The City of Gold is a gastronomic paradise for foodies. If you want to sample everything from traditional Emirati dishes to Instagram-trendy foods, you won’t have a difficult time finding a restaurant to satisfy your palate here. And if you’re in search of must-try Dubai meals that you would love to sample the next time you pay a brief visit to the City of Gold, eight of them are listed below.
For Breakfast or Brunch
Don’t waste your short visit in Dubai sleeping in until lunchtime because you’ll miss out on something wonderful if you don’t explore the many breakfast or brunch options in the city. Two of the highly recommended early-day meals for tourists are:
1. Khanfaroosh – The Fancy and Fragrant Pancake
This fried saffron and cardamom cake is a must in Dubai. It looks familiar, but you’ll marvel at how it doesn’t taste like any old pancake, donut, or other early morning sweet treat you typically consume.
The flavor of this pancake is rather complex because of the saffron. And when paired with cardamom, the saffron’s taste just takes on a different dimension. When you drizzle rose-infused sweetener to Khanfaroosh, you’ll feel like you’re in brunch heaven.
2. Arseeyah – The Ultimate Comfort Food
This is another Emirati dish that everybody just ends up loving. It uses humble ingredients and yet it’s filling and tasty. Arseeyah is gruel that is quite similar to harees, except it uses rice instead of oats. It has cardamom and cinnamon, and it’s best served hot to awaken your bones in the morning.
Lunch is perfect for trying something new. Check out the many fusion and themed restaurants in the city to try out the dishes that are generating a lot of buzz among locals and tourists. For fusion goodness, these are worth sampling:
3. Deconstructed Pani Puri – A Fresh Take on an Indian Fave
Indian food is greatly popular in Dubai but the Tresind Indian Restaurant (which tourists are always advised to visit) offers Indian cuisine in a unique way. The Deconstructed Pani Puri is highly praised for being a perfect example of molecular gastronomy. It is prepared “scientifically” to provide a new experience to a traditional flavor.
4. Josper-Grilled Octopus with Olive Tapenade – Refined Taste of the Sea
You’ll definitely fall hook, line and sinker for this popular Peruvian dish offered at Coya. It’s sophisticated yet hearty, and who wouldn’t want to try perfectly grilled octopus every now and then? Local and foreign tourists enjoy this so much that it’s one of the true bestsellers at Coya.
Peruvians have a refined palate and their dishes boast of a perfect balance of flavors, so the grilled octopus is clearly worth heading to Coya for in the middle of the day for.
For a Midday Snack
When you need to take a break from touring the city, grab a snack. Dubai has fancy tearooms and the cutest bakeries to buy your sweet midday meal from.
5. A Box of French Macaroons – Tantalizing Sweet Treats
You can get a box of assorted macarons that never fail to earn raves. Laduree Paris at the Dubai Mall is considered the macaron specialist so you’ll certainly delight in the unique flavors you’ll find. Enjoy a box of six assorted flavors with a cup of tea before embarking on your late afternoon tour.
6. A Hunky Slice of Show-Off Cake – A Sweet Delight
Take pleasure in a big slice of show-off cake. No matter what cake is being offered for the day at The Cake Bar, there’s no doubt you’ll delight in it. Pair it with tea or a tall glass of lemonade and you’ll feel energized for the remaining part of the day.
Dubai offers a multitude of great restaurants for dinner. Some of them offer a hip social scene, and others, a fantastic view of the sunset over the desert. For dinner ideas, here are two that will surely satisfy you.
7. Falafel – A Quick Dinner Option
Although falafel may seem like a midday meal, it’s actually perfect for dinner, especially when you’re traveling. Plus, there’s a dining establishment that takes falafels to the next level – Falafel Farm. This hip dining destination continues to grow in popularity for its healthy range of falafel recipes.
Must-tries are the Scotch falafel eggs and the halloumi falafel.
8. Melt-Glazed Short Rib with Crispy Onions and Celeriac Truffle – A Celebratory Meal to End the Day
Finally, if you had a fully loaded day and you want to wrap it up with a meal that feels like a celebration, then the melt-glazed short rib from Pots Pans and Boards will not disappoint. The meat just slides off the bone, and other wonderful components contribute to the savory meal.
Dubai meals clearly offers an attractive variety of food options to make even a short trip as tasty as it can possibly be. These are just a few of the meals that you can try from the movers and shakers of the city’s ever-flourishing dining scene; be sure to stop by for a bite.
Kumar Samtani is the co-founder of MenuPages.ae. With an educational background in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the prestigious University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Kumar’s expertise lies in process improvement & operations management for all types of organizations. He is also an experienced entrepreneur with business interests in consumer goods, hospitality supplies & real estate.