We pound the boardwalk in search of some top bites to eat at the beachfront
Candy-coloured beach huts, sandy beaches and a huge range of shops, restaurants and activities, La Mer in Jumeirah 1 is quickly becoming a go-to spot. And if you love eating out, you’re in luck as there is a massive selection of dining options, from burgers to ice cream, via salads and some quirky Indian dishes. With more than 130 restaurants due to open in the area, this is one beachside spot you should check out when you get peckish.
We’ve waxed lyrical about this ice cream parlour before, and if you’re looking for an ice cold treat on your day at the beach, this should top your list. The brand’s gelato is made using natural and organic ingredients and comes in a range of tasty flavours. Don’t miss the signature ice cream roses – pretty and refreshing. Open Sun-Thu 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. www.amorino.com (04 557 3400).
Aprons & Hammers This is the third branch of the popular seafood restaurant – which as the name suggests specialises in smashing crab, literally. Order a bucket of shellfish, dig in and prepare to need that apron. There are loads of fresh fish dishes on the menu, including a huge paella, so this is a good one for hungry diners. Open daily 10am-midnight. www.apronsandhammers.com (050 804 9255).
Bareburger Completely bare of additives and preservatives, this burger joint focuses on making really good, organic burgers, without any of the bad stuff. With this in mind, it’s a top choice for families and health-conscious diners who are longing for a classic, juicy and tasty burger. Dig in, guilt-free. Open Sun-Thu 10am-11pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. www.bareburger.com (056 720 1927).
Fruit sushi? Teppanyaki ice cream rolls? Yes, you heard correctly. This quirky, fun-filled, healthy eatery aims to keep you cool at the beach. Billed as an “energetic, modern and innovative brand”, HOLA offers up an exotic selection of fruit-based delicacies that you won’t be able to resist. Menu highlights include crêpes filled with ice cream, traditional Mexican paletas (a type of ice lolly) made from fresh fruit, carved mango flowers and more. Meaning hello in Spanish, the name HOLA was chosen by its Emirati founders to “express the brand’s South American inspiration”. The aim is to have “refreshing and healthy” dishes that the entire family can enjoy by the beach. Open Sat-Thu 10am-midnight; Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. www.holadelights.com (04 388 7999).
HQ’S 459 Morning people, make a date. Breakfast certainly takes centre stage here, but it is the most important meal of the day, after all. It serves up classics such as eggs Benedict, pastries, and more. However, if you’re dining at lunch or dinner there’s also a tasty range of salads, burgers and sarnies at this casual seaside eatery. Open Sun-Thu 9am-midnight; Fri-Sat 10am-11am. www.hqs459.com (04 345 9000).
iScream Curry flavoured ice cream? Why not? For a quirky take on cooling down, head to this ice cream parlour where you’ll find 44 different flavours – including wasabi, matcha green tea and black sesame (plus some more common varieties, too, fear not, fussy diners). However, we can tell you first hand that the flavours are weird and wonderful, and you will want to try them all. You scream, I scream. Open Sun-Thu 10am-midnight; Fri-Sat, 10am-1am (04 220 8648).
Levee Café and Lounge
This quaint café serves up French and Mediterranean food with a side of picturesque coastal views. Set on the north side of La Mer, Levee boasts an all-day dining menu takes its cue from seasonal ingredients, ensuring that dishes are fresh and tasty. The restaurant promises “dishes that reflect heartfelt home cooking” and you’ll always find a variety, as there are 92 recipes in rotation. And in even better news, there’s an on-site pastry studio for you to try out, too. Open daily 8am-midnight (04 380 2000).
Masti Masti translates to “fun and mischief” and this fun-loving Indian eatery has this in bucketloads. With a quirky and exciting menu – think fava bean chaat, paneer lasagne and a butter chicken pizza – Masti is a cool bar, lounge and restaurant ideal for a night out. There’s also a top terrace for relaxing on, see our review on page 30. Open daily noon-midnight. www.mastidubai.com (054 583 4555).
Maison de Juliette This cute eatery aims to bring Aix en Provence to Dubai, so while you’re dining in La Mer you’ll feel all French. Well, you will once you try the freshly baked pastries and bread while sitting in a pretty blue and white dining room. With traditional and indulgent breakfasts (think scrambled eggs with truffle), there’s also a range of tasty mains including grilled salmon or Provençal chicken. Mais oui. Open daily 10am-midnight. www.maisondejuliette.com (04 2481 985).
Motomachi This Japanese restaurant and patisserie serves up a range of authentic dishes including ramen, sushi and katsu curries. Nipping out for breakfast? Don’t miss the range of brick toast – which is exactly how it sounds, a giant slab of toasted bread adorned with toppings such as salmon and avocado or cheese, ham and egg. That’ll set you up for the day. Open Sun-Thu noon-10pm; Fri-Sat noon-11pm. www.motomachirestaurant.com (04 323 9333).
Parker’s This popular café at The Dubai Mall now has an outpost at La Mer. Get your fill of pasta, tacos, sliders and sharers, while reclining in the comfort of the air-con, or soaking up the rays on the lovely terrace area outside. Dishes are also on the wacky side. Mac and Cheetos, anyone? Open daily 10am-midnight (04 344 9011).
SLAB Sandwich fans, listen up. SLAB is where you’ll want to eat if you love a bread-based meal. Standing for sandwich laboratory, it serves up a range of open sarnies and more, using fresh, quality ingredients. The menu draws influence from all around the world and features main courses including a 12-hour slow-cooked chicken in West Bank Pita and The Vegetarian, fusing zest of goat’s cheese with roasted rooted vegetables and walnut butter. Carb-lovers, unite. Open daily 10am-noon (04 298 8899).
Carnivores, this one is for you. SMK (Smoked Meat Kitchen) comes from a team who have been trained at London’s Smokestak – a trendy barbecue restaurant in Shoreditch. Serving up slow-cooked meat, signature dishes including the brisket bun, served with pickled red chilli, to lend a “fruity heat”. The restaurant itself is minimal, with food as the main focus. So if you’re after meat, you know where to eat. Open daily noon-midnight (050 703 2915).
Stars ‘N’ Bars
The famous Monaco haunt frequented by celebs is now at home in La Mer. The bar is already a super-popular nightspot at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi – so good that it was proclaimed Time Out Abu Dhabi’s Best Sports Bar 2017. The menu at Dubai’s outpost is a more grown-up take on the restaurant’s popular dishes – but the All-American favourites are still there. Open Sun-Thu 10am-3am; Fri-Sat 10am-3am. www.starsnbars.ae.
The popular Kite Beach food truck has a permanent restaurant space at La Mer. All the SALT favourites are still on the menu, with the addition of some new items exclusively for La Mer, including the Black Melt, made up of wagyu beef, barbecue-sriracha sauce and cheese served in a black bun, and the Big Salter with a double patty biggie sauce and cheese, served in a black double bun. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.find-salt.com.
Those with a penchant for dessert, you know where to head. Dieters, probably one to avoid. However, if you’re after simply enormous sundaes, rainbow-coloured sliders or giant pancake stacks head here, quicksmart. If it’s good enough for the Kardashians… Open daily 11am-midnight (04 385 5312).
Texas Roadhouse Come hungry to this steakhouse. This US joint serves up a range of ribs, boneless Buffalo wings and Texas red chilli that will satisfy any Tex Mex cravings. Perfect beachside fodder, with a kick. Open daily 11am-midnight (04 449 8504).
Treej Café The café follows an “Emirati and Beyond” concept at La Mer, offering a unique, casual and lively atmosphere, while retaining the essence of Emirati cultural, tradition and historical traits. Diners can expect a contemporary twist on authentic recipes – think Emirati burritos et al. Open Sun-Thu 9am-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am-11.30pm. www.treejcafe.com (04 323 3444).