With winter upon us, requests for advice on where to dine in Dubai are flooding into our inbox. To make it easier for those of you who are visiting our slice of desert paradise soon (or those who live in it) we thought we’d put together a list of our favourites so you can find them easily any time you need. So without further ado here are our favourite restaurants.
It was perhaps an unexpected venture from the French La Cantine du Fauborg team, but when we finally got aroud to trying Ninive, it blew us away. This is La Cantine in style, but modern Arabic in flavour. Definitely the most delicious Arabic food we’ve tried in the region, and more friendly on the expat palate. Set in a gorgeous courtyard, this is the place to head for vibrant local flavours served al fresco with plenty of stunning views to top it off. Read more about Ninive here.
Best Central American
in 2017 it seemed like every restaurant opening in Dubai was focussed on pan-latin flavours – and in true survival of the fittest style, not too many survived the year. For us, Waka is the clear victor of the Peruvian restaurant hunger games, serving up bombastic flavours that are modern yet true to tradition. Their new fine-dining degustation menu promises to raise the bar only higher.
La Cantine du Fauborg
A longtime society favourite located in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, La Cantine blows us away with seriously sumptuous flavours. They’re also the force behind Ninive – and killing it with both venues. This is modern, fusion French – and we love it (well, we advise that maybe you skip dessert as it’s pretty limited – but the rest is divine). Read more about La Cantine du Fauborg here.
When DIFC chefs tell you where they go when they’re not whipping up ceviche, sushi and steaks for Dubai’s financial elite, you listen. And you visit. Again, and again. Boca serves up elevated Mediterranean comfort food that will take you right back to the streets of Barcelona. Add to this 43 wines by the glass and an atmosphere that’s always pumping with great people and you’ll start to understand why we’re such a fan.
Let’s preface this by saying this restaurant isn’t serving up anything groundbreaking, but what it is serving up is mighty fine classic New York bistro-style American cuisine that will have you dancing in the aisles. The service is some of the best you’ll find in this city too. The most well executed of its breed in town. Read more about Mina Brasserie here.
Now, this is an overachiever that also makes an appearance on our best bars list – it truly delivers an oh-so-Dubai experience. Boasting the best views in town from its 68th-floor spot at the top of the JW Marriott Marquis towers, Weslodge delivers Canadian cuisine that will captivate you as much as the million dollar scenery. Don’t miss the fried chicken.
The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri
This is classic Italian served with passion, elegance and refinement. A Dubai slice of Italy’s three Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri (which I have on good authority has the best wine pairing in the world), this is one classy joint. Add marvellous cocktails to amazing food and wine and you have the recipe for a superb (and romantic) night out.
This one has a few to mention – given the plethora of modern Indian cuisine on offer in Dubai, we couldn’t stop at just one! Unsurprisingly, all three we’ve selected are from the Tresind stable.
Carnival by Tresind
Casual and fun, this zany restaurant likes to play. With whimsical dishes, plating and cocktails, this is for both the young and the young at heart! Read more about Carnival by Tresind here.
Nothing short of a Dubai institution, this one is a long time favourite of many. Tresind serves up classy, vibrant modern Indian cuisine that explodes with flavour. Their newly renovated interiors and fab bar deliver an experience as good as the food on the table, which is consistently amazing. Don’t miss their chaat trolley. Read more about Tresind here.
The newest Dubai restaurant from the Tresind juggernaut, this 20-seat degustation-only dining experience delivers a truly world-class gastronomic experience. Lovers of fine dining tasting menus and long evenings spent enjoying the finest cuisine should not miss this experience. Read more about Tresind Studio here.
Best Chinese (Traditional)
If you’re craving some old school Chinese, there’s no better place to head than DIFC’s long-standing Royal China. The fact that it’s lasted in the ferocious restaurant battle royale zone that is Dubai’s financial district for so long speaks volumes and really, that alone should inspire enough confidence to visit. But if that’s not enough to convince you, let me do it – it’s freaking amazing. This as authentic and delicious as it gets when it comes to traditional Chinese cuisine in Dubai. Add to this their super reasonable (by Dubai standards) prices and you’ve got a winner. Don’t miss their superb Peking duck.