16 Best Food to Eat in Dubai Restaurants

Dubai is a destination known worldwide for its great variety of international cuisine. Many of the luxurious hotels in Dubai that are hiring the most renowned chefs in the world to give prestige to their respective chains of restaurants, in a city where glamor and eccentricity are the order of the day. Saying which is the typical food of Dubai seems difficult, since there are a variety of typical dishes in the United Arab Emirates.

In this small list, we will find the typical food of Dubai in all its aspects, both main dishes, Arab sweets and of course Arabic tea. Where to eat in Dubai depends a lot on what you are looking for. You can go from extreme luxury to street food in the blink of an eye. Dubai is the most cosmopolitan city in the Middle East.

Those who visit Dubai can play it safe by choosing places that prepare international food, but of course, it is also recommended to taste some of the local dishes in order to learn a little more about this Middle Eastern culture.

The cuisine of Dubai is quite rich in terms of variety and gets influences from both the Arab and the Jewish, being able to enjoy some dishes characteristic of these to which in some occasions it modifies offering its personal touch.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the cuisine is varied, which means you can find everything from hamburgers, to sushi, and of course, local dishes. It is worth mentioning that although it is a country of Muslim religion, it is possible to find restaurants where dishes are made with pork, as well as establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, especially in luxury hotels.

Only if it is necessary to take into account that it can not be taken in public places or when a religious festival is celebrated.

Best Food to Eat in Dubai Restaurants Among the most characteristic dishes, we can highlight some typical Dubai dishes, like these:

1. Baba Ganoush

This typical dish is basically a vegetable cream that includes eggplant, lemon and mayonnaise. It can be spread on traditional bread, such as pita or even as a garnish for dishes with meat.

2. Kabsa

The kabsa is a dish that is made up of rice with spices and to which is added some type of meat, which can be lamb or chicken. Among the spices that give it a unique flavor are laurel, cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron, among others that make it up.

3. Tabbouleh

It is a type of salad that brings lettuce, tomatoes, parsley, aromatic herbs, and is seasoned to taste with olive oil.

4. Shawarma

It is a pita (Arabic bread) with meat (chicken, lamb or veal) that is usually accompanied by sauce and vegetables. It has become so popular, even in the United States, following the move of Arabs to other countries. Those who have tried it know how great it tastes. But have you ever eaten it in pieces? You might think it tastes the same if it is not spliced, but in reality this version is somewhat more delicious than the full sandwich.

5. Hummus

Hummus is one of the most traditional dishes not only of Dubai, but of all Arab countries. It is a kind of cream made with chickpeas, lemon and olive oil.

6. Chickpeas (also called Nikhee or Dungaw)

They can be served at any meal. Cooked with spices and chilli, they are an essential part of the Bedouin diet.

7. Machboos

This dish, which looks like Indian biryani, is made with spicy rice (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon). There are also Loui (click), raisins, lentils and meat (chicken) or fish.

8. Saloona

This Emirati stew is made of vegetables, sometimes with meat (beef or lamb), chicken or fish and served with basmati rice. It makes you think of a tajine, it's delicious.

9. Mhamar

This dish is composed of small local fish often prepared whole. They are spicy and accompanied by caramelized onions and rice.

10. Mulukhiyah

Molokheye is simply delicious, its wonderful odor can be sensed from a good distance and attracts people from the whole neighborhood. Even the street cats surround out house when we make this meal! Molokhia is a vegetable, known as the leaves of tossa jute. When cooked, chicken is added, along with rice, making one complete meal.

11. Warak Arish

One of the favorite foods of every Lebanese. You can't meet a Lebanese person who hates this dish, because these people don't exist. Grape leaves wrapped tightly around rice and some meat. I ate it about a week ago and it never disappoints!

12. Kibbeh Nayeh

Also known as raw kibbe meat. This dish comes as an appetizer, or sometimes with the main dish. Vegetable oil is added on top of the meat to give it a better taste.

13. Kebab

By far the most well-known dish in the Middle East, it’s everything someone could want honestly. Yummy and affordable and you can take it on the go. Cow Liver, Goat, Beef and Chicken kebabs are the most popular.

14. Laboo

Laboo is freshly steamed Beets. Usually, there’s a variety of sizes, you choose one and then the chef will chop it up into pieces and put it into a bowl or cup. It’s very popular in Dubai during the winter season.

15. Abgoosht

Abgoosht is becoming quite popular, especially during the winter season. While it’s slightly more expensive and takes more time to prepare, it’s still affordable, tasty and gives you a fair share of nutrients (Lamb, Chickpeas, Onions, Spices, Lime, Potatoes and Fava or White Beans).

16. Kunafa

Sweet, rich, crunchy and creamy, Kunafeh is the perfect dessert after a Middle Eastern dinner. It is made of semolina dough and thin noodle-like phyllo pastry; stuffed with a white soft cheese, and soaked in simple sweet syrup. How do you say “magnificent” in Arabic?

What are the typical Arab desserts of Dubai?

Within the cuisine of the United Arab Emirates, there is also room for some traditional and traditional desserts, let's see some of them and what they consist of.

Umm Ali: Puff pastry and almond cake that is usually served hot.

Esh Asaraya: Cheese cake with cream.

Le-Ge-Matt: Fritters prepared with milk, salt and fried yogurt, covered with honey

Fruit Salad: Salad composed of the typical fruits of Dubai, perhaps the most popular dessert in Dubai due to the amount of exotic fruits they have.

Gahuwa Arabia: This hospitality drink is a blend of lightly roasted coffee, cardamom and saffron. It is served hot in small cups, just at the right temperature to be tasted immediately.

Dates: There are more than 40 varieties in the UAE alone. They are part of everyday life. They are served either as such or stuffed and there are derivatives such as the date syrup.

Balaleet: This sweet dish is made of vermicelli or Chinese noodles mixed with eggs, raisins and spices (cardamom and saffron). It's so good !

Chabab: This Emirati pancake is made with flour, eggs, sugar, cardamom and saffron (which also gives it its color). It is served with a syrup of dates.

Khamir: Meaning yeast in Arabic, Khameer is a bread served at breakfast with fresh cheese. It is composed of yeast, flour, water and milk powder and is sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Ligamat: These donuts fried in ghee and served with a syrup of dates are served for breakfast as well as for a treat to snack at night. If the donut is rather fat (ahah), the date syrup him, is just a little wonder.

So you can find anything to eat from restaurants in Dubai from Syrian, Indian, Italian, Russian, Thai and American chains. It has the reputation of being an expensive destination but also a good place to find street food in Dubai (with traditional flavors) and very cheap! Of course, for that you must go to popular areas, not to the shopping centers! Below are some of the neighborhoods and restaurants with good value for money.

Restaurants in Meena Bazaar

Between the Al Fahidi metro station (to the south) and the Dubai Museum (to the north). The name of this neighborhood originated when taxi drivers began to call it that because of its resemblance to the Meena Bazaar in New Delhi. In the 70s one opened a store with that name and from then on that denomination took even more strength.

It is a commercial area where you can find a little bit of everything. There are nationalities of all kinds from Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, Afghans to name a few. So its gastronomy is a reflection of this diversity. Many of the restaurants or shops are run by Indians who are mostly Sikhs. It's the Little India of Dubai.

Restaurants in Deira

This area does not have major tourist attractions but it is worth to visit its souks and its restaurants or street food! Here the atmosphere is more pleasant if you prefer walking through pedestrian streets instead of between highways, skyscrapers and shopping centers. Another street full of restaurants in the area is Al Mateena.

Dubai is an Islamic country so it is quite strict in certain rules. No pork or alcohol is found in most restaurants. There are some exceptions such as restaurants and pubs in hotels. If you travel to Dubai during Ramadan, keep in mind that during the day and until sunset, eating and drinking is forbidden by law. Only some hotel restaurants are open during the day. In the shopping centers during Ramadan food is sold but only to carry.

Restaurants in Satwa

This area of Dubai is a favorite if you want to eat well and cheap. The Al Satwa neighborhood is between the skyscrapers of Sheikh Zayed Street and the residential area of low houses on the coast. Most of the restaurants are located on the street of Al Dhiyafah Road.

Restaurants in Dubai Marina

This area of the city is one of the most visited and most impressive due to the concentration of skyscrapers around the artificial canal. The area is all pedestrian and is full of restaurants. In recent years it has become one of the favorite areas to go for a walk or to eat. There are restaurants for all tastes and pockets although most are rather expensive.

You also have the typical American chains like KFC, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, McDonald's, iHOP Pancakes, Shake Shack.

Restaurants in Dubai Financial Center Area

In this area, most of the buildings are office and hotel skyscrapers. Along the street-main highway where the subway also runs there are some restaurants. Another place of cheap restaurants in Dubai is the neighborhood of Al Karama, the problem is that it is not as central as others. This area specializes in Filipino restaurants. There is a large community of Filipinos in Dubai. In the vicinity of the Al Attar shopping center is where most places are.

Although the cuisine of Dubai is quite international, it is also true that many of the restaurants serve various Arab dishes from the Middle East. The Lebanese, Iranian and Syrian cuisines are present in the city.

If your thing is not to try dishes that you do not know, there is not much to worry about since you will find several food options. It's a gastronomy, and in general should not stop you so you can fully enjoy your stay in Dubai.
Kalyan Panja