Whether you’re looking to indulge in a tantalizing Middle Eastern buffet or a juicy steak, Dubai has a plethora of restaurants to satisfy all tastes. However, with virtually every national cuisine under the sun on offer, choosing a place to eat can be a challenge. With this in mind, here are some of the best restaurants in Dubai to tick off your expat bucket list.
Al Dawaar Revolving Restaurant at Hyatt Regency
For sensational panoramic views of Dubai, head to Al Dawaar on the 25th floor of the Hyatt Regency. As the city’s first and only revolving restaurant, this impressive venue is ideal for a fancy date night; think crisp white linen tablecloths, shining silverware, and delicate rose on each table. Furthermore, it’s a great place to show off the city to visitors from out of town. Although the restaurant offers a variety of cuisines – ranging from Middle Eastern to the Mediterranean, and even Japanese –the real star of the show is the fresh seafood buffet; available every Wednesday evening. For an extra special treat, though, book a table at the fabulous Friday Sky Brunch and enjoy the view with a glass of bubbly in hand.
Al Dawaar Revolving Restaurant, 25/F, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Al Khaleej Road, Dubai
Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
For spectacular food and thrilling entertainment, fewer places top Al Hadheerah. Based in the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, this lavish Arabian restaurant features an elaborate Middle Eastern buffet, 10 live cooking stations, a stunning rooftop lounge, as well as live shows every night. Furthermore, guests can feast under the stars and enjoy traditional Arabian music, live belly dancing performances, and camel and horse caravan shows. Boasting breathtaking views of the Dubai desert, and a fireworks display that lights up the night sky every Thursday and Friday, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a romantic date night, or simply some authentic local culture and cuisine.
Al Hadheerah, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Al Qudra Road, Dubai
Thiptara at Palace Downtown
Often dubbed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai, Thiptara has won many hearts – and stomachs – with its consistently delicious classic Thai dishes. Located inside the Palace Downtown hotel, the venue boasts a stunning terrace that offers unparalleled views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain. Some of Bangkok’s world-renowned street food can be found on this diverse menu; must-orders include the chicken Panang curry, prawn green curry, and duck spring rolls. If you prefer to sample a variety of Thai delights, however, you can always opt for one of the generously sized family sharing menus. While this might not be the cheapest restaurant in Dubai, it certainly makes for an unforgettable experience; especially if you reserve front-row seats to the famous water fountain show.
Thiptara, Ground Level, Palace Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai
Mama Zonia at Pier 7
Welcome to the jungle! Inspired by the Amazon rainforest, Mama Zonia brings lashings of tropical chic to Dubai’s bustling Pier 7. Decked from floor to ceiling with exuberant foliage, wicker furniture, and plush burgundy-colored chairs, the lavish restaurant is unapologetically over-the-top. The venue’s dark, ominous mood lighting, combined with pumping live music, creates the feeling of partying in the jungle. But it isn’t only the theatrical setting that draws in the crowds; the menu is also alluring. With everything from sushi to poke bowls, as well as wok-fried dishes to jungle curry frog legs (yep, you read that right), there’s plenty to satisfy all taste buds; even the more adventurous. For a totally outrageous dining experience, head to the ‘Don’t Feed The Animals’ brunch on a Friday, and soak up the carnival atmosphere as feather-clad women dance between the tables.
Mama Zonia, 2/F, Pier 7, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Nobu at Atlantis, The Palm
Helmed by one of the world’s greatest Japanese chefs – Nobu Matsuhisa – this international restaurant chain is revered for its fusion cuisine. The menu blends traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. As a result, you can discover creations such as the legendary signature miso-marinated black cod; ordered more than 20,000 times a year! Located in The Avenues at Atlantis, The Palm, the award-winning venue oozes sophistication. Sleek décor, atmospheric lighting, and curved wooden panels combine to create a luxurious, yet comforting, feel. This is complemented by a sprawling sushi bar, cozy sake lounge, and picturesque Japanese garden. But if it’s a party atmosphere you’re after, head to the thriving bar and sip on a perfectly crafted cocktail. Better still, swing by on a Monday and enjoy one of Dubai’s most popular ladies’ night.
Nobu, Ground Level, The Avenues, Atlantis, The Palm, Crescent Drive, Dubai
La Petite Maison
La Petite Maison has earned a glowing reputation for bringing exquisite Niçoise cuisine to the heart of Dubai. Hailing from Nice, the quaint restaurant exudes a sophisticated, yet not too pretentious, vibe. Large, modern art canvases hang from the walls in an otherwise minimalistic interior. Meanwhile, tables draped with a white cloth, and cream leather banquettes create a fresh and contemporary look. The menu features exceptional pasta, seafood, and meat dishes, which are all prepared using fresh Mediterranean ingredients. Unsurprisingly, this classy venue has racked up numerous awards since opening in 2010. You can rest assured, therefore, that you are in for a real culinary treat. Must-order dishes include the Gillardeau oysters n°2, lightly cured sirloin, and sea bass carpaccio with salsa verde. Délicieuse!
La Petite Maison, Gate Village No. 8, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai
Amaseena at The Ritz-Carlton
For an evening of pure Arabian romance, head to Amaseena at The Ritz Carlton and enjoy sensational views of the ocean and the Ain Dubai observation wheel. Scattered with lantern-lit Bedouin-style tents, red-cushioned sofas, and low-level tables, this opulent garden is the perfect setting to enjoy an Arabian feast under the stars. Every Wednesday and Thursday, guests are invited to tuck into a Middle Eastern-themed night buffet that showcases some of the region’s favorite dishes; think Syrian ravioli, chicken shawarmas, and lashings of baba ghanoush. With everything from grilled seafood to shish kebab and tiramisu on offer, this is a great option for adventurous foodies. After that, there are more than 20 different flavors of shisha to choose from. This can all be savored while listening to live Arabic music and watching belly dancing performances.
Amaseena, The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes
Often dubbed as the best burger in Dubai, the Black Tap patty has become somewhat of a local institution. This wildly popular New York burger and craft beer franchise is renowned for its overly-indulgent CrazyShake milkshakes and juicy burgers. Unsurprisingly, these have flooded social media in recent years. Aside from the enormous selection of burgers on offer; these include beef, chicken, turkey, bison, and vegetarian options; diners can also find tacos, fish and chips, spicy Korean BBQ wings, and salad on the menu. Whatever you’re in the mood for, though, make sure to arrive hungry, as the portions here are hefty. And if you swing by the Dubai Festival City outlet, check out the funky signature wall mural created by renowned US graffiti artist, Fumero. Definitely one for the gram!
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes, various locations