There's a recession on, in case you hadn't realised, so it's time to save some cash and eat cheap.
Luckily, Time Out is here to help. We've found 50 places to dine out for Dhs50 and under in Dubai, so there's no need to stay home cursing the credit crunch.
Here are our 50 cheapest places in Dubai for a quick bite. Get munching...
1 Afghan Kebab House: Grab a naan bread the size of a continental quilt and use it like an oven glove to relieve a red-hot skewer of its meaty burden. There’s chicken, lamb and beef up for grabs – all licked into juicy tenderness by lashing flames – so if you’re with a group, a mixture of everything is a must.
2 Al Ijaza Café: Drive towards Umm Suqeim on Jumeirah Beach Road, past Choithram and Town Centre, and you’ll find the Al Ijaza Cafeteria, where a straightforward chicken sausage sandwich is no problem for the cheerful staff, but further exploration of the menu will reap dividends – we recommend asking for the cheese and honey filling for your sandwich.
3 Al Mallah: An old stalwart on the bustling Al Diyafah Street scene, Al Mallah is the place to go for simple Arabic fast food. Skip the mezze, which are much better elsewhere (try Sidra across the road), and munch on their winning shawarmas and falafel sandwiches.
4 Al Reef Lebanese Bakery: This stretch of Za’abeel Street, just down the street from the Karama post office, is the Lebanese bakery capital of Dubai. We presume that Al Reef and Al Arz bakeries, directly across the road from each other, are healthy old-fashioned competitors and advise you to eat at both and pick a favourite.
5 Al Tawasol: Try mandi, a deceptively simple dish of lamb or chicken and rice; it is tasty, and the meat is wonderfully tender. Enjoy with Arabic salad and a dollop of roup – essentially a runny yoghurt mixed with cucumber chunks – and you’ve got a splendid dinner awaiting you without having to threaten your bank account.
6 Amarvathi: For a cheap feast, choose the Punjabi Thali, which involves a mix of spicy curry, dahl, dips and rice. Vegetarians will love the dark and rich saag paneer, and everybody will be smitten with the garlic naan breads, but there’s so much variety that you could eat here every week for a year and have something entirely different every time.
7 Antar Cafeteria: Antar is not going to be posing a threat to the city’s more refined eateries anytime soon, set as it is by a sandpit in which four of the six customers it can accommodate at any one time must perch. But if it’s cheap and tasty calories you’re after, you could do a lot worse.
8 Arbal Iraqi Kabab and Restaurant: If Karama is inextricably linked with great Indian veggie food – and Jumeirah with the city’s best carrot cake – then Deira’s Al Muteena Street is the place to be if you’re looking for amazing Iraqi kebabs. For fans of grilled meat, there’s always plenty of excitement to be found here.
9 Ashrafi: If you fancy a curry in the Garhoud area, you could do a lot worse than to check out this budget palace of delights. The décor is simple, and the seating basic, but the curry is some of the hottest in town. We recommend starting off with a light vegetable pilau, a creamy firdauisi korma or a rich makharni murgh jahanogiri, a chicken dish that’s guaranteed to leave you with a tingling tongue. Service is very attentive throughout – spend Dhs20 and you’ll be treated like a king.
10 Baithal Ravi Restaurant: This Bur Dubai restaurant offers exactly the same line in superb sub-continental food as the more famous Ravi’s in Satwa. The Peshwari chicken kadai is a unique blend of sauce and spices surrounding tender pieces of chicken in a balti-style steel bowl that’s quite unlike anything we’ve had at the other Ravi’s. You might have to pick the meat from the bones, but it goes staggeringly well with the excellent egg biryani, which is stacked with hard-boiled treats among the fragrant grains of rice.
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