Best Dubai restaurants revealed at Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019

These are the very best places to eat in town

Best Dubai restaurants revealed at Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019
Best Dubai restaurants revealed at Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019 Image #2

Whether you’re looking for a fancy five-course feast or a brilliant budget bite, these are the very best in town.

Here are our Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards winners 2019, in partnership with Dubai Food Festival.



3 Fils
This Asian seafood spot at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour has made a massive impact since launching 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.
Jumeirah Fishing Harbour (056 273 0030).

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.
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.
Cluster D, JLT (04 565 6088).

Asia Asia
Inspired by the ancient spice route, expect a fusion of pan-Asian and Middle Eastern flavours with signature dishes such as moromi miso black cod, crispy aromatic duck, beef and truffle dim sum in exquisite surroundings.
Pier 7, Dubai Marina, (04 276 5900).

Betawi Café
The name Betawi was taken from the old capital city of Indonesia – Batavia, now Jakarta – and the menu reflects this rich heritage, serving spicy, Indonesian classics such as nasi goreng, soto ayam and gado gado.
Karama, (056 7312672).

Karma Kafé
Take your taste buds on a pan-Asian journey with dishes including smoked salmon with ginger mirin glaze and Japanese plum coulis or tuna carpaccio with anchovy aioli and truffle oil. An outdoor terrace offers views of The Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.
Souk Al Bahar, Dubai, (04 423 0909).

Eclectic decor and rickshaw tables set the stage for an exotic menu exploring the gastronomy of Thailand, China and Vietnam with dishes including a Mekong sharing platter, Beijing duck and phad kaprow goong.
Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah, (04 567 8304).

Miss Wáng
This urban-cool restaurant features exposed brickwork and graffitied walls alongside an exciting range of cuisine from India to Japan to China. Menu highlights include sharing dishes, chicken dumplings and volcano shrimp.
Majestic City Retreat, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai, (04 359 8888).

Miss Tess
A one-way ticket to the bustling street markets of Asia, traditional plates at Miss Tess are inspired by the cuisine of Korea, Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan. Interactive cooking stations whip up a whole host of street food faves.
Taj Dubai, Business Bay, (050 498 8505).

A two-storey venue featuring a resident DJ, striking overhead chandeliers, opulent décor and views of Dubai Marina, Buddha-Bar invokes a wow-factor while the menu is inspired by China, Japan and Thailand.
Grosvenor House Dubai, (043 998 888).

Chefs cook in the centre of this intimate room, pulling ingredients from underneath the stove so guests can observe how their Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese dishes are prepared.
Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha, (04 317 2221).


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, but the prices here are extremely reasonable.
U-Bora Tower, Business Bay (04 241 1666).

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.
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.
Building 4, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5543).

China Sea
Authentic Chinese dining in a casual setting offering traditional dishes such as seafood soup, crispy duck and chilli beef or choose from the extensive buffet.
Deira, (04 295 9816)

This Michelin-starred global chain relocated to Atlantis The Palm. Redefining the approach to modern Chinese fine-dining, signature dishes include Peking duck and dim sum.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

New Shanghai
Ancient Shanghainese recipes passed down from generation to generation are at the heart of a vibrant array of soup dumplings, noodles, bubbling hot pots and pan-fried buns. Don’t miss the live dumpling-making theatre.
The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, (04 2246819).

Nine Squares
An authentic Chinese hotpot restaurant. First, pick a broth, then order your ingredients (beef, lamb, veg, tofu) and get cooking by dropping into a giant steaming pot, split into nine squares so food doesn’t get lost - tasty and fun.
International City, (800 888999).

Shanghai Chic
Imposing high ceilings and a colour palette of burgundy and black complements this exquisite Asian menu, designed for sharing. Traditional favourites include crispy Peking duck pancakes.
Mövenpick Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel, (04 444 5613).

Xiao Wei Yang International Restaurant
Little Lamb Xiao Wei Yang restaurant is one of the best-known hotpot eateries in Dubai. Inspired by inner Mongolian cuisine, order your basic or spicy broth and then the ingredients you wish to cook. Enjoy shrimp balls and seaweed as you wait.
Dubai Marina, (04 441 9521).

Zheng He’s
Stunning silk kimonos on display, elegant birdcage light fittings and a huge gong to announce your arrival – you won’t forget your first visit to Zheng He’s. The Chinese food is equally as impressive with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Burj and the water.
Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).



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 excellent, the terrace and views are gorgeous and the Mediterranean food is fantastic.
Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 417 9885).


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.
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 sirlion of beef with cheek and thyme croquettes.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).

At.mosphere Restaurant & Lounge
Set on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, 422 metres from the ground, At.mosphere offers breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf and the menu is divine, serving delicacies such as hand-dived scallop and ossetra caviar.
Burj Khalifa, (04 888 3828).

Bread Street Kitchen
Coupled with live music and an extensive grape list, this restaurant from British chef Gordon Ramsay serves favourites such as mini Yorkshire puddings and petite fish pies, topped with creamy mash.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626).

Flamingo Room by tashas
From burgers to pastas, grills and seafood, a scattering of African flavours are on offer from peri peri chicken to calamari Mozambique, alongside retro European dishes including a lobster vol au vent. The dining room features marble floors, fish-scale walls and a sculptural light that looks like an orchid.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Umm Suqeim, (04 244 7278).

Marina Social
Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is at the helm of this British-Mediterranean menu that includes dishes such as seared yellowfin tuna and duck leg agnolotti, and desserts such as banoffee pie soufflé. Highlights include a bespoke tasting menu and a view overlooking Dubai Marina.
InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai Marina, (04 446 6664).

MINA Brasserie
Hearty, brasserie-style dishes celebrate seasonal seafood, meat and fish. Tuna tartare, wood-fired baby chicken, oak grilled octopus and Creekstone farm steaks can be enjoyed on a vibrant and lush outdoor terrace.
Four Seasons Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, (04 506 0100).

Queens Grill
Indulge in authentic British cuisine prepared by chef Rama, a former chef from the QE2’s sailing days, as you absorb the history of this iconic ship, restored to her former glory against the imposing backdrop of Dubai’s iconic skyline.
QE2, Port Rashid, Bur Dubai, (04 526 8888).


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.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).

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.
Renaissance Downtown Hotel, 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.
DIFC (04 439 0505).

Bistrot Bagatelle
French/Mediterranean in atmosphere and cuisine, Bagatelle is designed to reflect classic Paris. The menu invokes flavours of the south of France, with classics such as Burgundy snails with beef pancetta and whole truffle roasted chicken.   
Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 354 5035).

BQ – French Kitchen & Bar
Reminiscent of a French neighbourhood bistro with its green velvet seats and monochromatic tiled floors, the menu itself transports you to France, from escargots to onion soup with Gruyère toast and tomato tart tartin with brie.
Al Habtoor Palace, Business Bay, (04 435 5577).

Couqley French Bistro
If you’re a fan of steak frites in classic French bistro surroundings, this is the place for you. Dotted with dark woods and red check cushions, this eatery from Beirut is famed for its signature sauces, tuna tartare and truffle-mushroom pasta.
Cluster A, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 5149339).

Le Cirque
Famed for the past 40 years as a top dining destination in New York thanks to its famed French cuisine with a twist of Italian flair, this sleek and sophisticated space has fresh, light and contemporary dishes at its core.
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, (04 372 2444).

La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie
Boasting some of the freshest bread and pastries in Dubai and a shaded terrace for people-watching, La Serre features a crisp white dining room and French-Mediterranean menu full of all the classics.
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. Choose from the à la carte menu or graze on delicious snacks in the lounge.
InterContinental Dubai Festival City, (04 701 1127).

STAY by Yannick Alléno
Reinterpreting traditional dishes with contemporary flourishes, French chef Yannick Alléno has sprinkled Michelin stardust over dishes such as lobster cassolette with squid ink pasta vies and braised veal cheeks, celery matignon and carrot mousseline. The restaurant sports vaulted ceilings and black crystal chandeliers.
One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 440 1010).



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.
La Mer South, Jumeirah 1 (04 526 9365).

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 never fails to put a smile on our face.
Open daily 7am-12.30am. Karama (04 335 8700).

Carnival by Trèsind

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.
Burj Daman, DIFC (052 242 4262).

High-end design defines this expansive fine-dining Indian restaurant while an outside terrace offers stunning views of the Dubai Fountain. The menu is a mix of vegetarian and non-veggie set menus alongside the à la carte.
Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3666).

One of the first Indian restaurants in Dubai, Ashiana, which means ‘beautiful home’, draws upon culinary traditions stretching from east to west India. A daily buffet offers a spread of Indian specialities for only Dhs95 per person.
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Deira, (04 207 1733).

Bombay  Brasserie
Serving Indian classics in a sophisticated but vibrant interior with views of the Burj Khalifa, this dining experience promises drama and innovation with an open kitchen featuring a tandoor oven, oversized art and a botanical bar.
Taj Dubai, Business Bay, (04 4383 222).

Little Miss India
Wooden ceiling fans and antique wooden doors dominate the setting, while the menu focuses on regional Indian flavours with a selection of sharing dishes. Watch naans being slapped into the tandoor in the display kitchen or sit back in a garden area, overlooking the beach.
Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 457 3457).

Mint Leaf of London
Dark slate and henna-inspired carved wooden interiors complement this most elegant setting gifting mesmerising views of Dubai and the Burj Khalifa where guests can relish authentic Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist.
Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, (04 706 0900).

Rang Mahal
From hearty starters of lamb masala to shrimps dipped in Goan curry, Rang Mahal guarantees an exceptional Indian culinary adventure. Decked out with massive murals and epic pillars, booths are available for a private experience.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 414 3000).

Celebrating the evolution of modern Indian cuisine, Trèsind offers an interactive dining experience – the chef will prepare your dish from scratch, right beside your table. Choose from a set lunch, à la carte or tasting menu.  
Nassima Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 308 0440).


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.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 275 2555).


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.
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.
Bvlgari Hotel & Resort, Jumeirah (04 777 5433).

Savour traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Begin with a classic aperitivo before journeying through the subtleties of a signature degustation-style menu. The décor is chic with a stylish bar and impressive city views.
Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3666).

Offering traditional Italian cuisine and three restuarants in one, sample signature dining in the lower restaurant, a more casual vibe in the upper deck pizzeria or relish the sunset over a drink in the Bussola Lounge.
The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh, (04 511 7373).

On two levels with an enclosed terrace and an intimate bar, Cipriani offers classic dishes from Harry's Bar – opened first off Piazza San Marco in Venice in 1931 – plus a variety of Italian specialties in a warm, elegant atmosphere.
Gate Village 10, DIFC, (04 347 0003).

Serving rustic-sounding Italian dishes but presented in a modern way, quality ingredients are the hero at MATTO. Industrial-style design and colourful murals on the walls contribute to a trendy atmosphere.
The Oberoi Dubai, (04 444 1335).

Quattro Passi
A range of pasta, seafood, grilled and roasted meats, sharing platters and desserts invoke the classic flavours of southern Italy and the Amalfi Coast. The décor imbues a rustic style with warm and welcoming terracotta colours.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 455 9989).

This Italian concept blends Roman passion for food with Venetian hospitality and Milanese style and Piemonte offers a fine-dining experience. A terrace grants views of the Burj Khalifa where a DJ plays music into the night.
Gate Village 1, DIFC, (04 386 0066)

An extensive Italian menu features all the usual suspects – don’t miss the signature lobster spaghetti. Fairylight-strewn trees and tables adorned with crisp white cloths define the outdoor terrace and inside, colourful artwork lends a vibrant feel.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah 2, (04 349 0068).



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.
Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 357 7888).


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.
Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts, Jumeirah (04 777 5555).


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.
Gate Village, DIFC (04 425 5660).

Akiba Dori
Inspired by the anime culture of Akihabara in Tokyo, this trendy restaurant and bar is styled to imitate a backstreet alleyway of Tokyo and the menu sports plenty of street food options and Japanese drinks as well as delicious pizzas.
Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road, (04 770 7949).

Experience an innovative take on traditional Japanese cuisine, featuring the freshest fish, artful sushi and sashimi. Guests can dine al fresco on a vibrant terrace overlooking the Dubai Foundation in the company of a resident DJ.
Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3666).

This upbeat, slightly edgy eatery is a casual space to share quality sushi with friends or family. Private dining rooms are available for intimate gatherings.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 414 3000).

Enjoy an immersive dining experience with a live teppanyaki table and a live sushi bar. Kiku is also home to 20-plus varieties of Japanese beverages that can be paired with signature dishes such as gindara misozuke and kaisen bento.
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, (04 702 2455).

The city’s oldest Japanese eatery, the stark space maintains a warm, fresh feel, housing a sushi bar, teppanyaki table and a traditional tatami room. This is authentic, simple Japanese cuisine done well.
Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira, (04 209 6914).

Chef Masaharu Morimoto is renowned for his seamless integration of western and Japanese ingredients. There’s also a lounge, sushi counter, three private dining rooms and two outdoor terraces with views of the Burj Khalifa.
Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Business Bay, (04 512 5577).

Revered as one of the world’s greatest Japanese chefs, chef Nobu Matsuhisa is the mastermind behind this famous international chain, known for his innovative menus that blend traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 0760).



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?
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (04 316 9600).

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.
City Walk Dubai, Jumeirah (056 500 4571).

Celebrating ‘Nikkei’, which is a combination of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines and beverages, dishes at Ají are served as small plates for sharing on the beachside terrace with a view of Dubai’s skyline.
Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, (04 552 0244)

Hotel Cartagena
Prepare to be wowed by this restaurant’s 360-degree panoramic views across Dubai and its funky décor – think pink flamingos, palm trees and vibrant murals. Signature dishes boast South American and Caribbean flavours.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 560 1799)

Offering authentic Mexican dishes from all over Latin America, choose from a wide variety of delicious starters, from guacamole to ceviche, while mains offers plenty of homemade tacos, fajitas and speciality dishes. Are you loca?
Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah 1, (04 346 1111).

Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen
Rooted in tradition, native Mexican cuisine is fused with worldly ingredients and creative cooking techniques to create a modern take on Latin American classics such as tacos and tortillas in an inviting beachside location.
Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550)

Choose from six menu sections, including small plates, seafood, tacos and large plates, at this casual, quirky Mexican cantina where the refreshing, playful décor in candy colour themes complements a party atmosphere.
Holiday Inn Express, Al Safa, (04 327 5878)

Toro Toro
Boasting a unique interior incorporating flashes of foliage, tribal Latin patterns, heavy leathers and dark woods, the open kitchen at Toro Toro delivers the passion, sounds, smells and energy of Latin American food to your table.
Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina, (04 317 6000)

Showcasing a fusion of Latin American flavours combined with Japanese seasonings, guests are invited to observe live cooking at a ceviche bar. Guests can choose between a vegetarian menu or the à la carte offering.
The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay, (04 444 1455).



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.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).

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.
Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).


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.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1, Dubai (04 385 5525).

Al Falamanki
The restaurant first opened in Lebanon in 2008 as a café to transport guests back to 1960s Beirut. Signature dishes include Levantine classics such as fried kibbeh balls with garlic, pine nuts and coriander.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, (04 550 9142)

Al Nafoorah
Named after the Arabic word for ‘fountain’, this fine-dining restaurant blends Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as offering a secluded space with an impressive terrace view boasting paroramic views of Dubai.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 319 8760).

Ayam Elezz
Kitted out with retro furniture and knick-knacks so it resembles a 1960s Lebanese home, Ayam Elezz provides a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The menu features traditional dishes with plenty of grills, breads, salads and mezze.
The Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, (04 388 0380).

Em Sherif
There’s no menu here. Instead, you’ll be served about 30 dishes of traditional Lebanese fare, through hot and cold mezze, grills and desserts, plus a bowl of creamy hummus and bread with a tangy helping of fattoush.
Downtown Dubai, (04 424 3000).

Enab Beirut
The bright, colourful interior in this fun, friendly Lebanese spot will make you feel right at home. The menu delivers all the classics – stuffed vine leaves, fattat bazenjan and mezze while a lounge upstairs serves quality shisha.
City Walk, (04 343 2707).

Reem Al Bawadi
A landmark for Arabic food with 12 locations in the Middle East, this restaurant offers a cosy home for friends to gather and share authentic dishes such as fattoush, chicken taouk, falafel, mezze and shisha.  
Sheikh Zayed Road, (800 62752)

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.
Souk Al Bahar, (04 448 6060).



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.
La Mer South, Jumeirah 1 (04 344 6288).


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.
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.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 3430093).

Savour fine-dining, Iraqi-style at Aghatti where the menu boasts exotic gourmet dishes and imaginative mocktails. It's arabesque and eclectic with a nod to Mesopotamian history and art.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1, (04 3855 595).

Al Fanar
Invoking a quaint ambience of Dubai in the 1960s and offering a taste of Emirati cuisine from the tradtional to the more adventurous, Al Fanar is a perfect spot for a meal with family and friends with views over the fountain.
Dubai Festival City Mall, (04 232 9966).

Presenting a unique ‘Choyhona’ concept, guests are invited to sample a blend of flavours from Georgia to Armenia with Middle Eastern influences. Highlights include pilafs, kebabs and lamb dumplings, plus baklava and chak-chak.
City Walk, (04 385 5435).

What began as a small butcher shop in Istanbul’s Bostanci neighbourhood has evolved into this successful steakhouse restaurant where guests are spoiled by exceptional quality meatballs, doner, lahmacun and kebab.
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 554 0700).

Offering a modern taste of Khaleeji cuisine, sweet and savoury dishes are executed with attention to detail. Highlights include fries with halloumi sticks and Logma toast – modified French toast with date and rose syrup.
Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, (800 56462).

A locally curated dining concept, where Emirati cuisine meets Indian and Persian flavours typically found in the street stalls of Deira and Bur Dubai, the philosophy here is about sharing wholesome food, drinks and shisha.
City Walk, (04 885 6524).

Featuring an array of Mediterranean-inspired dishes made for sharing, and a wall of travel guides to browse for inspiration, Somewhere celebrates the thrill of global travel. Even the menu takes you exotic places – think guacamole hummus.
The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, (800 38224 6255).


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.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai (04 422 9904).

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.
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).
Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 4074).

BARBARY Deli + Cocktail Club
This retro club boasts an extended bar and views from the terrace. Menu highlights include 24-hour veal short ribs and poutine – a classic Quebecois dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy – plus burgers, grills and platters.
TRYP by Wyndham Hotel, Barsha Heights, (04 247 6688).

Burger & Lobster
Simplicity is at the core of this restaurant where the focus is on perfecting two main ingredients: wild lobster and prime cut burgers. The lobster rolls are famous and an all-day breakfast menu completes the line-up.
Burj Daman, DIFC, (04 514 8838).

Ribs & Brews
Offering top-notch American-style grub, sample a cool roadhouse vibe and a bar-centric food hall complete with cowhide chairs in this gastro-pub to complement a meaty beef ribs menu and handcrafted cocktails.
Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, Business Bay, (04 437 3333).

Indulge in a blend of Latin American, Asian and Mediterranean flavours as you relish the unique Californian-style cuisine at this ocean-front restaurant that’s perched on the Burj Al Arab Terrace, extending over the Arabian Gulf.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, (04 301 7777).

Stars ‘N’ Bars
Inspired by the famous Stars ‘N’ Bars in Monte Carlo, this restaurant and bar is already a popular nightspot in Abu Dhabi. Serving up drinks and dishes to beach-going diners, expect American grub from burgers to nachos and a party until 3am.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1, (04 349 9903).

The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill
Tucked away in a hotel garage, seaside brasserie The MAINE features a raw bar serving seafood towers and oysters galore. The family style menu runs the gamut from fresh fish, steaks and chops to pot roasts and steamers.
Doubletree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR, (04 457 6719).

Ting Irie
A funky, lively and friendly eatery, this is a great place to sample authentic Jamaican street grub such as jerk hummus, butta corn and Jamaican patties, some stuffed with beef, others with curried veggies, all bursting with spices.
Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai, (04 557 5601).


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.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 3000).

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.
Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, Al Barsha (04 323 4333).


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.
Palace Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).

Serving the unmistakable flavours of traditional Thai cuisine, this menu celebrates centuries-old recipes. A majestic interior resembles the royal dining halls of King Rama IV while affording gorgeous views of Dubai’s skyline.
Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 343 3333).

Café Isan
This quaint space only holds about 50 diners. The flavours are fresh and lighter than typical Thai dishes, as they are in Isan in north eastern Thailand. Curries and soups are clear rather than coconut-based, but spicier.
Cluster N, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (058 287 3181).

Pai Thai
Serving light and aromatic traditional Thai dishes, the culinary journey begins as a traditional Abra transports you to the restaurant while you relax and take in beautiful views across Madinat’s serene waterways.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).

Spice Emporium
Dine in the ambient restaurant or al fresco on the terrace and sample all the classics of Thai cooking, such as tped sam rod crispy roasted duck with chilli sauce, pineapple and crispy basil and pad Thai noodles.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, (04 511 7373).

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.  
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, (04 702 2455).

The Thai Kitchen
Overlooking Dubai Creek and the marina, al fresco dining is recommended at Thai Kitchen where a traditional menu celebrates the diversity of Thai cuisine.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, (04 602 1814).

Wise Kwai
A pink door transports you to a kitsch, cinema-themed dining room, filled with Thai movie memorabilia (the eatery takes its name from a classic Thai film). From curries to soups, salads and noodles, dishes are packed with flavour.
DusitD2 Kenz Hotel, Barsha Heights, (04 567 2247).



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.
InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1136).

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.
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.
Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5555).

Al Bayt
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.
Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).

Al Fayrooz Lounge
Indulge in a traditional English tea in this elegant lounge with views of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah with classics such as Victoria sponge, English fruit cake, tea cakes, sandwiches and scones.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

At.mosphere Restaurant & Lounge
Three delectable high tea options are offered at the world’s tallest restaurant. Flavours may include berries, cream and savoury treats or fine roasts with seasonal vegetables. Dessert features pastries and traditional favourites.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3828).

Pearl Lounge
Along with stunning views of the Burj Al Arab, gourmet afternoon tea treats include tartines, sandwiches and fresh quiches as you sip exquisite loose teas or coffee.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232)

Sahn Eddar
Delicate sandwiches, fresh pastries and cakes make a decadent afternoon tea offering with the option of raising the bar with a glass of bubbly.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, (04 310 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.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah 2, (04 270 7805).

The Lounge
Relax and rejuvenate with the finest selection of gourmet delicacies, tea and coffee in the heart of this hotel where floor-to-ceiling windows provide a perfectly framed view of the Burj Khalifa.
Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).


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.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah (052 900 4868).

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.
Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Dubai, Al Barsha (056 404 0685).


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.
Dubai Marine Beach Resort  & Spa, Jumeirah (04 346 1111).

Bar Baar
Presenting a social Indian café bar feel, by day this is the place to have meetings over delicious street-food snacks and after dark, enjoy Bollywood-themed beverages, entertainment and a full menu of Indian-fusion specialties.
Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Bur Dubai (04 501 2631).

BARBARY Deli + Cocktail Club
This retro club boasts an extended bar and views from the terrace. The food is reminiscent of New York’s meatpacking district; Cuban sandwiches, burgers, grills and platters plus a tartare bar and a three-course brunch.
TRYP by Wyndham Hotel, Barsha Heights, (04 247 6688).

From breakfast options to a business lunch or brunch deal to the a la carte evening menu, this fun venue ticks many culinary boxes. Snack on sashimi, tacos or mini burgers or dine on jerk chicken, salmon teriyaki or beef stir-fry.
Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC, (04 354 5435).

This cracking food menu celebrates European-Mediterranean grub as most of its mains are of an Italian persuasion; risottos, gnocchi and beef tagliata while innovative starters are a mix of Spanish, Peruvian and Japanese flavours.
Gate Village 5, DIFC, (055 455 6106).

Lock, Stock & Barrel
Spread over two floors, this venue exudes a retro New York vibe while the menu sports American favourites such as mac ’n’ cheese balls, Buffalo chicken flatbread, Angus beef sliders and gangham style wings.
Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights, (04 514 9195).

Kick back on a comfy sofa with a shisha and take in a spectacular view of Dubai’s skyline by night in this chilled-out space. The Middle-Eastern inspired menu features pizzas, salads, mezze, wraps, kebabs and burgers.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira, (04 295 6000).

Trader Vic’s
Offering indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Trader Vic’s presents a global menu from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia and Japan featuring Indonesian rack of lamb, jerk chicken and crab rangoon.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, JBR, (04 318 2530).


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).

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.
Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).

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.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 330 8390).

Baker & Spice
To complement views of the Burj Khalifa, breakfast here is excellent. Opt for perfectly poached eggs on crispy toast, an organic oatmeal and ricotta pancake stack or French toast plus a brilliant array of baked treats.
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, (04 886 6113).

Behold, the all-day breakfast menu. Famous of course for its eggs, dig into favourites such as smoked salmon Benedict, fried chicken with waffles and omelettes as well as giant stacks of pancakes and Nutella-filled crêpes.
The Beach, opposite JBR, (04 430 7252).

Friends’ Avenues Café
Start your day right with a healthy acai bowl, organic scrambled eggs or a ‘big breakfast board’ plus a selection of sandwiches, salmon, steak and burgers for later in the day.
Cluster T, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 554 5813).

Gossip Café
With juices so fresh they zing, alongside organic and gluten-free choices, this is a healthy spot to relax outside. Try the bagel with peanut butter and banana (jam on the side) or gluten-free porridge with dates, cinnamon and honey.
BoxPark, Al Wasl Road (04 343 0181).

Jones the Grocer
This Sydney import serves breakfast until 4pm at weekends and eggs are the hero of an appealing breakfast menu with smoked salmon Florentine, a traditional English fry-up, chickpea shakshouka and a Persian feta omelette.
Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 417 9999).

McGettigan’s JBR
Serving the original long, late breakfast until 3pm, this is the place for your full Irish fry-up. Also offering lunch, dinner and snacks such as the ‘chip butty’.
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR, (04 318 2999).

The Surf Café
This chilled-out haven near the beach serves wholesome, nutritious breakfasts with a variety of egg dishes, French toast and breakfast wraps with hash browns as well as vegan juices, dim sum, poke bowls and bento boxes.
Umm Suqeim, (04 346 6292).


Traiteur Brunch at The Promenade

This smart brunch at the Creek has stunning views and mountains of seafood. It also has an extremely impressive cheese table, traditional roasts, a walk-around kitchen and even a 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).


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).


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).

Brasserie 2.0
This massive buffet brunch has heaps of live cooking stations, from curries to tacos and slider stations. There’s a huge display of fresh seafood and all food is super-fresh and tasty. One of the best buffet brunches out there, it’s classy and fun.
Dhs450 (soft drinks), Dhs595 (house beverages and sparkling), Dhs795 (bubbly), Dhs230 (kids aged five-12). Fri 1.30pm-4.30pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina (04 316 5550).

A grown-up party brunch, this Peruvian restaurant’s Friday brunch is a lively affair. Dig into a range of signature dishes, including tableside-made guac, sushi and grills.
Dhs419 (soft drinks), Dhs619 (house beverages), Dhs709 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2 (04 316 9600).  

La Cantine du Faubourg
This is a relaxed and elegant brunch at the chic eatery, which is the winner of our Best French Restaurant 2019. Dishes include breakfast options such as eggs Benedict, as well as signature dishes including octopus and truffle pasta.
Dhs265 (soft drinks), Dhs400 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly). Sat noon-4pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).

This Indian-fusion spot, which is our Best Indian Restaurant 2019, serves up a lively brunch with a range of interesting, innovative dishes. It’s also ideally located next to the sea at beachside spot La Mer.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs475 (house beverages). Fri 1pm-5pm. La Mer (800 62784).

Enjoy sushi, grills and more from famous chef Morimoto at his eponymous Dubai restaurant. Food is excellent and the vibe is lively.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs499 (house beverages), Dhs650 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai, Business Ba (04 512 5577).

Love lobster? Head to this cute Cape Cod-inspired eatery on the banks of the Creek for a special Saturday lobster bake. You’ll get a full lobster to share, plus a range of lobster dishes from mac ’n’ cheese to traditional lobster rolls, plus desserts.
Dhs295 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. The Promenade, Park Hyatt Dubai (04 602 1814).

A classy Middle Eastern Restaurant with top views across Dubai Marina from its pretty terrace. It also has a fun Friday brunch with an upbeat vibe and some incredibly flavoursome dishes. A great all-rounder.
Dhs299 (soft drinks), Dhs399 (house beverages), Dhs499 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).


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.
Cluster D, JLT (04 565 6088).

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. Expect to queue, then wait for your food. It will be worth it as you’re gobbling it down in the sun.
Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour, off Jumeirah Beach Road (055 705 2130).

Manisha’s Kitchen

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.
Karama (04 370 6904).

Scents of curry and fresh spices greet you as soon as you enter the large wooden doors of this rustic restaurant that Cluster N
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (056 320 1986).

Bait Maryam
A quaint haven that serves the most authentic flavours of the Levant where the most humble-sounding dishes shouldn’t be overlooked; pasta and yoghurt, Maryam’s kabab, the kofte with tahini sauce and the kunafeh.
Cluster D, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (04 248 1995).

Calicut Paragon
Forget the no-frills décor, this place is all about delicious Keralan flavours where mains cost as little as Dhs25. There are plenty of meat and vegetarian dishes but seafood reigns supreme thanks to dishes such as the crab tushar.
Karama, (04 335 8700).

Tempting Arabic appetisers include Palestinian musakhan rolls, maqdous with walnut and oven-baked halloumi and with prices averaging from Dhs13- Dhs23 per mama’esh or fatayer, you can afford to fill up here every day.
Business Bay (04 453 8166).

Raju Omlet
This quirky eggetarian chain dishes up fresh eggs with a twist, with everything from a power omelette for the health conscious to a gravy omelette. Typically served with pavs or parathas, make sure to try one of their chai tea varieties.
Cluster T, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 388 3355)

Ravi Restaurant
This charming Pakistani restaurant is the ideal place for groups to relax in a laid-back setting. Don’t miss the chicken jalfrezi, mopped up with numerous roti. Follow it up with an expertly spiced dhal fry.
Satwa (04 331 5353).

Xiao Wei Yang International Restaurant
This legendary hotpot eatery is inspired by inner Mongolian cuisine. Order your basic or spicy broth and then the ingredients you wish to cook. Enjoy shrimp balls and seaweed as you wait.
Dubai Marina, (04 441 9521).


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).

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).

Baker & Spice
The food philosophy here is local, organic, fresh and homemade. Opt for perfectly poached eggs on crispy toast, homemade sausages or a mouthwatering array of baked treats to go with your view of the Burj Khalifa.
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, (04 886 6113).

Comptoir 102
This gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan friendly cafe serves sustainably-sourced breakfast, lunch and dinner alongside an organic market where you can buy handpicked oils, healthy snacks, tea and local grocery products.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, (04 385 4555).

Friends’ Avenue Café
A cosy value-for-money café that serves classic comfort dishes such as hamburgers, steaks, soups, salads and specials such as beef brisket.
Cluster T, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 554 5813).

Jolie Floral Boutique
Jolie, which means ‘pretty’ in French, is an enchanting flower shop that invites you to indulge in delicious homemade cakes and bakes, sandwiches, soups, teas and coffees alongside beautiful floral arrangements.
City Walk, (04 345 6922).

Maisan 15
This charming café has oodles of arty charm with a community library inside, an open kitchen with diner-style booths, old vinyl records playing and an al fresco area, serving healthy breakfasts and tempting, wholesome mains.
Maisan Towers, Barsha South (04 244 7291).

Tania’s Teahouse
Try a cup of positivi-tea… Founded by Tania, a devoted tea enthusiast, this tearoom features candy-pink hues and rose gold furniture. All the teas, blended by Tania herself, are served alongside snacks, meals and desserts.
Jumeirah Beach Road, (04 324 0021).

Built for Instagram with pink pineapples and giant pink palm trees, you can’t miss Vibe’s vibrant offering; try a range of vegan dishes, healthy sandwiches, omelettes, gluten-free pasta and varieties of avo on toast.
Al Wasl Road, (04 339 0087).


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.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Peal Jumeira (04 376 6000).

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.
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.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).

Meat lovers will appreciate the finest cuts at this Latin American steakhouse where steak is prepared on a Parilla (an open grill) and a stylish outdoor terrace grants magnificent views of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.
Palace Hotel Downtown, (04 888 3444).

Kick back and take stock over some delicious Mediterranean fare, from freshly baked pizzas and calzone to an extensive fresh fish and seafood selection, on a platform jutting out into Dubai Creek with views beyond.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, (04 205 4647).

Inspired by the coastal splendor of Cape Cod, this charming space offers a panoramic vista of the Creek with plenty of dishes to share. A seafood bar features the freshest catches, from lobster to crab to yellowtail carpaccio.
Park Hyatt Dubai, (04 602 1814).

Offering traditional Italian cuisine over two levels, both offering fantastic views of the Arabian Gulf, sample signature dining in the lower restaurant or a more casual ambiance in the upper deck pizzeria overlooking the beach. Soak up the sunset over a drink in the Bussola Lounge.
The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, (04 511 7373).

Ibn AlBahr
At the back of this beachside Lebanese fish restaurant is a part-open kitchen flanked by a seafood market where you can pick your own fish. Set against a large beach and a sea-facing outdoor terrace, this is as coastal as it gets.
Club Vista Mare on Palm Jumeirah, (04 553 9575).

Pai Thai
The culinary journey begins as a traditional Abra transports you to this traditional Thai restaurant, serving light, aromatic and flavourful dishes, while you relax and take in beautiful views across Madinat’s serene waterways.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, (04 432 3232).

Sea Fu
This al fresco seafood restaurant and bar is accessible by a scenic walk from the hotel. Specialising in Asian seafood dishes, this is an enviable spot to chill out by the beach.
Four Seasons Dubai Resort at Jumeirah Beach, (04 270 7777).


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.
Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).

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.
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud (04 702 2455).
The Lion by Nick & Scott
As well as promotions around the football, brunches and daily deals (pie and a pint, anyone?) this pub has a menu of pub grub classics. Don’t miss the excellent sausage rolls.
The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 359 2366).

Bridgewater Tavern
A top spot for sport watching, music, happy hour and excellent pub grub, from chicken wings to burgers, calamari to a salmon salad.
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay, (04 414 3000).

Fibber Magee’s
One of Dubai’s tiniest pubs, Fibber Magee’s serves traditional Irish comfort food such as bangers and mash, cottage pie and fish and chips.
Behind Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 332 3400).

JB’s Gastropub
Dishing up an eclectic menu of British and American favourites, JB’s is a lively, fun venue where you can enjoy sharing platters, sausages by the metre and smoked meats washed down by rare barrel-aged beverages.
Amwaj Rotana, JBR, (04 428 3084).

McGettigan’s JLT
Serving the original long, late breakfast until 3pm, this is the place for your full Irish fry-up while lunch and dinner offerings include burgers and meaty mains along with soups, salads and snacks such as the famous ‘chip butty’.
Bonnington Hotel Dubai, Cluster J, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, (04 356 0560).

Reform Social &Grill
From a full English breakfast to a traditional weekend roast, this menu guarantees a true gastropub experience for the whole family.
The Lakes, (04 454 2638).

The Irish Village
Sample a traditional Irish menu, from boiled ham and cabbage to a famous Irish stew. You can even buy a loaf of Irish soda bread and take it home.
Garhoud, (04 282 4750).

The Ship’s Wheel
This is British pub grub at its best and while a recent revamp introduced fancier fare such as dynamite shrimps, duck spring rolls and sizzling chicken fajitas, the classics such as burgers, curries, pies and roasts remain.
Jebel Ali Village (04 459 5198).



With a terrace decked out in twinkling lights and views across the sparkling waters of Dubai Marina this is a top spot for a romantic night out. Dishes are equally impressive.
Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).


Don’t be surprised if you witness a proposal at this Atlantis The Palm hotspot. The huge space is flanked by the aquarium, so you can gaze out at the fish while you, erhm, eat them.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).


What’s 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.
Palace Downtown (04 888 3444).

At.mosphere Restaurant & Lounge
Iconic fine-dining restaurant At.mosphere offers breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf from the top of the Burj Khalifa. Serving delicacies such as hand-dived scallop and ossetra caviar, this memorable experience is sure to wow.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3828).

Celebrated chef Izu Ani is at the helm of this bright, airy French-Mediterranean bistro, named after his wife. From lobster linguini, truffle rigatoni and tarte tatin to Izu’s olive oil, fresh from his vineyards in Greece, the menu is a triumph.
Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 417 9885).

Fish Beach Taverna
Enjoy an Aegean menu of Turkish and Greek cuisine, hot and cold mezze, fresh fish, grills and casseroles in this romantic open-air taverna gifting unobstructed beach views under the stars.
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh, (04 511 7373).

Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Seasonal, ethically sourced menu offerings from produce grown and imported from Il Borro’s farm in Italy form the base of this authentic Tuscan menu, served in a charming waterfront setting.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Umm Suqeim, (04 275 2555).

Pai Thai
Serving light, aromatic and traditional Thai favourites, the enchanting journey begins as a traditional wooden abra transports you to the restaurant while you relax and take in majestic views across Madinat’s serene waterways.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

Featuring al fresco dining with views over the Arabian Gulf, and stylish rickshaws to transport guests from pier to door, this ‘over-the-water’ Mediterranean restaurant serving fresh seafood delicacies delivers romance in spades.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, (04 432 3232).

Renowned for Mediterranean cuisine that fuses Greek ingredients, a casual yet chic atmosphere and a charming seating arrangement on the sand with spectacular views of Burj Al Arab, this is a beautiful spot to dine at night.
Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, (04 432 3232).


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.
Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).


This beachside spot claimed our Best Lebanese gong, but its fish is equally impressive. From a stunning octopus à la Provençale to whole charcoal-grilled seabream, everything is tip-top.
La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 419 0220).


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.
Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

As You Fish
Choose between a traditional south Indian menu or select fresh fish for live cooking, either pan-fried or on the barbecue. Other signature dishes at this bright and welcoming whitewashed villa include seafood platters and lobster rolls.
Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim, (04 323 1919).

Bu Qtair
Against a picturesque backdrop of fishing dhows, this no-frills Keralan restaurant is so well known for its fresh fried sheri and pomfret, chilli prawns and marinated hammour that queues form in anticipation of its 7pm opening.
Old 32B Street, Umm Suqeim (055 705 2130).

Fish Beach Taverna
Enjoy an Aegean menu of Turkish and Greek cuisine with plenty of fresh fish options such as octopus, mezze and levrek – salted sea bass – alongside grills and casseroles in this open-air taverna overlooking the beach.
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, (04 511 7373).

Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara
Named after an oyster shell (Al Mahara), signature dishes include the finest sustainably-sourced shellfish on ice and whole fish served tableside, or choose from an oyster and caviar menu that can be enjoyed on the terrnace.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, (04 301 7600).

Inspired by the coastal splendor of Cape Cod, this charming space offers a panoramic vista of the Creek. A seafood bar features fresh lobster and yellowtail carpaccio or try a toasted lobster, soft shell crab or tuna brioche.
Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira, (04 602 1814).

Dine al fresco with views over the Arabian Gulf at this ‘over-the-water’ Mediterranean restaurant serving fresh seafood delicacies such as lobster thermidor and confit Atlantic sea trout as well as caviar, soups and salads.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, (04 432 3232).

The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill
Seaside brasserie The MAINE features a raw bar serving seafood towers and oysters galore while a family style menu runs the gamut from shellfish, fish mains (cold and hot), steaks and chops to pot roasts and steamers.
Doubletree by Hilton Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 457 6719).



F1 supremo Flavio Briatore’s steakhouse 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 a dedicated mashed potato menu boasts 11 varieties.
Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC (04 425 7184).


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).


There’s a great ladies’ night deal and a top brunch. Food is superb: highlights being the tender steaks (obvs) and 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).

Meat-lovers will appreciate the finest cuts prepared from age-old Argentinian recipes at this Latin American steakhouse where meat is prepared on a Parilla (an open grill) and a terrace overlooks Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.
Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

Bushman’s Australian Restaurant & Bar
From the Aboriginal interior flourishes to a billabong-inspired al fresco area, this is an immersive Aussie experience where you can sample national Australian dishes such as kangaroo sirloin and crocodile skewers.
Anantara The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 567 8304).

Steak glorious steak. The menu also offers chicken, fish and veggie options but don’t be fooled, this is red meat lovers’ paradise. All cuts - Australian and Japanese beef, Kobe Wagyu included - are charcoal-grilled.
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah 2, (04 407 4100)

Rhodes Twenty10
This glamorous Marina-based steakhouse is backed by highly acclaimed Michelin-starred celebrity chef Gary Rhodes. Start with steak tartare or barbecue ribs followed by grain-fed stockyard wagyu or Australian black Angus rib-eye.
Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550)    

Seafire Steakhouse & Bar
Seafire takes pride in preparing the finest steaks from around the globe with a selection of choices ranging from the number of days the cow is grain-fed to the marble score to ensure you find your ultimate steak.
Atlantic The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, (04 426 2626)

The Rib Room
Indulge in tender meats (plus vegetarian options) in the relaxed atmosphere of this British steakhouse. Whether it’s a flavourful chateaubriand or an oakey Angus reserve tenderloin, you can be assured of the juiciest prime cuts.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, (04 432 3232)

World Cut Steakhouse
Luxuriously upholstered with plush leather seating and rich mahogany tables, this is every inch the classic steak restaurant with more than 12 cuts on offer, imported from Australia and the US, alongside a variety of seafood dishes.
Habtoor Palace, Al Habtoor City, (04 435 5577).


Mama Zonia

Dine in the jungle without hopping on a plane. There are ace views over Dubai Marina and the food is as good as the setting. The scallop nigiri is one of the best dishes we’ve had.
Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 240 4747).

Streetery Food Hall by Zen

This newcomer to JLT’s Cluster D features a series of different kitchens dedicated to cooking up dishes from Asia’s foodie hotspots such as Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai.
Lake level, Cluster D, JLT (04 587 3373).


This al fresco restaurant is a charming spot views out over the beach, it serves up dishes from regional Italy, the French Riviera and Levant cuisine, including fresh fish.
Emerald Palace Kempinski Dubai, Palm Jumeirah (04 248 8890).

Han Shi Fu
This quirky Asian fusion gastropub with multiple dining areas and a resident DJ is operated by the same team as Din Tai Fung, offering classic Chinese dishes from Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai, albeit with a modern twist.
Aloft Deira City Centre, (04 228 1075).

Hillhouse Brasserie
A chic, casual eatery that promises a family-friendly vibe by day, serving light meals and afternoon tea, and by night the atmosphere tranforms into a buzzing brasserie serving pasta and risotto, seafood, steak and grills.
Dubai Hills Golf Club, Al Khail Road (800 666 353).

Ketch Up
Enjoy an all-American-inspired menu in Ketch Up's stylish but laid-back setting with steaks, burgers, smoked meats and five varieties of ketchup. There’s also a vegetarian offering. The crab and shrimp cakes are a highlight.
Bluewaters Dubai, (056 163 7463).

This comfortable well-lit space delivers a neighbourhood feel and the menu serves a variety of ‘soul food’ dishes cooked in traditional ways such as yuca fries, duck leg tagine, scallops, crispy sea bass and delicious desserts.
Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, (04 338 8717).

Meaning ‘my community’ in different languages and cultures, Mohalla is an ode to the authentic street cooking of rural India with all its variety, spices, flavours and colours, in an arty, warm, urban interior.
Dubai Design District, Ras Al Khor Road (04 427 2855).

Stoke House
Weekend brunches, live barbecue stations, a pizza oven, happy-hour sundowners and an outdoor terrace embody this family-friendly eatery offering steak, burgers, fresh seafood and salads.
Trump International Golf Club, (04 245 3939).

Urth Caffé
On a mission to provide ‘health-conscious coffee’, first set up in LA in 1991, Urth aims to bring laid-back LA cool to Dubai’s busy streets. Sustainable dishes include matcha pancakes, sandwiches, vegan fare and lots of salads.
City Walk, (04 589 7413).



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 fantastically tasty, interesting variation on what you’ve come to expect from classics. This place picks up as the night goes on, so arrive ready to get involved with some plate smashing and Zorba dancing.
Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 357 0557)


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.
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.
Bluewaters Dubai (056 913 4699).

This Venetian-style Italian showcasing Japanese flavours has been wowing New Yorkers for years. The indoor space depicts a boat-shaped structure, kitted out with wooden gondolas and oars. Highlights include buffalo ricotta ravioli, peppered beef tagliata and ossobucco with saffron risotto.
Emerald Palace Kempinski, (04 248 8870).

Hell’s Kitchen
You can’t miss the H-K logo and slick red and blue show kitchen and seats facing the open kitchen offer maximum dramatics. The menu is packed with British signature offerings; even Ramsay’s famous beef Wellington.
Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, (04 556 6466).

This contemporary pan-Asian steakhouse offers an extensive menu showcasing Japanese cuisine and split into three groups – small plates, steamed dumplings and mains – to be relished in elegant surroundings.
Emerald Palace Kempinski, Palm Jumeirah, (04 248 8850).

miX by Alain Ducasse
Launched by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, miX offers a French fine-dining experience inspired by local and international influences. Guests can enjoy al fresco dining on the sixth floor rooftop, surrounded by views of the sea and Palm Jumeirah.
Emerald Palace Kempinski, Palm Jumeirah, (04 248 8860).

The Galliard
A Turkish-Mediterranean concept including a bustling open kitchen, a sophisticated bar and an open-air terrace that boasts stunning views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, this Istanbul export offers signature Turkish dishes such as cig kofte, manti and duck confit.
Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (052 489 9982).

Zhen Wei Dim Sum
Delight in authentic, pan-Asian dishes such as hand-pulled noodles and handmade dim sum, straight from the streets of Hong Kong. Highlights include whole Beijing duck, kung pao lobster and Cantonese seabass.
Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, (04 556 6666).

Perched on the pool terrace overlooking vistas of the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain, Zeta presents Californian-Asian cuisine, plenty of sushi and sashimi as well as tartare, tempura and seafood.
Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai, (04 888 3444).

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