Feeling the pinch? Fear not. We've got 30 weekend feasts for under Dhs300 for you
This cool Mediterranean restaurant in DIFC has a selection of sharing plates that are served to the table. Tasty bite-sized dishes include gnocchi with beef short rib, black rice with seared scallops and pizzetta margherita, all of which are exceptionally good. And it comes with Italian hops and Spanish mixed drinks. Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (selected beverages). Fri-Sat 1pm-4pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).
Carnival by Trèsind
Billed as a “journey of gastronomic delight”, this quirky Indian restaurant has launched a brand-new (and wallet-friendly) brunch. Specially curated by head chef Himanshu Saini it boasts traditional dishes with a modern twist. Starters, curries, biryani, kebabs, seafood and veggie dishes will be on offer, plus a deconstructed chaat trolley and vada pav service will be on the move – visiting each table separately. If the usual standards are anything to go by we’re expecting plenty of drama and dry ice. Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs289 (house beverages), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30pm-5pm. Burj Daman, DIFC (052 242 4262).
There aren’t many deals specifically for couples out there, but this is one. For Dhs350 between you (Dhs175 a head) you’ll get a meal for two with unlimited house beverages. Pub grub-style food comes with a lively atmosphere. It’s not glamourous but it’s certainly fun. Dhs350 (for two with house beverages). Fri 2pm-5pm. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 420 7489).
360° Set on the terrace, there are, of course, excellent views of the Burj Al Arab and the coastline, which also makes it a great spot to take visitors. The food isn’t the best you’ll find in Dubai; an impressive sushi platter is followed up by some fairly lacklustre chicken wings and nachos, but the dim sum is decent and if you’re feeling peckish, you can order as much as you like. Beverages are forthcoming and there’s soon dancing on the terrace, which, with the sea breeze, has a fun, upbeat holiday vibe. Dhs295 (house beverages). Thu 7pm-10pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8741).
Cavalli Club Restaurant & Lounge With giant crystal chandeliers and the furriest walls you’re likely to ever see, you might be surprised to find this decadent nightspot from designer Roberto Cavalli on any “bargain” list. But on a Sunday, it hosts the midnight brunch for just Dhs250, with unlimited starters, desserts and drinks, and one main course. And there’s a live cabaret show throughout. You can’t get much better than that. Dhs250. Sun 8.30pm-midnight. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (050 991 0400). Namu Two of the key factors to a good restaurant are, of course, food and setting. Happily, this Korean-Japanese venue has both, with excellent dishes and a stunning view of the Dubai Water Canal. And even better, it has recently introduced a new evening brunch, which is, we think, exceptionally good value. Head here for “Seoul Food Sundays” and dig into sharing platters of hot and cold Korean dishes. Dhs245 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages). Sun 7pm-11pm. W Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 436 6666).
The Black Lion If you’re not after a full-on meal (fine dining this is not) then the Street F-east at The Black Lion offers unlimited nibbles (think chicken tikka tenders, prawn skewers and, our favourite, mac ’n’ cheese balls) as well as house beverages for three hours. There’s also some upbeat old-school hip-hop, soul and R&B to kick-start your weekend in a lively fashion. Dhs285 (house beverages for three hours). Thu 8pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 359 2366).
This venue is so brunch-friendly, it holds one on every day of the weekend. Our pick, however, is the Thursday night offering. Coming in at under Dhs300, this is a wallet-friendly way to start the weekend, especially when it includes street food, drinks and DJ sets. Tuck into mini burgers, pizzas and more then burn off the calories on the dancefloor. Dhs295 (house beverages). Thu 8pm-11pm. Sky Dive Dubai, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 0009).
This modern Turkish restaurant at Sheraton Mall of the Emirates transforms into a street food fest every Friday, while little Besh fans can enjoy a mini brunch in their very own kids’ corner. There’s everything from grilled meats and the catch of the day to homemade pide (yes please) fresh from the oven. And what’s a Turkish brunch without some traditional ice cream? A roaming dondurma cart helps solve that one. Dhs165 (soft drinks), Dhs225 (house beverages), Dhs99 (kids aged 11 and under). Fri 1pm-4pm. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 377 2353).
Lapita Hotel Dubai Parks And Resorts is quite possibly one of the most family-friendly areas in the city. If you’re in the vicinity, Lapita hosts a brunch to suit all your tribe. Try out the Polynesian barbecue grill station and poisson cru, Tahiti’s national dish made with tuna marinated in lime juice. Eat, then spend the rest of the day by the pool while the sprogs are in the kids’ club. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs95 (kids aged 12 and under). Fri 1pm-5pm. Ongoing. Lapita Hotel, Dubai Parks And Resorts, Jebel Ali (04 810 9999).
M’s This roast dinner-style brunch at Emirates Golf Club offers unlimited food from a carvery and an extensive dessert selection. There’s also a kids’ corner with PlayStations, DVDs, colouring-in and face-painting. Dhs135 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs55 (kids aged five to 12). Fri noon-3pm. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Living (04 417 9999).
This classic from celebrity Italian chef Ronda Locatelli is about a good a value family-friendly brunch deal as you’ll find in the city. The “Brunch All’Italiana” comprises four family-style sharing courses served to the table. The best part for dirham-savvy families? Kids under the age of 11 dine for free, plus there’s a magician, an art studio, and even a pizza cooking class to keep them entertained, leaving you free to concentrate on the food. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), free for kids aged 11 and under. Sat 12.30-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Belgian Café Casual and chilled-out, this Belgian brunch offers up all your favourites from the menu. There’s a buffet packed with salads, desserts and starters, while mains are served to the table. The pièce de résistance? The Belgian waffle station, of course. Load us up. Dhs165 (soft drinks), Dhs245 (three hours house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Grand Milllennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (04 423 9999).
This Spanish-inspired brunch boasts plenty of authentic tapas, a paella station, Spanish beverages and flamenco music. It’s fun, friendly and a great way to round off the weekend. Sit on the terrace with a generous helping of patatas bravas and you could almost be in Spain. Almost. Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs249 (house beverages), Dhs299 (premium beverages and bubbly). Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 7700).
Perry & Blackwelder’s
Fancy a good ol’ fashioned US barbecue? You’ve come to the right place. Perry & Blackwelder’s, Dubai’s only traditional smokehouse, boasts a Friday offering of chicken, home-made burgers, jumbo beef hot dogs and Cajun-style shrimps. Pile on the coleslaw and potato salad and you’re all set. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages), Dhs65 (kids aged 11 and under). Fri noon-4pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
The Huddle Sports Bar & Grill If you’re a regular reader of Time Out Dubai, which we trust you are, you’ll have heard us rave about The Huddle on many occasions. We’re not saying it’s the fanciest of places in Dubai, but the food at this Tapas Brunch is surprisingly good. Nibble on bite-sized international dishes, cold cuts, salads, desserts, and, our favourite, plenty of cheese. There’s also live music. Dhs149 (house beverages), Dhs199 (premium beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Citymax Hotel Bur Dubai (04 407 8000); Citymax Hotel Al Barsha (04 409 8000).
The Rose & Crown Brits longing for a bit of home comfort could do worse than trying the “BritBrunch” at this Al Habtoor City bar. Billed as “Dubai’s most British Brunch” this comes in cheap as (fish and) chips at just Dhs200. Dhs200 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Atrium, Al Habtoor City (04 437 0022).
Bistro Des Arts
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we love brunch in its traditional breakfast/lunch format, and this one ticks all the boxes for that. This Parisian-style café has a charming terrace with a relaxed weekend vibe. Bring the papers and chill out with a jug of mixed drink, or stop by after the gym to refuel, anything goes at this Marina location. Expect breakfast staples of eggs, crêpes, yoghurt, fruit, cereals and as many buttery, flaky, delicious French pastries as you can handle. Dhs99 (including one hot drink, juices and water), Dhs199 (two jugs of house beverages). Fri and Sat 10am-2pm. Dubai Marina (04 551 1576).
McGettigan’s Madinat Jumeirah McGettigan’s is popular throughout the city for a reason – it’s fun and fuss-free. We’re big fans of this Irish watering hole at Souk Madinat, and especially like its “Long Lunch” concept. With all the friendly feel of a pub, but with the picturesque views of the Madinat’s waterways and the odd, slow-moving abra, it’s not the most authentic Irish experience you’ll have in your life but you’ll be happy nonetheless. Tuck into a three-course lunch, which includes dishes such as crab Benedict, roast beef with all the trimmings and a steaming bowl of mussels. You also get five drinks for just Dhs279. The best part? There’s no early morning wake up calls here, just come along at any time you like between noon and 5pm. Dhs279 (five drinks). Fri noon-5pm. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 447 0219).
Don’t be misled by the name Emerald City Brunch, there’s no sign of Dorothy or a yellow brick road at The Dubliner’s. This Irish-centric Friday feast stars a buffet of international dishes and comes with five house drinks. Dhs99 (two soft beverages), Dhs179 (five house beverages), Dhs79 (kids six aged six to 12). 1pm-4pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2508).
Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE This Balearic super-club is not all about dancing (though there’s plenty of that, too) and its Saturday Barbecue Brunch is worth making the journey for. It’s surprisingly good value, too, at Dhs295 for an al fresco terrace table with house beverages. Enjoy some barbecued treats, sushi and desserts before hitting the beach. Dhs275 (inside). Dhs295 (terrace). Sat 1pm-3pm, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel And Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).
Casa De Tapas
With prime vistas over the Creek, this is one Friday brunch with a view. On offer are the usual hot and cold tapas, cold cuts and cheese, plus paella and a traditional Spanish roast. It’s popular with big groups out to party, so don’t be surprised to see some fancy dress. Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs249 (selected beverages), Dhs299 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 416 1800).
This winning combination, as stated in the name, means that this is one of the more popular cheap and cheerful brunches in the city. With Jazz@PizzaExpress, you know what you’re going to get. And at brunchtime, that is unlimited hot, gooey, cheesy pizza, free-flowing sparkling grape, and, more often than not, carb-loaded diners dancing by 4pm. Dhs229 (house beverages and sparkling grape). Noon-4pm. Mövenpick Hotel JLT, Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
Another beachside brunch that is set slightly out of town, this is a more laid-back and leisurely affair. The food is all high-end, tasty bar bites that are a fusion of Mediterranean classics and Asian flavours – think crispy duck pizza with hoi sin sauce, cucumber and spring onions, jumbo prawns with coriander and pesto and oregano lamb chops. A DJ plays cool Ibiza-esque club beats and there’s a bit of space to dance, though you’ll mostly just want to chill out. Dhs295 (house beverages). Sat 1pm-6pm (three-hour package). Ghantoot Marina and resort (050 151 8407).
Loca 2.0 With more Mexican favourites than you can shake a sombrero at, this Latin American hotspot goes all out for its five-hour Friday fiesta. Dishes include huevos machaca, Loca’s slow-roasted ribs, kingfish fajitas and traditional desserts, alongside Mexican beverages. There’s also live music to get you in the party mood. Dhs175 (soft drinks), Dhs270 (selected beverages). Fri noon-5pm. Souk Al Bahar (04 449 4455).
Lock, Stock & Barrel Time Out Dubai’s Bar of the Year also does a pretty good brunch. A fuss-free meal served to the table, this this popular with groups out to party. Not one to wear your tightest belts or dresses to, it stars onion rings, chilli, metre-long flatbreads and a whole roasted chicken. Dhs199 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages). Fri 2pm-5pm. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (04 514 9195).
Lucky Voice Belting out Mariah Carey classics while digging into a pulled beef taco might not be your best look, but hey, it’s Friday afternoon and we’re all friends here, right? Grab the mic and unleash your inner superstar, and keep your strength up with some substantial sharing platters, which are exceptionally good, little wonder it’s made our cover this week. Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs295 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (800 58259).
Muchachas Mexican Cantina From the folk behind Tom&Serg and Common Grounds, this restaurant is low-key and friendly and does some great Mexican food. Tacos, churros, ceviches and guacamole all rate highly with us, and all for just Dhs285. It’s the ideal brunch for groups who don’t want an over-the-top blowout. Dhs185 (soft drinks). Dhs285 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Holiday Inn Safa Park (04 327 5878).
Spice & Ice This Indian brunch came onto the party scene last year, thanks, in part, to its great-value price tag. The Friday occasion is a winner for groups, with a DJ playing a set near to the back of the restaurant. As a result, the tables here – large booths – get pretty loud. The food is good, too, though the small silver dishes of curries and starters might seem incongruously delicate next to the upbeat vibe. The afternoon usually sees a spot of dancing, too. Dhs199 (house beverages). Fri noon-4pm. Cluster A, JLT (050 552 9686).
If you’re a brunch-goer that likes a party there’s a healthy chance you’ve already visited this long-standing Dubai weekender. For just Dhs259 you get a great selection of live cooking stations, a choice of beverages and guaranteed fun. Sushi and a full roast dinner all on one plate with a side of prawn tempura? Don’t mind if we do. Dhs259 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-4pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).