Time Out Dubai guide to The Beach and JBR restaurants; best places to eat at The Beach and JBR defined by price and cuisine, with reviews, hours and deals.
The one-way seafront strip is a great area for people watching. Reminiscent of the European al fresco dining scene, you’ll be reminded of trips to Greece, Italy and Spain just strolling through the area which has a plethora of international food options right on the street. Seating arrangements are dotted along the pavements of JBR Walk and there are several hotel options if you’re looking to escape the bustle of the popular outdoors. Accessible by tram and known for its chilled out vibe, attracting beach-goers all day and night, JBR dining scene is especially a winner with families.
Originally opened in Montreal, Canada back in 1993, and now with branches across the globe, Eggspectation is one of the many new additions to The Beach at JBR. As with the other eateries in this sea-facing district, the café has an ambient outdoor dining area, but also boasts attractive interiors. As the café’s name suggests, egg-fuelled breakfast dishes dominate the menu, offered in various guises, including riffs on eggs Benedict, omelettes, full breakfasts and more. These breakfast dishes are, however, available throughout the day. Nevertheless, there are plenty of additional options including whole pages each of flatbreads, burgers, salads and pasta, with a notable number of mac ‘n’ cheese recipes among them. For a ‘breakfast-brunch’ selection of dishes, this is a pleasant and affordable place for simple cooking, whatever time of day your stomach starts rumbling.
Slowly softening its Scottish/industrial theme, Girder’s has become one of the busiest spots on JBR, thanks to generous drinks deals, live sports, music, and a boisterous budget brunch. Best of all is the small but atmospheric terrace garden, always booming on weekends. Perhaps not somewhere for the wedding anniversary, but a spirited spot for drinks with friends old and new.
Located in The Beach at JBR, gourmet café Leopold’s of London boasts an excellent setting with outdoor seating overlooking the shoreline. In addition to that ambient outdoor space, the café feels spacious and is decorated in a modern bistro style with marble table tops and leather upholstery in grey and dark wood skirting the display counters. You are likely to receive a warm welcome here and find that service continues in a similarly friendly tone. The menu will vary a little depending on what time of day you visit, with a more deli-style selection of sandwiches and bagels on offer during the afternoon. Still, whatever time you dine, you’ll be faced with a very appetising selection of modern European café food. The interior here is certainly sophisticated and the ambience convivial. And as for the food, well, it’s delicious, making Leopold’s of London a winning addition to the emirate’s culinary scene.
The decor in this quirky eatery is industrial, minimal and abstract – think chairs stuck high up on the walls. Service is warm and friendly here, with the staff happy to chat and make recommendations. The ‘Arayes SimSim’, which is flagged up as a house speciality, arrives nicely stuffed with a mix of spiced minced meat and tomato, while the cheese samboosak is perfectly crisp and bursting with the hot soft cheese filling. For dessert, the ‘Bozah Arabi’, a traditional and authentic ice cream, is highly recommended; flavoured with pistachio and with an elastic consistency, it’s milky, sweet and simply delicious. The overall dining experience at SimSim is pleasant and well suited to big groups.
A light, airy restaurant overlooking the coast at JBR, this value-for-money spot at The Beach is an excellent place to stop off for an evening meal. Bahria has a big outdoor terrace, for when the weather allows, as well as spacious dining room complete with coffee bar. The menu is at first glance intriguing. Essentially, it serves Arabic mezze, but in place of meat we have fish. So there’s fish kibbeh, fish shawarma and fish tagine. However, on closer inspection, almost all of the dishes on the main menu contain the local, but unsustainable, hammour. It’s possible to avoid it if you pick from the fish market-style counter, or order from the cold mezze selections, but it severely limits your choice. We’d recommend the shrimp and cheese croquettes and fried calamari, which both come with great dips, while the warm bread that comes with the hummus and other cold dishes is fantastic. There’s a lot of competition at The Beach, which might account for Bahria often having spare tables, but the food certainly warrants a visit. While the ecologically-minded among us might not be happy with the amount of hammour on the menu, there are other options that you can turn to.