The essential guide to Dubai's Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Top restaurants to dine at, things to do, wondrous waterways and everything in between

The essential guide to Dubai’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah

When it comes to munching around some of the best restaurants in Dubai, and enjoying a slice of ancient Arabia while you’re at it, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is your go to for the top places to eat and things to do.

Interconnected by 3km of wondrous waterways and surrounded by lush gardens, the luxurious location is an ideal setting for a scenic route through top-class restaurants, buzzing bars and superb shopping.

The idyllic stretch is made up of three stunning hotels, including Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Mina A'Salam and Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf (oh, and with stunning views of the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah), all connected through turquoise waterways.

After you are well fed and watered, make your way through the traditional market-style complex, combining Arabian shopping stands, barrows and stalls with a blend of boutique brands, souvenir gift shops and luxury fashion and jewellery outlets.

Before all that though, check out all the spots to treat yourself to a fine feed below.

Al Makan
For a picturesque setting with views of the Burj Al Arab while digging into traditional Emirati cuisine, Al Makan is your go-to. Well-established and situated in the heart of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, expect a selection of reasonably priced local dishes and take in those views.
Open Sat-Wed noon-12.30am, Thu-Fri noon-1am (04 368 6593).

Americano
Jazz music, tango, industrial interiors – old-fashioned bar and restaurant Americano will take you back to the 1920s. Based near The Meat Co., the trendy hangout delivers a mix of brass and leather, along with snazzy mixed drinks and plenty of top pub grub. Oh, and don’t forget all the tomfoolery to be had once the sun goes down. It has an outside terrace on the Souk Boardwalk for classy sundowners.
Open daily noon-3am. www.americano.ae (04 584 6475).

Anar
Anar’s classic Persian cuisine doesn’t disappoint, offering an authentic taste of Iran, albeit with a Western edge. Placed right in the middle of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, expect this place to pretty much always be buzzing, and we can see why with its various mezze and salads, lamb and chicken kebabs, seafood dishes and larger platters.
Open daily noon-11.30pm. www.anardubai.com (04 368 6505).

Belgian Café
Good things come in threes, so they say, but this branch of Dubai’s popular Belgian Café not only outshines the other two with its views, but it may just have some of the best views across Dubai full stop. This Euro-pub delivers platters of Belgian bites, speciality hops and sunset vibes worth talking about. For some of the city’s best views and deals, head here.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am (04 447 0227).

folly By Nick & Scott
Dubai’s folly by Nick & Scott is popular for many a reason. It’s a former winner of Time Out Dubai’s Best European Restaurant Award, it has a super ladies’ night, there’s a stunning rooftop bar and it boasts amazing views across the Souk Madinat's waterways and out to the Palm Jumeirah. So, that’s good reason for you to head on over there.
Open daily noon-midnight. www.folly.ae (04 430 8535).

Fruteiro do Brasil
Street-side stalls selling ‘vitaminas’ (fresh juices) in all manner of tropical fruit flavours are as common in Brazil as football fans. At this juice bar at Souk Madinat Jumeirah you can sample these fresh and fruity Brazilian concoctions. There is even a beach to complete the Rio-inspired experience.
Open daily 10am-10.30pm (04 526 0515).

Gelato Divino
Is walking around the many shops of the Souk getting you hot and bothered? We’re fairly sure an icy gelato will cool you down, and you can get many flavours of creamy goodness at Gelato Divino.
Open daily noon-midnight (04 331 0266).

KLounge
If you’re after chilled al fresco vibes with platters of European delights, including salads, pastas and seafood stands, head to KLounge. There’s even shisha to have on its outdoor terrace.
Open daily noon-3am (04 4585858).

Maria Bonita
One of Dubai’s longest-standing Mexican eateries, this place has been popular for years, and when you see the prices you’ll understand why. Homely, charming, tasty food and excellent bang for your buck – Maria Bonita gets our stamp of approval, and has done for years.
Open daily noon-midnight (04 395 5576).

McGettigan's Souk Madinat Jumeirah
An Irish staple we can’t help but head back to, and there’s a warm family feel to the Souk Madinat Jumeirah branch of McGettigan’s. The terrace boasts top views, while indoors is cavernous, yet retains its homely feel, and there’s a bit of a dancefloor should the feeling take over. For chilled vibes along the Souk’s waterways, head here.
Open Sun-Tue noon-2am, Wed-Thu noon-3am, Fri 9am-2am, Sat 9am-3am. www.mcgettigans.com (04 447 0219).

Perry & Blackwelder's
For plenty of drink deals, huge space upstairs and down, along with its lip-smacking chicken wings Perry & Blackwelder's is the Deep South barbecue smokehouse you’ll be craving. P&B offers a sizeable menu of comfort food favourites as well as loads of freakshakes, along with a spacious outdoor terrace and a lower floor where the real party happens.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am (800 666353).

Publique
A fun, ski-themed eatery with warming comfort food, you’ll find plenty of dirham-savings deals at Publique. And if you like cheese, you’ll definitely love it here. Hot stone cooking, tartiflette and fondue are its three highlights, and the latter is a molten, rich, cheesy delight.
Open daily noon-2am. www.publique.ae (04 430 8550).

Segreto
It’s one of Dubai most romantic Italian restaurants, and it comes with a whole heap of tasty pasta dishes to tuck into. This is a friendly, comfortable restaurant, but you’ll also want to stay up top and explore the aperitivo deals at Segreto’s impressive terrace bar.
Sun-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat noon-4pm and 6pm-11.30pm (800 666353).

Taverna
Is this laid-back Greek restaurant worth all the tasty dishes at some surprisingly reasonable prices? Definitely. As you'd expect, this Greek restaurant at Souk Madinat Jumeirah does Mediterranean food well, especially its board of tiger prawns and traditional Greek tzatziki. Taverna now boasts an outdoor bar called Aegean on the Souk Boardwalk, with exteriors designed with rustic vibes, greenery and lounge seating.
Open daily noon-midnight. www.tavernagreek.ae (04 589 5665).

The Meat Co.
It’s fine-dining at its most relaxed at this African steakhouse, and if the name didn't give it away, this is most definitely a place for meat-eaters (and for vegetarians, too). The Meat Co. has officially reopened its doors after a revamp, and it comes with a whole-new look both indoors and on its newly-installed outdoor deck. Expect everything from speciality burgers and steaks, to a list of veggie options to tuck into.
Open daily noon-midnight (04 368 6040).

The Noodle House
Look forward to dishes and décor inspired by the bustling street markets of Jakarta at this famous Dubai restaurant. Expect to see a range of colourful and cultural sights and themes, and a totally traditional approach to Asian dining, along with the promise of “sticks-hands-spoons” dining.
Open Sat-Wed 11.30am-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 11.30am-12.30am (04 366 6345).

Trader Vic's
Delve into some signature Polynesian dishes (that include its famed jalapeño cheese balls) and feel those Hawaiian vibes at Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s Trader Vic’s branch. Expect a Cuban band to be playing live tunes each week, Pacific décor and waterfront views on its terrace while sipping on the bar's famous tropical mixed drinks – all by the Madinat’s water canal.
Open daily noon-2am. www.tradervicsmadinat.com (04 368 6559).

Trattoria Toscana
Exposed brick, distressed wood, oversized cushions and a sleek open kitchen hung with big, shiny brass pots and pans make Trattoria Toscana an attractive place to dine. There are some interesting pizza choices here, too (truffle fondue, porcini mushrooms, smoked beef ham and rocket, for instance), but for the ultimate pizza, we say go for a simple classic, and the margherita really excels.
Open daily noon-11.45pm (800 666353).

Ushna Restaurant
Filled with warm reds and oranges, vibrant drapes and intimate alcoves, this upmarket Indian restaurant in the heart of Souk Madinat Jumeirah, compete with show kitchen and an outdoor terrace, has brilliant views and plenty of Indian grub.
Open daily noon-midnight (04 368 6506).

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