Essential eating spots near the Dubai World Trade Centre
It’s hard work being a superhero/villain/Westeros inhabitant all day – and even Storm Troopers need to fill their bellies after Comic Con. Make the most of your time in the city of culinary delights by visiting one of these top Dubai restaurants, all conveniently located close to DWTC. Fire up the Enterprise!
At.mosphere This lounge has something truly unique in the city – a view from the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa. With that comes a price tag, and you’ll need to book ahead to get a space at the bar or a table, and there’s a minimum spend (which is higher for a window seat). The decor inside probably won’t wow you, but no-one will be looking anywhere but out to the views of Dubai. Drinks are of good quality, especially the grape, while mixed beverages are inventive and fresh. Daily 7am-10am, 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
BOCA We know that everywhere now has a “sharing concept”, but it all originated in Spain with tapas. And BOCA, the laidback, funky restaurant and bar, takes tapas as its starting point and runs with it. Most of the dishes on the menu are Spanish but there are also French and other Mediterranean plates available, all done with the same eye for flair and emphasis on quality, tasty core ingredients. Open daily noon-1am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).
Burger & Lobster Since opening, this cool venue has gone from strength to strength. As well as the diner area, there’s a bar (where you can also eat) showing games on big screens and offering happy hour drinks deals. In an unprecedented move, the Dubai branch has also messed with the concept and expanded the menu. No longer are the only things available a lobster, lobster roll and burger. There are now creative and fun variations (that, it should be pointed out, still stay true to the core ingredients). So, try the Beast Burger – a beef burger topped with brie and lobster tail and flanked by two enormous claws. It looks the part, but crucially, also tastes it. Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-2am. Burj Daman Building, DIFC (04 514 8838).
Headlines Headlines offers a mix of Indian, Arabic, Chinese and Italian fare in the Ibis Hotel, right next to the Dubai World Trade Centre. Service is super-friendly here and there is also shisha and occasional live music. Food is generally good value for money and there is something on the menu to suit every palette. Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Ibis Hotel World Trade Centre, Trade Centre Area (04 559 7875).
Fibber Magee’s A venue that proudly serves up proper pub grub such as fish and chips, all-day breakfasts, pies and burgers and does them all very well, with little fuss or fanfare. Portions are huge, especially the steak pie, which has an enormous puff pastry top hiding rich, slow cooked beef underneath. Breakfasts are excellent (and available throughout the day) and the cheeseburger is another monster. Not one where Dubai’s glamour set will be heading, but all the better for it. Daily 8am-2am. Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).
Gaucho Straddling the line between steakhouse and Latin American restaurant, Gaucho is one of the most consistently good venues in Dubai. The stylish dining room has plenty of cowhide in it, should you somehow forget what the main draw is. And we always find the steaks here are of the highest quality. They’re presented to you by a waiter who talks about the different cuts and breeds and how each one tastes. We love the Tira De Ancho, a spiral cut rib-eye dressed in chimichurri sauce. Sun-Thu 10am-11.30pm; Fri-Sat noon-11.30pm. Gate Village 5, DIFC (04 422 7898).
McGettigans DWTC This branch of the Irish pub is just as much an institution as the JLT original. It gets busy and pulls in a diverse, lively crowd. It’s a popular venue with the post-event crowd, whose spirits are kept high by the DJ pumping out some solid hip-hop tunes and good, singalong chart-toppers, mixed in for good measure. It has that please-all aesthetic, but in a very good way. Open daily noon-2am. Sheikh Zayed Road (04 378 0800).
Mint Leaf of London One of the consistently high-quality Indian restaurants in the city, Mint Leaf has so far resisted the urge to join in with the molecular gastronomy crowd. And we like it all the more for it. Instead, what you get at Mint Leaf is a fine dining take on classic Indian flavours and ingredients. At the start of 2017 it also widened its menu to take in more international touches (see the shiitake mushroom pizza and the tempura soft shell crab) but at the heart of the restaurant are wonderfully fragrant and subtly-spiced curries (including excellent dhal makhani and sea bass mussalam options) and grills (prawns roasted in Goan coconut sauce and spices and tandoor lamb chops). Everything looks and smells the part as it comes to the table, too. And the restaurant and bar’s décor is cool and modern with a funky vibe. Open daily noon-2am. South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC (04 706 0900).
Miss Lily’s Without a doubt the hottest place in the city when it first opened, Miss Lily’s is a Caribbean bar and restaurant that remains incredibly busy. Inside, though, it’s a different story – the place is buzzing with good vibes and good music. It’s crowded and the tables are very close together, but if you don’t mind that then you’ll probably love the place. We find the food doesn’t pack as much of a punch as we’d like, but the grilled prawns and jerk chicken are a good place to start. Open Sat-Tue 7pm-1am; Wed-Fri 7pm-2am, Sheraton Grand Hotel - Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 4074).
Waka An effortlessly cool venue with Latin flair and party vibes that you’ll want to experience more than once. If there’s one thing Latin Americans know how to do it’s party. The soundtrack is good (from a DJ on livelier nights), the staff look great (and are good at what they do, more importantly) and the room itself is stylish. The food speaks for itself, with some top quality Peruvian-Japanese dishes on offer, with almost too many must-try dishes to try. Sat-Wed 6pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 6pm-1.30am. The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (04 444 1455).
Zuma There’s a reason this sleek Japanese restaurant has clinched so many Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards over the years. Service is never short of impeccable and the food – from the robata skewers to the sashimi, tempura to the tataki – there’s never so much as a micro herb out of place. The reputation of the restaurant’s black cod precedes it, as does that of the Chilean sea bass, and the Boston lobster with shiso ponzu butter. Put simply, this is one of the best meals you’ll have in Dubai. Sat-Wed 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-12.45am; Thu-Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-1.45am. Gate Village, DIFC (04 425 5660).