Dubai is certainly a fascinating part of the world, a truly unique destination offering up exciting experiences for visitors to enjoy. But what about the food? we’ve put together a selection of the area’s finest establishments, letting you know just where to dine during your Dubai holiday.
From beaches and history, to iconic landmarks and diverse culture, there’s a little something for everyone in Dubai. There is a thriving culinary scene to be found in the UAE’s most populous city, with myriad restaurants, cafes and other wonderful establishments in which to enjoy some sublime meals.
Logma Khaleeji Treats
Image credit: Logma
Logma is a restaurant whose main goal is to share the joys of Emirati and Khaleeji cuisine with the rest of the world. Serving up their meals in a traditional Khaleeji environment, dining with Logma is certainly an experience to take advantage of while in Dubai.
Speaking about the restaurant and its virtues, Logma told us: “Logma Khaleeji Treats is a one-of-a-kind concept, offering modernised Emirati cuisine with authentic flavours in a modern setting, inspired by the city of Dubai.
“When at Logma, guests can expect to receive a warm welcome into the restaurant, where they will notice hints of traditional elements from camels to palm leaves, all alongside modern and urban elements like the ever-growing Dubai skyline.”
Image credit: Logma
We also asked Logma to pull back the curtain a little bit and tell us about their menu and some recommended dishes:
“All of Logma’s dishes are inspired either by traditional Emirati dishes that have been modernised, or by modern/popular dishes to which we added the Emirati/Khaleeji flair. For example, our famous Logma fries (which have been named some of the best in Dubai) consist of French fries with our special house-mix of Emirati spices and herbs.
“Another example would be our Parathas, which are a popular type of bread, typically consumed with cream cheese and date syrup. Although we do offer this popular classic at Logma, we’ve also taken Parathas to the next level by introducing a wide range of fillings such as falafel, chicken mozzarella, shawarma, and others. These are just a couple of examples from Logma’s diverse menu which includes salads, appetizers, traditional dishes and breakfast items, khameers, rice dishes, desserts, drinks, and more!”
Frying Pan Adventures
Image credit: Airspectiv Media
Frying Pan Adventures were the first food tour company in the Middle East and they love immersing food lovers in Dubai’s authentic dining options. They spoke to us about the best way visitors can enjoy the city’s culinary delights:
“One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Dubai’s culinary diversity is to sign up for a Frying Pan Adventures experience that takes you off the beaten path and showcases hidden food gems of old Dubai, serving up authentic dishes in humble settings.
“The Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage trail features lesser-known dishes of the UAE, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Iran, while the Little India on a Plate trail delves beyond the clichéd naan and butter chicken, in Dubai’s oldest, most vibrant Indian neighbourhood.
“Led by knowledgeable and passionate resident guides, our food journeys are designed to feel less like ‘tours’ and more like intimate dinner parties. We also offer cooking sessions, food and photography walks and an Offbeat Dubai Desert Safari in collaboration with our community partners.”
To further understand the virtues of Dubai’s culinary offerings, we asked Frying Pan Adventures what it is they love most about the city’s food scene:
“A myriad of ethnic cultures have shaped Dubai over the past decades, making its culinary landscape one that is rich in unique flavours. Every wave of immigrants has seen the city’s dining table swell with food from their native lands alongside more modern trends of fine dining. Whether it be a Michelin star restaurant or a more down to earth establishment serving up ethnic fare from a particular region, visitors to Dubai can expect to be spoiled for choice when seeking dining options.”
Inspired by the elements of earth, fire, water, and air, Zuma is Dubai’s iconic Japanese restaurant and lounge bar situated in the prestigious Gate Villa Complex. For those looking for some sublime Japanese inspiration on where to Dine during your Dubai holiday, Zuma is the place to be, having a little something for everyone.
Zuma spoke to us about just what is on offer at their restaurant: “Zuma aims to cater for all kinds of occasions and to suit all tastes, from young families looking for a child-friendly and relaxed ambience to late night lounge-lovers.
“Zuma brings to Dubai a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese izakaya style of informal eating and drinking with attention to detail and quality ingredients.
“Dishes are prepared in three separate areas: the principal kitchen, the sushi bar and the robata grill. Rather than offering individual starters and main courses, Zuma serves dishes that are designed for sharing and are brought to the table steadily and continuously.”
And regarding the specifics of their menu, Zuma highlighted to us some of their featured dishes:
“Our menu includes signature dishes such as barley miso marinated chicken, oven roasted on cedar wood; spicy beef tenderloin with sesame, red chili and sweet soy; grilled Chilean sea bass with green chili ginger dressing; roasted lobster with chili ponzu butter, and miso marinated black cod wrapped in hoba leaf.”
A restaurant and bar that celebrates the very best cuisine of the Mediterranean, BOCA is located right in the heart of Dubai’s financial centre. Taking a minimalist approach, BOCA sources locally and emphasises the concept of sharing.
“What makes BOCA such a nice place,” they explained to us, “is that we are a restaurant where people feel at home, they visit us to find a place to disconnect from all the stress of the city and find an enjoyable and casual atmosphere to have fun with friends, family or work colleagues. Our food, drinks and wine menu offer amazing value for money which encourages a lot of guests to visit us every day.
“Our award-winning Mediterranean menu has a persistent focus on creativity, value, locally-sourced ingredients and healthy dishes. We are committed to our vegan and vegetarian list, and love to source from the new Dubai Waterfront Fish and Vegetable Market. We have many favourite dishes at BOCA, maybe the most popular ones are our BOCA Potato Chips which you can choose with Aioli and Bravas Sauce or our amazing Truffle Mayo Sauce, also our Gnocchi or famous Fried Calamari ‘A La Andaluza’.
“Finally what guests should expect about BOCA is to feel at home in a casual environment with cool guests and friendly staff, while experiencing the vibe of the Mediterranean in the heart of Dubai.”
Situated at the luxurious Palazzo Versace Dubai, Enigma boasts a bevy of visiting Michelin-level chefs, serving up a mysterious menu congruent with the restaurant’s name. Enigma is a truly unique establishment to dine at when in Dubai, changing its menu throughout the year, enhancing its elusive reputation.
Enigma spoke to us about their unique dining experience: “Enigma at Palazzo Versace Dubai is the world’s first restaurant to change its dining concept and world-class chefs four times a year. The restaurant brings evolutionary Turkish cuisine to life in a new and creative way in the refined settings of Palazzo Versace Dubai.
“Enigma completely changes its dining experience every few months, in keeping with the mystery and elusiveness the restaurant is renowned for. Palazzo Versace Dubai invites guests to embark on a multi-sensory voyage showcasing the very best Turkish cuisine.
“Open six nights a week, Enigma will delight diners with stimulating culinary experiences from Monday – Saturday, 7:00 – 11:00pm. An à la carte menu will be available in addition to a tasting menu. For bookings and more information, please visit our website, call 04 556 8830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Found way up on the 68th floor in the stunning JW Marriott Marquis hotel, Prime68 is a luxurious steakhouse that’s truly in a class of its own. For those who really want to push the boat out and treat themselves during their Dubai holiday, Prime68 couldn’t be better suited.
Their steaks are the epitome of elegance and served up to diners in a modern and comfortable setting. Prime68 told us that “Panoramic views of Dubai’s breath-taking skyline make Prime68 an experience to remember, especially during the sunset from 6pm to 7pm. In addition to amazing views and elegant ambience, the restaurant has a James Bond-themed speakeasy feel with attentive yet non-intrusive service.”
Describing their steaks, Prime68 say: “Each steak is carefully handpicked and cut in-house before being expertly grilled on our custom built Josper charcoal grill. If you are a carnivore, then Prime68 is for you; restaurant chefs cook the most delicious cuts and the menu is extensive enough to leave you wondering for minutes before deciding on your selection. Prime68 also has its own Butchers Block that is showcased in a meat trolley and brought to your table for choosing the cut.”
Their menu offers a selection of cold and hot appetisers, soups, salads, and premium cuts from Japan such as “Master Kobe, Wagyu and bigger cuts good enough for sharing such as the 1.2kg Tomahawk, 1kg Porterhouse and Black Angus Chateaubriand.”
For a special meal while in town, Prime68 recommends: “The wagyu meat balls served in parmesan cream sauce with black truffle shavings on top and garlic bread on the side.” For a different look, the restaurant adds: “Our guests also love the Calvetti American Wagyu Tenderloin 8+, one of our top sellers, better served medium rare with a peppercorn sauce and side of mac and cheese. An absolute must try!”
Eating Tips from Dubai Travel Blog
Ed from Dubai Travel Blog, a food, travel, culture, and lifestyle blog on all things Dubai, knows a thing or two about the area and as such offered us some fantastic eating advice for those visiting:
“I recommend you check out Arabian Tea House Cafe in Al Bastakiya for its relaxed outdoor ambiance and try their Exotic Chicken Salad. Betawi Cafe in Karama is a humble eatery that serves lovely Indonesian food. Elia Restaurant in Majestic Hotel Bur Dubai is wonderful for Greek cuisine. For a unique 15-course fine dining and Indian food experience, you can visit Carnival by Tresind in DIFC. Pizzas from Fratelli La Bufala (Dubai Festival City) and Pizza Express (World Trade Centre) have always been a delight. For shisha with a view, visit Reem al Bawadi (Downtown Dubai).
“Really, there’s just a lot of good restaurants in Dubai and it will all depend on your budget and taste preference. For an affordable food experience, I suggest you check out shops in Old Dubai (Deira Creekside, Bur Dubai, etc.) Bonus Tip: You can check out FooDiva.net for impartial reviews on food experiences.”
We also asked Dubai Travel Blog what it is that they love about the Dubai culinary scene:
“The great thing about Dubai’s culinary scene is that it offers plenty of options for dining in terms of cuisine. From Arabic to French to Italian to African, Indian and Asian, and so much more.
“Dubai is a melting pot of hundreds of nationalities so you’re bound to find a diverse array of choices for you to explore your taste buds. Visitors can definitely get excited about the food as there’s something for everyone.
“Aside from the variety of cuisines, you can also choose from cheap but good and authentic restaurants, to fine dining and luxurious and even extravagant ones.”
From Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, Marina Social is a wonderful social space in which to enjoy some truly classy food. Situated by the waterside and overlooking the always vibrant Dubai Marina, this restaurant provides its guests with a comfortable, social atmosphere for a night of fine dining.
The contemporary menu at Marina Social is British-Mediterranean inspired and designed to be shared with great company. Dishes include delights such as seared yellow fin tuna, duck leg agnolotti, and goat’s cheese ‘churros’. Marina Social provides a diverse eating experience with an open kitchen and dessert bar (allowing you to watch and interact with the chefs), and the option to enjoy a tasting menu on their ‘social table’.
Reservations for Marina Social can be made via their website.
Baker & Spice
For a relaxed and cosy dining experience in Dubai, you’ll be hard pressed to beat what’s on offer at Baker & Spice. There are multiple locations across the city, but for some of the best views anywhere, head on down to their restaurant in Downtown Dubai. Here you can enjoy wonderful views of the Dubai Fountain and iconic Burj Khalifa.
Gathering raw ingredients from their own supply sources, Baker & Spice put their kitchens at the centre of everything they do, which includes cooking and baking their delicious offerings from scratch on a daily basis. Their breakfast menu contains dishes such as Turkish eggs and avocado toast with poached egg. For dining later in the day, visitors can look forward to indulging in their stone-baked pita sandwiches, pan-fried Sheri fish, and their 12-hour braised beef short rib.
To take a further look at Baker & Spice’s wide ranging menu, visit their website.
Suggestions from Out & about UAE
David Tapley of Out & About UAE, a travel resource highlighting the area’s dining delights (as well as what visitors can see and do in the Emirates), spoke to us about the Dubai food scene:
“The UAE is a melting pot of cultures and this is strongly reflected in the food scene of the Emirates. Arabic food reigns supreme and we suggest you seek out some traditional Emirati cuisine to fully embrace the spirit of the region. Seven Sands (the name is a reflection of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE) is a restaurant located at The Beach in JBR that serves up traditional Emirati fair such as machboos (an aromatic rice and meat dish) and luqaimat (golden dumplings topped with date syrup and sesame seeds) as well as camel meat.
“Dubai is fast positioning itself as a food destination looking to rival the likes of London and New York and though we may not (yet) have the Michelin star system, there are some fantastic restaurants to be found. Play at the H Hotel is headlined by Chef Reif Othman and adopts a MedditerrAsian (fusion of Mediterranean and Asian) approach to its cuisine, chef Pradeep Khullar’s Mint Leaf of London is redefining perceptions of Indian food with its progressive menu, and a resurgence in Latin American cookery from the likes of Waka, Coya and Lima are currently taking the city by storm.”
We also asked David why he loves the Dubai culinary scene and what should excite visitors the most:
“Dubai is fast becoming a competitor as one of the foodie capitals of the world. With exciting new concepts opening on an almost daily basis, the food scene is fast-paced and very competitive. For a city renowned for luxury, fine dining competes against food trucks and pop-up concepts, which are all being embraced. As the dining scene moves in line with other international cities, we begin to see experimental concepts taking precedence; such as The Experience by Reif Othman which accommodates only 12 diners per sitting and features a fully customised menu each day based upon available seasonal produce. Dubai really is an exciting place to be in the food world right now and only looks set to improve.”
A Dubai dining experience to remember
As you can surely see, the UAE is replete with wonderful options of where to dine during your Dubai holiday. With so many fantastic options to choose from, even beyond the delights that we have featured here, travellers to Dubai will without doubt be spoilt for choice. All that’s left is to decide how to fit them all in!