Heading to Dubai this summer? Try out these top culinary experiences in the city
Dubai is home to some of the best food in the world. Boasting rich emirate’s homegrown concepts, the country has evolved in its taste and style of food. From specialty coffee houses to a bean-to-bar chocolaterie, Dubai now boasts an impressive variety of places to dine. There’s truly something for everyone. Whether among the bearded realm of hipsters, or the elegant sophistication of the city’s palate-refined elite, here are some food guides for travellers:
Al Quoz: Hipster’s Paradise
Much like New York City’s Meatpacking District, the industrial landscape of Al Quoz has become the perfect landscape for Dubai’s hipster community to thrive in. A go-to for specialty coffee from pioneers RAW Coffee and the beloved Tom & Serg, to newcomers hapi and Boston Lane caffeine is never in short supply. It’s usually served up in an environment filled with unique decor, alternative and indie tunes, great reading material, men with beards and flannel shirts, artists and dreamers, and plenty of personality. There’s even an entirely homegrown chocolaterie in Al Serkal Avenue, Mirzam Chocolate Makers, where the award-winning brand creates every single chocolate bar in-house from scratch - complete with wrappers designed by local artists.
DIFC: Haute Dining
Some of Dubai?s most internationally famous restaurants reside in Dubai International Financial District. La Petite Maison and Zuma have both made it onto the World?s Best Restaurants List, and there are more celebrity names and famous brands in the area than you can shake a stick at, from Gaucho and Roberto’s to Boca and Mint Leaf of London, to name just a few. If you’re into gourmet cuisine in a stylish environment, the top-notch selection here is where to find your kind.
Dubai Marina: Glamorous Socialites
For some, a meal is only a meal with the occasions and memories that can be built around it’s and if this sounds like you, Dubai Marina is where you want to be. With countless bars, clubs, and lounges where you can either enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or a post-meal wind-down, many of the destinations here have in-built sections where you?re able to carry on the party after you’ve had a meal. Some notable locations include Anatolian kitchen Ruya, pan- Latin Toro Toro, 360 degree restaurant The Observatory, British chef Jason Atherton’s Marina Social, and pretty much any of the restaurants at Pier 7.
Jumeirah: Surfers, Hippies and Beach Lovers
If the barefoot lifestyle appeals to you, head to Jumeirah, where you can spend the day soaking in the sun or being active on the beach, or perusing one of the many cute boutique art galleries with hand-selected collections. Families will adore any of the restaurants along the waterfront at Kite Beach or La Mer, while seafood fanatics will delight in local fish-shack favorite Bu Qtair.
Palm Jumeirah: Holiday Chasers
Even Dubai’s long-term residents often feel like heading for a meal at The Palm Jumeirah can remind them of being on vacation, and how could you not, with views that stellar. Whether you’re heading for a steak at West 14th Steakhouse, where there are often live jazz performances with talent from New York City, to one of the many top-notch restaurants at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Atlantis The Palm, or Rixos The Palm, or sampling a variety of treats at the Club Vista Mare strip, enjoy amazing views and a deeply relaxing, treat yourself to an amazing vibe.
Bur Dubai: Street Food Connoisseurs
With all of its hustle and bustle, the busy streets of Bur Dubai are an exciting place to enjoy a meal by day or by night. On a sunny day, you can head to the fish market, where you can haggle with fishermen for the freshest cuts of fish and other seafood. If you’d rather sample bits and pieces from a variety of cultures, in a haze of sweet and spicy flavours, simply visit one of the many small restaurants that have been serving up delicacies from everywhere from South Asia to Africa for years. There’s even a food-themed tour you can take in the area.Homegrown concept Frying Pan Adventures is designed to please the adventurous foodie explorer and street food lover in us all.
JLT: Young, Hip, Professionals
Once known primarily as a residential destination, as the community in JLT has blossomed over the years, so has its restaurant offerings. It’s now home to a countless list of exciting restaurant concepts designed for the hip young professional, an ideal place to catch up with friends over an easy meal in a trendy environment. For live music head to Jazz @ Pizza Express, or to UBK for an outdoor BBQ garden, while Mythos will transport you to the Greek Islands. If you’re looking for a bit more buzz, NOLA will fit the bill, while Friends Avenue Cafe is cosy at any time of the day.
Downtown Dubai: Al Fresco Addicts
With the world?s tallest building, The Dubai Fountain, or the glittering lights of Sheikh Zayed Road as a backdrop, it?s no wonder that so many restaurants in the Downtown Dubai area feature incredible terraces from which to enjoy the stunning view. Many of them boast beautifully-designed rooftops and terraces that make you want to be outdoors or simply stare at the clear sky and outstanding view. Some noteworthy spots to try include ‘izakaya’-style Downtown Toko, La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie for a spot of breakfast, “MediterrAsian” Treehouse and Bangkok-inspired Thiptara surrounded by the Burj Lake.