Favorite Food Places In Dubai

Favorite Food Places In Dubai

When I was 26 and incidentally in Dubai on a work trip

I’m a ridiculously over-the-top, eat-everything-in-sight kind of foodie (big secret). I don’t experiment a whole lot but I’ve got a decent enough list on hand for whenever we’re wanting to order in/eat out (basically, all the time). These are definitely not the best restaurants in Dubai because I’m not a dedicated food blogger or have tried everything (although what a fantasy that would be) but these are my favorite food places in the city – some that I probably just like for one item.

Hope it helps you guys and if you try something out and love it, tell me (not open to criticism at all. Just kidding, bros………..Not really).


Categories: Breakfast, Lunch/Dinner, Brunches, Chaats, Desserts, Chai Spots. Some of the items in the desserts section are already listed in the lunch/dinner section for the restaurant they belong to (along with the main courses) but I relisted them in the desserts part for easier access.

Things you can find for each entry: Type of Cuisine, What I love there, Where it’s located, Website, Price Range, Restaurant Vibe, Any additional notes/comments. All price ranges are from Zomato. None of these places qualify as fine dining and also don’t really need a reservation (mentioned in the comments where I think you should get one if you’re time constrained).

Note: I LOVE lamb. For most of the recommendations they have chicken also so you can order that. Although the lamb here is done exceptionally well and doesn’t smell so you should give it a shot.
Any images that are not mine are credited.

Let’s go.

BREAKFAST


Sirloin Tips & Eggs at IHOP



IHOP
Cuisine: American
Price Range: AED 150 (2 people)
What I Love: Pancakes, Sirloin Tips & Eggs, Volcano Shrimp (non-breakfast item)
Restaurant Vibe: Diner
Comments: I like IHOP’s volcano shrimp more than P.F. Chang’s (see below in P.F. Chang’s section).
Reservation: Busy on the weekends with usually upto a 20 min wait.
Locations: here
Website: www.facebook.com/IhopDubai
Image Credit: Yelp

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LUNCH/DINNER


Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls at The Cheesecake Factory



The Cheesecake Factory
Cuisine: American
Price Range: AED 250 (2 people)
What I Love: Brown Bread, (Starters) Fried Macaroni & Cheese Balls, Crabcakes, Crispy Crab Wontons, Crabcakes, (Main Course) Steak Diane & Shrimp Scampi, Hibachi Steak, Pasta Carbonara, Spicy Chicken Sandwich in Chipotle Sauce, (Desserts) Oreo Milkshake, Original Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cheesecake
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Everything is very heavy so you’ll probably need to share. Also, I do my steaks medium-well.
Reservation: Busy on weekends with a usual wait upto 30-40 mins. Book ahead or walk around the mall with your beeper (50m range).
Locations: here
Website: here
See my blog post on this here.

Chicken Wings in Crazy and Garlic Parmesan flavors with Curly Fries at Original Wings & Rings

Original Wings & Rings 
Cuisine: American
Price Range: AED 150 (2 people)
What I Love: Onion Rings, Buffalo Nachos, Chicken Wings (‘crazy’ flavor), Curly Fries, Cheesecake, Brownie
Restaurant Vibe: Sports Bar
Locations: Liberty House, DIFC
Website: www.originalwingsandrings.ae
See my blog post on this here.


Sticky Chicken Wings at The Butcher Shop & Grill










The Butcher Shop & Grill

Cuisine: South African
Price Range:
AED 250 (2 people)
What I Love: Sticky Chicken Wings, Beef Ribs
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: www.butchershoparabia.com

Beef Lasagne at La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

Cuisine: Italian
Price Range: AED 180 (2 people)
What I Love: Lasagna Di Manzo (beef lasagne), Ravioli Spinaci
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: The Walk, JBR
Website: here
Image Credit: La Dolce Vita FB
Friday Brunch at Story Rooftop Lounge

Story Rooftop Lounge
Cuisine:
Peruvian
Price Range: AED 250 (2 people)
What I Love: Empanadas Queso (cheese empanadas), Croquetas De Pollo (chicken croquettes), Beef spring rolls
Restaurant Vibe: Lounge/Outdoor Casual Dining
Comments: You can order off the menu or go to their evening brunch on Fridays and enjoy the buffet, in which case request a table outdoors since the interior is very club-like (and that’s not my thing)
Location: Media City
Website: www.facebook.com/StoryDubai
See my blog post on this here.
Al Hallab
Cuisine:
Lebanese
Price Range: AED 120 (2 people)
What I Love: Chicken Liver in Pomegranate Sauce, Meat Shawarma with Pine Nuts
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: I always go to the one in Mall of the Emirates. Don’t reject the pomegranate sauce, you’ve got to try it.
Locations: here
Website: here
Image Credit: Al Hallab FB
Almaz by Momo
Cuisine: Moroccan
Price Range: AED 250 (2 people) 
What I Love: Chicken Liver in Pomegranate Sauce
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Only tried the chicken livers here and they are phenomenal
Locations: here
Website: here
BBQ Steak Wrap from Zaatar w Zeit
Zaatar w Zeit
Cuisine: Lebanese
Price Range: AED 120 (2 people)
What I Love:
BBQ Steak Wrap, Mighty Kafta Wrap, Halloumi Bacon Wrap
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Have listed the wraps in order of preference but all are great.
Locations: here
Image credit: Mealadvisors
Lamb Mandi at Al Tawasol
Al Tawasol
Cuisine: Yemeni
Price Range: AED 70 (2 people)
What I Love: Lamb Mandi (they also have chicken)
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining (mostly traditional floor seating)
Comments: 4/5 times their mandi is kickass. The one odd time is alright (versus its own self). Average stats based on experience.
Location: Al Rigga
Website: here
Special Donner Wrap in Lamb at The Kebab Shop
The Kebab Shop
Cuisine:
Turkish
Price Range: AED 100 (2 people)
What I Love: Special Donner Wrap in Lamb
Restaurant Vibe: Diner
Comments: I order from the Discovery Gardens branch via home delivery.
Locations: here
Website: www.tks.ae
See my blog post on this here.
Chicken Shawarma at Shami Gourmet
Shami Gourmet
Cuisine:
Syrian
Price Range: AED 90 (2 people)
What I Love: Chicken Shawarma, Margarita Pizza
Restaurant Vibe: Diner/Outdoor Casual Dining
Comments: The margarita pizza is nothing like a regular margarita pizza but it’s delicious.
Locations: Dubai Marina
Website: www.facebook.com/ShamiGourmet
Image credit: Shami Gourmet FB

Dar El Kamar
Cuisine:
Egyptian
Price Range: AED 100 (2 people)
What I Love: Koshari/Kushary (it’s under the ‘special plates’ section on their menu)
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: I’ve always had it delivered, haven’t ever visited the restaurant.
Location: Dubai Marina
Website: www.facebook.com/darelkamar
Afghani Pulao at Al Kabab Al Afghani

Al Kabab Al Afghani
Cuisine:
Afghani
Price Range: AED 60 (2 people)
What I Love: Afghani pulao with lamb, Chicken Karahi
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining (traditional floor seating as well)
Comments: I request extra raisins on the side for the Afghani Pulao. This restaurant has other branches too but I only prefer the quality in the Sharjah one.
Location: Sharjah
Website: www.zomato.com/sharjah/al-kabab-al-afghani-al-majaz

Chapli Kebab at Wakha

Wakha
Cuisine: Afghani/Shinwari
Price Range: AED 120 (2 people)
What I Love: Larlayee Karahi, Chapli Kebab
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: It’s always jampacked. Order on the home at least 1.5 hours ahead of actually going otherwise you’ll be waiting there forever.
Locations: Barsha
Website: www.facebook.com/wakharestaurant
Image credit: Wakha FB
P. F. Chang’s
Cuisine:
Chinese
Price Range: AED 200 (2 people)
What I Love: Dynamite Shrimp, Hot & Sour Soup, Crispy Honey Chicken, Mongolian Beef
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: In my opinion, the dynamite shrimp is definitely great but not so-crazy-good-you’ll-go-psycho, as everyone says they are (expectation setting).
Locations: here
Website: here
Image credit: P. F. Changs FB
BBQ Beef Bento + some random sushi at Sumo Sushi & Bento
Sumo Sushi & Bento
Cuisine:
Japanese
Price Range: AED 100 (2 people)
What I Love: Crunchy Crazy Roll, Samurai Roll, BBQ Beef Bento
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations:
here
Website:
www.sumosushibento.com
Image Credit: Sumo Sushi FB

Cashew Nut Chicken At Fuchsia

Fuchsia
Cuisine:
Thai
Price Range: AED 150 (2 people)
What I Love:
Cashew Nut Chicken (mild), Garlic with Beef (spicy), Panang Curry, Banana Fritters
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: here
See my blog post on this here.
Wrap & Roll Haandi
Cuisine: Pakistani
Price Range: AED 60 (2 people)
What I Love: Beef Nihari, Friday Halwa Poori breakfast
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Their nihari is amazing. Also, they home deliver the halwa poori to certain locations until 3 pm on Fridays.
Locations: here
Website: www.facebook.com/Haandi.UAE

Haleem at Student Biryani

Student Biryani
Cuisine:
Pakistani
Price Range: AED 60 (2 people)
What I Love: Haleem, Zarda, Taftaan, Sheermal
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: I order from the Barsha location. Sheermal and taftaan have to be ordered a day prior (currently their sheermal/taftaan maker is on a month’s vacation until April 2016).
Locations: here
Website: www.studentbiryani.ae
Image Credit: Student Biryani
Chicken Tikka Inn
Cuisine: Pakistani
Price Range: AED 60 (2 people)
What I Love: Mutton Behari Kebab with Paratha, Chicken Tikka (leg/breast pieces)
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: www.chickentikkainn.com
Kabab King
Cuisine: Pakistani
Price Range: AED 80 (2 people)
What I Love: Haleem, Chaats
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: Discovery Gardens
Website: here

Keema Naan at G. T. Road

G. T. Road
Cuisine: Varied – Kabuli, Peshawari, Delhi
Price Range: AED 85 (2 people)
What I love: Keema naan, Namkeen Grill, Chapli Kebab, Thaa Cola, Pistachio Ice Cream
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: Tecom
Website: https://www.facebook.com/gtroaddubai 


Chicken Garlic Mayo Roll at Hot n Spicy

Hot ‘n Spicy
Cuisine: Pakistani
Price Range: AED 100 (2 people)
What I Love: Garlic Mayo Roll, Beef Behari Roll, Keema & Paratha (only on Fridays breakfast), Ras Malai
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: Tecom
Website:
www.hotnspicy.ae
Image Credit: Hot n Spicy FB
Bhunna Gosht at Fusion
Fusion
Cuisine: Indian
Price Range: AED 100 (2 people)
What I Love: Bhunna Gosht, Lacha Paratha
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: Cluster G, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Website: www.fusion.ae
Image Credit: Fusion
Domino’s
Cuisine: Pizza

Price Range: AED 80 (2 people)
What I Love: Extravaganza flavor in a Crispy Melt crust
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: www.facebook.com/DominosUAE

Al Pollo in Salsa Rossa at Red Tomato

Red Tomato Pizza

Cuisine: Pizza

Price Range: AED 110 (2 people)
What I Love: Al Pollo in Salsa Rossa
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: This is a very, very, very thin crust pizza. One large can be easily finished between two people. The chicken in this pizza should be minced or shredded. A couple of times they have sent large chicken chunks on top of the pizza, which is not as great, so ask them about the chicken before ordering.
Locations: here
Website: www.redtomato.biz
Image Credit: Zomato
Club Sandwich at Filli

Filli
Cuisine: Tea & Snacks

Price Range: AED 50 (2 people)
What I Love: Filli Tea Zafran, Ginger Tea, Fil Club Sandwich, Cookie Monster Milkshake
Restaurant Vibe: Café
Comments: I love the one at Kite Beach. 
Locations: here
Image Credit: Filli 

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BRUNCHES/BUFFETS
I see brunches as a time to really enjoy with friends or family, have a relaxed meal and unwind with food. Not everything at the below brunches is amazing, but enough things are, so you will walk away with a few great things in your tummy.
Chocolate Fondue at The Californian Friday Brunch in Dusit Thani

The Californian at Dusit Thani Dubai
Cuisine: They have 6-7 cuisines (I think).

Price Range: AED 225 per head

What I Love: Friday Brunch. I loved the Kung Pao Chicken, Seafood Noodles, Choc-Vanilla Profiteroles.
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Great for hanging out with friends
Locations: Sheikh Zayed Road
Website: http://www.dusit.com/dusitthani/dubai/
See my blog post on this here.

Duck with Orange Sauce at the Fountain Restaurant Brunch in Movenpick Bur Dubai

Fountain Restaurant at Movenpick Bur Dubai
Cuisine: They have 5 cuisines (I think).

Price Range: AED 195 per head and upwards

What I Love: Friday Brunch. I loved the Duck in Orange Sauce, Lancashire Hotpot, Sushi, Dahi Puri, Waffles, Bread Pudding,. Kids menu is great.
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Family-friendly. Lots to keep the kids busy (kids menu, bouncing castle, movies, games).
Location: here
Website: here

Bar B.Q. Tonight
Cuisine: Pakistani

Price Range: AED 60 per head (per head, I think)
What I Love: Iftari buffet with a special shoutout to desserts.

Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: We usually do an iftari here every year.
Reservation: Must reserve ahead during Ramzan.
Location: Satwa
Website: http://www.bbqtonight.ae/home





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CHAATS

Kabab King
Price Range: AED 20 (2 people)
What: Papri Chaat, Dahi Puri
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: Discovery Gardens
Comments: I haven’t tried anything other than those two items but they have other chaat stuff on their menu too. They deliver but I always enjoy it at the restaurant more.
Website: here

Dabbawala
Price Range: AED 20 (2 people)
What: Pani Puri
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: Have it standing up outside at the counter, it’s super fun. I have it at the Karama branch.
Locations: here
Website: here
Bikanerwala
Price Range: AED 20 (2 people)
What: Dahi Puri
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Comments: They deliver but I always enjoy it at the restaurant more.
Website: www.bikanervala.ae

Bombay Chowpatty
Price Range: AED 20 (2 people)
What I Love: Dahi Puri
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: here
Billo Ice Cream: Haven’t tried their chaats but have heard good things. Their details are in the desserts section below.


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DESSERTS


Chocolate Brownie at Original Wings & Rings

Original Wings & Rings
Price Range: AED 30 (2 people) 
What I Love: Brownie, Cheesecake
Restaurant Vibe: Sports Bar
Locations: Liberty House, DIFC
See my blog post on this here.

Caramel Profiteroles at Katrina Sweets

Katrina Sweets
Price Range: AED 20 (2 people)
What I Love: Caramel Profiteroles, Honey Cake
Restaurant Vibe: Casfe
Locations: here
Comments: I get mine from the Barsha branch.
Website: http://www.katrinasweets.com/
See my blog post on this here.




Sukar House of Desserts
Price Range: AED 40 (2 people)
What I Love: Crème Caramel/ Caramel Pudding
Restaurant Vibe: Cafe
Location: Cluster Q, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Website: www.facebook.com/sukardesserts
See my blog post on this here.

Red Velvet Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory
Price Range: AED 70 (2 people)
What I Love: Oreo Milkshake, Original Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cheesecake
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Website: here
Image Credit: here


Baked Marshmallows at Big Chefs

Big Chefs
Price Range: AED 45 (2 people)
What: Baked Marshmallows
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: The Beach on JBR, Box Park
Website: http://www.bigchefs.co/
Image Credit: Big Chefs PR


Fruit Falooda at Haji Ali

Haji Ali

What: Fruit Falooda, Rose Falooda
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Locations: here
Comments: I prefer the fruit falooda but if you don’t want nuts/fruit, then go for the rose one.
Website: here
See my blog post on this here.

Punjabi Falooda at Billo Icecream


Billo Ice Cream
Price Range: AED 30 (2 people)
What I Love: Punjabi Falooda, Peshawari Ice-cream
Restaurant Vibe: Dessert Parlor

Comments: Haven’t tried their chaats but have heard good things
Locations: here
Website: http://www.billoicecream.com/

Molten Chocolate Cake at 800 Pizza

800 Pizza
Price Range: AED 45 (2 people) 

What I Love: Molten Chocolate Cake
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Comments: I’ve only tried this at the Dubai Marina branch
Locations: here
Website: http://www.800pizza.com/
Image Credit: here


Red Velvet Cupcake at Hey Sugar



Hey Sugar
Price Range: AED 30 (2 people)

What I Love: Red Velvet Cupcake
Restaurant Vibe: Dessert Parlor/Bakery
Comments: I’ve tried Magnolia and this one is far superior.
Locations: Village Mall in Jumeirah, Mirdiff City Centre, Palm, Meadows Town Center
Website: here
Image Credit: Hey Sugar FB






Garrett Popcorn 
Price Range: AED 50 (2 people)

What I Love: Caramel Cashew Popcorn, Pecan Caramel Popcorn
Restaurant Vibe: Counter

Locations: Yas Mall, Dubai Mall
Comments: Taste-test the flavors to check which one you like.
Website: here

Image Credit: Garrett Popcorn


Original Glazed Doughnuts at Krispy Kreme



Krispy Kreme

Price Range: AED 10 (2 people)
What I Love: Original Glazed, Caramel Kreme Crunch
Restaurant Vibe: Dessert Parlor


Hot ‘n Spicy

Price Range: AED 30 (2 people)
What I Love: Ras Malai
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: Tecom
Website: www.hotnspicy.ae



Matka Kulfi at Kabab Rolls



Kabab Rolls
Price Range: AED 30 (2 people) 
What I Love: Matka Kulfi
Restaurant Vibe: Casual Dining
Location: here
Website: www.kababrolls.com
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CHAI SPOTS

Filli Cafe

Filli
Cuisine:
Tea & Snacks

Price Range: AED 30 (2 people)
What I Love: Filli Tea Zafran, Ginger Tea, Fil Club Sandwich, Cookie Monster Milkshake
Locations: here
Website: www.fillicafe.com

Dunya Al Sham

Dunya Al Sham
Cuisine:
Tea
Price Range: AED 10 (2 people)
What I Love: Zafran Tea, Ginger Tea
Comments: No seating space, you can hang out in your car or stand outside
Location: Satwa
Website: here

Image Credit: Zomato

Caramel Bun at Papparoti

Papparoti
Cuisine:
Tea & Buns
Price Range: AED 40-50 (2 people)
What I Love: Karak Tea, Ginger Tea, Caramel Bun
Restaurant Vibe: Cafe
Locations: here
Website: here

I’ll keep updating this list as I find more stuff and will soon put a link to it in the sidebar as well for easier access. You can bookmark it until I do that or just search for ‘favorite food places’ in the search bar on the blog.

Also check out the list of all my favorite high street clothing stores in Dubai.

Until next time.

20 Comments

  1. Omg. I love food!

    I had this amazing Mandi in Dubai, and didn't remember which restaurant I had it at. But Al Tawasol it was!!!! Thanks food-friend! 😀 haha

    1. Author

      Haha. High-five fellow foodie. It's literally a tragedy when you can't remember a fantastic food place!

  2. You are an angel in beautiful disguise :* pappi

  3. Good Lordddd!! This post makes me want to fly to Dubai right now…!!!

    *secretly wishes, husband comes home with tickets & everything*

    P.s: love the post, as usual.

    ^F^

  4. Don't live in Dubai. Probably will never go there but still enjoyed this post because your food photography is gorgeous in all the right tummy rumble inducing ways.

    – Mahnoor

  5. You mentioned Chicken tikka Inn. Your list, for the likes of me is totally credible! :o)

    p.s. Chicken tikka Inn behind Nasr Square.

  6. Bus I am going to make this my Dubai Bucket List the next time I am there 😀 Love love love for PF Chang's, Cheesecake Factory,Al Halab, Mandi and 800 Pizza <3

  7. Such a detailed and beautifully done post. You are such a hard worker dww

  8. Hey, quick correction. Almaz by Momo is Moroccan, not Lebanese. Cheers!

  9. Our food taste is so similar! Can you recommend any amazing Biryani eatout in Dubai?

    1. Author

      Im still looking for the perfect biryani:( I really like the mutton biryani at Dumpukht in JLT. And Student Biryani is also decent.

  10. Hi! Love your blog. You sometimes snapchat about home cooked food you get delivered in Dubai, could you possibly let us know the details?

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