50 meals for 50 dirhams

Modest meals and bargain bites are a good way to make savings on your budget. <em>Time Out</em> selects 50 Dubai restaurants where you can eat for less than Dhs50

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...

31 Mini-Chinese: Mini Chinese is a clean, neat and actually rather Japanese styled diner that can’t quite make up its mind whether it is a fast food joint or a sit down restaurant. Smatterings of famed Wallasse Ting prints spark up the whitewashed walls, and set the scene for the rainbow spectrum of dishes that come steaming from the kitchen in tooth white bowls. Service is equally neat, efficient and polite, but ordering can be a little difficult - if only for the fact that far too many dishes sound far too delicious.

32 Mithaas: If you are searching for great puris, look no further than this hole-in-the-wall joint, stuck next to the Choithram supermarket on Rolla Road. Definitely one of Dubai’s finest puri houses, Mithaas specialises in deliriously tasty pani puri – bite-sized crisp bread filled with explosively spiced green lentils, sev puri and the regal dhai patata puri stuffed with potato and yoghurt. There are endless varieties of fiercely addictive sweets available.

33 New Sind Punjab: A bustling budget Pakistani eaterie, New Sind Punjab offers some of the best cheap Pakistani meals around. Start off with a plate of vegetable patties, samosas and crunchy popadoms (with mango chutney, chickpea chole and raita on the side). For mains you’d be well advised to pick the butter chicken – it’s absolutely fantastic. Couple it with a portion of plain rice and a butter naan or two and your taste buds will be reeling with joy.

34 Oasis: Situated in the shadow of a mosque, the Oasis Restaurant is a no-frills joint that serves the beach crowd with top-quality cheapo comestibles. You can get a speedy take-out brought to your car, or go inside and let the green-clad waiters serve up some of the best chicken shawarmas in town. Double up with a small banana juice and it’s all yours for less than Dhs10.

35 One Café: Like the Ikea Café this is not the sort of joint you would cross town to enjoy. If you find yourself in the Jumeirah area, however, you should give it a try. The food is excellent and if you order wisely you can have a good meal here for less than Dhs50. Our tip is to go early in the day as this is one of Dubai’s best breakfast spots.

36 Pak Ghazi: Although the view from this Bur Dubai restaurant is hardly spectacular, you can grab a table on the pleasant little outdoor terrace and be treated to a simple salad, raita sauce and puffed naan breads to accompany shammi kebabs as soft as a Dhs10 speeding fine. Then move onto a murky peshwari chicken karahi in a kitchen-battered steel pot. The chunks of curry-soaked meat fall easily from clunky bones onto splendidly pert basmati rice, where the rugged cauliflower and clustered potato of a lively aloo gobi are bunched in a snarl-up of spice.

37 Paratha King: The little Karama shop may not be much to look at: the inside boasts a single table and a register for taking orders. But that’s OK, because obviously it’s a place dedicated to takeaway, and they’ve pretty much got the formula down. While the menu is diverse, there is only one item on offer. Care to harbour a guess? That’s right, paratha, aka, stuffed Indian flatbread. Paratha King has more than 100 different varieties. The best in town? Show us any better and we’ll be happy.

38 Puranmal: Just by the Arabian Courtyard Hotel is one of Dubai’s cleanest, most authentic, independent Indian vegetarian restaurants. This establishment is a firm favourite with the Indian community, and for good reason. The food here is stellar, although it can get too spicy if you don’t alert the waiter. The best thing about Puranmal is the prices, which are low enough to encourage diners to try more than one dish. If you have trouble picking out the right dahl, or if you can’t decide between the butter naan and the plain one, ask the waiters for help.

39 Rangoli: Situated at the heart of the Meena Bazaar, in Dubai’s Little India, this vegetarian restaurant enjoys a stellar reputation. It’s certainly not the most stylish restaurant in Dubai, yet the café-like interior has been spruced up in recent times. The Gujarati buffet only costs Dhs10 and gives you the choice of three vegetable dishes, dahl and kadhi, rice, puris, raita, rotis and a number of chutneys and pickles. Alternatively the à la carte menu offers cheap dishes such as the methi paratha, a flatbread stuffed with fenugreek greens, and samosas with tamarind chutney.

40 Ravi Restaurant: Most nihari shops in Delhi and Lahore are modest canteens, serving dishes into the early hours. Ravi Restaurant in Satwa is Dubai’s own established example of the genre. It’s best visited in the early hours, when the wipe-clean outdoor tables are bustling with boisterous groups. The menu’s long and includes many familiar generic Punjabi dishes, but we can recommend both the haleem and the nihari, served with hot flatbreads.

Read 1-10 Afghan Kebab House to Baithal Ravi Restaurant click here
Read 11-20 Baitong Thai Restaurant to Eat and Drink click here
Read 21-30 Goto King to Mak’s Food click here
Read 41-50 Remo Café Restaurant to Yahala Restaurant click here

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