Last Updated on March 15, 2023
Whether you are looking for luxury dining in Dubai or the best homemade vegan ice cream, there are plenty of restaurants and roadside stalls for you to try. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know for the ultimate foodie experience in Dubai.
1. Experience the street food culture
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One of the best ways to experience the culinary offerings of Dubai is through the emirate’s street food offerings. The most common street food dish is shawarma. It consists of a fluffy flatbread filled with sliced chicken, lamb, or beef and loaded with fresh vegetables and a delicious tahini and garlic sauce.
According to locals, some of the best shawarmas can be found at Shawarma Twist. Including Ikea Bistro, Al Mallah, and Doors Freestyle Grill. Alternatively, for something more unique to Dubai, consider trying a shish taouk sandwich with thinly cut chicken inside a flatbread and topped with garlic, spices, vegetables, and pickles.
Everyone in Dubai has fond memories of a chips Oman roll, one of the region’s most beloved childhood meals. Made with spreadable cheese and smashed spicy potato chips. This sandwich can be found on the menu at every cafeteria or roadside stall.
Another delicious local snack is manakish, a pizza-like flatbread that is cooked in an oven with customizable toppings. Whether you are craving a meat-topped dish or a vegetable one, you are guaranteed to enjoy this classic Dubai roadside dish.
2. Expand your palate by trying camel meat
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There aren’t too many places in the world where you can order camel meat dishes off a menu. However, Dubai is one of those places!
As a foodie, it is essential that you try this ubiquitous and much-loved meat. For a sharing plate, opt for a stuffed camel option. As is the local custom, when eating the camel dish, you want first to scoop the rice with your hand and then arrange the meat on top, before squeezing it together and then pushing it into your mouth with your thumb.
Alternatively, many eateries offer dishes such as camel stir-fry, camel pizza, and a camel burger. Camel milk is full of vitamins, which explains why camel chocolate is so popular with those who like to indulge their sweet tooth. Camel meat is a rather healthy option as the meat is rich in vitamin C while also being relatively low in calories. You may be shocked to find that camel meat is one of the most budget-friendly options, which is yet another reason to give it a try!
3. Indulge in luxury dining
While street food is an integral part of Dubai’s food landscape, you also want to ensure you are getting a taste of the other side of the culinary offerings.
Luxury dining is a mainstay in Dubai (and the whole of the UAE), so you certainly won’t be short of options. As Dubai is home to 200+ nationalities, you can find cuisine from all over the world, from Indian to Spanish, Moroccan to North Korean. What’s more, in addition to being a memorable culinary experience, most of the luxury restaurants in Dubai also boast stunning décor and incredible views.
Recognized as Time Out Dubai’s Best Seafood Restaurant, Pierchic is a must-visit for seafood lovers. The eatery offers breathtaking views of the azure Gulf. Alternatively, the best steak in Dubai can be found at Doors Freestyle Grill, located at the heart of Al Seef village, where the menu is continually evolving.
For modern Asian cuisine, Eauzone is a popular choice due to its refined menu, poolside location, and beautiful views. Finally, for a luxurious traditional Arabian meal, it is worth making the 60-minute trip to Al Hadheerah. Located in the Bab Al Shams Resort, this restaurant is surrounded by sand dunes, and an evening here comes complete with entertainment, including actors riding horses, belly dancers, and henna tattoo artists.
4. Embrace sustainable options
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As a gastronomic destination, Dubai is ahead of the curve when it comes to contemporary food trends. Across the emirate, you can find plenty of creative approaches to food and dining. For example, there is a growing number of restaurants in Dubai that are at the forefront of the sustainability movement.
For instance, Wildflower uses fresh, local ingredients that support the local farmers’ market, while fine dining restaurant Zuma has banned plastic straws.
Similarly, vegan restaurants in Dubai have exploded in recent years with options such as Bounty Beets, Brambles, The Pearl Courtyard, and Akiba Dori, all growing loyal followings.
Amongst Few on Jumeirah Beach Road has delicious vegan pancakes on their menu, and Bareburger serves the plant-based Beyond Burger. Vietnamese Foodies not only has plenty of vegan options, but it also is one of the best budget restaurants in the city.
Finally, for dessert options, look no further than Comptoir 102, where they make homemade vegan ice cream. Other highly recommended options include the vegan donuts from Il Donaccino and a vegan afternoon tea from Wild & The Moon.
5. Reserve your brunch spot
If you are a fan of brunch at home, then you don’t need to give up your weekly ritual while traveling in Dubai. In the emirate, special brunches take place on a Friday afternoon with many restaurants across the city, offering special menus and experiences.
A typical Dubai brunch includes a buffet of incredible food that you can savor at a leisurely pace. Depending on the restaurant, there may be a broad spread of global dishes or one more specific cuisine. However, either way, you are guaranteed to have a luxurious dining experience.
If you want to eat as the locals do, then experiencing a Friday brunch is essential. Some popular brunch restaurants include Bubbalicious Brunch, Maya Mexican Kitchen, Toro Toro, and Jumeirah Al Qasr. Wherever you decide to go for brunch in Dubai, make sure you make a reservation. Otherwise, you may miss out on the chance to try the meal you crave.
Are you planning a foodie trip to Dubai soon, or have you recently returned? If so, where were your favorite places to eat? Do you have any recommendations for us?
Let us know in the comments below!