Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019: Winners and Highly Commended

These are officially the best places to eat in the city this year

Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019: Winners and Highly Commended

The Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards are brought to you in association with Dubai Food Festival.

REGIONAL

ASIAN

WINNER:
3 Fils

This Asian seafood spot at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour has made a massive impact since launching on the restaurant scene in 2017, when it took home the Best Casual Newcomer award. Don’t miss the creative sushi and quirky dishes such as sweetcorn waffles with pulled beef. It’s always busy and the vibe
is welcoming.
Open Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm, Thu-Sat noon-midnight. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour (056 273 0030).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
BB Social Dining

This quirky Asian eatery in DIFC has loads of charm thanks to its clever use of a townhouse-style set up and a fun, inventive menu, packed with Asian and Middle Eastern flavours. It won Best Casual Newcomer in 2018, and it’s back in the medals this year.
Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. DIFC (04 407 4444).

Vietnamese Foodies
For authentic, budget Vietnamese food, look no further than this cute (and always packed) spot in JLT. Dishes are simple, tasty and traditional, and it’s a great place for lunch. Don’t miss the slurpable pho, it’s a hit.
Open Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 11am-11.30pm. Cluster D, JLT (04 565 6088).


CHINESE

WINNER:
Long Teng

With its airy, stylishly ornate interiors and large laid-back rooftop terrace, Long Teng is a must-visit for dim sum fans. Its menu is as big as the venue, and dishes are upmarket and inventively presented, with particular highlights including the deep fried turnip pastry and steamed chicken xiao long bao – but the prices here are extremely reasonable.
Open daily noon-2am. U-Bora Tower, Business Bay (04 241 1666).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Din Tai Fung

This casual eatery in Mall of the Emirates is part of the global powerhouse chain from Taiwan. It’s always packed and who can think of a better snack than a steaming basket full of deliciously moreish dumplings or a bowl of saucy noodles? If you don’t believe us, check out the queue snaking outside the restaurant – any time of day or night.
Open Sat-Wed 11am-10pm, Thu-Fri 11am-midnight. Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (04 265 1288).

Royal China
This longstanding Chinese restaurant in DIFC is a mainstay on the Best Chinese category at these awards, with good reason – it’s always excellent. Don’t miss the dim sum and the signature roast duck. It may be pricier than some Chinese eateries in the city, but it’s excellent quality.
Open daily 11.30am-1am. Building 4, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5543).

EUROPEAN

WINNER:
carine
This fantastic restaurant exploded onto the dining scene last year and has wowed Dubai’s discerning diners since. From popular chef Izu Ani (formerly of top restaurants La Petite Maison and La Serre, and also currently of GAIA, The Lighthouse and Izu Brasserie) carine is named after his wife, and it’s a charming, romantic spot at Emirates Golf Club. Staff are knowledgable and excellent, the terrace and views are gorgeous and the Mediterranean food is fantastic.
Open Sun-Wed noon-3pm, 7pm-10.30pm, Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm, Fri 8.30am-3pm, 7pm-11pm, Sat 8.30am-3am. Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 417 9885).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
BOCA

This DIFC restaurant should be celebrated for many things, especially its inventive menu and use of locally sourced fresh produce. It’s also made a commitment to veganism, too, with plenty of options on its Mediterranean menu.
Open Mon-Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-midnight. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).

folly by Nick & Scott
This is a great spot from British chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price. With excellent views out over Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the duo serve up top-notch contemporary European food – don’t miss the sirlon of beef with cheek and thyme croquettes.
Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm, Fri-Sat noon-3.30pm, daily 5pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).

FRENCH

WINNER:
La Cantine Du Faubourg
Cool, vibrant and with exceptionally good food, this is a top spot whether for a date or with mates. Dishes are excellent (just try the octopus) and the vibe is fun and upbeat. There’s a cool bar area, too, making this an ideal spot for a vibrant night out with stunning food.
Open Sun-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-3am; Sat noon-6pm, 8pm-2am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Bleu Blanc

This restaurant from US Michelin-starred chef David Myers is decked out like a French farmhouse, with whitewashed woods and ornate rugs. Food is fantastic, there’s an open wood-fired grill producing some excellent meat cuts, and the lobster risotto is one of the best dishes we’ve eaten this year.
Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Marasi Drive, Business Bay (04 512 5533).

La Petite Maison
A multi-winner of this category, this French restaurant is always packed. The grilled lamb cutlets are exceptional – perfectly tender and flavoursome – while the octopus carpaccio is an interesting, tasty take on the cephalopod.
Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11.15pm. Sheikh Zayed Road, DIFC (04 439 0505).

INDIAN

WINNER:
Masti

The past 12 months have seen this exquisite experimental Indian-fusion restaurant soar to incredible heights. The food will catch you off guard with its inventiveness, the mixologists are some of the best in the business and sipping a sundowner on the terrace facing La Mer beach is a great pleasure.
Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. La Mer South, Jumeirah 1 (04 526 9365).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Calicut Paragon

This humble Karama curry house proves that you don’t have to be flash and brash to stand out from the crowd. Here you’ll find one of the city’s best dishes – the crab thushar. It far outshines the dry ice, molecular gastronomy some chefs prioritise. And it never fails to put a smile on our face as big as the chef’s, who’s simply charming.
Open daily 7am-12.30am. Karama (04 335 8700).

Carnival by Trèsind
Chefs at Carnival clearly never listened when their mothers told them not to play with their food. Here, the stuffy reputation attached to fine-dining has been kicked into the long grass. From the waiters dressed as sailors to the bubble guns, the mixed drinks served in a flamingos to the Alice in Wonderland-style décor, fun is dished up by the bucket load in DIFC. And, the food is always exceptional as the kitchen meanders through meat, vegetarian and vegan menus.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Burj Daman, DIFC (052 242 4262).



ITALIAN

WINNER:
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro

If you’re looking for absolutely excellent Italian food, then there’s no better place in the city than Il Borro. A winner, and Restaurant of the Year, for a second year running, everything on the menu here is outstanding. From lobster linguine to octopus to the creamiest burrata you’ll find, dishes are well crafted and delicious. The ambience is lovely for both families or couples – by day or night – and its setting next to the Turtle Lagoon is delightful.
Open daily 12pm-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 275 2555).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
BASTA!

A casual Italian restaurant from US Michelin-starred chef David Myers, BASTA! serves up hearty Italian dishes with heaps of flavour. Literally translating in English to “enough!” portions are generous and the dining room is bright, vibrant and fun. It’s a great place for a laid-back lunch or evening meal.
Open daily noon-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Business Bay (04 512 5522).

Il Ristorante – Niko Romito
This smart restaurant at Bvlgari Hotel & Resort is a new entry in the Italian category this year. It’s super smart and exclusive, yet doesn’t feel at all stuffy. The food is excellent and well presented. From homely dishes such as lasagne (in the fanciest way of course) to inventive creations such as potato ravioli with seafood ragout, all bases are covered here, and everything is wonderfully flavoured.
Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Bvlgari Hotel & Resort, Jumeirah (04 777 5433).

JAPANESE

WINNER:
TOMO

If you’re looking for stunning views across the city to accompany your sushi, look no further than this consistently excellent Japanese restaurant. Dishes are delicious and authentic, the vibe is mellow and romantic, the vistas are top-notch and you can sit on traditional-style tables trying dishes less frequently found in the city.
Open daily 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 357 7888).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Höseki

The most authentic Japanese experience you’ll find in the city, this will set you back a bit, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for something special. Seating just nine diners, each group has their own private chef who will cook a special menu depending on what produce is available that day. Don’t go expecting California rolls – this is far more traditional and exciting.
Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight. Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts, Jumeirah (04 777 5555).

Zuma
Consistently excellent, Zuma celebrated a decade in Dubai in 2018 and it’s still packed day in, day out. The black cod is world famous, the sushi is excellent and the vibe is always buzzing, whether you’re visiting for a quick business lunch, romantic dinner or lively Friday brunch with friends.
Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-1am, Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Gate Village, DIFC (04 425 5660).

LATIN AMERICAN

WINNER:
COYA

Dining at this cool global chain is always going to be special. There’s a trendy bar to start off in, before wolfing down some zesty ceviche and stellar tableside guac. It also does a top grown-up party brunch that’s tonnes of fun. And did we mention the churros?
Open Mon-Wed 12.30pm-1.30am,Thu-Sat 12.30pm-2am; Sun noon-1.30pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (04 316 9600).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
La Carnita

This funky Mexican restaurant made waves on the Dubai Marina dining scene in 2018, offering up a super-cool vibe and terrific tacos. A branch of the Canadian chain, La Carnita serves up Mexican street food with flair. The staff are super, the food is delicious and the vibe is lively. A top party-style Latino spot.
Open Sun-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 12.30pm-2am, Sat 12.30pm-1am. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 425 4030).

LIMA Dubai
A former winner in this category, LIMA is the sister restaurant of the famous London Latino spot of the same name. From Michelin-starred chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, expect vibrant dishes – both in terms of flavour and presentation. The causa and anticuchos are stunning, and it’s a real treat dining here.
Open daily noon-midnight. City Walk Dubai, Jumeirah (056 500 4571).

LEBANESE

WINNER:
Babel

This Lebanese seafood restaurant is an import from Beirut – and it’s a credit to the original. Save this one for a lazy weekend lunch – a Friday or Saturday when you’ve hours to indulgently while away, and journey through a menu of mezze, salad and an abundance of fantastically fresh seafood.
Open daily noon-midnight. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Ibn AlBahr

Looking for beachside dining at its very best? If you haven’t already been to this Lebanese seafood joint at Club Vista Mare then you’re missing a trick. As well as an excellent selection of mezze, the highlight is a central fish market that where you can pick your own catch of the day. Kick back, order up a selection of dishes and enjoy the sea views.
Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).

Makan
There are stacks of restaurants at happening seaside resort La Mer, and this is one of the best. Dishes are inventive, and super-tasty. Our advice? Don’t miss the lobster kibbeh – an inventive, fun dish.
Open Sun-Wed 9am-11.45am, Thu-Sat 9am-1pm. La Mer, Jumeirah 1, Dubai (04 385 5525).

MENA

WINNER:
Kaftan

This Turkish restaurant in La Mer is always heaving. It serves up excellent, traditional dishes, done simply. Don’t miss the hummus, which comes with lamb cubes and piping hot bread – it’s some of the best we’ve tasted. The tender, juicy, spicy grills are brilliant too.
Open Sun-Sat 8am-12.30am. La Mer South, Jumeirah 1 (04 344 6288).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
RÜYA

Chef Colin Clague knows a thing about Anatolian cuisine, as is displayed at RÜYA time and again. The marinated chicken is perfectly spiced, the whole grilled seabream is wonderfully flaky and the lamb cutlets with aubergine are deliciously smoky. With stunning views and delightful décor, there are loads of reasons to visit RÜYA.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-2am, Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-1am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

Zou Zou
This popular family-friendly restaurant is a favourite for big, Middle Eastern breakfast trays, and with good reason. 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

WINNER:
Black Tap

Burgers, check. Massive shakes. Check. Craft hops. Check. This US import now has three branches in Dubai, but our favourite is the original at Jumeirah Al Naseem. With a buzzing, friendly vibe, views over the Turtle Lagoon and some stellar, great-value all-American grub, you can’t go wrong here if you’re after some US comfort food.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-midnight,Fri-Sat 9am-12.30am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai (04 422 9904).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Key West

For unfettered views and superb beachside dining, you can’t get much better than Key West. This effortlessly cool Caribbean restaurant has picked up this gong for the past two years, and it’s thanks to its laid-back vibe. Stick to classic grills with punchy spices, or be adventurous and opt for the goat curry.
Open daily 4pm-11pm (dinner served from 7pm). Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Pearl Jumeira (04 376 6000).

Miss Lily’s
This Caribbean joint on Sheikh Zayed Road is always packed and serves up some of the best jerk chicken around. Another US import, the Dubai branch is small, fun and has a nightclubby kind of vibe, so expect a lively night out here. If you like things spicy, visit Miss Lily’s, pronto (and order the jerk fries).
Open Sat-Tue 7pm-1am, Wed-Fri 7pm-3am. Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 4074).

THAI

WINNER:
Tong Thai

If you’re looking for a swish Thai restaurant, this winner has trendy written all over it. With moody lighting and cool décor, it also has an excellent and exciting menu that you’ll want to try time and again. Food is always top-notch and packed full of flavour, especially the marvellous massaman beef curry.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 3000).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
The Royal Budha

This Thai is more pocket-friendly than most in the city. It’s not fine-dining by any stretch, nor is it one of the budget eateries, it’s a happy middle ground with friendly service and some super-tasty authentic Thai food.
Open Sat-Thu 7pm-11pm, Fri noon-midnight. Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, Barsha (04 323 4333).

Thiptara
The 2018 winner in the Thai and Best Romantic categories this stunning restaurant has a pretty terrace, set out into the waters surrounding Burj Khalifa, with prime views of The Dubai Fountain. Dishes are traditional and consistently wonderful, especially the classics such as crispy, fresh papaya salad and rich green Thai curry.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).

THEMED

AFTERNOON TEA

WINNER:
Choix Patisserie and Restaurant par Pierre Gagnaire
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.
Served daily 2.30pm-6pm. InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1136).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Raffles Salon

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. Highlights include rose-shaped brie mousse with fig compote and hibiscus-cured salmon – and nothing is too much trouble for the staff.
Served daily 2pm-6pm. Raffles Hotel, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).

Sidra Lounge
The opulent surroundings of Sidra Lounge are perhaps the ultimate place to experience the grand tradition of afternoon tea. Guests are serenaded by the live sounds of a pianist, cellist and saxophonist while enjoying three courses of delicious cakes and sandwiches – as well as a salmon station and homemade sorbet. Utterly delightful.
Serve Sat 2pm-5pm. Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5555).

BAR FOOD

WINNER:
The Penthouse

Whether you’re after light bites (sushi and edamame) or something more substantial (sliders, teryaki salmon and pepperoni flatbreads) there’s loads to choose from. The best of the bunch? The light, tasty tuna pizza featuring fresh fish piled on a crispy cracker and topped with a swirl of truffle-infused cream cheese.
Open Sat-Wed noon-3am, Thu-Fri noon-5am. FIVE Palm Jumeirah (052 900 4868).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Brunswick Eatery, Bar & Terrace

This cool sports bar from Bull & Roo was rebranded last year to focus more on the food. And it was a success, as the bar bites here are excellent. The pizza is particularly noteworthy.
Open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Fri-Sat noon-2am. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Dubai, Al Barsha (056 404 0685)

Loca
Load us up with sizzling fajitas and bring on the punchy jalapeño poppers, we’re ready to eat at Loca. This cool Mexican restaurant is a staple in Jumeirah for its mixed drinks and tasty bar bites – especially the guac.
Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort  & Spa, Jumeirah (04 346 1111).

BREAKFAST

WINNER:
Pots, Pans and Boards

Looking for a family-friendly seaside venue for brekkie? Look no further than celebrity chef Tom Aikens’ spot at The Beach. This quirky restaurant serves up a splendid morning time meal (full English, avo toast et al) and it’s packed out every weekend for that reason.
Open Sun-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. The Beach, opposite JBR (04 456 1959).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Fibber Magee’s

This Irish pub serves proper pub grub at all hours of the day – but we’re here to talk about the breakfasts. From full Irish fry-ups to toasties, eggs and omelettes, there’s plenty to satisfy morning cravings. Our pick? The baps, filled with bacon, egg and sausage for just Dhs35 for all three fillings. Plus dine between 8am and 11am and you’ll get 20 percent off.
Open daily 8am- 2am. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).

Parker’s
This awesome beachfront spot at La Mer serves up a mean breakfast. Whether you’re after belt-busting mountains of chocolate brownie-topped pancakes or a healthy açai bowl, there’s everything you could want. And it’s all delicious. Especially the avocado toast (we know we could make it at home, but not as well).
Open Sat-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu-Sat 9am-1am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 330 8390).

BRUNCH

WINNER:
Traiteur Brunch at The Promenade

A previous winner of this category, this smart brunch at the Creek has stunning views and mountains of seafood. And did we mention the dedicated dessert room?
Dhs495 (soft drinks), Dhs695 (sparkling grape), Dhs775 (bubbly), Dhs895 (premium bubbly). Fri 1pm-4.30pm. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1234).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
STK JBR

If you want your fillet steak with a side of live music and energetic dancing, this is the brunch for you. The food, vibe and venue are all great, and you’re guaranteed a good time and a good meal.
Dhs399 (soft drinks), Dhs549 (house beverages), Dhs599 (sparkling), Dhs699 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm and 8pm-11pm. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 323 0061).

Zuma
This brunch, from one of the world’s most popular Japanese chains, is always packed, so make sure you book early. Enjoy a buffet of sushi, dim sum, robata and more, plus mains such as black cod and garlic lobster. It’s all exceptional, and a top way to try Zuma.
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).

BUDGET

WINNER:
Vietnamese Foodies

Dishes here are true to the nature of eating in the Southeast Asian nation, with a huge focus on fresh, vibrant ingredients, light, healthy cooking techniques and accessible pricing. Two can eat like kings for under Dhs100 and four for under Dhs200, making it the best budget restaurant in town in 2019.
Open Sun-Wed 11am-11pm, Thu-Sat 11am-11.30pm. Cluster D, JLT (04 565 6088).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Bu Qtair

This Dubai institution serves fresh, simply prepared seafood on the beach. Choose your catch and it’ll come with curry sauce and bread, which you can eat inside or out. Expect to queue, then wait for your food. It will be worth it as you’re gobbling it down in the sun.
Open daily 1am-11.40pm. Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour, off Jumeirah Beach Road (055 705 2130).

Manisha’s Kitchen
While this is something of a bare-bones eatery in Karama, the effort is quite clearly put more into the food than the décor at this purely vegetarian Indian restaurant. A stripped-back dining experience with plenty of dishes you’re unlikely to have come across if you don’t hail from India itself, but with many of the flavours, herbs and spices you’ll be accustomed to. Using your hands to eat is encouraged.
Open Sat-Thu 8.30am-11.30pm, Fri 8.30am-noon, 1.30pm-11.30pm. Karama (04 370 6904).

CAFÉ

WINNER:
Gossip Café

Gossip Café offers fresh, healthy food with a sophisticated spin from its gorgeous airy setting in BoxPark. It’s a perfect spot for breakfast, with açai bowls, eggs every way and some phenomenal shakshuka, while there’s also a good range of hearty mains and an inventive smoothie menu, too. Good, creative food, that’s top for families too.
Open Sun-Wed 7am-11pm, Thu-Sat 7am-1am. BoxPark (04 343 0181).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Amongst Few

With vegan dishes galore, this is a hugely popular spot with plant-based diners. We especially love the banana avocado pancakes for breakfast, but there’s a huge selection all day including sandwiches and salads. Non-veggies, fear not, there are also burgers, curries and more. There’s also an attached shop, selling clothes and accessories.
Open daily 10am-10pm. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 386 9221).

Culinary Boutique
If you like kitsch pastel crockery, cute interiors and massive cakes, head to Culinary Boutique for a truly insta-worthy cuppa. As well as all the sugar-laden good stuff, there’s also a good selection of breakfasts and mains, and don’t even think about leaving without trying a lavender cappuccino.
Open Sat-Wed 8pm-11pm, Thu-Fri 8pm-midnight. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 (04 345 0023).

OUTDOOR

WINNER:
Key West

You can’t get any more beachy than this location. One of the few places in Dubai where you have a clear view out across the Gulf, this laid-back Caribbean restaurant and bar is amazing at sunset. Dishes are tasty too, and the vibe is warm and friendly.
Open daily 4pm-11pm. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Peal Jumeira (04 376 6000).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Fish Beach Taverna

One of the prettiest outdoor settings you can find, with twinkling fairy lights, whitewashed furnishings and a beachside setting. Dishes are Mediterranean and tasty, and it’s equally charming by day or night.
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
As well as serving up some excellent European dishes (which is why it’s Highly Commended in our Best European category), this smart restaurant has a delightful outdoor terrace. If you want to wow visitors with a view of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, this is the spot for you.
Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm, Fri-Sat noon-3.30pm, daily 5pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).

PUB FOOD

WINNER:
The Eloquent Elephant

This modern, cool gastropub has a top-notch pub grub menu and a laid-back vibe. The pies are homely and hearty, fish and chips are crisp and tasty while super roasts will make your weekend a winner. There’s even a new vegan menu, with hot dogs, salads and curries, ensuring that everyone is catered for.
Open Sat-Wed 3pm-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
The Dubliner’s

Cottage pie fan? This is where you want to be heading for your weekend comfort grub. The deliciously moreish dish is one of many homely pub grub classics (and one on an entire menu of pies) served up at this longstanding Irish pub in Garhoud.
Open daily noon-2am. Le Mériden Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).

The Lion by Nick & Scott
British chefs Nick Alvis & Scott Price branched out from fine dining last year, taking the helm of this British-style pub at The H Dubai. As well as promotions around the football, brunches and daily deals (pie and a pint, anyone?) this pub has a menu of classics. Scotch eggs have gloriously glossy yolks, curries are flavoursome and the fish and chips are superb.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-3am, Fri-Sat 8am-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 359 2366).

ROMANTIC

WINNER:
RÜYA

With a terrace decked out in twinkling lights, views across the sparkling waters of Dubai Marina and an upbeat but informal vibe, this Grosvenor House restaurant is a top spot for a romantic night out. Dishes at this stunning MENA restaurant are as impressive as the setting, too, making it an excellent all-rounder.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-2am, Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-1am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Ossiano

A regular on this list, don’t be surprised if you witness a proposal (or three) at this Atlantis The Palm seafood restaurant. The huge space is flanked by the aquarium, so you can gaze out at the fish while you, erhm, eat them.
Open daily 6.30pm-11pm, Sat 1pm-3pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

Thiptara
This super Thai restaurant at Palace Downtown is consistently one of the most romantic spots in Dubai. What’s could be more charming than a pretty terrace set out into the water? This one is so close to The Dubai Fountain show you’re practically in it, which makes it all more the special.
Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown (04 888 3444).

SEAFOOD

WINNER:
Ibn AlBahr

This Lebanese seafood joint expertly cooks the freshest fish, served up in a seafront setting at Club Vista Mare. Take a seat on the terrace and dig into freshly grilled seafood.
Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Babel

This beachside spot claimed our Best Lebanese gong, but its fish is equally impressive. From a stunning octopus à la provençale – sautéed in an abundance of garlic and lemon – to delicately fried Sultan Ibrahim and whole charcoal-grilled seabream, everything is tip-top.
Open daily noon-midnight. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).

Ossiano
Love fish in all its guises? This one is for you. With floor-to-ceiling windows out on Atlantis The Palm’s aquarium, you can be sure you’re in for a treat here. Dishes are stunning too – all made from the freshest seafood and put together imaginatively.
Open Sun-Fri 6.30pm, 10pm, Sat 1pm-3pm, 7pm-10.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

STEAKHOUSE

WINNER:
Beefbar

F1 supremo Flavio Briatore’s steakhouse in DIFC is so meat-orientated that it has a beef library (well that’s what we like to call it, anyway). The filet mignon is gloriously tender and who doesn’t love a dedicated mashed potato menu boasting 11 different varieties of the stuff?
Open daily 11am-3am. Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (056 115 1724).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Prime68

If you’ve a head for heights, Prime68 is a wonderful spot for a steak. Service is attentive, the meat cuts are tender and flavoursome and the views are spectacular.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).

STK JBR
Carnivore? Chances are you will have been to this cracking US steakhouse. Part of a global chain – and one of two in Dubai – STK JBR is a super-cool venue and is a load of fun. There’s also a great ladies’ night deal and a top brunch (and Highly Commended in our Best Brunch category). Food is superb too, the highlights being the tender steaks and moreish mac ’n’ cheese. Just don’t fill up on the butter-soaked free brioche.
Open daily 5pm-1am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 323 0061).

CASUAL NEWCOMER

WINNER:
Mama Zonia

Fancy dining in the jungle without having to hop on a flight? At Mama Zonia in Dubai Marina you can do just that (kind of). Set in Pier 7, there are ace views out across the water, while the food is as good as the setting. The scallop nigiri is one of the best dishes we’ve tried in 2019, while the sushi and ceviche is fresh and creative. This swish new venue ticks all the boxes.
Open daily noon-2am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 240 4747).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Streetery Food Hall by Zen

Set up by the team behind Dubai’s popular Thai food delivery brand Zen, this newcomer to JLT’s Cluster D features a series of different kitchens dedicated to cooking up dishes from Asia’s foodiest hotspots. Try Malaysian and Singaporean favourites (don’t miss the sambal prawns and crispy spring onion pancakes), Chinese barbecue and Thai curries.
Open daily 11am-11pm. Lake level, Cluster D, JLT (04 587 3373).

Villamoré
Fancy digging into seafood while checking out the stunning sea views? Villamoré, which is decked out in crisp whites and blues, is the spot for you. This al fresco restaurant is a charming spot at the Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai (and not remotely as ostentatious as the hotel that it’s housed in). With views out over the beach, it serves up dishes from regional Italy, the French Riviera and elements of Levant cuisine, including plenty of fresh fish.
Open daily noon-2am. Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 248 8890).

FINE DINING NEWCOMER

WINNER:
OPA

This new Greek restaurant is a massive hit. Not only is the vibe super-cool and upbeat, the food is outstanding, too. We can’t get enough of the moreish tzatziki, while the lamb kebab is a fanastically tasty, interesting variation on what you’ve come to expect from classics. The grilled octopus is also fantastic, while the desserts are worth saving room for too (don’t miss the pistachio cake). This place picks up as the night goes on, so arrive ready to get involved with some plate smashing and Zorba dancing. You won’t regret it.
Open Sat-Wed 7pm-1am, Thu-Fri 7pm-2am. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 357 0557).

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
GAIA

A second restaurant on this list from popular chef Izu Ani, this is a Greek-Mediterranean spot in DIFC. GAIA is packed nightly and serves up tasty dishes in a more relaxed setting than some DIFC restaurants you might find. There’s also a fish market-style counter, with an excellent selection, should you be hankering for a seafood supper.
Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Building 10, Gate Village, DIFC (04 2414242).

The London Project
One of the first restaurants to open on Bluewaters Dubai, The London Project has stunning views across to JBR and trendy, tasty dishes. We love the dedicated juniper bar area, which has cool décor, while the restaurant menu includes treats including some delicious flatbreads and an inventive bubbly-battered fish and chips.
Open daily 9am-midnight. Bluewaters Dubai (056 913 4699).

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR

Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
If you’re looking to treat yourself to a wonderful meal in charming surroundings, book here, now. Officially declared Dubai’s Restaurant of the Year two years running at the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards, Il Borro Tuscan Bistro serves up stunning dishes. Service is impeccable and produce is of excellent quality – with some coming from the Il Borro estate in Tuscany – and the mood is always relaxed and warm. Whatever you choose you won’t be disappointed.
Open daily 12pm-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 275 2555).

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