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Where to eat in Dubai – a food and dining guide

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Top five star restaurants offering a variety of international cuisines are part of the daily life for many Dubai residents and visitors.  Delve a bit deeper and you will find tasty, affordable roadside takeaways blending local dishes with the exotic and offering a mixture of Asian, Middle Eastern and international influences.

Andy Harbuk

My Destination local expert on


Top restaurants are scattered around Dubai serving fresh and lovingly prepared seafood and dishes that look like works of art. Breathtaking views complement the food; whether you are high up in the air or right along the scenic waterways. Markets are the cheapest way to dine in Dubai with Indian curries at food hawker stalls while roadside stalls serving local Arabic foods including falafel, shawarma (an Arabic roti stuffed with chicken and tomatoes, garlic, pickle and fries) and various breads are well worth checking out. Falafel and hummus are also popular treats while dates are a common appetizer served with a traditional Emirati tea.


Jumeirah & Dubai Marina


As the most upmarket and highly sought after districts in the city, Jumeirah and Dubai Marina offer plenty of exotic and exclusive restaurants that serve fine cuisines from around the world. Seafood is readily enjoyed everywhere and has become an alluring part of the staple Arabian diet. A host of restaurants are best enjoyed alongside the heart-stopping views of the Arabian Sea, with many offering eclectic and unique menus. Head over to the Dubai Marina, and enjoy world class food and service in style along Jumeirah Beach Residence or Marina Walk.


Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah Beach. Tel: +971 4 301 7777• Buddah Bar, Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina. Tel: +971 4 399 8888


Downtown Dubai


Downtown Dubai is a popular neighborhood thanks to its shopping and leisure facilities – think the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain. It’s also here that you will find Souk Al Bahar and The Old Town where you can get a more authentic Arabian feel with cafes and coffeehouses offering a welcome hideaway and authentic fare. Downtown Dubai is also home to some budget busting restaurants. At.mosphere is one such indulgence, located high up in Burj Khalifa (122 floors up) and holder of the Guinness World Record for the restaurant that’s highest from the ground floor.


At.mosphere, Level 122, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai. Tel: +971 4 888 3828• Thiptara, The Palace Downtown Dubai, Downtown Dubai. Tel: +971 4 888 3444


Hotel Restaurants


As one of the most luxurious destinations to visit in the world, it comes as no surprise that the best restaurants that serve Dubai’s many culinary delights are found in the city’s impressive hotels. You don’t have far to go from your room and you may find the best restaurant to satisfy your rumbling stomach in the very hotel you are staying in. International cuisine is easy to come by and options include Oriental, Latin American, Italian and Middle Eastern. You can also find celebrity run eateries and Michelin stared restaurants if you really want to push the boat out. Reflets par Pierre Ganaire at the Intercontinental Hotel has three Michelin stars and is a prime place for celeb spotting. Make sure at least once during your stay however, you opt for a restaurant with a view – it won’t be hard to find one.


Pachanga, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah. Tel: +971 4 399 1111• Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City. Tel: +971 4 701 1111