WINNER: Miss Lily’s
This funky Jamaican restaurant is a massive hit in its native New York, and that popularity has been replicated here in Dubai. The cool, underground vibe, with pumping music and vibrant décor makes for a top night out. But it’s not all about the party – the food lives up to its end of the bargain and we can’t get enough of the jerk fish tacos. Feeling adventurous? Try the traditional goat curry. Upbeat, fun and one we want to return to time and again for good times and good food.
Open Sat Tue 7pm-1am; Wed-Fri 7pm-2am. Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 4074).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Key West
An excellent Caribbean/Floridian restaurant complete with laid-back island vibes. Set right on the beach with unfettered views out to sea, this is a chilled-out place to kick back. The food is excellent, from jerk chicken to ribs and juicy grilled prawns.
Open daily 5pm-11pm (dinner served from 7pm). Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Peal Jumeira (04 376 6000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill
Also highly commended in the seafood category, this fun, trendy restaurant is always packed. The North American-inspired dishes a served in a very cool setting, and the lobster rolls are not to be missed.
Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk JBR (04 457 6719).
SHORTLISTED: Black Tap
This New York favourite is popular for its delicious, innovative craft burgers and massive freakshakes.
Dhs250-350. Licensed. Open daily 11am-12.30am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai (04 422 9904). Other branch: Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR, www.blacktapme.com.
SHORTLISTED: Burger & Lobster
It does what it says on the tin. Order a burger, or a lobster, or both. A London favourite that has expanded here and is a hit.
Dhs350-500. Licensed. Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight; Thu-Fri noon-2am. Burj Daman Building, DIFC. (04 514 8838).
SHORTLISTED: Perry & Blackwelder's
A smokehouse, barbecue restaurant and bar over two floors with a terrace. Try smoked meats, mac ’n’ cheese, cornbread and other Deep South soul food favourites here.
Dhs250-350. Licensed. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 6197).
SHORTLISTED: Scape Restaurant
With a stunning location perched on the edge of the Burj Al Arab’s terrace, the restaurant serves Californian-influenced food, with dishes taking their cues from all over the world.
Dhs500+. Licensed. Open noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11pm. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).
SHORTLISTED: The Hide
An American meatery serving huge portions of hearty food. Great quality produce, well cooked.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open Sat-Thu 6pm-midnight; Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
SHORTLISTED: Ting Irie
Cracking Jamaican food that we can heartily recommend. The bill can quickly stack up if you don’t keep an eye on what you order.
Dhs500+. Licensed. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai (04 557 5601).
SHORTLISTED: Weslodge Saloon
Wonderful views, top music and excellent décor from a sky high vantage point. Plus the Canadian food (think poutine and grills) is ace, too.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open daily 5.30pm-2am. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 560 1700).