Dubai's best restaurants 2020

From Asian to Thai, here are all the winners from the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2020

Dubai's best restaurants 2020

The Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2020, in collaboration with Dubai Food Festival, took place on Wednesday February 19, where the best restaurants in Dubai were revealed.

We’ve also rounded up the best restaurants in Dubai from Asian to Thai, with European, Italian, Latin American, Lebanese and more in between

We also reveal the winners of the best afternoon teas, budget restaurants, romantic restaurants and more. We review all of our restaurants anonymously, here’s our process.

Below are the best restaurants in Dubai.


Latin American
North American & Caribbean

Afternoon Tea
Bar Food
Buffet Brunch
À La Carte Brunch
Pub Food

Casual Newcomer
Fine Dining Newcomer


3 Fils
A multiple winner at the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards, this cool Asian seafood spot at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour launched in 2017 aand is well worth a visit. It’s a petite restaurant that gets busy, so arrive in good time to sample spectacular sushi. Staff are friendly, while the food is top-notch and creative.
Open Mon-Sat, noon-midnight. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, (056 273 0030).

BB Social Dining
Bao, bites, bowls and barbecue – this place is all about the Bs. And we love it. Dishes are inventive and fun, from super green hummus to soft shell crab bao. Plus don’t miss the desserts, they’re lip-smackingly delicious.
Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri 1pm-1am, Sat noon-1am. DIFC, (04 407 4444).

Vietnamese Foodies
There’s nothing we don’t love about this cool, home-grown café-restaurant in JLT. There’s outdoor seating by the lake and a petite indoor area, too. It gets packed out at lunchtimes and dishes are simple and authentic. The pho is fantastic, laced with spices and flavour, while the spring rolls, dim sum and salads are also excellent. A must-try for Vietnamese food-lovers.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Cluster D, JLT, (04 565 6088).

Asia Asia
If you haven’t visited this Asian restaurant in Dubai Marina, it’s time to make a date. With sweeping views across the Marina and twinkling waters below it’s a top spot for visitors – but make a booking as the terrace is always packed in winter. Tuesdays there’s a popular ladies’ night too. Dishes are inventive and tasty – we love the dim sum.
Open Sun, Mon and Wed 6pm-1am; Tue and Thu 6pm-2am; Fri 2pm-2am; Sat 2pm-1am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina, (04 276 5900).

This massive, cavernous venue at Grosvenor House has a cool vibe and opulent décor. It also has views of Dubai Marina, while menu is inspired by China, Japan and Thailand. The curries are fantastic and the bar serves up creative mixed drinks.
Open Sat-Wed 7pm-1am; Thu-Fri 7pm-2am. Grosvenor House Dubai, (043 998 888).

Lah Lah
This Asian spot in The Greens has a sprawling outdoor area and a cute bar by the pool. There’s a range of dishes from all over the continent and it’s all super-tasty. Order a bunch of dishes to share and dig in – top marks go to the Peking duck wrappers. 
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight, Thu-Fri 11am-2am. Zabeel House by Jumeirah The Greens (04 519 1111).

This Palm Jumeirah restaurant has cool interiors with rickshaw tables and Oriental furnishings. Dishes come from across Thailand, China and Vietnam with dishes including sharing platters, dim sum, noodles, soups, grills and more and it’s all super-tasty.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah, (04 567 8304).

Miss Wáng
If you’re looking to belt out some cheesy tunes after you dine, this bar, restaurant and karaoke venue in Bur Dubai is for you. This urban-cool restaurant features exposed brickwork and graffitied walls alongside an exciting range of cuisine from India to Japan to China.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Majestic City Retreat, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, (04 359 8888).

Miss Tess
This is a fun, quirky spot in Business Bay that promises a lively night out. Expect live entertainment in the form of dancers, acrobats and more. Food is tasty too with dishes coming from Korea, Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan including noodles, curries, dim sum, satay and more. Go with a group for a fun Asian dinner. 
Open daily 6pm-2am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay, (050 498 8505).

Streetery Food Hall
This was Highly Commended Best New Casual Restaurant in 2019 thanks to its low-key vibe and authentic street food dishes. Found in JLT’s Cluster D you can dine by the water in winter, or in the bustling venue inside. There are different kitchens for different cuisines with everything from Chinese barbecue to Malay curries. The classic green Thai curry is a top shout.
Open daily 11am-11pm. Lake level, Cluster D, JLT (04 587 3373).



A fine dining Chinese restaurant overlooking the waters of the Palm? Yes please. There are no westernised dishes on the menu – come to here to try authentic Chinese food with modern presentation. With brilliant views and a waterfront lounge, it’s a prime spot for sundowners and a side basket of dim sum.
Open daily 12.30pm-11pm. The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, (04 564 3888).

Royal China
Royal China is a buzzing Chinese restaurant that repeatedly features in Time Out Dubai’s Best Chinese category – and for good reason. It remains a solid choice for an excellent Chinese meal, with a menu that offers inventive cuisine while not compromising on the wide range of classics.
Open daily 11.30am-midnight. Building 4, DIFC, (04 354 5543).

Zheng He’s
Late in 2019 this swish spot underwent a revamp and revealed a fresh new look and menu which was designed by chef Lai Min Wei (formerly of global chain Hakkasan). The food here is utterly delicious and beautifully presented with finesse – if you have a hankering for classic Chinese cuisine with a modern twist, you won’t be disappointed. Plus the views are superb. A hit with tourists and residents alike.
Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. Jumeirah Mina A'Salam, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

China Sea
This unassuming spot in Deira serves up some of the most authentic Chinese food in the city. Not only are the portions huge, but the cooking is flavourful and all in all it’s an absolute bargain, with the average main dish coming in at Dhs40. China Sea has absolutely no frills, but if you leave your preconceptions at the doorway by the dragon statues, then this is a brilliant find.
Open daily 10.30am-midnight. Deira (04 295 9816).

Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung has achieved a lofty status among the city’s foodies, with its flagship branch in Mall of the Emirates regularly building up queues 45 minutes plus. While most people go for the delicious dim sum, there are also plenty of other staples on the surrounding menu including meaty soups and oodles of noodles. Brave the queues and you’ll be rewarded.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 11am-12.30am. Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, (04 265 1288).

This Michelin-starred global chain at Atlantis The Palm offers a swish approach to modern Chinese fine-dining with signature dishes including Peking duck, dim sum and jasmine tea smoked wagyu beef ribs.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6pm-midnight. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

Long Teng
Long Teng offers authentic, Cantonese cuisine and we can’t get enough of it. Dishes are upmarket and inventively presented and although it’s a seafood restaurant by reputation, the extensive menu features enough dim sum to fill several bamboo baskets and plenty of meat options.
Open daily noon-2am. U-Bora Towers, Business Bay (04 241 1666).

New Shanghai
New Shanghai is a cool, family-friendly spot that’s perfect for a mid-shopping break in The Dubai Mall. The décor is fun and vibrant with massive murals – an average mall pit-stop this is not. There are plenty of tasty-sounding options on the menu with oodles of dim sum, wontons, dumplings, buns and more. There are even Nutella dim sum for dessert.
Open daily 11am-midnight. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, (04 224 6819).

Nine Squares
If you’ve never had hotpot before (and we’re not talking the lamb kind your nan makes), this is a great place to start. Don’t miss the tender beef or the deliciously smoky special homemade black tofu. For a fun eating experience that lets you cook your own dinner in delightful surroundings, try Nine Squares.
Open daily noon-11pm. International City, (800 888999).

Xiao Wei Yang International Restaurant
Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of Dubai Marina, the low-key Xiao Wei Yang, which specialises in hotpots, might not be the most obvious place to head to eat if you’re in the area. However, if you’re looking for a laid-back spot with a bustling atmosphere and top grub, you won’t be disappointed.
Open daily 11am-1am. Dubai Marina, (04 421 4650).


folly by Nick & Scott

There isn’t much not to love about this Souk Madinat eatery by Nick Alvis and his cooking partner Scott Price. Creativity with classic ingredients are what this culinary duo not only do, but do exceptionally well to create outstanding contemporary European food. The Devon crab and smoked quail are serious stand-outs, and the views aren’t half bad either.
Open daily noon-midnight. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, (04 430 8535).


This popular spot from chef Izu Ani has a lovely setting at Emirates Golf Club. Mediterranean menu of dishes that include foie gras salad, grilled harissa prawns and perfectly executed rib-eye steak. When the weather allows, booking a table on the terrace overlooking the exceptionally-well manicured fairways is a must.
Open Sun-Wed 12pm-3pm and 7pm-10.30pm; Thu 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-3pm and 7pm-11pm. Emirates Golf Club, (0 4 417 9885).

Hell’s Kitchen
This Gordon Ramsay restaurant at Bluewaters Dubai is a sister of the British chef’s famed Las Vegas outpost – and a spin off from the TV show of the same name. Expect some top-notch British food – including the British chef’s famed beef Wellington – as well as a lively Friday brunch.
Open daily 7am-10.30am, noon-3.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai (04 556 6466).

This top DIFC eatery boasts the perfect culinary fusion of top-notch dishes from coastal France, Spain and Italy. The inventive menu features Mediterranean classics and gives them a bit of a twist, all using the freshest, locally sourced products. Vegans are exceptionally well-catered for here too.
Open daily noon-2am. Gate Village 6, DIFC, (04 323 1833).

Oozing sophistication and charm this romantic spot dishes up superb food from a menu that’s the work of Michelin-starred chef, Mauro Clagreco. Don’t miss the seared langoustine or the duck foie gras tart to start and the must-try mains include the veal tenderloin and lobster ravioli. Vegetarians should try the asparagus risotto.
Open daily 9am-10.30am and 7pm-11.30pm. The Palace, One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, (04 399 9999).

Flamingo Room by tashas
The attention to detail runs through every facet of this elegant restaurant nestled on the banks of Jumeirah Al Naseem’s turtle Lagoon. The casual, chic dining spot pays a tribute to founder Natasha Sideris’s South African heritage, while embracing delicious Mediterranean flavours. Highlights of the elegant menu include butternut carpaccio, king crab leg, caviar with blinis and lobster and prawn vol-au-vent.
Open Sat-Wed noon-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm, Thu-Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-12.30am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 244 7278).

Marina Social
With sparkling views over Dubai Marina and a Michelin-starred chef at the helm, Marina Social consistently delivers a top night out. The British-Mediterranean inspired menu features a decent mix of red meat, seafood and pasta, plus a separate vegan menu to keep the non-meat eaters happy. Don’t miss the tasting menu if you want to enjoy all of Jason Atherton’s signature eats.
Open Sun-Wed, 6pm-10.45pm, Thu 6pm-11.45pm, Fri 1pm-4pm, 7.30pm-11.45pm, Sat 1pm-10.45pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, (04 446 6664).

MasterChef The TV Experience
Much more than a gimmicky restaurant playing off its reality TV show superstar status – and namesake – the Dubai Marina eatery has substance. The fun, friendly service and MasterChef set interiors compliment some superb dishes, MasterChef UK 2017 winner Saliha Mahmood’s quail dish with sweet figs and served with a bulgur wheat salad and whipped walnut relish, being one. The lobster tortellini from Australian finalist Laura Cassai and Shelina Permalloo’s – MasterChef UK champion season 8 – Mauritian warm octopus salad are also worth checking out.
Open daily 6.30pm-11pm. Dubai Marina, Al Masra Street, Dubai, (04 550 8111).

A huge open kitchen, clean wooden interiors and a refreshingly chilled out vibe transport you to Europe at this Mandarin Oriental eatery by famed chef José Avillez – who has an impressive 19 restaurants under his belt. Relish the Portuguese menu that features small plates (the tempura cod cakes and the wagyu tartare are pure perfection) – the contents of which leave you wanting more – as you savour the splendid views from the sixth floor terrace of this majestic Jumeirah hotel.
Open daily noon-3pm; Sun-Fri 6.30pm-11pm. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Dubai, Jumeirah, (04 777 2231).

Verve Bar & Brasserie
Headed up by Honduras-born chef Jorge Grande, this bright and airy eatery is the brainchild of popular British chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price who oversee the culinary operation. Discerning diners will appreciate the quality of the produce that goes into starters like seared tuna and octopus salad as well as moreish mains including charcoal-grilled wagyu rib-eye and the five-spiced confit duck leg with pancetta on the European-British fine-dining menu.
Open Sat-Thu 12.30pm-2.30pm and 7pm-10pm, Fri 1pm-4pm, 7.30pm-10.30pm. Grand Plaza Mövenpick Hotel, Dubai Media City, (04 525 7633).


LPM Restaurant & Bar
A worldwide name this popular French restaurant is always packed. Staff are slick, table service is efficient and there’s always a lively buzz about the place – especially post-work when the DIFC crowd also come in for drinks at the bar. We’ve long waxed lyrical about the lamb cutlets, which are some of the best around, which should definitely be paired with rich, indulgent dauphinoise potatoes. A famous name with good reason.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. DIFC, (04 439 0505).

Bistrot Bagatelle

If you love a lively night out, this is for you. Don’t even think about turning up to this restaurant early as the vibe only increases as the night goes on. It’s a cracking night out with pumping music and a lively atmosphere to go along you’re your dinner. But it’s not just about the party, food more than holds its own with classics such as Burgundy snails with beef pancetta, whole truffle roasted chicken and a lip-smacking lobster pasta dish.
Open Sat-Wed 8pm-2am, Thu-Fri 8pm-3am. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 354 5035).

La Cantine du Faubourg
Hailing from Paris, this trendy French restaurant is a top spot whether for a date or with mates. Dishes are excellent and the vibe is fun and upbeat. There’s a cool bar area, too, plus a cute outdoor terrace. It’s arty, it’s fun – it’s the whole package.
Open Sun-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am, Sat noon-6pm, 8pm-2am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 352 7105).

Bistro des Arts
This cute French bistro has a prime space on Dubai Marina promenade to enjoy tasty French food while people watching. It serves up classic dishes all day long, and is especially worth a visit on an evening for a cosy date night or a weekend morning for its lazy breakfast-brunch where you can enjoy a range of egg dishes, crêpes, French cheeses, pastries and more.
Open daily 7.30am-11.30pm. Dubai Marina, (04 551 1576).

Bleu Blanc
Decked out like a French farmhouse, with whitewashed woods and ornate rugs there’s also an open wood-fired grill at this restaurant in Business Bay. Service is friendly and the French food is très bon, with the lobster risotto being one of our favourites.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Business Bay, (04 512 5533).

Couqley French Bistro & Bar
This low-key bistro in JLT is a popular spot with residents in the area, but it’s worth a visit if you live further afield. Tuck into steak frites for main course before following it up with a deliciously moreish pain perdu. There are also decent deals including a happy hour and ladies’ night, which adds to its appeal.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am. Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 5149339).

Le Cirque
Billed as “New York’s oldest French restaurant” Le Cirque’s Dubai outpost has a sophisticated space with an outdoor terrace. There’s everything from escargot to steak tartare and bouillabaisse on the menu. Our advice? The chateaubriand makes for an excellent date night meal to share. 
Open daily noon-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, (04 372 2444).

La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
A longstanding French restaurant in Downtown Dubai, La Serre features a crisp white dining room and French-Mediterranean menu. It’s sophisticated and chic, while dishes include classics like French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon as well as fish dishes and pastas.
Open daily 7am-11pm. Vida Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 428 6969).

Pierre’s Bistro & Bar
Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire presents an eccentric setting of neon flamingos and green foliage with views of Dubai Festival City’s fountain show from an expansive outdoor terrace. There’s everything from frogs legs to roasted veal rack to try, as well as a range of pasta dishes and creative snacks.
Open Mon-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 5pm-midnight. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, (04 701 1127).

STAY by Yannick Alléno
French Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno has both tasting menus and à la carte dishes to try and all are served up with flair and originality at this chic restaurant on the Palm.
Open daily 7pm-11pm. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 440 1010).


Mythos Kouzina & Grill
Mythos is a permanently busy taverna found in popular JLT hotel Armada BlueBay Hotel. With a more rustic vibe to its sibling, but with a similar menu, the food, atmosphere and décor of this cool hotel are all outstanding. Try the lamb keftedes, feta dip, saganaki, marinated grilled octopus and more, all at once. They’re beautiful.
Open daily 12.30pm-5pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT, (04 399 816).

A super-swanky, bright and sophisticated restaurant with gold-trimmed decoration that’s befitting of its central DIFC location. There’s top-notch mezze to be had, which is where the focus of the menu lies. Get your hands on a hugely satisfying cheese and truffle pie, which is reminiscent of pide/khachapuri, as well as an insanely moreish feta saganaki, in addition to a raw bar, various salads and a selection of meats and grilled items from which to choose.
Open Sun-Thu noon-1am, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-1am. Gate Village 4, DIFC, (04 241 4242).

A previous winner of Time Out Dubai’s Best Fine-Dining Newcomer award, this eatery at Fairmont Dubai is a hit with the city’s well-healed and glamorous foodie crew. A range of special mixed drinks supplement a huge range of mixed cold and hot starters, salads, grills and even Greek pizzas – kalispera indeed. There’s a lively, fun, vibe too – expect Zorba dancing and plate smashing aplenty.
Open Sat-Wed 7pm-1am, Thu-Fri 7pm-2am. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 357 0557).

Avli by tashas
Few parts of Dubai see restaurants verging on fully booked on a Monday night, and you’re going to want to book ahead at this charming Greek eatery found just next door to Le Petit Maison. Greek dishes await and the jewels mainly lay on the mezze section of the two page menu – special mention goes to the feta saganaki with a honey and filo top, as well as the lamb keftedes (meatballs) and mini lamb shoulder gyros. After hours at the weekend, head into the secluded, dark and moody Galaxy Bar next door, and make a night of it.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thursday-Friday noon-1.30am. Gate Village 9, DIFC, (04 359 0008).

One of the most authentically Greek tavernas in you’ll find anywhere in Dubai, this gorgeous little spot in Bur Dubai is home to some wonderful Mediterranean fare. The moussaka, gemista, tomato kefka and tyrokafteri (spicy peppers and feta dip) are some of the choice selections from a menu that’s crammed full of the classics.
Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 8pm-11.30pm. Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 501 2690).

The Pointe is home to a range of interesting places to eat, including this stylish fine-dining Greek eatery. Almond-crusted feta triangles, lamb loin with a classy moussaka populate the menu at this restaurant which has a minimalist take on traditional Greek dishes. The views are stunning, too.
Open Sun-Wed 3pm-midnight, Thu 3pm-1am, Fri noon-1am, Sat noon-midnight. The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, (04 243 6668).

Fish Beach Taverna
White-washed Mediterranean vibes aplenty are to be had at this Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina restaurant. It’s so close to the seaside that those holiday feels just wash over you. From souvlaki to moussaka, to the catch of the day and some freshly grilled octopus, it’s a delight.
Open Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11.30pm. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh, (04 511 7373).

Greek & Delicious
Expect to find all of the classic dishes at this JLT eatery, as well as some slightly more Western-influenced breakfast and lunch options. Tomato keftedes (fritters), veggie mille-feuille and plenty of peinirli (which is the Greek version of pide), populate a menu that also include moussakas, various saganakis and meat platters.
Open daily 8am-midnight. Cluster J, JLT (04 277 6926).

It’s all about the show-stopping Burj Al Arab views at this beach front Jumeirah Mina A’Salam eatery. Incredibly popular with tourists during the winter season, your range of Greek-based mezze dishes (incongruous plates of French fries notwithstanding) are often strategically positioned on your table to make sure you can always gawk at Dubai’s iconic hotel.
Open daily noon-11pm. Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

Found in the middle of one of Dubai’s most-popular tourist destinations, Taverna takes a haute approach to some classic Greek dishes. Mitzanosalata (aubergine salad), the ever-popular tzatziki, various carpaccio, grilled calamari and more join some wood-fire-grilled meats on a menu that’s also rife with seafood options and plenty of traditional dishes.
Open Sun-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Sat noon-1am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 589 5665).


Indya by Vineet

Expect to find Indian-style tapas at this incredibly lively, funky Indian restaurant in JBR. It’s run by the eponymous Indian chef, who was the first to receive a Michelin star for one of his restaurants, and boasts more than 70 dishes grouped into four sections: from the earth, from the land, from the sea and sweets.
Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550).

Carnival by Trèsind

A year in, year out favourite found in DIFC that never fails to disappoint. Head along late in the week for a real lively time, with some extravagant mixed drinks and a very modern take on Indian cuisine. The desserts, in particular, are spectacular, but all of the food here goes down a storm.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Burj Daman, DIFC, (052 242 4262).

A previous winner of this category, this seaside hotspot is a cracking spot for a late-night bite and party vibes on the weekend. Fine-dining meets fusion here, where you’ll often find live music, top-notch mixed drinks and dishes that verge on the weird and wonderful (but always brilliant).
Open Sat-Wed 1pm-1am, Thu-Fri 1pm-2am. La Mer South, Jumeirah 1, (800 62784).

Basanti & Co.
A quirky, gastro-Indian restaurant that does its best to stay on-trend, with gorgeous views out from its Bluewaters location towards JBR and Dubai Marina. There are some top dishes to try on the menu, including some wonderful kofta, while various dhals are a particular joy for vegetarian food.
Open daily noon-midnight. Bluewaters Dubai (04 557 6947

Bombay Brasserie
A huge, brightly-lit and spectacularly decorated restaurant at the classically-designed Taj Dubai, Bombay Brasserie excels with some stunning food, including the Cochin lobster curry, which boasts perfectly cooked chunks of the shellfish in a creamy, subtly spiced, coconut milk-based sauce.
Open Sat-Thu 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-midnight, Fri 1pm-4pm, 6pm-midnight. Taj Dubai, Business Bay, (04 438 3222).

Calicut Paragon
A wonderful budget-friendly restaurant found in the northern end of Dubai, where you’ll find some absolutely spectacular South Asian street food. The fresh seafood here is among the best we’ve found, and doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket either.
Open daily 7am-12.30am. 20 B Street, Karama (04 335 8700).

A lively, modern Indian eatery in Barsha Heights that fuses classic South Asian flavours with global cuisines. Think ramen, pastas, dim sum and more all with a funky, playful Indian twist. Its Friday brunch is absolutely pumping too, if you fancy a bash.
Open Sun-Tue noon-1am, Wed-Sat noon-3am. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (04 587 7189).

Mint Leaf of London
The Dubai branch of this world famous restaurant brings much of the same fare and flare as the London mothership, and it perpetually brings Indian fine-dining to the mainstream. Gorgeous views of Dubai and Burj Khalifa are to be had here, too.
Open Mon, Thu-Fri noon-2am, Tue-Wed, Sat-Sun noon-1am. Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, (04 706 0900).

Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra
It’s not often that you find cutting edge technology meet culinary prowess, but this Business Bay eatery from the famous restaurateur offers up a magnificent adventure complete with deconstructed classics – like chicken tikka prepared three ways, mutton curry, jalebi caviar and more.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 414 3000).

Speaking of fine-dining and fusion, this restaurant at voco Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road has an eye for the creative and a flare for… well… flare. Expect lots of dry ice and props with your dinner, but it by no means detracts from the quality of the food, which is generally pretty sensational. A lovely date night spot for a unique experience.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. voco Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 308 0440).


Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Il Borro ticks all the boxes. The Italian eatery nestled on the banks of Jumeirah Al Naseem’s serene turtle lagoon whips up consistently good food, delivered with a flourish of excellent service and the setting is thoroughly charming. It’s twice won Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant of the Year award and you can’t go wrong here, whether it’s for a family lunch or anniversary dinner.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, (04 275 2555).

Marea, DIFC
A gastronomic delight all the way from New York (where it has a Michelin star), Marea is a stand-out Italian seafood restaurant in a city awash with Italian cuisine. Expect flawless service and dishes that are delicately and artistically plated, not to mention delicious. Don’t miss the salty, squidgy grilled octopus with brilliantly bouncy fregola, or the lightly coated fritto misto.
Open daily noon-4pm, 7pm-1am. Gate Village 7, DIFC, (04 583 6366).

Social by Heinz Beck
It doesn’t get much fancier or elegant than Social by Heinz Beck and a meal here is fine dining at its very best. The menu is a concise list of salads, appetisers, pastas, mains and sides and everything is faultless in quality, taste and presentation, while desserts, in particular, are stunning.
Open Mon-Sat 6.30pm-11pm. Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, (04 818 2222).

A chic Italian seafood spot that brings the taste, and feel, of the Amalfi Coast to Bluewaters Dubai. Alici – which means anchovies – has a varied menu that showcases sustainably-caught fish with an Italian twist. It’s from the team behind Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, so expect tasty dishes with top views.
Open daily noon-3.30pm and 7pm-midnight. Bluewaters Dubai, (04 275 2577).

In this luxurious hotel from premium Italian designer Armani is an upmarket eatery with excellent service and dishes that are rich, full of flavour and inventively created. It’s fancy fine dining and is a popular date night spot, with classic dishes done well (the bread basket is one of the best around, too).
Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Burj Khalifa, (04 888 3666).

There are sparkling Dubai Water Canal views from the al fresco terrace and a chic interior with twinkling, ambient lighting at this Downtown Dubai romantic Italian restaurant in Business Bay. The décor is fun and vibrant, while calamari, authentic pizza and traditional pasta dishes are all molto bene.
Open daily noon-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Business Bay, (04 512 5522).

This beachside Italian has both a chilled out pizzeria – on the al fresco upper deck – and a fine-dining experience (downstairs). Cosy, atmospheric and consistently busy, the food is elegant and well-balanced, and the mains are generously portioned.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm, Fri noon-midnight, Sat noon-11pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, (04 511 7373).

As soon as you walk into this classy DIFC eatery with vibrant blues and crisp white tablecloths, you’ll feel special. There are a range of authentic Italian dishes throughout the menu, including pizzas, salads and grills. Dishes deliver the high-end quality you expect from a renowned chain, but the stand-out has to be the succulent lamb chops served on a sizzling hot plate.
Open daily noon-midnight. Number 10, Gate Village, Building 3, (04 347 0003).

Il Ristorante – Niko Romito
Looking for an authentic, Italian fine-dining experience? Look no further. The whole experience at Il Ristorante feels first class. Dishes are as inventive as they are expertly prepared and the service is slick and friendly. We love the Smoked potato-stuffed ravioli, served with an octopus ragu.
Open daily 12.30pm-11pm. Bvlgari Hotel & Resort Dubai, Jumeirah, (04 777 5622).

Torno Subito
Meaning “be right back” in Italian beachside eatery Torno Subito is Michelin-starred chef, Massimo Bottura’s first venture outside his native Italy. The menu houses simple-sounding Italian favourites in the primeri section as well as the pizza and pasta offerings – the tagliatelle ragu is just like mama used to make. It’s whimsical, it’s fun and it’s a top choice for lunch or dinner.
Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. W Dubai the Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 245 5555).



Having been one of the most successful restaurants in the city – not just in the Japanese sphere – for more than a decade now, it’s safe to say Zuma is doing one or two things right. From business lunches to romantic dinners, Friday brunches or just a post-work drink at the bar, Zuma has it all and then some.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-1am, Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Gate Village 6, DIFC, (04 425 5660).

Akira Back

This restaurant is cool, sophisticated and slick. It’s also the first in the UAE from professional snowboarder-turned-Michelin starred-chef Akira Back, and it has his stamp all over. The dishes are split into hot and cold plates, sushi rolls, a robata grill and some salads and sharing options and feature famous signature dishes including the tuna pizza, plus a dedicated vegan menu. The food is impressive and you’ll without a doubt, be Back for more.
Open daily 7pm-midnight. W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 245 5800).

Fujiya Japanese Restaurant
This traditional izakaya-style restaurant in Garhoud is as authentic as they come. Slurp up ramen, dig into a hot pot, try the sushi and enjoy tasty Japanese dishes. The interiors are paired back and low-key and the vibe is lively. A top addition to the Japanese dining scene.
Open 24-hours. Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, Garhoud, (04 702 8846).

There are a multitude of restaurants in Dubai that serve sushi – but few that do it in such a traditional way as Hōseki. With only nine seats (plus a private dining room), this petite, intimate restaurant is ideal for sushi aficionados. Word of warning, this doesn’t come cheap (we’re talking into the thousands – this is Bvlgari Hotel) but it’s the most authentic and intimate experience in the city, hands down.
Open Tue-Sat 1pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight. Bvlgari Resort Dubai, Jumeirah (04 777 5433).

Kiku has been around for donkey’s years, and for good reason. With the speciality ingredients being flown in from Hokkaido, Kansai, Nagano and the markets of Tsukiji, the comprehensive menu offers typical Japanese dishes, from freshly prepared sushi and yakitori barbecue, plus ramen, hot pot, cold noodle dishes and more. If you’re yearning for an authentic taste of Japan without having to fork out a bucketload on air fares – Kiku is well-worth trying.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, (04 702 2455).

Netsu – from acclaimed chef Ross Shonhan of Flesh and Buns – specialises in the traditional Japanese cooking technique of Warayakiya – straw fire cooking. Dishes include Warayakiya-style grills, sushi and sashimi platters and more and the kitchen takes centre stage.
Open Sun-Thu 6.30pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 777 2232).

Nobu needs no introduction. This globally renowned brand from Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa is consistently excellent the world over. The restaurant at Atlantis The Palm is a hotspot for tourists and residents, and there’s a great bar for a pre-dinner drink, too. Famous for its black cod, this is one menu item not to be missed.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 6pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

This Japanese restaurant and lounge proudly sources its ingredients from the markets of Japan's northern island, Hokkaido, and the eclectic menu is made up of small bites, kushiyaki, sushi, ramen and signature main dishes like miso black cod and wagyu rib-eye. It’s a stellar spot for a late-night bite to eat along with live entertainment, creative drinks and an overall fun ambiance.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 405 2333).

What’s better than modern Japanese by Michelin-star chef Akira Back and sundowners at sunset? Not only does the swish venue serve up an exciting range of dishes, there’s a stunning rooftop bar for sunset drinks. Paru dishes up contemporary Japanese dishes and there is also an extensive sushi menu, with everything from California rolls to maki with wagyu beef, foie gras and lobster tempura.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-1am, Thu-Fri 5pm-2am. Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai, (04 556 6666).

Stunning sushi, superb views and authentic service. TOMO ticks all the boxes when it comes to true Japanese dining in Dubai. Ingredients are imported from Japan weekly, meaning you know you’re getting the freshest produce and everything served is inventive and delicious. The word TOMO is literally translated as longtime friend, and that’s exactly what you’d call this restaurant.
Open Sat-Sun & Tue 12.30pm-2.45pm, 6.30pm-midnight, Mon, Wed-Fri 12.30pm-2.45pm, 6.30pm-1.30am. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha, (04 357 7888).

Latin American

Since opening in 2015, this restaurant has continued to wow us, racking up awards year on year. Spanish, Japanese and Chinese twists are added to Peruvian dishes with real skill, and we can’t get enough of the tacos and the tableside guac.
Open Mon-Wed 12.30pm-1.30am, Thu-Sat 12.30pm-2am; Sun noon-1.30pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah, (04 316 9600).

LIMA Dubai
Another global chain, LIMA Dubai is a Peruvian restaurant that serves the freshest and simplest ingredients that will leave you talking about your meal for weeks after. The dishes are adventurous and absolutely scrumptious. We recommend you try the ceviches, particularly the quirky avocado version.
Open daily noon-midnight. City Walk, Al Safa Street, (056 500 4571).

Mama Zonia
One of our favourite spots in Pier 7, Mama Zonia is uber cool and always packed to the rafters. The views outside are gorgeous, as expected with the Marina location, but the delicious food (the ceviche especially) and the foliage-filled interior, is exactly why we love this Amazonian-themed restaurant.
Open Sat-Mon noon-1am, Tue-Fri noon-2am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina, (04 240 4747).

The views of the Burj Khalifa and fountains alone should be enough to draw you into this Argentinian spot, but the brilliant steaks – prepared on an open grill called a parilla – are amazing, too. Meat eaters will want to come here again and again and again to try everything from beef to goat.
Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

El Chapo’s Tacos
Run by the same team behind Mr Miyagi’s, you won’t find a much more lively Mexican restaurant in Dubai. We love the tacos (duh), but the real stand out is the incredible guacamole which is prepared right at your table. You’ll want to grab a Mexican mixed drink or two as well.
Open daily noon-2am. Studio One Hotel, Studio City (04 514 5411).

Fogo de Chão
This Brazilian steakhouse is (obviously) all about meat, meat, meat, and as the 51st chain of a global brand Fogo de Chão, it’s definitely doing it right. This classy joint also offers up seasonal dishes and regional delicacies.
Open daily noon-midnight. Central Park Towers, DIFC, (04 343 8867).

La Carnita
If there’s one word to describe La Carnita, it’s cool. This spot in Dubai Marina always has a great vibe, particularly on ladies’ night. Don’t miss out on the great selection of tacos.
Open Sun-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 12.30pm-2am, Sat 12.30pm-1am. InterContinental Dubai Marina, (04 425 4030).

This lively spot is beloved by many Dubai residents, and it’s not difficult to see why. The fajitas and enchiladas are next level, but the real stand-out dish is the guacamole, which is prepared at your table. Make sure you stick around for the signature Mexican mixed drinks.
Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah 1, (04 346 1111).

Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen + Bar
You’ll find every traditional Mexican dish you could possibly want at Maya from famed chef Ricard Sandoval, and every plate is better than the last. The poolside location is what makes this place special, and we love that you can head there for a dip post-brunch on Fridays, too.
Open Sat-Wed 7pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 7pm-1am. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550).


Ibn AlBahr
This restaurant’s tagline is ‘run by fishermen’, and you won’t want to miss out on the fresh seafood here. There’s a fish market where you can pick your own to be freshly prepared, and the rest of the menu is a hit with seafood-lovers, too. Mezze-wise the hummus and vine leaves are our favourites.
Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, (04 553 9575).

Al Safadi
There are four Al Safadis dotted about Dubai, and we can see why this chain has proven to be so successful. You’ll get to wolf down great Lebanese food in a casual setting here.
Open daily 8am-2am. Umm Al Sheif (04 343 5333).

La Mer’s dining scene is certainly booming, and Babel is undoubtedly one of the highlights. Pop in for delicious seafood right next to the beach. The fresh catch is simple and delicious, the garlickly prawns are moreish and the views are superb. Lebanese seafood at its best.
Open daily noon-midnight. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).

Al Nafoorah
If you feel like treating your partner on date night (or just yourself, no judgement here), there’s no better spot than Al Nafoorah. You can expect authentic and incredible Lebanese food from previous Time Out Dubai award-winner. The hummus is a must-try.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat noon-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 319 8760).

Ayam Elezz
Step into Ayam Elezz and you’ll find yourself inside a 1960s Lebanese home, complete with traditional dishes made with that special homemade touch.
Open Sun-Wed 9am-12.30am, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. The Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, (04 388 0380).

If you’re looking for top-notch Lebanese nosh at The Dubai Mall, look no further than Bebabel. It’s run by the same team as Babel and is just as delicious, if in a more casual setting. Don’t worry, you’ll still get fantastic views, just of the fountains rather than the beach.
Open daily 10am-midnight. Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall (04 419 0950).

Enab Beirut
Don’t be overwhelmed by the menu at Enab Beirut, the waiters will be more than happy to help you navigate their delicious dishes. There’s loads to try at this City Walk spot and we’d suggest you get stuck into the mezze.
Open Sat-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Fri 9am-1am. City Walk, (04 343 2707).

Offering up views of Dubai Water Canal, this Lebanese café is the place to be in Business Bay. You could eat here for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not get bored of the food.
Open daily 10am-5am. West Wharf Tower, Business Bay (04 367 9980).

Villa Beirut
Whether you’re a first timer or a Lebanese food connoisseur you’ll find something to love about Villa Beirut. The staff are incredibly helpful, and know exactly what to suggest, and the food itself is incredible.
Open daily 10am-1am. Jumeirah Street, (04 341 1310).

Zahr El-Laymoun
Enjoy casual dining and a diverse menu offering Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine, from shawarma platters and cold and hot mezze to grilled kibbeh and salads. Plus, it has a prime location at Souk Al Bahar, which makes it a hit with visitors.
Open daily 10am-1am. Souk Al Bahar, (04 448 6060).


This Turkish spot from chef Colin Clague serves up consistently excellent food, whether you’re looking for casual snacks (pide et al) or delicious grills. There’s loads of choice and it’s all top-notch. The venue is cool too, with a gorgeous terrace and fun bar. This restaurant is now permanently closed. 
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 7pm-2am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, (04 399 9123).

Perfectly cooked steak, a tombik döner that puts any vertical rotisserie to shame, a magnificent Fountain-side setting – Günaydin is the authentic (and relaxed) Turkish dining experience you’re looking for. This Downtown Turkish spot is friendly and cheerful, yet undeniably sophisticated, and the team know their meats – we can vouch for that.
Open Sun-Thu noon-1am, Fri-Sat 9am-1am. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, (04 554 0700).

Sah El Nom
Pulling off delicious budget-friendly dishes with a twist is a challenge in its own right, but Syrian spot Sah El Nom achieves this with ease. If you’re after classics elevated to a high-standard, opt for the cheese kebab with minced lamb mixed with cheese and ouzi lamb chops – you’ll understand why Sah El Nom already has a loyal following. It’s a favourite among families, too.
Open Sun-Thu 9am-2am, Fri-Sat 9am-3am. Bluewaters Dubai, (04 587 7096).

Al Fanar
Located within a converted pearl merchant’s house, this Emirati restaurant is charmingly filled with traditions of Old Dubai, with floor cushions, dozens of photographs depicting old Bedoin life and authentic trinkets. Oh, and the food? Homely and comforting. Al Fanar is a brilliant place to experience traditional Emirati cooking, culture and history
Open daily 8.30am-11.30pm. Dubai Festival City Mall, (04 232 9966).

As Michelin-starred chef Mansour Memarian puts it, cooking is storytelling, and the saga the chefs at Enigma craft is worth, erm, tasting. We’re not sure if the stories that staff tell made the food taste better, but our previous enigmas about why this snazzy venue was always booked out have now been solved. A Persian experience worth a booking.
Open Mon-Sat 7pm-10.30pm. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Jaddaf Waterfront, (04 556 8830).

The hummus, lamb cubes, piping hot, freshly made bread and tender, juicy, spicy grills at Kaftan in Umm Suqeim pretty much says it all at this buzzing Turkish restaurant. Mix in its family-friendly vibes, beautiful setting and brilliant service, and Kaftan becomes a place that’s always going to be a sure-fire good time. It also does a cracking breakfast.
Open daily 9am-1am. Jumeirah Street, Umm Suqeim (04 338 9688).

Its famous Logma fries and halloumi sticks? Brilliant. Khameer stuffed with falafel? Large and brings a pleasant crunch. But it’s the traditional Emirati desserts at the Logma branch in The Dubai Mall that you’ll definitely want to stay for. Even if you can’t stand shopping, this is one trip to the mall you won’t regret.
Open daily 10am-midnight. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, (800 56462).

Finding an almost tropical oasis in this midst of the towering buildings of Dubai is no easy task, but this al fresco Middle Eastern restaurant does it in its stride. Adopting lounge culture at its finest (shisha and all), relax and tuck into its generous (and delicious) portions of Middle Eastern, Iraqi, Turkish and Moroccan cuisine. And definitely don’t miss out on its manti, with beef ravioli, mint, yoghurt and tomato – it’s a real treat.
Open Sat-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Fri 4pm-3am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 326 6105).

A trendy, contemporary restaurant that fuses Arabic, Emirati and Indian cuisine, SIKKA Café brings street food culture from Deira and Bur Dubai and puts a wholesome, family-friendly spin on it. Expect affordable falafel sandwiches, a varied list of naans and rich and creamy hummus to dip them all in, too.
Open Sat-Wed 8am-midnight, Thu-Fri 8am-1am. Al Safa Street, City Walk, Al Safa Street, (04 385 6524).

While this very popular Turkish-Lebanese spot in La Mer is a top spot to dine at any time of the day, it’s the amazing Arabic breakfast tray, boasting 14 dishes including a sweet and delicious honey with cream, labneh, jam with butter to name a few, that you’ll want to wake up for. The juicy sujuk is one of the best we’ve tasted, while the foul and falafel are marvellous as well.
Open Sat-Wed 9.30am-midnight, Fri-Sat 9.30am-1pm La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 3430093).

North American & Caribbean

Bull & Bear

It may have roots from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, but that doesn’t mean Dubai’s branch is just a sleek spot for strictly business (although, it does that well, too). A sophisticated vibe, snazzy interior designs and excellent, classy dishes is one for all occasions. There are stunning views, a chic vibe and the food is delicious as well as being expertly presented.
Open daily 6am-10.30am, noon-4pm and 7pm-midnight. Waldorf Astoria DIFC, Burj Daman, DIFC (04 515 9888).

Miss Lily’s

If there was ever a place in the city that gives us a taste of what the night scene in Jamaica is all about, this lively spot shows it. The island’s most famous dishes are all present, no less, with everything from its famous jerk chicken (which, by all accounts, is a no-brainer to get) and staple Jamaican sides to its more traditional seafood delights.
Open Sat-Tue 7pm-1am, Wed-Fri 7pm-3am. Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 356 2900).

The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill
Sure, The MAINE’s signature oysters are an absolute delight, but throw in its fresh fish, steaks, chops, pot roasts, steamers and of course, raw bar serving fresh seafood towers, and this spot becomes more than a standard seaside brasserie.
Open Sat-Tue noon-11.30pm, Wed-Fri noon-12.30am. Doubletree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, (04 457 6719).

Black Tap
What doesn’t the original Jumierah Al Naseem Black Tap have? Tasty all-American grub with massive burger creations, wacky milkshakes stacked with all manner of sweet treats and spectacular views of the Turtle Lagoon and a cool bar with craft hops – all for great value? You can never go wrong here.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 9am-12.30am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, (04 422 9904).

Fogo de Chão
Ever have a slab of steak and see another type being served to another table and wonder ‘wow, wish I had that one instead’? Fogo de Chão has solved that problem with its way of serving is dishes, focusing mainly on its range of delicious, juicy meats. Be sure to catch the amazing views of the sparkling Burj Khalifa and the rest of Downtown Dubai its outdoor terrace shows off.
Open Sun-Wed 7.30pm-midnight, Thu 7.30pm-midnight, Fri-noon-midnight, Sat 3pm-midnight. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC, (04 354 5435).

Key West
A stunning, laid-back spot with ace sea views, who could say no to digging into top Caribbean cuisine with silky soft sand beneath your feet? Truly tropical, dishes such as the curried coconut encased in a flaky golden pastry shell and Ital taco with exotic black bean mix and a sweet pineapple relish and mango slaw says it all.
Open daily 4pm-11pm (dinner from 7pm). Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeira, (04 376 6000).

Mighty Quinn’s
Beef brisket. Have that at this casual, all-things barbecue restaurant and you’ll already be planning your next visit. It’s all thanks to its signature built-in smoker which makes excellent aromas throughout the restaurant. Of course, that’s not the only reason to head to Mighty Quinn’s JBR, boasting crispy chicken sandwiches, lamb ribs, sliders and chicken and waffles. Walking along JBR? Pit stop here.
Open daily 9am-midnight. The Walk, JBR, (04 380 1888).

Ribs & Brews
This brilliant American spot wouldn’t put Ribs in its name if they weren’t up to standard, so it’s a good thing they go well and beyond that. With cool American roadhouse vibes, it makes it easy to get messy with its extensive meaty beef ribs menu – which you won’t want to share, by the way. Whether you prefer any of its dishes in barbecue or buffalo sauce, each are a Texas worthy treat.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Business Bay, (04 437 3333).

Ting Irie
If it was set by a Caribbean-like beach, Ting Irie would be the true slice of Jamaica in the Middle East. The menu is filled with jerk-everything, from fried rice and chicken pasta to jerk-infused eggplant risotto – a definite star of Ting Irie’s veggie menu. On the meatier side, the hefty load of ‘Jerk’s Fried Rice’ won’t disappoint.
Open daily noon-2am. Souk Al Manzil, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, (04 557 5601).


Café Isan
For laid-back Thai dining, Café Isan is a must-visit. In 2019 it relocated to Cluster B in JLT and now has a petite indoor area and a space on the terrace for outdoor dining. Service is fantastic and friendly, the food is consistently delicious and it’s a top spot for a casual meal. The flavours are fresh and lighter than typical Thai dishes, as they are in Isan in north eastern Thailand – if you like your food spicy you’re in for a treat – these pack a real punch.
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-10pm, Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm. Cluster B, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 557 9778).


This stunning restaurant has a wonderful terrace set out into Burj Lake with front row seats to Burj Khalifa. Dishes are super-tasty, with classic dishes done well – especially the creamy green Thai curry and the delicious satay.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

The Thai Kitchen
Overlooking Dubai Creek and the marina, this longstanding Thai restaurant at Park Hyatt Dubai is always a reliable choice. Sit outside when the weather allows for excellent views and a holiday vibe. Meanwhile inside the open kitchens making for a fun, lively setting. Dishes are packed with flavour with top choices being the zingy soups and creamy curries.
Open Sat-Thu 7pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, (04 602 1814).

This Sheikh Zayed Road restaurant is an oldie but a goodie, and you’ll find all your favourites on the menu, from curries to noodles and more. A majestic interior resembles the royal dining halls of King Rama IV while affording gorgeous views of Dubai’s skyline.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11pm. Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 343 3333).

Pai Thai
There are few things more special than hopping on a boat and sailing your way to dinner, which is why Pai Thai is one of the best around. Board your abra and disembark at this popular Thai restaurant set out into the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah. The restaurant is rather grand, and prices match, but it’s top for a special occasion. The classics are excellent and the dim sum needs to be ordered.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

Meaning ‘dawn of happiness’ Sukhothai is decked out in warm tones of oak and red with lighting giving the venue an orange glow so that the ambience is relaxed. Choose from five set menus offering authentic, bold Thai flavours.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.45pm, 7pm-11.45pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, (04 702 2455).

Sticky Rice
Sticky Rice is a relative newcomer to the city’s Thai food scene, and it’s been welcomed with open arms. It’s a small restaurant in JVC, with only six tables, coming from an Emirati founder with a Thai mother. The restaurant is adorned with rubber ducks everywhere you look, but the queue lining up outside the door will tell you everything. Sweet tooth? Don’t miss the mango and sticky rice with ice cream.
Open daily 2pm-10.30pm. JVC, (04 580 8350).

The Royal Budha
This low-key restaurant in Al Barsha serves up some delicious dishes, and if you haven’t thought to venture here, you should put it on your list. Set just off the lobby, the décor is traditional – there’s low seating if you wish – and the dishes will be familiar. Portions are generous, too. The massaman curry is a must-try.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri noon-midnight. Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, Al Barsha, (04 323 4333).

Tong Thai
An upmarket Thai restaurant in JW Marriott Marquis, Tong Thai has a chic vibe with huge floor-to-ceiling windows and moody red lighting. The menu is also exciting with some delicious classic dishes. Try the sharing platter to start to kick off your meal with a variety of flavours. Plus if you love seafood the talay phad phong karee is packed with prawns, scallops, squid and veg.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 414 3000).

Wise Kwai
This kitsch Thai restaurant, filled with Thai movie memorabilia is fun and chilled-out. The menu is packed full of tasty dishes and the classics are all great (try the pad Thai noodles). There’s also a bargain street food snack menu to check out too.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm. DusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Barsha Heights, (04 567 2247).

Afternoon tea

Al Fayrooz Lounge
This is a top spot for visitors thanks to the stunning views of Burj Al Arab. Indulge in a traditional English tea in this elegant lounge and sample classics such as Victoria sponge, English fruit cake, tea cakes, sandwiches and scones.
Dhs235 per person (Arabesque Afternoon Tea), Dhs335 including a glass of bubbly (Royal Afternoon Tea). Daily 2pm-6pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

Al Bayt

This tea at Palace Downtown is a suitably regal affair. Choose from a traditional English or Arabic afternoon tea in this Arabesque lobby. The Arabic tray offers shawarma and kofta concoctions, scones flavoured with saffron and cardamom, and camel milk crème brûlée.
Dhs170 per person. Daily 2pm-6pm. Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

Raffles Salon
This is a delightful tea at a longstanding spot in Oud Metha. Amid a warm and homely setting, this is an excellent place to relax and indulge in beautiful culinary creations that go beyond what is traditionally served at afternoon tea.
Dhs160 (tea and coffee), Dhs225 (one glass of bubbly). Daily 2pm-7pm.Raffles Hotel, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).

Choix Patisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnaire
The winner of this award in 2019, this afternoon tea, from a Michelin-starred chef, comes in a remarkably low-key setting. We love the petite cheese and truffle toasties (indulgent and delightfully crisp), while the colourful macarons are light and sweet.
Dhs100 per person, Dhs150 for two. Daily 2.30pm-6pm. InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1136).

At.mosphere Restaurant & Lounge
Fancy high tea, literally? This is the world’s tallest restaurant and it serves up a high-flying tea. It’s elegant, fancy and set on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa is a bucket-list experience.
Dhs430 per person (non-window table), Dhs503 (window table). Daily noon-4.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3828).

Noor Lounge
With a canopy of gilded trees and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the pool and on to the Arabian Gulf, the lobby of this luxurious Jumeirah hotel is the perfect place for a sophisticated afternoon tea. Noor Lounge offers just that with mini sandwiches, soft scones and the most incredible intricate pastries all served elegantly on the branches of a golden tiered platter. Plus an interesting and unusual choice of tea to wash it all down with.
Dhs320 (for two). Open daily 2pm-6pm, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Jumeirah, (04 777 2222).

Sahn Eddar
Looking to push the boat out? This afternoon tea at the world-famous Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is a must-try. Delicate sandwiches, fresh pastries and cakes make a decadent afternoon tea offering with the option of raising the bar with a glass of bubbly.
Dhs550 per person, Dhs635 (house beverages). Daily 1pm-4pm. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 301 7600).

Shai Salon
Marvel at the ornate ceilings as you enjoy a selection of English-style finger foods, cakes and snacks to complement a wide range of JING loose-leaf teas.
Dhs285 per person, Dhs380 (bubbly). Daily 2pm-11pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah, (04 270 7805).

Sidra Lounge
This palatial hotel has a grand, traditional afternoon tea. Guests are serenaded by the live sounds of a pianist, cellist and saxophonist while enjoying three courses of delicious cakes and sandwiches. A charming afternoon.
Dhs165 per person (regular afternoon tea), Dhs225 (grand afternoon tea). Sun-Fri 3pm-6pm, Sat 2pm-5pm. Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5555).

The Chart Room
For a foray back in time, you can’t do better than the QE2, the iconic vessel now berthed in Port Rashid after a life transporting passengers across the high seas. Tea is now served on the Quarter Deck, with a line of tables looking out towards the docks – with the Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa in the background. You’ll enjoy a traditional stand of sandwiches and cakes – with the choice of hot pastries too.
Dhs195. Thu, Fri, Sat 3pm-5pm. The QE2, Port Rashid, Deira, (04 526 8888).

Bar food

A Capella
A relative newcomer on the bar food scene, this spot at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah comes from the team behind Trèsind and Carnival by Trèsind, so if you’ve been to either of those two quirky Indian restaurants you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t, get ready for some utterly fantastic and totally innovative dishes. A Capella’s tapas-style menu features dishes from eight different nations, from Japan to the US, all given an Indian twist. Don’t miss the tacos, where spiced pulled chicken is loaded with creamy guacamole and tangy pickles, with a just a dusting of cheese, all encased in a crunchy corn shell.
Open daily 5pm-2am. The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, (058 971 9542).


We have just two words for you. Jalapeño poppers. If you are yet to try them at Loca, get ready for some serious spice and oodles of melted cheese. Not a cheese fan? Try the guacamole – it’s fresh, zingy and delicious (and one of your five a day).  This cool Mexican restaurant is a staple in Jumeirah for its mixed drinks and tasty bar bites, don’t miss it.
Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah, (04 346 1111).

Lock, Stock & Barrel
If you’re looking for comfort food with a side of live music, then this one is for you. With regular entertainment this is a popular spot in Barsha Heights and if you’re heading here for a drink it’s worth loading up on bar snacks too. Mac ’n’ cheese balls, Buffalo chicken flatbread, Angus beef sliders and gangham style wings adorn the menu, but the mighty nachos are the highlight.
Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am; Fri 1pm-3am; Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights, (04 514 9195).

Black Tap
This one is all about those monster burgers and giant shakes. But if you’re looking for a quick snack at the bar with your craft hops, we’d suggest the fried pickles, or the gloriously gooey mozzarella sticks. The vibe is cool and laid-back and food is tasty, a top spot for holiday feels.  
Open Sun-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 9am-12.30am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, (04 422 9904).

folly by Nick & Scott
We love this cool venue in Souk Madinat Jumeirah for many reasons. The chef’s kitchen table. The stonking menu. The glorious terrace. The fantastic views. And the bar food. If you’re not looking for a full meal, don’t be put off. Head here to watch the sunset and indulge in some of the poshest bar snacks the city has to offer. Quail sausage rolls, delicate breaded mushrooms (which are more like mushroom fries), flavoursome koftas – it’s all magnificent.
Open daily 12pm-midnight. Unit 27, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, (04 430 8535).

Offside in JBR is definitely one to head to for those Saturday games. Not only are there top happy hour drinks deals there’s an absolutely massive projector screen to watch all the action. Getting peckish watching all that sport? Fret not, it has a banging bar menu with hot dogs, burgers, fish and chips and more – and it’s all absolutely massive.
Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri-Sun 12.30am-3am. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR, (04 814 5590).

Perry & Blackwelder’s
This all-American bar in Souk Madinat Jumeirah has an expansive terrace with views over the Madinat waterways. And what pairs perfectly with those views – a platter of chicken wings, which are gloriously messy and tasty. As are the gooey mozzarella sticks, while for a larger meal opt for the hotdogs. Order up a pint and bask in the winter sun. In summer the indoor area is cool, too, with a large central bar and buzzing vibe.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 366 6197).

The Penthouse
The winner of this category in 2019, The Penthouse serves up snacks as sophisticated as its venue – think tuna pizza (the swanky Japanese kind), satay skewers, calamari, flatbreads and more. Set on the 16th floor of trendy hotel FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, the views are absolutely outstanding – showing off Ain Dubai, Dubai Marina and the Palm. Sunsets are extra special and there’s also an ace ladies’ night every Tuesday. Don’t forget to book, The Penthouse is always packed.
Open Sat-Wed noon-3am, Thu-Fri noon-5am. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, (052 900 4868).

Having been renovated in 2019, this lively bar in JLT is home to dedicated karaoke and PlayStation booths, and some cracking bar grub. If you’re feeling uber-hungry there’s a one-metre long hot dog topped with mac ’n’ cheese, chilli con carne and more – alternatively there are top-quality burgers (both meaty and veggie) to pick at too, plus some seriously competitive drinks prices.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A, JLT (04 438 0000).

When this massive terrace opened in 2018 we were utterly thrilled. It’s one of the very best places in town to see the Dubai Fountain Show, plus drinks don’t cost the earth. The food is also worth heading along for – especially the sushi. Just try not to shed a tear when you’re listening to Nessun Dorma and you realised you’ve scoffed the lot.
Open Sat-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 4pm-1am. Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).


Stomping Grounds

This cool, slightly cramped café in Jumeirah 1 is by no means the cheapest in town for breakfast, but that doesn’t stop people piling through the door. Options are vast, but this huge bowl of cold porridge (stay with us) is a winner. Made up of a quinoa and oat base featuring zingy orange zest and crunchy green apple and hazelnuts, topped with a rainbow of fresh fruits, you’ll be well on your way to five a day.
Open Sat-Wed 7.30am-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 7.30pm-midnight. Jumeirah 1, (04 344 4451).

Bounty Beets

This place is a treat for Instagram fans, kitted out in pretty pastels and snap-tastic décor. There’s also a lovely terrace to spend a lazy weekend morning. Dishes on the (puntastic) breakfast menu include “I yam what I yam” (caramelised bananas and sweet potato pancakes) and “you’re all I avo wanted” (avo toast with poached eggs). Everything is fresh, tasty and healthy – plus there are loads of vegan and gluten-free options too.
Open daily 8am-midnight. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 399 3333).

This cool spot in Umm Suqeim is popular at all times of day and night, but it also does a cracking breakfast. Dishes include tasty Turkish-style scrambled eggs with peppers and tomatoes, an authentic Turkish omelette with goat’s cheese and spinach and eggs with Turkish pastrami. Sweet tooth in the morning? Don’t miss the bee honeycomb served with thick Turkish cream for an indulgent start to your day. We didn’t say that was healthy, mind.
Open daily 9am-1am. Umm Suqeim (04 338 9688).

A pancake stack the size of your head? Go on then. Famous for its eggs, this Canadian chain offers up favourites such as smoked salmon Benedict, fried chicken with waffles, loaded omelettes and Nutella-filled crêpes. Expect a queue if you arrive at peak time on a weekend – but it’s worth it for the top brekkie dishes by the beach. It’s super-kid-friendly too.
Open daily 7am-midnight. The Beach, opposite JBR, (04 430 7252).

Fibber Magee’s
Fancy a cooked brekkie? From full Irish fry-ups to toasties, eggs and omelettes, there’s plenty to satisfy morning cravings at this popular Irish pub. Don’t miss the baps – choose from egg, bacon, sausage or all three, stuffed into a soft roll. Just don’t dribble that yolk down your chin.
Open daily 8am- 2am. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 332 2400).

Jones the Grocer
This Australian café at Emirates Golf Club is packed on a weekend morning with hungry families. Eggs are the hero of an excellent breakfast menu, with smoked salmon Florentine, a traditional English fry-up, chickpea shakshouka and a Persian feta omelette. Don’t eat bread? Trade it out with an excellent sweet potato, avocado and eggs dish. Plus breakfast is served until 4pm at weekends, lie in ahoy.
Open Sun-Thu 6am-11pm. Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 417 9999).

Kulture House
Jumeirah Beach Road is known for its unique, interesting eateries, and Kulture House is no exception. As you enter the converted villa on Jumeirah Beach Road there’s a warm, friendly vibe and trendy décor. The venue is split into several spaces, and you’ll be welcomed by a coffee bar and a shop selling various trinkets. The breakfast menu is interesting, including dishes such as jalapeño eggs Benedict and labneh shakshuka. Don’t miss the avocado toast, which is incredibly prettily plated with a layer of vibrant pink beetroot hummus, an arty avocado flower plus a scattering of seeds and
Open daily 9am-10pm. Jumeirah Beach Road (056 328 8817).

While Myocum, an Aussie coffee shop and casual eatery, can’t claim to be the first of its kind in the city, it is worthy of checking out. There’s a dedication to serving good coffee here, such is the Australian way, but the menu is filled with interesting breakfast dishes – which are served until 3pm (we approve). The Thai Benedict is a winner (also breakfast is served until 3pm here, we approve). The hollandaise takes on a green curry flavour and the poached eggs sit on top of a papaya salad, as well as avocado and sourdough.
Open Sun-Thu 7am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7am-midnight. Dar Al Wasl Mall, Jumeirah, (054 5305 9051).

If you’re on a beach trip with the family at a weekend, this is a top spot in La Mer to check out. We love the tropical, tasty açai bowls, while the avo toast is a beauty. Sweet tooth? Opt for the chocolate brownie-topped pancakes and prepare to have a nap on the sand later on.
Open Sat-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 330 8390).

Pots, Pans & Boards
British celebrity chef Tom Aikens’ spot at The Beach is a super-popular hangout on the weekend, with good reason. This cool, casual restaurant serves up a splendid morning-time meal with everything from smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to a full English, avocado and poached eggs on toast to freshly-baked pastries. There’s a special kids’ play area inside and it’s right opposite the beach playground, too, making it a hit with families. This restaurant is now permanently closed. 
Open Sun-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. The Beach, opposite JBR, (04 456 1959).

Brunch – Buffet

Brasserie 2.0
A grown-up, sophisticated buffet brunch, this has an excellent selection of dishes with everything from curries to tacos. Don’t miss the amazing seafood display, plus there’s a top choice of grills outside too. With live music and a chic terrace this is a fantastic choice for visitors too.
Dhs450 (soft drinks), Dhs595 (house beverages), Dhs795 (bubbly). Fri 1.30pm-4.30pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).


The famous Bubbalicious brunch has more than 100 types of cheese on offer and specialist charcuterie as well as almost any dish you can think of. The buffet is spread across three restaurants at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi and there’s a sprawling terrace that’s a top spot in winter. It’s family-friendly, there’s a huge dessert room and live entertainment too. A bucket-list brunch.
Dhs480 (soft drinks), Dhs580 (sparkling), Dhs680 (bubbly), free (kids under 12). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh (04 511 7139).

Jumeirah Al Qasr
One of the biggest and most popular brunches in Dubai, this is well-known with residents and visitors alike. Ideal for big groups and fussy eaters, you’ll never be short of choice here. Dishes come from kitchens including The Hide, Al Hambra and Arboretum and the dessert display is outstanding.
Dhs480 (soft drinks), Dhs577 (house beverages), Dhs674 (bubbly), free (kids under four). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).

Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
Another of Jumeirah’s popular blow-out brunches, Mina A’Salam’s offering comes from restaurants Hanaaya and Tortuga, so expect international dishes and plenty of Mexican treats. There’s a special area for kids that makes it popular with families. 
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), free (kids under 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6162).

This longstanding party brunch at Atlantis The Palm is stuff of legends. More than 220 dishes are served at this super-famous Friday fiesta, plus there are loads of drinks stations to check out and a lively party vibe.
Dhs535 (house beverages). Over 21s only. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

The Market
This is a popular brunch, especially in summer due to it being indoors. The Market boasts a full buffet with sushi, breakfast dishes, noodles, Peking duck, chaat and more, all from live cooking stations. There’s also a special supervised kids’ area with cooking classes and entertainment making it a top choice for families.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (house beverages) Dhs625 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 435 5577).

If you’re looking for a wow-worthy setting to take visitors to brunch, this is an excellent one. Winner of our Best Brunch award in 2019, Traiteur serves up delicious dishes in a beautiful Creekside setting. If you love seafood there’s a dedicated room stocked with crab, lobster, mussels and more, plus you can walk around the kitchen picking up everything from roast dinners to eggs Benedict. The cheese offering is top-notch too. One for special occasions.
Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs695 (sparkling grape), Dhs775 (bubbly), Dhs895 (premium bubbly). 1pm-4.30pm. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1234).

The London Social
Set amid the lush gardens of The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, Caravan provides a picturesque spot for brunch. Tables spill out from the terrace to the sprawling lawns, giving a garden party feel. And a very British garden party at that, thanks to the London Social theme. Stations range from Brick Lane to Pudding Lane and there’s a fantastic selection of food and an upbeat vibe.
Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (mixed beverages, house beverages and sparkling), Dhs650 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, JBR (04 318 6150).

The Lido
If you haven’t dined aboard iconic cruise ship the QE2, this is a good opportunity to check it out. This all-day dining spot on the QE2 hosts a Friday brunch with loads of international dishes from curries to Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s super-family-friendly and you can go for a wander around the famous ship afterwards too for a spot of nostalgia.
Dhs225 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs95 (kids aged four-12), free (kids under four). From 1pm-4pm. QE2, Port Rashid (04 526 8888).

A longstanding party brunch in Garhoud, Yalumba might not be as big as some in the city but serves up top quality grub. We love the sushi selection and the desserts are yummy too. The vibe picks up later on the afternoon – don’t be surprised to be swept up into a conga line.
Dhs529 (bubbly). 12.30pm-3.30pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).

Brunch – À la carte

This world-famous restaurant’s Friday brunch is always packed, so book early. Enjoy a buffet of sushi, dim sum and robata while your choice of main course is brought to the table. The black cod and grilled lobster are both fantastic if you love seafood.
Dhs473 (soft drinks), Dhs625 (house beverages), Dhs688 (bubbly), Dhs236 (kids aged four-12), free (kids under four) plus 7 percent DIFC fee. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).

Hell’s Kitchen
Dig into a mix of buffet and à la carte dishes at this brunch from British chef Gordon Ramsay. There’s a huge cheese table, plus of course that famous beef Wellington. Don’t miss the competitive Eton mess contest at the end of brunch too. With live music and a buzzing vibe this is a fun-loving Friday feast.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs600 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Caesars Palace, Bluewaters Dubai (04 556 6466).

Marina Social
Jason Atherton’s Dubai Marina restaurant has a gorgeous terrace for the winter months and boasts a lively Friday brunch. There’s loads to dig into and you won’t go home hungry, it’s all of top quality too. Expect sharing starters including beef tartare and salads as well as sourdough pizzas before a main of your choice. Desserts are traditional British puds, plus a drinks trolley does the rounds.
Dhs290 (soft drinks), Dhs435 (house beverages), Dhs485 (bubbly). 1pm-4pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).

BB Social Dining
Head to this cool spot in DIFC on a Friday for unlimited bites, bao and more, plus a choice of main course. The desserts are exceptional, too.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs299 (house beverages) Dhs450 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. Happiness Street, DIFC (04 407 4444).

This is a grown-up party brunch and is popular with groups celebrating and couples alike. The Latin American restaurant serves up sushi, tableside guac and a choice of mains, plus some delicious desserts. Worth pushing the boat out for.
Dhs419 (soft drinks), Dhs619 (house beverages), Dhs709 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2 (04 316 9600).

La Cantine du Faubourg
A relaxed and elegant brunch at the French chic restaurant, this Saturday offering starts off with breakfast dishes followed by signature mains and desserts.
Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs650 (bubbly). Sat noon-4pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).

MasterChef The TV Experience
Get a range of starters, a choice of main and sharing desserts from the regular menu all served to the table at this brunch from the restaurant based on the world-famous TV programme. There’s even a special vegan and vegetarian brunch menu so everyone is well looked after.
Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs429 (house beverages), Dhs489 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm. Ongoing. Millennium Place Marina (04 550 8111).

This classy Turkish restaurant offers up signature dishes from chef Colin Clague and food is consistently good. There’s a pretty terrace overlooking the Marina for winter, too.
Dhs345 (soft drinks), Dhs445 (house beverages), Dhs545 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

Ready for a lively afternoon out? This picked up our Best Party Brunch of 2019 at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards and it’s a full-blown fiesta. Expect live entertainment and plenty of dancing. But it’s not just the vibe, the steaks are top-notch too.
Dhs399 (soft drinks), Dhs599 (house beverages) Dhs649 (sparkling). 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 323 0061).


Vietnamese Foodies

This brilliant budget restaurant in JLT is an excellent choice if you’re after pocket-friendly, delicious Vietnamese food. Service is swift and friendly, the food is awesome – especially the zesty salads, fresh and crunchy summer rolls and smooth pho – and it’s an excellent spot for a quick lunch or date night on a budget.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Cluster D, JLT, (04 565 6088).

Project Chaiwala

We’ve long waxed lyrical about Project Chaiwala’s chilli-cheese toast but there’s so much more to love about this cute spot in Al Quoz. The home-grown tea shop, tucked away in independent film hub Cinema Akil in Dubai’s artsy area Alserkal Avenue, uses ethically-sourced ingredients from organic tea gardens, and its menu draws inspiration from around the world – from karak spots in Bur Dubai to the spices in Delhi markets. And the food is scrummy – and pocket-friendly too.
Open Sat-Thu noon-10pm, Fri 1pm-10pm. Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz , (04 223 1139).

High Joint
Possibly the tiniest restaurant in Dubai, this Jumeirah eatery has room for only nine diners inside (at a push). Freshly-prepared burgers include the High Jamz, a smashed beef patty topped with caramelised onions, beef bacon and more. Elsewhere the Katsu Halloumi burger is exactly as you’d imagine – crunchy, tasty, and an absolute delight. For sides, get the cauliflower buffalo wings – they’re beyond amazing.
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-midnight, Thu 11.30am-2am, Fri 1pm-2am, Sat noon-1am. Al Safa (04 268 1586).

At this old-school Japanese restaurant a meal for two can still set you back less than Dhs200, pretty much regardless of what you order. Amply sized chicken gyoza come seven to a portion, while the wide selection of maki feature eight rolls a serving, with top picks including softshell crab and spicy salmon. Bento-Ya has been one of Dubai’s best worst-kept secrets for years – here’s to many more.
Open Sat-Wed 11.30am-11.30pm, Thu-Sat 11.30am-midnight. Unlicensed. Behind Al Kawakeb Building, near Dusit Thani, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 343 0222). 

Café Isan
The food at this low-key budget eatery in JLT is absolutely awesome. Curries are swimming in sauce and flavour, salads pack a real punch and spring rolls are crispy and packed full of veg. The best part? It’s extremely friendly on your wallet, as well as your taste buds. 
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-10pm, Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-11pm. Cluster B, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 557 9778).

Calicut Paragon
A wonderful budget-friendly restaurant found in the northern end of Dubai, where you’ll find some absolutely spectacular South Asian street food. The fresh seafood here is amongst the best we’ve found, and doesn’t leave a hole in your pocket either.
Open daily 7am-12.30am. Karama (04 335 8700).

Once Upon A Bite
A pokey, upbeat modern Indian takeaway gaff that is playful with menu items and even has its own radio station playing during your visit. Expect Indian-inspired instant ramen, various pavs and saj wraps, as well as a number of different, unusual, but equally tasty bites – plenty for the meat eaters and veggies.
Open daily noon-11pm. 26th Street, Al Karama (04 232 9028).

Indian fast food and sliders/pavs aplenty at this quirky, trendy little spot in Karama. Buns even come complete with branded buns (the sort of branding that comes from a hot iron stick), so you know it’s on-trend. Food is fresh, sloppy and dished up in potato buns. What more could you want?
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight, Thu 11am-2am, Fri 1pm-2am. Karama (04 349 6726).

This JLT burger bar has set a new trend in Dubai – gourmet fast food done the right way. Grab the Nashville Hot Chicken Sando, fried chicken that’s organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken that’s left to brine in green tea for 48 hours and fried fresh to order. Alternatively, the double (or even triple…) cheeseburgers are a thing of beauty, and even available in a vegetarian Beyond Meat alternative.
Open Sat-Wed 10.30am-1am, Thu-Fri 10.30am-2am. One JLT, JLT, (04 584 6859).

Streetery Food Hall
Can’t make up your mind what you want but know you don’t have a fortune to spend? Head to this cool budget street eatery in JLT where you’ll have more choice than you’ll know what to do with. Which means one thing: you’ll keep coming back. Curries, dim sum, stir-fries, noodles, barbecued meats – if it’s cheap, cheerful and exceptionally tasty Asian food you’re after, this is for you. 
Open daily 11am-11pm. Lake level, Cluster D, JLT (04 587 3373).


An Aussie café that’s worth the drive for the top-notch flat whites alone. Everything about this contemporary dining spot is bang on. Dishes have adventurous flavour combinations and creative presentation, and the restaurant has a warm and homely vibe.
Open Sun-Thu 8am-11.30am, Fri-Sat 8am-12pm, 12.30pm-11pm. KOA Canvas, Wadi Al Safa 3, (04 320 1890).

21 Grams
A petit bistro serving up grand food. This quaint café dishes up big, bold Balkan meals that are rib-stickingly delicious. There are very few tables and the stacks of literature on the handful of tables make it genuinely feel like sitting down to breakfast in someone’s home. The hearty staples on the menu are synonymous with countries in south-eastern Europe, but for a taste of the whole region, the Balkan breakfast is a must-try.
Open daily 7.30am-11pm. Park Regis Boutique Hotel, Jumeirah Street, Umm Suqeim 3, (050 841 5021).

Stomping Grounds
This cosy and homey Australian stalwart in the heart of Jumeirah 1, is always buzzing. It could be down to the impressive range of breakfast dishes, or the tasty brunch options, or the sensational coffees. We think it’s a combination of them all.
Open Sat-Wed 7.30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7.30am-midnight. Villa 98, 12D Street, Jumeirah, (04 344 4451).

Amongst Few Café
This uber-cool, urban café is a plant-based dieter’s dream with enough vegan options to keep them going back time and again. Meat and seafood lovers won’t be disappointed either as beef burgers, fish tacos and lemon pepper chicken all make it onto the menu. It also has a shop, should you be looking to update your wardrobe with on-trend clothes and trainers.
Open daily 8am-11pm. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 386 9221).

Boston Lane
Inspired by the Melbourne laneway coffee culture, this stunning, compact eatery in the heart of Al Quoz’s pretty courtyard serves up breakfast, lunch and toasties. There are breakfast bowls and granola alongside salads, wraps and sandwiches, plus there are vegan dishes galore to keep the plant-based diners happy. Don’t miss the magnificent toasties.
Open daily 8am-7pm. Courtyard, Al Quoz, (058 517 2131).

All-day breakfasts and chilled-out lunches are on the menu at this ultra-Instagrammable, Bohemian eatery. Expect good, wholesome eats straight from Northern California to your table. Vegan? No problem, there’s a top selection of edible options like the chocolate kale brownie and the banana bread.
Open daily 7am-9pm. Barsha Heights (04 452 9529).

Comptoir 102
Ticking so many of the healthy-eating foodie boxes including being gluten-free as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly, this chic Jumeirah coffee shop’s menu promotes a conscious and healthy lifestyle, while its furniture store is an Aladdin’s Cave of beautiful one of a kind pieces.
Open daily 8am-10pm. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, (04 385 4555).

Gossip Café & Desserts
Healthy and wholesome breakfasts, as well as elegant and imaginative desserts, are the order of the day at this cute spot at BoxPark, but the mains don’t disappoint either. Creative, colourful salads, comforting soups and a range of Middle Eastern-inspired plates make this an all-day dining hotspot – and it’s family-friendly too.
Open daily 10am-11.30pm. BoxPark (04 343 0181).

Mad Tailors
X marks the spot at this exquisitely designed art deco hangout in Umm Sequiem, and the eclectic menu is a treasure worth discovering. Chia bowls, croissants and eggs for breakfast; Salads and sandwiches for lunch; braised octopus and beef stroganoff for dinner – the variety is impressive, the taste equally so. 
Open Sat-Wed 9am-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 9am-1am. 594 Jumeirah Street, (04 255 7255).

Tania’s Teahouse
Sometimes food looks too good to eat, like at Tania’s Teahouse where every single dish is pretty and Instagrammable, just like the interiors that are all pastel pink hues and rose gold furniture. Wash down your breakfast, lunch or supper with one of the gourmet teas, all blended by South African Tania herself.
Open Sun-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-10pm. Jumeirah Beach Road, (04 324 0021).


Crown & Lion
Think of a British pub. What do you see? Snug booths? A darkly-lit interior?  Typical British pub grub? As soon as you step inside Byblos Hotel’s buzzing  pub – and it has authentic pub grub to match. We’ve worked our way through most of the menu, but our must-try is the belt-busting Cuban sandwich packed with traditional meats, mustard, pickles and melted cheese. A toasted triumph.
Open daily 11am-3am. Byblos Hotel Dubai, Barsha Heights, (04 448 8000).

The Duck Hook
Named after a shot that curves hard to the left, if you’re a right-handed golfer, The Duck Hook is not your ordinary 19th hole. And never less that than when you’re reclined outside, soaking up the views of Downtown Dubai, Burj Khalifa tickling the clouds in the distance. Fish and chips is a solid choice, the pies fully clothed in flaky pastry are marvellous and the roasts are unmissable.
Open daily noon-midnight. Dubai Hills Golf Club (800 666 353).

The Irish Village
We love the classic dishes at The Irish Village and the new spot in Dubai’s Studio City serves them as well as the original. This venue is non-smoking inside, too. From toasted sarnies to sausage and mash, this Irish pub also serves up a massive, meaty and delicious cottage pie – as well as a traditional carvery every Sunday.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Studio One Hotel, Dubai Studio City, (04 241 8444).

There are few classier pubs than this Jumeirah Beach Hotel joint – and the views across to Burj Al Arab are cracking too. All the classics are on the menu – and while it’s not cheap the portions are massive. Don’t miss the curries (served with rice, chips and naan), while the fish and chips is a mighty serving and the roasts are as good as your mum would make (sorry, Mum). 
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

Fibber Magee’s
Traditional pub grub is the order of the day at this cosy Sheikh Zayed Road spot. Bangers and mash, fish and chips, pies – it’s all present and correct. There’s often live music and comedy too, so don’t leave this friendly Irish pub off your list.
Open daily 8am-2am. Behind Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 332 3400).

JB’s Gastropub
This swish gastropub on JBR is ideal for residents and tourists. Its cool, industrial interiors make for a top place to watch the match on the plethora of screens inside, while there’s also a cute terrace. Meat eaters can order a metre of sausage or one of the hearty burgers, while the build-you-own mac ’n’ cheese is always a go-to for us.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Amwaj Rotana JBR, The Walk (04 428 3084).

McGettigan’s JLT
Slap-up roast dinners, fish and chips, sausage and mash and full-on fry-ups, this is your go-to place for comforting pub grub in JLT. The Irish pub is packed every day of the week and the food is not to be sniffed at.
Open daily noon-3am. Bonnington Hotel Dubai, Cluster J, JLT, (04 356 0560).

The Dubliner’s
Another Irish pub making an appearance on this list, this old-school pub in Garhoud specialises in comfort food – specifically pies in many different forms (we love the cottage pie version).
Open daily noon-2am. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).

The Eloquent Elephant
This modern, cool gastropub has a top-notch menu. The pies are homely and hearty, fish and chips are crisp and tasty while super roasts will make your weekend a winner.
Open Sat-Wed 3pm-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay, (04 438 3131).

The Lion by Nick & Scott
This gastropub from famed chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price serves up everything you’d hope for on a pub grub menu. There are also plenty of promotions around the football, brunches and daily deals (pie and a pint, anyone?) this pub has a menu of pub grub classics.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-3am, Fri-Sat 8am-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 359 2366).


Inspired by the coastal splendour of Cape Cod, this charming space offers a panoramic vista of the Creek. The outdoor area here is utterly glorious, set right on the water of the Marina, transporting you to the east coast of America – but with the striking Dubai skyline. By day soak up the sun and enjoy watching the yachts on the water while at night a fire pit gives a cosy feel. The food doesn’t play second fiddle either, it’s outstanding.
Open daily 5pm-2am. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, (04 602 1814).

Il Faro Trattoria
This gorgeous lighthouse-shaped building (the name means lighthouse in Italian, too) makes for a delightful place to while away a sunny afternoon. With views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Club Vista Mare, it’s a prime spot out on the water of the Palm, plus the pizzas are unmissable. Visit on a ladies’ night for a top value dinner, too, as you’ll get unlimited pizza and bubbly for Dhs150.
Open daily 11am-midnight. Azure Residences, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3137).

For front row views of the striking Burj Al Arab you can’t do better than Shimmers. A relaxed beach restaurant at Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Shimmers serves up modern Greek dishes, so dip into that tzatziki while enjoying the Dubai sunshine.
Open daily noon-11pm. Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

This longstanding Italian restaurant, lounge and pizzeria has all the holiday feels. It’s set next to the adults-only pool at the sprawling hotel and is a delightful outdoor location. Stop by early for a sundowner before your dinner.
Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, (04 511 7373).

Fish Beach Taverna
One of the prettiest outdoor settings you can find, with twinkling fairy lights, whitewashed furnishings and a beachside setting. If you’re a fish fan you’ll love it, and it’s an ideal location for a casual day time day, too.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh, (04 511 7373).

folly by Nick & Scott
This European restaurant is one of the best in town, and it’s even better in winter when you can take advantage of the wonderful terrace. Pull up a seat and admire the views across the Souk Madinat Jumeirah waterways below. A top place to take visitors as well as a date night.
Open daily 12pm-midnight. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, (04 430 8535).

Ibn AlBahr
There are few places you can dig into fresh fish with your toes in the sand – but this is one of them. Housed on the shores of Club Vista Mare at the Palm, this seafood restaurant is run by fisherman, so you can expect the freshest catch to enjoy on tables on the beach.
Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, (04 553 9575).

Key West
This is as close as you can get to being on holiday, if you’re not actually. With tropical island vibes, Caribbean food and stunning seaside décor, this a wonderful place to relax and dine outdoors. Palm trees sway in the breeze, plus the Caribbean bites are delicious and include everything from plantain chips and curried goat to tacos and grilled jumbo shrimp. Don’t miss the sunsets here, they’re simply sensational. 
Open daily 4pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeira, (04 376 6000).

Torno Subito
A beachside venture from a world-famous chef combines two things we love – classic food and super views. Enjoy a pizza while sitting on the playful outside terrace at this trendy Italian restaurant from Massimo Bottura at W Dubai – The Palm.
Open daily noon-3pm and 7pm-11pm. W Dubai the Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 245 5555).

When this massive terrace opened in 2018 we were utterly thrilled. It’s one of the very best places in town to see the Dubai Fountain Show, plus drinks don’t cost the earth. The food is also worth heading along for – especially the sushi. Just try not to shed a tear when you’re listening to Nessun Dorma and you realised you’ve scoffed the lot.
Open Sat-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 4pm-1am. Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).


Been there, done that when it comes to dates? Well if you haven’t dined in an aquarium – now you can. A regular on this list for its simply fantastic setting, you can’t fail to be wowed at this spot in Atlantis The Palm. Don’t be surprised to see a diver holding up a marriage proposal behind the glass.
Open Sun-Thu 6.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-2.30pm; 6.30pm-10pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

Chef Izu is at the helm of this romantic restaurant at Emirates Golf Club. Named after his wife (what’s more romantic than that?) the charming spot serves a tasty European menu. It’s more low-key than some on this list, but is a top choice for a special occasion. Don’t miss the tarte tatin for a showstopping dessert.
Open Sun-Wed 12pm-3pm and 7pm-10.30pm; Thu 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-3pm and 7pm-11pm. Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, (0 4 417 9885).

Slurp up oysters and twirl seafood spaghetti with your loved one (just don’t splash them with the sauce) at this longstanding restaurant. Housed at the end of a jetty out to sea with prime views of Burj Al Arab, it doesn’t get much more wow-worthy than this.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (800 666353).

Akira Back
If you’re looking for a dark and moody Japanese restaurant with stunning views, Akira Back is the one for you. Indoors the interiors are chic and grown-up with floor-to-ceiling windows, while the terrace outside is spacious. Both areas allow for amazing views across to Dubai Marina, too. Plus the food is excellent, don’t miss the sushi.
Open daily 7pm-midnight. W Dubai - The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 245 5800).

Set on 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, At.mosphere is a super-special place to celebrate a romantic occasion. Have a fancy mixed drink at the bar first and admire the stunning views from up high, before digging into some tasty European food. A bucket-list date night.
Open 7am-2am. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).

Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Not only is this Italian eatery popular with tourists and families, it’s also very romantic. Pull up a seat on the outdoor terrace next to the serene turtle lagoon and admire the scenery, or take a table indoors and enjoy the buzzing vibe. Order up a dish of spaghetti and make like Lady and the Tramp.
Open daily noon-3.30pm and 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, (04 275 2555).

La Petite Maison
France is known for its romance, and there’s no French spot more suited to dates than this. Anniversary meals, birthday dinners, celebratory lunches – there’s no occasion that doesn’t fit well with a petite platter of escargots. 
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. DIFC, (04 439 0505).

Pai Thai
This romantic Thai restaurant has a beautiful terrace set on the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah, plus you need to get a boat to get to it for that extra special touch. Food is delicious, but go easy on the spice, you don’t want to be sweating on your dinner date.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm; 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

From its twinkling fairy lights and moodily colourful lighting to its keen service, RÜYA is the picture-perfect spot for a chilled romantic night out. Thanks to its array of pides, mezzes, seafood and kebabs, this Turkish spot truly shines with its starters and smaller dishes – a romantic setting is all about sharing, after all.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 7pm-2am. Licensed. Grosvenor House, Al Emreef Street, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

Not only is the Thai food here superb, the setting is a top choice for a special occasion. The terrace is set out into the water and you’ll be right next to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain Show. If you’re looking to impress you can’t do much better than this. 
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).


Translating as “anchovies”, Alici serves up plenty of dishes containing the star ingredient – marinated, fried, in pasta – and there’s loads more seafood on the menu, too, which is shipped in daily from Italy. With Amalfi coast vibes, you could almost be on holiday at this cute Italian seafood spot.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight. Bluewaters Dubai, (04 275 2577).

Ibn AlBahr

This buzzy Lebanese joint is beachside dining at its very best – unfussy, great value for money, accessible and most importantly, consistently tasty. Top tip: skip the main course menu and take your pick from the display of freshly caught local fish, prawns, crab and lobster that’s waiting to be cooked to order.
Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, (04 553 9575).

Ossiano is a bit of a Dubai institution – and with good reason. Excellent service, swish surroundings – and a massive fish tank to get you in the mood for all of the seafood you’re about to, ahem, eat.
The swish setting isn’t let down by the food, with the majority of the menu being super-fresh and super-exquisite seafood. One for a special occasion.
Open Sun-Thu 6.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

Al Mahara
Al Mahara, which translates to “oyster shell” in Arabic, serves up super-fresh, top-notch, sustainably-sourced shellfish and fish and the menu features plenty of outstanding dishes. The restaurant, which has a central aquarium that diners sit around, is on the pricey side (as you’d expect from such an iconic location) but it’s worth it for the quality of food.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Thu-Fri noon-2.30pm, 7pm-11pm. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, (04 301 7600).

Brought over from Lebanon, where it has multiple branches, this La Mer eatery is little short of brilliant. Save this one for a lazy weekend lunch – when you’ve hours to indulgently while away, and journey through a menu of mezze, salad and an abundance of fantastically fresh seafood.
Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat noon-1am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).

Hook & Cook
The freshness of the ingredients and care in cooking shines through at this cute Palm Jumeirah spot. The food here is fantastic, portions are plenty large enough to share and it’s all super-fresh. There’s everything you’d expect on the menu from seafood pastas and fried fish to chilli crab.
Open Sun-Wed 11am-midnight, Thu-Sat 11am-1am. The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, (04 244 3214).

This Italian restaurant by way of New York (where it boasts not one, but two Michelin stars) is the absolute business. Of the antipasti, don’t miss the salty, squidgy grilled octopus with brilliantly bouncy fregola, or the lightly coated fritto misto and for mains go for the roasted wild turbot – it’s an absolute hit.
Open Sun-Thu noon-4pm, 7pm-1am, Fri-Sat noon-4pm, 7pm-3am. Gate Village 7, DIFC, (04 583 6366).

The coastal theme runs throughout the menu of this seafood restaurant, which is separated into two sections – Nikkei-inspired dishes and ones inspired by California and fresh shellfish is without a doubt the shining star here. Don’t miss the lobster, it’s delicious. A perfect spot for chic vibes, fresh food and picture-perfect views.
Open daily 5pm-2am. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, (04 602 1814).

Another Dubai institution when it comes to superb seafood, Pierchic – which is located at the end of a long jetty near to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – is a big hitter. On the concise menu you’ll find a selection of caviar, soups, salads and of course, super-fresh seafood.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (800 666353).

The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill
This US-style oyster bar and grill is a JBR hotspot, but we’re here to talk food, right? The oysters are class, the lobster roll is great for a snack, and the family-style menu is made up of shellfish, hot and cold fishy dishes and meaty mains.
Open Sat-Tue noon-11.30pm, Wed-Fri noon-12.30am. DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Dubai - Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, (04 457 6719).


With an upbeat and upmarket vibe, STK JBR is one to dress up for. It may be pricey, but when it comes to the steaks, there’s plenty of top choices well worth your dirhams, especially it’s perfectly cooked fillet and sirloin – butter-soft and bursting with flavour. Cool and moodily lit (and party central once brunch comes along), there are numerous reasons to head here.
Open Sun-Wed 7pm-1am, Thu & Sat 8pm-1am, Fri 1pm-1am. Rixos Premium Dubai, The Walk, JBR, (04 323 0061).


Sometimes, a revamp can go a long way, and no other restaurant says that more than Baba. With Turkish vibes, scattered with Anatolian dishes, everything from its seafood dishes and Turkish meatballs, to its butter-soft New Zealand tenderloin – which may be one of the best-value steaks in the city – is a must. Meat-lover? Try it.
Open Sun-Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 6pm-midnight, Fri 1pm-4pm and 7pm-midnight, Sat 6.30am-11pm. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina (04 511 7373).

Prime68 is more than just a place to say “I’ve been to the highest steakhouse in Dubai”, it’s a gastronomic pleasure thanks to its huge thickly cut meats that definitely don’t suffer in taste because of their size. Quality dishes, brilliant service and an oh-so-very-delicious selection of steak.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 414 3000).

Sophisticated fine dining, outstanding views of the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, delicious Argentinian cuisine – Palace Downtown’s exquisite restaurant can’t be missed for the meat eaters of Dubai. Offering an extensive menu filled with signature mixed grills, including chicken, beef ribs, lamb chops, sirloin, rib-eye and tenderloin steak, you’re spoilt for choice with good food here.
Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

Nusr-Et may go hand-in-hand with Salt Bae, but it isn’t his signature ‘salt sprinkle’ that should bring steak-lovers to the restaurant. Although, if it does, they’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of meat slabs on offer. Oh, and of course the salt that comes with it all.
Open daily noon-midnight. Four Seasons Dubai Resort at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah (04 407 4100).

It’s rare (pardon the pun) to have a luxury steakhouse with fairly reasonable prices and a surprising relaxed atmosphere, which makes Rare a trip worth doing. Plus, when a chunky steak doesn’t need any sauces to complement its taste, clearly, this restaurant knows how to cook meat.
Open Wed Mon 6pm 11pm. Licensed. Melia Desert Palm Dubai, Al Aweer Road, (04 323 8888).

Rhodes Twenty10
If you’re looking to impress a certain someone, Rhodes Twenty10 won’t let you down. Thickly cut and oozing with juices, each of its steak choices have a bite that’s beefy and bloody, especially when coupled along with any of the restaurant’s excellent sauces.
Open Tue-Sun, 7pm-midnight. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Mamsha Street, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550).

Seafire Steakhouse & Bar
It comes as no surprise that Dubai’s super hotel on Palm Jumeirah fits an impressive steakhouse. And, it’s on the frontline of keeping up that standard of quality, thanks to its brilliant mixture of delicious seafood dishes and juicy, meaty steaks. Whether you’re going for the US Angus or the Atlantis signature Black Onyx Beef, there’s a steak price and size that fits all.
Open Wed-Mon 5pm-11pm. Licensed. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

The Meat Co.
With chilled, romantic vibes and prices that aren’t necessarily going to empty your wallet on a special night out, The Meat Co.’s newly revamped space on the water at Souk Madinat Jumeirah is reason enough for a visit. Scouring through its varied menu is a treat alone serving up everything from a selection of entrées and salads, gourmet burgers and seafood to a menu just for chicken.
Open daily noon-11.30pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 368 6040).

World Cut Steakhouse
Entering the classy décor of World Cut Steakhouse and being warmly greeted by the staff will already set the tone for the classy night of dining you’ll have. Savoury, tender and everything you’d expect from a cut of meat, a slab of steak here won’t go unfinished, and the sides only give them that extra edge.
Open daily 6.30pm-midnight. Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 435 5555).


Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Othman started his culinary journey in Dubai with six years at Zuma, before moving on to be the launch chef at PLAY, followed by a brief stint at Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Mansion. It’s been a while coming, but he’s now finally in his own digs, albeit in the curious location of Dar Wasl Mall. And it’s worth the wait. The menu is superb. Silky soft ramen, zingy fish dishes, perfectly cooked wagyu sandos, it’s all immense.
Open Sun-Wed noon-11pm, Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat 9am-midnight. Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah, (04 345 0761).


From chicken wings to fried chicken pieces and chicken burgers, poultry fans are more than catered for at this cool spot in Dar Wasl Mall. It’s cool, fun and should be on your list to check out if you’re after quick, tasty, casual dining.
Open daily 1pm-10pm. Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah (058 507 5722).

Despite being low-key, the chef behind it is suitably well-known. Michelin-starred French-trained chef Mathieu Palombino of Motorino New York provides the menu, and the famed US pizzas, which are featured in the Bib Gourmand Michelin Guide, are made with dough that has a traditional two-day rising process to make a bubbly yet crispy crust. There’s a list of white and red pizzas with a variety of toppings, but don’t miss the global bestseller, the soppressata piccante (beef pepperoni), which is perfectly crispy, slathered in tangy tomato sauce, lashings of pepperoni, fior di latte, Parmesan and pecorino. Even if you’re not a pizza fan this will convince you otherwise.
Open daily noon-midnight. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR, (04 814 5590).

Set on the new extended terrace boardwalk at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, this cool new American spot is an ideal for people watching while having a leisurely lunch. The menu is packed with all the US classics, from grills to burgers and more. It’s laid-back and casual, and the food is as good as the setting.
Open daily noon-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 584 6475).

Black Goose
If you love a gastropub you’re in luck, as this chilled-out spot on JBR is a fantastic addition to the scene. The menu boasts massive burgers and all the usual bar snacks (chicken wings et al) while there’s also a range of top deals, ladies’ nights, live music, big screens and more. A central outdoor kitchen is a fun touch, too.

If you’re the type that prefers dessert to main courses, this is for you. This cute, tiny dessert bar in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour comes from the team behind 3 Fils – so as you can imagine, it’s excellent. And if you love all things pudding, then hotfoot it here. Dishes use innovative ingredients – pomelo, cherry tomatoes, sage, coffee honey and more, plus there’s a range of chocolates to accompany your coffee (or take home) too. If you don’t have a sweet tooth it’s worth finding one for this.
Open Mon-Sat noon-midnight. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah,

Brunch & Cake
Famous in Barcelona for its pretty dishes and fun vibe, Brunch & Cake recently opened in Dubai. As you’d expect from the name, brunch and cake star here, but don’t discount it for breakfast or lunch either. Breakfasts are hearty and well-presented. If you haven’t seen the much-snapped avocado on toast on Instagram already we’d be surprised.
Open daily 8am-10.30pm. Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (800 472 6362). 

Translating in Swedish as a break for coffee and a bite to eat, FIKA from popular chef Izu Ani has a laid-back vibe and a wide ranging menu. Visit for breakfast and dig into super-light pancakes. Head here for lunch and try the super-fresh salads. Make a dinner date for pasta. Ingredients are top-notch, the vibe is friendly and it’s a cool, casual place to enjoy a meal.
Open Sun-Wed 7.30am-11pm, Thu-Sat 7.30am-11.30pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8700)

La Mezcaleria
Set on the 27th floor of The Oberoi Dubai, this trendy Mexican joint sits in the space that previously held cool Lebanese nightspot Iris. It's also from the same team that runs Iris, WHITE, WHITE Beach and Drai’s so expect some cool late night vibes. The massive space also has awesome views of Burj Khalifa, while the menu houses innovative Latin American dishes, plus plenty of tacos, quesadillas and more.
Open daily 5pm-3am. The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (050 423 4044).

Salt Bae Burger
With a name like Salt Bae, this restaurant is, as you’d expect, from the famed man behind Nusr-et. This is a way more casual offering, however, offering up, again as the name implies, burgers. Massive, juicy, meaty burgers that will keep you coming back for more. Steak burgers, Juicy burgers, Wet burgers, Golden burgers – they’re all on the menu loaded with different toppings. If you work in DIFC this could just be your new lunchtime favourite (farewell, waistline).
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-midnight, Thu-Sat 11.30am-3am. Gate Village 2, DIFC, (04 235 7900).


The French-Vietnamese restaurant opened in New York in 1984, and has now set up shop in Dubai’s DIFC, adding to an already huge dining scene in the area. With tropical décor and chic interior design, expect an interesting menu with signature dishes including Vietnamese ravioli, made with rice noodles, chicken, shrimp and shiitake mushrooms, alongside new additions such as lamb char siu and steamed sea bream in banana leaf with coconut lemongrass custard, chilli sauce, scallions and ginger. There’s also an inventive range of mixed drinks.
Open Sat-Tue noon-1am, Wed-Fri noon-3am. DIFC, (02 208 9333).

Kinara by Vikas Khanna

From the famed Indian TV chef and popular name Vikas Khanna, this is a fun, youthful restaurant at the new JA Lake View Hotel. If you’re not staying in the area it’s well worth making the trip across though, as dishes are excellent and innovative. Highlights on the menu include paneer with a green mango reduction and a kumquat-ginger marmalade, sesame-crusted scallops with a coconut-mango sauce and brown butter and tandoori lamp chop with sweet potato mash and green papaya chutney. Service is spot-on, too.
Open daily 6pm-11pm. JA Lake View Hotel, Jebel Ali, (04 814 5555).

Shanghai Me
This home-grown restaurant is one of several excellent newcomers to DIFC. Expect a blend of Asian flavours in a super-cool setting. Dishes include everything from sushi to dim, stir-fries and salads. Our advice? The dumplings are fantastic. Fast becoming a popular after-work spot and at weekends, book ahead as you won’t secure a table otherwise.
Open daily noon-2am. Gate Village 11, DIFC, (04 564 0505).

One of Madrid’s most famous restaurants and bars, there was huge anticipation when this opened in Dubai’s DIFC – an area that has welcomed several trendy new spots over the past year. This Latino restaurant is vast, with rainforest-inspired décor and a fun menu.
Open Sat-Tue noon-2am, Wed-Fri noon-2.30am. DIFC, (04 571 3999).

A second newcomer from chef Izu Ani, this is a fine-dining spot in City Walk, sitting in the space that previously held Galvin. With a giant cherry blossom tree and a range of table options (some with cloths, some more casual wood) there’s no stuffy vibe here and staff are warm and efficient. Dishes are tasty, with options including sushi and black cod.
Open Mon-Tue 5pm-1am, Wed & Sat noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 343 3330).

This super-cool Mexican restaurant is set on the rooftop of Grand Millennium Hotel Business Bay and has a trendy vibe and super views. There’s a raw bar with a Mexican twist, while dishes include seafood tostadas and tiraditos, traditional tamales, grilled octopus and whole roasted baby chicken, as well as a healthy selection of both vegan and vegetarian options.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu-Fri 6pm-3am. Grand Millennium Hotel Business Bay (04 873 3377).

This super-cool beach club is a sister of the popular party spot in Mykonos. With a beach area by day to chill out on, a cool restaurant and party vibes by night, it covers all bases. Food is served sharing-style and is an eclectic mix of sushi, salads, grills and more. Don’t miss the famous chocolate mousse – it’s utterly delicious.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-1am, Thu-Fri 11am-2am. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah, (04 340 1002).

From acclaimed chef Silvena Rowe, this golf club restaurant serves up super-pretty dishes that are equally tasty, using top-notch ingredients. It’s far more imaginative and exciting than you might expect from golf club dining, and the truffle labnah is a must-try.
Open Sun-Tue 6pm-10.30pm, Wed 6pm-10pm, Thu-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm. Jumeirah Golf Estates, (04 360 1816).

This spot is aiming itself at a late-night dinner crowd, with cool, moody décor, dancing and a DJ spinning tunes from a booth in the corner. Hailing from France, with outlets in St. Tropez and Paris, there’s a chic, grown-up party vibe, while food is excellent, starring grills, salads, pasta and more.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Four Seasons Resort Dubai Resort at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah, (04 333 8025).

A swish beach club from the team behind WHITE Dubai, this new spot opened late 2019. The beach club serves up a menu for those lounging on the sands, but the adjoining restaurant is a laid-back yet upmarket experience. With mellow, fresh décor it has all the holiday vibes, and food is outstanding. There’s loads of fresh seafood, salads and grills, plus signature sharing dishes. Don’t miss the seafood pasta, while the gold-dusted profiteroles are a decadent end to a meal here.
Open daily 10am-11pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

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