Eating, Food, Hipmunk CityLove, Middle East, Travel

A Foodie Guide to Dubai – Hipmunk City Love

We all know about the outrageous and the uber expensive in Dubai. Stories of palm tree shaped manmade islands, Ferrari World, and an indoor ski park in the desert make crazy and splashy headlines. Then there’s the chic shopping and the ultimate in five-star hotels in Dubai. That story’s been told. But what about the food?

Like the rest of Dubai, the food scene is just as varied offering travelers a range from cheap and delicious roadside food stands to five-star dinners that would pinch even oil sheik’s wallet. The type of food is just a varied with cuisines from almost every corner of the world available. This foodie guide to Dubai will point in the right direction on where to eat in the culinary destination that Dubai is becoming.

Foodie Guide to Dubai

Photo by Farah Ali via

Get Acclimated to the City First

I always recommend starting any city visit off with an overview tour of some sort. Whether it’s a walking, Segway, or bus tour, you’ll learn a little more about the town and determine which neighborhoods you want to go deeper into. In Dubai, I suggest a walking tour that visits one of the spice souks (markets) for a lesson on traditional food. Another way to marry a tour with food in Dubai is to take a Dhow Cruise Dinner which floats buy most of the top sites and provides an intro to Arabic cuisine. Either tour will inspire you to go deeper.

Don’t Pass up the Hotel Restaurants

Yes, the hotel restaurants are quite good in Dubai and likely the ones that you’ll visit the most. Why? Because these are the only restaurants permitted to serve alcohol due to Dubai’s strict liquor licensing laws. If you’re like me, that news can be quite discouraging. I like to explore and not be tied to a hotel. Pretend like you’re in Vegas and explore other hotels. Not only admire the restaurants but check out the posh and unique designs.

Al Muntaha offers spectacular views of the city from the top floor of the hotel and some of the finest Arabic dining in town with a Moroccan twist. If you prefer water views to city views, then opt for the Buddha Bar whose outdoor lounge offers sweeping views of the Arabian Sea. It’s also one of the most popular Dubai restaurants serving a fusion of Sushi, Chinese and Thai food. If you’re looking for classic French cooking, you can find that as well. Margaux offers the freshest French produce in Dubai in a classic atmosphere.

Foodie Guide to Dubai

Photo by Nawab via

Explore the Neighborhoods

Not that I have your mouth-watering over the fine fare served up at the hotels, don’t shy away from neighborhood restaurants and food stands. You’ll be treated to local dishes falafel, humus, or ghuzi (roasted lamb with rice, vegetables, and nuts). Or choose from the more exotic like matchbous (spiced lamb, tomato, and rice) or mehalabiya (a pudding with rosewater and pistachios). Don’t pass up Indian food, either. Dubai has some of the finest Indian fare in the world like Ravi’s.

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This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.