Dubai’s best vegan-friendly restaurants 2018

Veganism is sweeping the city. We give you the lowdown on new restaurants, fresh menus and more for top plant-based dining

Dubai’s best vegan-friendly restaurants 2018
Katana

Fancy feasts

BOCA
If you’re looking for Mediterranean dishes, then BOCA is a top choice in DIFC. Not only is it’s vegan paella a favourite of ours, but the menu also stars a paella roja, a bright red paella made with beetroot and colourful crunchy baby vegetables. There’s also sweet potato hummus and padron peppers that are flash-fried and finished with rosemary, with new vegan dishes being introduced regularly.
Open Mon-Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-midnight. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).

Katana
This Japanese restaurant, that sits at the base of Address Downtown, not only has stunning views of The Dubai Fountain, it also has great vegan dishes, which include mixed seaweed with ginger dressing, crispy shiitake with ginger plum vinaigrette, pan-fried noodles with vegetables and fried rice with scallions. No longer is going to a sushi and robata restaurant limiting.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 5pm-1am. Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai (04 436 8889).

La Petite Maison
One of the things we love about La Petite Maison is its unwavering quality. It’s consistently excellent and it’s a perennial Time Out Dubai award-winner (it landed our Best French Restaurant 2018 gong). But that doesn’t mean it’s resting on its laurels. The DIFC fine dining spot has made several introductions to its menu, including some vegan dishes. A French restaurant turns vegan? You cry. Yes, and there’s a range of tast dishes including roasted peppers, quinoa salad and a hearty lentil salad, aiming to increase your protein and iron intake.
Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11.15pm. Sheikh Zayed Road, DIFC (04 439 0505).

Marina Social
This popular Dubai Marina spot from British chef Jason Atherton may be best known for its hearty roast dinners and tasty gastro-grub, but you might be surprised to hear there’s a dedicated vegan menu, too. Dishes include salt-baked beetroot and snow pea salad, wood-fired garlic bread, pea and black truffle risotto, coconut lemongrass broth and KFC – Korean fried cauliflower. If you want exciting, vegan fine dining, you know where to go.
Open daily 7pm-midnight. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor
This Indian menu brought tears to our eyes – not only for the wealth of vegan options on offer, but specifically for the vegan kebabs that we never dared dream of. Behold the Hare moong and kaju ki gilawat, or the lentil kebab to you and me. Smoked green lentils are combined with roasted cashew nuts and served with curried raw mango salsa. It’s the stuff vegan dreams were made of.
Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. The Canvas Hotel, Mankhool (04 526 0823).

Casual bites

Brunswick Eatery, Bar & Terrace
Having received a thoroughly marvellous makeover earlier this year, Brunswick. Eatery, Bar & Terrace is going from strength to strength. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t just another dingy sports bar with rolling horse racing and stale bar nuts, this is an exceptional restaurant in its own right. With that in mind, vegan diners are well-catered for, too. Standout dishes include the hand-cut fries with chilli ketchup, Japanese vegetable tempura with sesame, citrus and green apple and wasabi salsa and the crispy grain burger (puy lentil, quinoa, mushroom, buckwheat, purple cabbage, vegan mayo and those hand-cut fries).
Open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am; Thu-Sat noon-2am. Sheraton Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 377 2000).

Carluccio’s

True, Italian food is often loaded with cheese and butter, but don’t be put off visiting popular Italian chain Carluccio’s, as the brand has a new vegan menu. And it’s big. With soups, salads, sides, pastas and desserts, you could eat here every night for a week and have something different. Highlights include pasta arrabiata, tomato bruschetta, mushroom soup with truffle and pineapple carpaccio.
Various locations including Dubai Marina Mall, www.carlucciosme.com.

Copper Dog

A pub might not be the first place that springs to mind when you want to dig into some wholesome veg-based grub, but Copper Dog might surprise you. This Scottish bar in JBR has a vegan menu with dishes including chilli (which is apparently a fave of X Factor star James Arthur) and Cajun-spiced cauliflower. There’s even a vegan breakfast with vegan sausage, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, spinach, hash browns and baked beans.
Open daily Sun-Thu 15pm-2am, Fri-Sat 10am-2am. DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR (04 559 5355).

Jazz@PizzaExpress
We love Jazz@PizzaExpress for many reasons. The live music, the ever-dependable pizzas, and, of course, the doughballs. But now vegans can enjoy the experience even more, as the chain has introduced vegan cheese. That’s right, no more days of cheese-less margharitas – which is surely a thing worth shouting about. You’ll still have to avoid the garlic butter, but at least you’ll no longer look on in envy at the classic pizzas.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).

Local

This laid-back restaurant in Barsha Heights prides itself on using fresh ingredients, all of which are grown by the chefs or sourced locally. There’s also a new vegan menu, with dishes including cauliflower mushroom risotto, garden veggie pasta, a veggie burger and a fresh watermelon salad with cucumber, onion, blueberries and a coconut citrus dressing.
Open daily noon-midnight. Tryp By Wyndham, Barsha Heights (04 247 6630).

Ramusake
Get your gladrags on and get down to Ramusake for a feast upon the new vegan menu. Dishes include a sushi platter, small plates including Kinko rice and Japanese mushrooms, and more maki rolls that you can shake a bamboo stick at. The cool Japanese restaurant also offers vegan desserts, including a fruit sashimi platter served on ice. Sounds fancy.
Open Sun-Wed 6pm-2am; Thu 1pm-2am; Fri-Sat noon-2am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR (04 559 5300).

Ronda Locatelli
This family-friendly restaurant from celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli at Atlantis The Palm serves up loads of vegan dishes, in fact it’s one of the largest menus we’ve seen. From pizzas to pastas, and a range of vegan cheese you’re totally spoilt for choice here. There’s even vegan desserts to round your meal off sweetly.
Dhs53. Open Sat- Tue 6pm-10.30pm, Thu-Fri 6pm-11pm, lunch Thu-Tue noon-4pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

The Eloquent Elephant
Not only has this trendy gastropub, which is a former winner of our Best Pub Food Award, had a facelift and installed a terrace, the menu’s had a revamp too, including a dedicated vegan section. Don’t miss the Elephant’s Barley Burger, a veggie patty made of barley, carrot and celery, encased in a soft chia seed bun. It’s served with date chutney and sweet potato fries on the side.
Open Sun-Wed 3pm-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am; Sat noon-1am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).

Ting Irie
Fancy Caribbean food for dinner tonight? Fret not, it’s not all jerk chicken at this super Downtown spot. Ting Irie has a launched a decent vegan menu, too, boasting dishes included curried veg, cauliflower popcorn served with homemade sriracha sauce and soya and ginger marinated tofu sautéed with yellow and green squash topped with tamarind sauce. It’s time to spice up your plant-based diet this week.
Open daily noon-2am. Souk Al Manzil, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 557 5601).

Tr!beca
With a dedicated plant-based brunch, Tr!beca Kitchen & Bar is a top vegan spot. Brunchers can expect dishes including carrot tartare – organic carrot “meat” laced with capers, pickles, parsley and vegan “egg yolk”. There are also vegan burgers on offer, comprised of a bean, onion and carrot patty topped with tofu bacon and vegan chipolte mayo. Make sure you leave room for dessert and a vegan caramel and banana brownie, washed down with a Go Organic mixed drink. The dishes are also available as part of the New York-themed restaurant’s “Just Veg It” vegan menu, which is available daily, so get yourself along to this trendy spot, pronto.
Open Sat-Mon noon-2am, Tue-Thu noon-3am, Fri 1pm-3am. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (050 345 6067).

Vibe
This new kid on the block is super-trendy. Not only is the food Instagram-friendly, the food is equally photogenic. And the vegan dishes are top. Love avo? Order the avo toast. It’s filling, fresh, crunchy (hello pine nuts). The “Don’t be Upsetti” will also leave you anything but tearful. It’s another hefty portion, this time made up of gluten-free pasta and all things green including peas, kale pesto and asparagus. If you haven’t been, add Vibe to your to-visit list.
Open daily 10am-10pm. Al Safa (04 339 0087).

Vietnamese Foodies
This Vietnamese restaurant in JLT is one of our favourite budget restaurants. The tiny restaurant is frequently packed out, especially at lunch thanks to those working in the area, and it serves up some excellent, traditional fragrant and flavourful food. And in even better news, there’s also a vegan menu. With prices that start at Dhs13 Dhs for starters and just Dhs21 it’s wallet-friendly, too. Dishes include cari chay (tofu and vegetable curry with jasmine rice), pho chay (pho with lotus root, mushroom and tofu), ca tim om dau phu (tofu and aubergine clay pot) and bun dau sa ot (cold rice noodles with lemongrass tofu, nuoc cham, lettuce, mint, basil, coriander) among others including dishes, soups, stir-fries and salads. For fresh, wallet-friendly food, make this your new go-to spot.
Open Sun-Wed 9.30am-10pm, Thu-Sat 9.30pm-10.30pm. Cluster D, JLT (04 565 6088).

Wagamama

Hugely famous for its ramen and chicken katsu curry, everyone’s favourite Japanese chain now as a dedicated vegan menu – and it’s extensive. There’s a great selection of plant-based dishes, which include wok-fried greens, mixed mushroom and panko aubergine hirata steamed bun, vegan pad Thai, yaki soba, a spicy green curry and vegan katsu curry. There’s masses of choice, and there are loads of locations throughout the city so this popular brand is sure to be on your hit list, if it wasn’t already.
Various locations including Dubai Marina Mall and The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.wagamama.ae.

Wild & The Moon
Boasting some of the healthiest bites in town and a seriously hippie name, Wild & The Moon in trendy art-hub Al Quoz whips up some great grub, all of which is are free from additives, chemicals, soy, dairy and gluten. Just when you thought this spot couldn’t get any healthier, it also serves up vegan-friendly ice cream in a range flavours, packed with natural ingredients and clear clear of refined sugars. Expect classic spins such as choco coco, the intriguing vanilla and thyme, turmeric and mango flavours along with black sesame. There’s even a vegan afternoon tea with cashew cream if your fancy a treat. If you’re after something more lunch-worthy then check out the gazpachos, which includes an avocado version.
Open Sun-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Robinsons, Dubai Festival City Mall (800 9453).

Five top burgers
Bareburger
What looks like a burger, smells like a burger and tastes like a burger – but doesn’t contain any meat? The Beyond Burger contains no animal products (it’s made from pea protein and potato starch) but yet it really does taste almost exactly like meat. Thanks to a clever bit of science (and a lot of beetroot juice) it even “bleeds” when you take a bite, which is not as creepy as it sounds.
Open daily 10am-11pm. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (056 720 1927), Dubai Festival City (04 338 7110).

Black Tap
This US burger chain isn’t all about meaty patties and dairy-packed CrazyShakes (although there are a load of them, too). The vegan burger (black bean patty, pickled onions, salsa verder and vegan mayo) is actually our favourite burger on the menu. Order some truffle fries (hold the Parmesan) and a pint of craft hops and you’re onto a winner, winner, vegan, dinner.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu-Fri 11am-1am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 399 9076). Open daily 11am-midnight. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 422 9904).

DIRT
Don’t miss this vegan chain, which serves up lipsmackingly good burgers. Our favourite is the “no-chicken patty”, which is made from high protein wheat dough. The high-stacked burger also contains tomatoes, pickles, shiitake mushroom and onions with mayo and ketchup (all plant-based, of course). Although we do recommend adding a slice of vegan cheese for Dhs7.
Available on Deliveroo, deliveroo.ae. Al Quoz (04 350 2012).

Hippy Deli
The offering here is entirely plant-based, wholesome and nutritious. We’re particular fans of the jivamukti burger, made up of a sweet potato, wild rice and black-eyed pea patty with tomato chutney, sautéed kale and caramelised onions in a wholewheat bun served with a side hippy salad.
Available on Deliveroo, deliveroo.ae. Cluster Y, JLT (04 369 7821).

Vurger

Vurger has not one but four Vegan burgers (and a “neatball” sub) at its plant-based kitchen, but we have our sights set firmly on the Korean BBQ. The chickpea patty is made with brown rice, sweet potatoes, celery, mushrooms, rolled oats and millet seeds, topped with avocado, vegan mayo and kimchi in a beetroot bun. Equally as exciting are the milkshakes, which are totally dairy free
Available on Deliveroo, deliveroo.ae. Cluster Y, JLT (04 369 7821).

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