Uncovering the Best Places to Eat in Dubai

Al Khayma Heritage dishes
Photo credit: Al Khayma Heritage

If you have never been to Dubai before but are thinking about exploring this jewel of the Emirates with its spectacular architecture and five-star-resort-lined Jumeirah Beach, then one of the things you will want to research before you go, is where to eat when you are there, as the city offers a wide variety of cuisines that embrace different cultures to give visitors a unique culinary experience, from international cuisine to traditional Emirati delicacies. Dubai is without a doubt a food lover’s heaven with its ever changing culinary scene.

With this in mind, we have put together a roundup of some of the best places to eat, from homegrown farm to table concepts to more immersive cultural, foodie walking tours and award winning restaurants featured in the MICHELIN Guide.

The first restaurant on our must-try list is LOWE which is at the forefront of the farm-to-table and sustainable dining trend, and very much a pioneer in promoting the use of locally sourced, seasonal produce. It was rewarded for its sustainable efforts in 2022 with a Green MICHELIN star, thanks in part to the restaurants ‘waste not’ menus.

You can expect a contemporary and experimental dining experience, where food is cooked naturally by fire in the open kitchen, which has a charcoal grill, rotisserie and wood-fired oven. LOWE celebrates the beauty of rustic and approachable food, using traditional techniques to create unique and delicious flavours, and if you do go, we would recommend you try the whole roasted local sole with curry leaf and caper butter vinaigrette.

For more information and to book a table at LOWE, please visit: www.lowe-dubai.com

LOWE Dubai Dish
Photo credit: LOWE

Second on our list is Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant which is a relatively new addition to Dubai’s authentic Emirati restaurants, focussing on handpicked farm fresh ingredients to create a whole range of local favourites such as chebab which are Emirati pancakes and balaleet, a sweetened vermicelli with egg, and be sure to try the Hyderabadi Biryani. You’ll find the restaurant in the narrow streets of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and is well worth a visit if you really want to immerse yourself in the local culture during your trip to Dubai.

For more information and to make a reservation, please visit: www.alkhayma.com.

Out third restaurant to try when you’re in Dubai is 3FILS, which offers tranquil harbourside community dining and a great selection of premium Asian dishes with a Japanese twist. You will be encouraged to share and socialise with other diners while enjoying the restaurant’s innovative cuisine that has given 3FILS a top ten spot on MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards for three years in a row. 3FILS sources quality ingredients, including those from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market, as well as incorporating fusion and influence from UAE cuisine. Be sure to try the Wagyu carpaccio and truffle if you go.

For more information and to book a table at 3FILS, please visit: www.3fils.com.

BRIX is our fourth choice if you like desserts, as it is a contemporary dessert restaurant from the people behind 3FILS, serving delicious unique desserts, hand crafted chocolates and amazing tasting experiences that you won’t find anywhere else, such as the Snickers Bomb inspired by the popular chocolate bar or how about a four-course tasting menu inspired by the seasons. Brix creates intricate desserts to tempt the tastebuds, offering everything from a quick sweet treat to a multi-sensory sweet treat journey that engages all five senses.

If desserts are your thing, then try ‘Ananas’, which is a delicate bowl of pastry cream, caramelised pineapple, coconut mousse, peach sorbet and almond flakes.

For more information on BRIX and to book a table, please visit: www.brixdessert.com.

BRIX by 3FILS dessert
Photo credit: BRIX

Orfali Bros Bistro was recently named the region’s number one restaurant for the second year in a row in the 2024 MENA’s 50 Best and is number five on our list. It was also ranked No.46 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 and recognised with a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand.

Established only three years ago, Orfali Bros Bistro has quickly developed a loyal following among Dubai’s culinary enthusiasts as well as international visitors, offering an exceptional dining experience driven by some great storytelling. The menu pays homage to the three Orfali brothers’ Aleppian roots, blending Arabian themes with Dubai’s multicultural flair, and the must-try dish is the Umami éclair.

For more information and to book a table, please visit: www.orfalibros.com.

Frying Pan Adventures is run by sisters Arva and Farida, who will take you off the beaten path away from the main tourist hotspots and into Old Dubai on their foodie tours to uncover where the locals eat in the city. Frying Pan Adventures offers a variety of both private and group guided food tours from a Middle Eastern food pilgrimage to a tour of Dubai’s souks and the Creek. Their knowledgeable guides will teach you all about the city’s culinary offerings found in its back streets, winding alleys and bustling markets.

For more information and to book a guided tour, please visit: www.fryingpanadventures.com.

3FILS Dubai dish
Photo credit: 3FILS

If you are into art and culture, then Seven Paintings offers an avant-garde food experience that merges theatrics, technology and multimedia art across a two-hour seven-course dinner led by internationally renowned food artist and chef, Omar Satwari. You’ll enjoy a selection of creative beverages during the course of your dinner that features a story told by Leonardo da Vinci and Mona Lisa, where you will learn about the works of the great masters of art, such as Michelangelo, Banksy, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí and Vincent van Gogh.

For more information and to make a reservation, please visit: www.sevenpaintings.com.

Neighbourhood Food Hall places an emphasis on casual community dining that includes only niche, owner-driven homegrown brands. A “first-of-its-kind”, Neighbourhood Food Hall showcases cuisines from around the world, from Sri Lankan at Authentic Ceylon to Japanese at Maru Udon and Peruvian at Macchu Picchu for a true taste of Emirati favourites.

For more information and to book a spot, please visit: www.neighbourhoodfoodhall.com.

If you happen to be in Dubai from 19th April to 12th May 2024, then you will be able to enjoy the Dubai Food Festival which showcases the incredible and innovative food scene Dubai has to offer. Events include the Dubai Restaurant Week from 26th April, as well as the inaugural Chef’s Menu, where Dubai’s chefs will create exclusive menus of their most celebrated dishes.

The Dubai Food Festival will give you the opportunity to explore new restaurants and enjoy delicious foods across the city, including a selection of scheduled foodie experiences and master classes where you will learn about the flavours and traditions of Dubai.

For more information on this year’s festival, please visit: www.visitdubai.com/dubai-food-festival, and for more information about what there is to see and do in Dubai, please visit: www.visitdubai.com.

Author Bio:

Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a former member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.

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