The home-grown UAE chain has all the standard Tex Mex fast food fare you could want, and it’s ideal for those days when you want something quick, tasty and warming. The ten-inch pulled beef burrito (which comes packed with your choice of beans, cheese veggies and rice, as well as seriously tender meat) is flavoursome, filling and immensely satisfying. And it’s only Dhs32. Winning. Dhs32. Various locations including Dubai Media City, www.taqado.com.
Classic falafel wrap at Falafel Farm Kind of does what it says on the tin. A staple Middle Eastern veggie dish, this chickpea-loving eatery has every kind of falafel dish imaginable. For an easy and tasty option, the classic falafel wrap comes with salad, pickles and hummus and is a snip at just Dhs12. Dhs12. Churchill Towers Business Bay, www.falafelfarm.com (050 753 7826).
Time Out Dubai’s Best Budget Restaurant 2017 does some amazing value plates. Try the massaman gai curry for a traditional dish. This chicken curry is cooked with potatoes and peanuts and delivers a decent kick. Dhs37. Cluster M, JLT www.cafeisan.com (04 513 5289).
Mezze at Eat & Drink Cheap and cheerful, but still surprisingly high-quality given the price, you can order a virtual feast from Eat & Drink for less than Dhs100. Load up on salads such as tabbouleh and fattoush, dips including hummus, moutabel and yoghurt salad, and order a mixed grill (we can also recommend the kebabs with aubergine). Don’t expect the tenderest or juiciest meat you’ve ever tried, but it will come served with extra hummus, extra salad, extra pickles and a mountain of bread. Prices vary. Various locations including Al Barsha, www.eatanddrinkgroup.com (04 349 6003/0379).
Mutton kadai at Indiana Delights This delicious mutton curry is traditional and tasty and served up quickly. Plus, order a butter naan for an extra Dhs6, it’ll be one of the butteriest, fluffiest, Indian breads you’ve ever tasted, trust us. Dhs34. Cluster Y, JLT (04 360 3297).
Portobello mushroom s’wich at S’wich We’d be surprised if you haven’t tried this “gourmet shawarma” takeaway yet. Perfectly floury saj (white or wholewheat) comes stuffed with as many fillings as you feel the need for. If you don’t fancy making your own, there’s a range of pre-selected versions (lamb, duck, chicken, beef) but we can’t get enough of the Portobello mushroom version. Thick, meaty mushrooms are paired with tzatziki, spring onions and crisp lettuce. Team it with some sweet potato fries for an extra Dhs16 and thank us later. Dhs25. Dubai Marina, www.meswitch.com (800 79424).
You’re in the Middle East, now’s the perfect time to indulge in as much traditional cuisine as you can handle. And the best part? This classic shish taouk (yummy grilled cubes of chicken marinated in garlic paste), is excellent value, as it comes with rice or fries, hummus, pickles, bread and a Middle Eastern salad, all for under Dhs50, and comfortably serving at least two (reasonably) hungry people. Add a side of the giant falafel and you’ll be stuffed. Dhs41. Cluster Y, JLT, www.mezzalebanese kitchen.com/uae (04 554 5872).
There’s only room for around six people to sit and eat in at this JLT spot, which makes it the perfect candidate for a takeaway (plus if you live in JLT there’s free delivery on orders over Dhs25). This popular Pakistani eatery started off as one of the first food trucks in Dubai and is one of the city’s favourites. Based around roti (Pakistani tortillas) the menu also has street food such as aloo tikki sliders (spiced potato patty on a slider bun) or sweet potato samosas. It prides itself on “recipes ripped from mum’s cookbook”, for an authentic, homely taste. Opt for the spicy chick roti, which is packed full of, as expected, spicy chicken (warning, it’s not lying, it’s on the hot side) all rolled up in a floury, soft, delicious roti. Plus you can combine it with masala fries and a soft drink for just Dhs35. Perfecto. Dhs25. Cluster J, JLT, www.motiroti.me (04 243 2943).
Super falafel saj at Zaroob Super-cheap, always decent, not too unhealthy. Just three reasons why we love the falafel saj at Zaroob. You can’t miss this brightly coloured Middle Eastern eatery, but the good news is, if you don’t fancy venturing out you can get these traditional wraps delivered, too. Dhs14. Various locations including Sheikh Zayed Road. www.zaroob.com (800 927 662).
Veg thali at 800 Thali This serves up great-value Indian food that comes in generous portions with plenty of variety, such as traditional thali dishes, plus biryanis and lots of vegetarian options, too. We love the veg home-style meal. For just Dhs20 you get two curries, dahl, chapatis, raita and dessert. Dhs20. Cluster B, JLT www.800thali.ae (04 365 9959).
Chewy melt cake at Home Bakery This excellent dessert delivery service is not only good for days when you’re feeling a bit needy, it’s also great for entertaining (’fess up or just bin the box, we won’t judge). Pies, cookies, brownies, cakes, we could go on. Go for this gooey, rich cookie cake for a proper treat. Fudgy and melty on the inside, these cookies are sandwiched between chocolate mousse, cream and berries. Phew. Dhs320. Galleria Mall, Jumeirah, www.homebakery.ae (04 344 4462).
Gameroni alla griglia at Armani/Dubai Caffè In need of chic, top-quality food? Go all out with the grilled king prawns from this fashionista café, which is on Deliveroo. Perfect for date night, all you need to do is set the table. Dhs140. The Dubai Mall, Downtown (04 429 8968).
You live in Dubai, why not order in a portion of lobster? We can’t get enough of the lobster roll at Burger & Lobster and the fact that it’s available for takeaway and on Deliveroo makes us do a little jig of joy. Buttery brioche encases sweet, meaty lobster and the signature dressing. Plus, it comes with fries and salad. What a decadent delivery. Dhs115.50. Burj Daman, DIFC (04 275 9086).
You might not expect this year’s winner of Time Out Dubai’s Best Lebanese Restaurant award, Al Nafoorah, to be on Deliveroo, but it is, and it delivers an amazing range of food. The mixed grill is our pick, with tender lamb fillet, kofta and shish taouk. Dhs95. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 319 8760)
Risotto ai funghi porcini profumato al tartufo at Frankie’s Italian Bar & Grill The swanky chain from top Italian Flat jockey Frankie Dettori and super-chef Marco Pierre White also delivers. Can’t be bothered to cook? Serve it up for dinner and your guests will be impressed. It doesn’t come cheap, but this creamy, truffley risotto is worth it. Dhs95. Al Fattan Towers, JBR, www.frankiesdubai.com (04 399 4311).
Sushi box for two at SushiArt A treat for a stay-at-home date night, this box is a delightful combination of flavours and rolls, from tuna to chicken Caeser. Our favourite is the salmon avocado spring roll, wrapped in rice paper, it’s light, fresh and has a hint of mint. A fancy feast for your dinner table. Dhs179. Various locations including DIFC. www.sushiart.ae.
Akkawi cheese manakish from Man’oushe Street A firm favourite in Time Out Towers, you can’t really get much better than a warm, chewy, cheesy manakish. Perfectly acceptable to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner or 3am snack, embrace this doughy Middle Eastern delight. Now. KL Dhs12. Various locations including Arabian Ranches, Dubai Silicon Oasis and JBR,www.manoushestreet.com(600 56667).
This London chain has grown in popularity over here and for good reason. If you want to know, just try this dish. We love the pad Thai for occasions when you just need a good ol’ serving of noodles. It’s Thai comfort food at its best. Sure, it’s not the most original dinner, but when you need a go-to dish, the hefty portion of rice noodles with prawn, crabmeat and green mango is for you. Start off with some veggie spring rolls, the pastry isn’t at all greasy and the sweet dipping sauce is pure joy. Dhs67. The Beach, JBR (04 428 1421).
Fettuccine al funghi at Shakespeare and Co. This one is a bit naughty, we’re not going to lie. But if you’re a dairy-lover, this creamy pasta is a winner. It’s full of wild mushrooms (one of your five-a-day there, ahem) in a light alfredo sauce and Parmesan cheese. It’s on the rich side. We applaud you if you finish it (but you’re at home therefore next to a fridge so there’s no reason not to save some for later). Dhs50. Various locations including The Dubai Mall, www.shakespeare-and-co.com.
One of the most authentic spots for Thai food, this tiny little restaurant makes a mean green curry and a delicious pad Thai. Whatever you order, get a side of spicy papaya salad to go with it, and finish the meal with one of the huge portions of sticky rice and mango. Delivery can be a little slower than other takeaways, and it’s not the cheapest around, but the quality makes it worth the wait. You can choose your spice levels, but even the “medium” option is pretty hardcore here. Feeling really brave? Get it “Thai spicy”. Dhs35. Al Barsha, www.thaiwok.ae (04 430 8119).
Mac ’n’ cheese at Leopold’s of London Is there a more comforting combo than carbs and cheese? Doubtful, in our books. This is a deliciously creamy, rich and filling dish. Al dente pasta is smothered in the perfectly cheesy sauce, and then topped with an apple and rocket salad, which is sharp enough to cut through the thick cheese making it filling without being sickly. Perfect for a lazy Saturday when nothing but cheese will do. Dhs60. Various locations including The Beach, JBR, www.leopoldsoflondon.com (04 430 6841).
Mushroom and chicken soup at Gallus Chicken Rotisserie If you thought Gallus Chicken Rotisserie was all roast chicken, well, you’re not far wrong. However, apart from that most excellent of British comfort food (Sundays are a must, opt for the half chicken with sautéed potatoes and garlic sauce) there’s also a warming, hearty soup that’s suitable for anytime you’re feeling a little low. Crammed with mushrooms, shredded roast chicken and scattered with croutons, this is a hug in a bowl. It’s also a steal at just Dhs19 (plus there’s free delivery to the surrounding areas). Dhs19. JBR, www.gallus.ae (800 425 587).
Sweet and sour chicken at China Garden There are times (not that we always admit them) when we just need a British high street-style Chinese takeaway. Sweet and sour is always a fail-safe choice, and this one is just like you’d expect. A tangy, almost neon sauce, chunky chicken and veg, and that perfect sweet and sour combo. Dhs34. Various locations including Karama, www.chinagardenuae.com (04 396 5884).
This Australian health food import is making a name for itself in the city, with a branch in JLT and also a food truck. There’s a range of healthy treats for any time of the day, but we love this bright and colourful breakfast bowl. It’s made up of açaí (a South American superfood), coconut water, banana, fresh berries, spinach and twice-baked granola. Açaí berries are naturally rich in antioxidants, but the fruit is most widely found in the form of a frozen purée, giving it a texture similar to ice cream (but with none of the guilt). Dhs45. Almas Tower, JLT (056 573 8691).
If you’re looking for dishes under 500 calories, this is the place for you. For an on-trend meal, this new salmon poke bowl is our go-to dish. Chopped fresh raw Scottish salmon (marinated in Under500’s Hawaiian poke dressing) sits on quinoa and a salad of carrot noodles, baby spinach, cucumber and edamame. It’s prettily presented, and good for you, too. Dhs50. Various locations including Business Bay, www.under500.com (800 8633 7500).
Power chicken bowl at Kcal Excellent if you’re on a health kick, Kcal has a huge range of dishes and all list the calories, protein and fat content, so you know exactly what you’re getting. And healthy doesn’t have to be bland. This power chicken bowl is packed with marinated chicken, red peppers, courgette, spring onion and shredded coconut. Plus, with 38g of protein and just 296 calories, it’s ideal fuel for exercise, too. Dhs42.Various locations including Business Bay www.kcallife.com (600 595 955).
Fresh and full of veggie goodness, these rice wraps are one of the most popular options on this healthy menu. Loads of crispy, crunchy vegetables are combined with glass noodles, herbs, bean sprouts and a tangy black sesame sauce, before being wrapped up in rice paper. There’s only 360 calories per serving, plus 11g of protein and 27g of carbs, too, so you can’t go wrong with this one. Dhs49. Mall of the Emirates, www.commongroundsdubai.com (050 478 1094).
Waffles at Gourmet by Kcal This 100 percent gluten-free kitchen rolls out so many dishes it’s hard to choose just one. We love the pizzas (pick from carrot and pumpkin or courgette and Parmesan crust), as well as the Asian cod tacos (perfectly flavoured and packed full of fish). However, our go-to breakfast of choice are these waffles. Gluten-free oats, almond milk, eggs, cinnamon, organic vegan protein with fresh berries and strawberry sauce make up the dish. Although it’s not the lowest calorie option (532kcal) it has plenty of protein (22.3g) to fuel any workout. Dhs51. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 318 1420).
Popular for eating out (especially thanks to the live music and excellent deals), this is perhaps not always at the top of your list when thinking about takeaways. But maybe it should be? All the usual dishes (American Hot, we’re looking at you) are on the menu, plus it’s also available on both Deliveroo and Talabat. We’ll take a side (or two) of dough balls and garlic butter, thanks. Dhs58. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
Build your own at 800 Degrees Not to be confused with 800 Pizza (more on that later), 800 Degrees is a global pizza chain with branches all over the US. There are several here in Dubai, and the main draw about this one is the sheer volume of choice. Become the chef yourself and load up with whatever you fancy. Possibly not ideal if decision making isn’t your forte (and a standard pepperoni is just so much easier), but otherwise this is top. Choose your crust (thin or regular), your base (margherita, Bianca or verde), pick your toppings from veggies, meat and fish (and ALL the cheeses, there are 11 in total) and you’re good to go. From Dhs33. Various locations including Dubai Marina, www.800degreesme.com
You might have seen this when wandering around Dubai Marina, a quaint little Italian with traditional red and white chequered tablecloths, serving up wholesome comfort food. This classic margherita con bufala is a simple yet effective choice; rich tomato sauce is scattered with creamy, fresh buffalo mozzarella and a handful of basil leaves. 800 Pizza also does gluten-free options, so if you’ve an intolerance you needn’t miss the pizza party. Dhs57. Various locations including Marina Hotel Apartments, Dubai Marina, www.800pizza.com (800 74992).
Mexico at Pizzaly Pizzaly’s speciality is the fact that it has pizzas based on different countries. We like the retro Hawaiian (turkey ham and pineapple), but for something a little more adventurous it has to be Mexico. Minced beef, sweetcorn, onions, and, the pièce de la resistance – guacamole. Arribe. Dhs34 (small) Dhs52 (large). Various locations including Jumeirah Village Circle, www.pizzaly.ae.
Pepperoni at Papa Murphy’s Established in 1981, Papa Murphy’s is a long-standing pizza chain for a good reason. It’s the fifth-largest pizza company in the US and is popular here in Dubai, too, as it rolls out classic takeaway-style pies (we’re talking cheesy and doughy). You can order any pizza pre-cooked (Bake N Take) or cook it at home (Take N Bake). Get creative and make up your own, or play it safe and order the traditional pepperoni. Papa Murphy’s classic pizza sauce is topped with mozzarella, cheddar and stacks of beef pepperoni. Various locations including Al Barsha, www.papamurphysme.com (600 540 440).
Saatchi at Freedom Pizza A clear winner when it comes to pizza delivery among the Time Out Dubai team, Freedom Pizza covers every option going. Opt for the Saatchi, piled high with Buffalo sauce, Buffalo chicken, chilli, spring onion and cream cheese for a different take on a regular order. However, this spot is great for vegetarians (Mother Earth or Plant Eater are top choices here) and vegans too, as you can build your own and you don’t even have to hold the cheese (as there’s a vegan variety). That’s the whole squad covered then. Dhs33 (small), Dhs43 (medium), Dhs53 (large). Various locations including Al Barsha, www.freedompizza.ae.
This limited-edition pizza is available for one month only, until Wednesday August 16. Our cover star is adorned with the Time Out team’s favourite toppings – pepperoni, cherry tomatoes, black olives and basil. A perfectly blistered base with Pitfire’s secret recipe dough makes this an awesome all-rounder. Order it and get a free chocolate chip cookie brownie, too. o Dhs50. Cluster D, JLT, www.pitfiredubai.ae.
Pancakes at Circle Café Some days you just need to lie in and let breakfast come to you. For comforting carbs opt for the pancake stack from Circle Café. We like to go for a traditional dousing of maple syrup, but other choices include blueberries or Nutella. They come as a stack of six and are utterly delicious, but don’t just take our word for it. Dhs38. Various locations including Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai and Dubai Media City. www.circle-cafe.com
Le Pain Quotidien Breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien This French bakery has a wonderful range of pastries, eggs, sandwiches and more to ease you in to the day. We love this breakfast, which is an excellent combo of food (and coffee) to kick start your morning. Choose your favourite omelette and it will come alongside an organic bread basket and tea or coffee. Delightful. Dhs65. Various locations including The Dubai Mall, www.lepainquotidien.ae.
Pastries at Café Bateel Pain au chocolat, croissants, coffees, hot chocolate, full Arabic breakfast, all the morning-time options are covered at this popular local chain. It’s great for a breakfast treat, when you’re after something tasty and satisfying and a supermarket heat-it-up-in-the-oven-yourself version just won’t cut it. The pastries are large, always super fresh and perfectly buttery. Pair it with a smooth and creamy hot chocolate and your morning’s off to a winning start. From Dhs12. Various locations including Dubai Festival City, www.bateel.com.
This is a popular dish both to eat in and deliver at Time Out Dubai’s award-winning breakfast spot. Perfect for sharing, this comes with four eggs in traditional red or green sauce. A Middle Eastern classic, delivered straight to your door. Dhs98. Various locations including Dubai Marina (04 362 4686) and Town Centre Jumeirah (04 297 5797), www.bakerandspiceme.com.
For a healthy start packed full of good fats opt for the smashed avocado, tomato and salsa on toast. True, you don’t need to be Jamie Oliver to make your own (smash avocado, put it on toast), but this one guarantees a perfect combo of ingredients. This Italian chain from Antonio Carluccio is also excellent at other times of the day if you’re after pizza, pasta or salads. Dhs38. Dubai Marina Mall (04 399 7958).
Food delivery facts
Deliveroo reveals its most popular eats and ordering times
The most popular pizza Well, it isn’t actually a pizza at all, according to its makers. Pinza, the sort of flatbread, sort of pizza company, sells the single-most ordered pizza on Deliveroo – its “Create Your Own” option. Who knew this city had so many fussy eaters?
The most ordered breakfast dish It may or may not surprise you to learn the avo obsession is also taking over takeaway orders. The most ordered breakfast is the Avocado Smash (Dhs28) from calorie-conscious eatery Under500.
The single most popular dish overall Couqley’s Steak Frites. Yes, you can stop rubbing your eyes, because right now Deliveroo’s most ordered dish is steak and chips (Dhs90) from the Beirut-born French bistro in JLT. Second place goes to the Tricolor Eggs Benedict (Dhs38) from Friends’ Avenue Café, closely followed by Fuchsia Urban Thai’s Green Curry (Dhs36).
Number of riders Deliveroo has an army of 500 drivers, who deliver food between neighbourhoods all over the city.
The busiest time for delivery Just want to flop in front of the TV after a long week at work? You’re not alone – demand surges on Deliveroo every Thursday night.