61 best Dubai restaurants
VIDEO: Why we chose the Restaurant Awards 2012 winners Discuss this article
It’s been a busy year for Time Out. Collectively, the team has eaten at 473 restaurants across town, reviewing and scoring them according to the quality of food, service, and atmosphere – a long, painstaking (not to mention fattening) process that garnered 20 shortlists, from which two highly commended venues and one overall winner was picked for each category. From these, we also chose an outright winner for Best Restaurant. Of course, we’re not complaining – if anything, our eating feats illustrate the diversity of Dubai’s restaurant scene, as well as showing just how far it has come over the past year.
There seems to be a new opening every week – whether it’s a high-end restaurant, a cosy café or a hidden gem serving authentic, affordable fare. These new restaurants, and the hundreds of established spots we’ve revisited, contribute to Dubai’s ever-growing, always-exciting dining scene, meaning plenty more top-notch restaurants for you, the diner, to check out. With this in mind, happy reading and bon appétit!
DIFC (04 425 6677).
RED Lounge Raffles Dubai
Oud Metha (04 314 9770).
The Terrace Park Hyatt Dubai
Deira (04 317 2222).
If DIFC is the king of the business lunch, Caramel holds court for the area’s workers who demand quality from their after-hours snacks and drinks. Leave the office behind in favour of delicate spicy tuna rolls and
light yet substantial kobe sliders. Intimate lighting and bustling, plentiful waiters make for a busy atmosphere even when the restaurant is sparse. True to its name, Caramel is as sweet as it gets when it comes to bar food.
This year’s highly commended accolades go to The Terrace and RED Lounge. The former adopts a less-is-more attitude; classics such as salads, burgers, fish and chips are presented as a gourmet take on pub grub, while the latter takes a distinct Chinese theme, serving innovative and delectable dim sum dishes.
Mina A’ Salam
Dhs365 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (bubbly and selected house beverages), free for children under 12.
Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Al Muna and The Wharf, Mina A’ Salam, Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6730).
Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs595 (premium bubbly).
Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 317 2222).
Spectrum on One
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly).
Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 5555).
In a year that has seen many of the top-tier brunches hike their prices past the Dhs500 mark, the Mina A’ Salam brunch has kept its fee relatively affordable, while staying true to its culinary principles. No matter how many times you visit this sprawling Friday feast, you’ll always find something new to sample, whether it’s the quesadilla stand, jaw-dropping cheese room or counter packed with traditional Chinese dim sum.
Another waterside to catch our attention is Traiteur on the creek, which serves ups high-end French fare from a sizzling open kitchen – everyone must visit at least once (it’s a worthwhile treat). Spectrum on One is back on our radar – its huge array of quality cuisine and convivial atmosphere make it worthy of the highly commended award.
Bank Street, opposite BurJuman, Bur Dubai (04 357 7800).
Opposite Lulu Centre, Karama (04 335 8700).
Satwa Roundabout (04 331 5353).
The size and stark simplicity of Aryaas’s Bur Dubai branch is more than compensated for by warm service and delicious food. Try the rava idli and kal dosa to start, followed by appam, chettinadu paniyara and the special masala. Each dish is light and delicate in its own right, but together they prove a formidable feast.
Over in Karama, another Indian restaurant that serves high-quality food at low costs is Calicut Paragon – try the steaming parathas. And, try as we might, we just can’t wean ourselves off Ravi’s consistently excellent and ever-so-cheap fare (try the chicken jalfrezi).
Time Out Dubai,
- Academic City(4)
- Al Quoz(26)
- Arabian Ranches(11)
- Bur Dubai(196)
- Business Bay(22)
- Discovery Gardens(16)
- Downtown Dubai(199)
- Dubai Internet City(14)
- Dubai Investments Park(5)
- Dubai Marina(277)
- Dubai Media City(53)
- Emirates Hills(25)
- Festival City(53)
- Green Community(13)
- International City(25)
- Jebel Ali(23)
- Jumeirah Lakes Towers(70)
- Knowledge Village(5)
- Motor City(10)
- Nad Al Sheba(9)
- Oud Metha(110)
- Palm Jumeirah(67)
- Sheikh Zayed Road(190)
- Silicon Oasis(8)
- The Gardens(35)
- Umm Suqeim(70)
- Afternoon tea(47)
- Alcohol available(605)
- All you can eat deal(91)
- Brunch served(75)
- Business lunch(74)
- Family friendly(310)
- Floating restaurant(10)
- Formal dress code(20)
- Great view(33)
- Live music(145)
- Outdoor seating(528)
- Pork served(90)
- Private dining area(69)
- Smoking permitted(335)
- Take away(358)
Most viewed restaurants
- Belgian Café (Festival City)
- Belgian Café (Grand Millennium)
- Belgian Café (Madinat Jumeirah)
Most viewed articles
- 34 meals deals in Dubai
- 35 foodie deals in Dubai this week
- Cooking lessons in Dubai
- Hot dog eating contest in Dubai
- Dubai foodie news
Our favourite features
The 50 best things to do in Dubai The emirate's best toilet, burger, elevator, proposal spot and more
Dubai's dining districts The battle of Dubai's best foodie neighbourhoods
Best nightclubs in Dubai The best nightclubs in Dubai revealed. Where do you like to party?
Were you there? The 40 biggest gigs of the year Take a look back at the most memorable UAE concerts from the 2013/14 season
Your essential guide to Dubai Marina Food, drink, play and live in Dubai Marina
Why you should visit Old Dubai Insider's guide to the traditional heart of the city
Dubai's best cafés revealed Top spots which offer books, board games, shisha and more
Dubai's best buffets Loosen the belt and pile up your plate at these all-you-can eat packages
The UAE’s best swim-up bars Refresh your body and your thirst at these poolside spots
86 Friday brunches to try Time for brunch? We run through the options - in price order
Dubai's must-visit mini malls Bigger doesn't always mean better...
How to... 24 must-have Dubai skills From lighting a barbecue to getting a driving licence
...and RELAX: 25 must-try spa treatments From ocean-view treatment rooms at the Burj Al Arab to faultless facials...
Must-see Dubai sights Nine iconic attractions no tourist or resident should miss
Dubai's best breakfasts Brilliant breakfast dishes from around the world available in Dubai