Image taken and owned by Mademoiselle Meme.
Published: August 10, 2016. Updated: March 28, 2017
Dubai is host to an international plethora of restaurants, cafes, and markets, leaving its locals and visitors spoilt for choice. Whether you are eating out or grocery shopping, this cosmopolitan Emirate has brought in some of the world’s most famous foodie establishments, so you can never go hungry. You’ll find bougie food markets like New York’s Dean & Deluca, Britain’s Fortnum & Mason alongside Marks & Spencer and France’s Galeries Lafayette–and that’s just barely just scratching the surface.
Competition in the city is fierce. Dubai prides itself in only bringing the best of the best. You name it, they have it. International foodie powerhouses that have never franchised their establishment, franchise themselves for Dubai. Some homegrown Los Angeles or New York restaurants, for instance, have only one other location: Dubai. Burger & Lobster, Clinton St Baking, 800 Degrees, and even Shake Shack (before it spread to other cities like Los Angeles) have a foothold in Dubai. Fortnum & Mason, an absolute institution if there ever was one, established in 1707, has only one store abroad; you guessed it, it’s in Dubai.
Ask and you shall receive. Money is no object when it comes to providing the most extravagant, most unforgettable food experiences for the people of this oil-rich Emirate. Those franchised restaurants are not the same in Dubai–they’ve actually been improved for Dubai standards because that’s what is demanded and what the population expects. It is not unusual to see menu items you wont find at their flagship location. On top of that, the marketing, design and branding of foodie spots in Dubai is next level, even for places that have an established aesthetic. Dubai upgrades it all.
The competition in Dubai has created a food scene that truly broadens the limits of your imagination. Restaurants are challenged to push boundaries with their menus and reinvent the way you serve food. It’s all done with flare, extravagance and entertainment. #BASIC doesn’t exist in Dubai. You don’t simply order a meal, you order an experience. A dessert is plated on fine china with gold leaf, a chocolate sculpture and likely served with a pot of some hot gooey sauce to top it all off (see our Instagram).
Dubai not only offers some of the most delectable foods, but ones that tantalize all your senses. It’s not just a meal, its a show. Case in point: the milk chocolate cocoa pod shell from Cocoville, which has dry ice steaming out from inside through the cocoa pod holes. The server then pours hot molten chocolate on top, creating a pool of viscous, creamy drinking chocolate. You have to see it to understand.
All in all, Dubai offers culinary experiences that make you wish you lived there. Every day its guests are treated to exotic dishes and foods you never knew you wanted. If you are planning a trip to Dubai, check out our list of recommendations below. We haven’t come across a food blog with reputable foodie lists, so we’ve taken the liberty of creating one for you.
Check out our Instagram to see pictures from the restaurants listed below, for what to order and some of our favorite dishes. Visiting in Ramadan? We’ve got the scoop on all events happening in the city here.
JUMEIRAH (Umm Suqeim 3)
- Ayam Elezz
- The Hide
JUMEIRAH (Umm Suqeim) – Kite Beach / Mercato Mall
AL WASL – Box Park / City Walk
DOWNTOWN – Dubai Mall / Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard
SHEIKH ZAYED ROAD