daddy (piled high with beef bacon, melted cheese and a mountain of tater tots). Hungry visitors can also tuck into all-day breakfast options, sandwiches, melts, wings, salads and fried chicken, too. Dhs20 (4oz), Dhs25 (6oz).
You know the drill: burger or lobster. But what if you want both? Now the good folks at B&L are here to solve your dilemma. Introducing, The Beast. And a beast it is. A burger and lobster tail piled high on a bun, with claws on either side. Not one for the faint-hearted (and it will make a sizeable dent on your wallet) but it’s the “beast” of both worlds, some might say… Dhs145.
If the joint is named after it, it must be good, right? The Big Smoke Burger’s bun is soft, the meat is juicy and the smoked cheddar and horseradish mayo work well with the sweet caramelised onions and tomato. Dhs39. Last Exit.
The US burger chain landed in Dubai just last year and has popped up in a variety of sites since. There are also beef hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches for an all-American diner experience, but it’s the burger you’ll want. It’s not the most gourmet experience you’re going to get in Dubai, but for a stop at the mall when only a burger will do, pop into this likeable chain. Dhs42.
Another burger joint at the Last Exit food truck stop, this burger is very good. A thick-cut, juicy beef patty in a brioche bun is garnished with curly lettuce, raw onions, sliced gherkin and ketchup. But it doesn’t suffer from sloppiness and it goes down a real treat. Grab your burger and check out the retro spot next time you’re en route to (or from) Abu Dhabi. Dhs48 (combo cheeseburger meal). Last Exit.
Anything named Cheesy can never be a bad thing in our books. This mighty 6.5oz wagyu burger isn’t greasy at all and comes smothered with melted cheddar and all the usual suspects. And they’re not tight with the toppings, either. Dhs50.
A new arrival to hit the Dubai eating scene last month, this home-grown burger restaurant has taken up residence at Dubai Marina Promenade. Claiming “no fuss, just great flavour” the menu boasts 4oz burgers made from prime Argentinian beef, which we think will be best served alongside one of the indulgent shakes, coming in a range of flavours including the delicious-sounding Oreo cheesecake. From Dhs45 (including fries).
This US chain that set up in Dubai in 2013 serves enormous burgers, in fact you’ll get at least two patties in each bun. The Elevation burger comes with two beef patties and cheese. If you’re watching your waistline, go for the “half the guilt burger” (but you’re only actually saving around ten calories in this option, so to be honest, you might as well just go all out). Tender beef and tasty cheese, what’s not to like? Plus, if you want to “elevate” it further, opt for the Vertigo, where you can stack up to ten patties in your bun. Belt-busting. Dhs39.
Among the many burger joints on Jumeirah Beach Road lies Moylos, an independent restaurant that’s certainly worth stopping into. It’s a hole-in-the-wall-style joint and there’s not a huge amount of choice (seven options, to be precise) but the signature Moylo’s burger is certainly one to try – it comes stuffed with an onion rings, cheese and the secret “Moylo’s sauce”. We couldn’t tell you the secret, even if we knew it. Dhs38.
If you don’t mind a bit of queueing, Dubai’s first food truck serves up some mean meat patties. You’d be daft not to test out the one (or two, to keep the pedants happy) that started this Kite Beach craze off – the Original. Served as a pair of sliders, this juicy little duo of 2oz wagyu beef burgers is a delight from the first bite. Even gherkin-haters would struggle to dislike the salt and pickle slices that also come in the beautifully light butter buns. The royal family are fans of this spot – and we can totally see why. Dhs30 (single), Dhs45 (double).
Amid a menu of traditional British pub grub lies the Reform burger. Cooked on the Josper grill, this is a tasty Angus beef burger that can be served with either mature cheddar or, as this is Dubai, foie gras. Sit back and chill with it on the grass. Dhs75, Dhs85 (with cheese) Dhs110 (with foie gras).
If you’re wandering around The Beach in JBR, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re peckish. But for something quirky and fun, Retro Feasts is a good place to refuel. Launched by British chef Luke Thomas (who has appeared on a numner of TV shows including MasterChef Junior and Britain’s Youngest Head Chef) expect, as the name suggests, a retro menu and décor. The Retro Burger is a classic beef patty with cheddar and the usual toppings, as well as a special secret sauce. Finish off with a 99 ice cream purely for nostalgia’s sake. Dhs45.
This Brit-style pub is one that boasts pool tables, dart boards and British hops. When it comes to the menu, though, shun the traditional fish and chips or shepherd’s pie and tuck into a burger instead. Sharp cheddar, pickles, caramelised onions and house aioli on a freshly baked farmhouse bun give a slightly upmarket twist to standard pub grub fare. Order a side of bubble and squeak to bring it back to England. Dhs75.
Named after the historic US highway, this is a classic American option: a beef patty piled high with mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Eat in for a retro diner experience, complete with ’50s-style counters, juke box music and even dancing waiters (this is one worth waiting around for). We’ve got the hippy, hippy shake… Dhs32 (small), Dhs37 (medium), Dhs42 (large).
The venue, which started off as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in New York, has since evolved into a popular chain with branches in Dubai and London. Obviously we’re here to talk burgers, but while you’re there, don’t miss its famous frozen custard. We like the venue at The Beach, so you can enjoy your ShackBurger (single or double, topped with secret ShackSauce) by the water’s edge. Dhs26 (single), Dhs42 (double).
If you’ve got the willpower to determinedly stride past Buns & Cows on the way out of (or even into) Barasti, then we applaud you. However, you’re also missing out. Next time, stop off at this beachside gourmet food truck to satisfy your hunger pangs. Options include the Fat Cow (with barbecue sauce), Crazy Cow (with ketchup and Portobello mushroom) or the Skinny Cow (without the bun and with lettuce). From Dhs40.
Dubai’s first smokehouse, Perry & Blackwelder’s in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, is all about the art of barbecue. The Smokey Mountain Burger comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, barbecue sauce and melted cheddar. Admire the views of the Burj Al Arab while you’re there. Dhs95.
The Gramercy is known for brilliant burgers. But you’re looking to go off-piste, try the Black Burger. A 100 percent wagyu beef patty is topped with gherkins, onion relish, aioli and melted provolone cheese and served with Gramercy chips. The burger bun is blackened with squid ink for an unusual twist. Dhs45.
This is a massive beef patty, topped with avocado salsa, veal bacon and onion rings. The bun is a little on the dry side, but with the monster fillings and fries, you’ll be glad for it. A proper gastropub burger served in a chilled-out, smoke-free venue. Mighty by name, mighty by nature. Dhs125.
Head to this street art-filled outdoor chill-out spot overlooking the Dubai Water Canal to try its “ultimate” creation. Feast on a bun filled with pulled barbecue beef, caramelised onions and honey-mustard sauce, served with skin-on fries. Just don’t blame us if you need to enlist the help of a friend to get you out of your beanbag afterwards… Dhs55.
When it comes to burgers, everyone’s heard of Hard Rock Cafe, so we don’t think the folks there are overselling it by calling their burger legendary. Topped with smoked turkey bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onion rings, this really is quite the burger. If you’re feeling more adventurous, however, there’s the “Local Legendary”. Unique to each country, the UAE’s version comes adorned with date chutney, soft kolas dates and cream cheese, for something a tad different. The flavours work well and it’s a tasty, unusual option. Enjoy the live music and marvel at the extensive rock memorabilia while you tuck in. Dhs59.