Step off the beaten path and you’ll discover some of Dubai’s lesser-known culinary treasures.
Every foodie worth their gourmet sea salt knows restaurants don’t have to be flashy or expensive to offer a sensational dining experience.
Which is why the Dubai Food Festival has come up with Hidden Gems, a competition designed to raise awareness of the unsung heroes of Dubai’s food scene.
Now, after two weeks of online polling from more than 3000 voters, the final list can be be revealed.
From legendary Iranian kebab joints to Japanese bakeries, here are the favourites…
DUBAI’S TOP 10 HIDDEN FOOD GEMS
Ka’ak Al Manara (Lebanese)
Famous for its traditional sesame bread (ka’ak) stuffed with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings, you’ll find this Lebanese canteen on Level 1 of Mercato Mall, Jumeirah 1.
Desi Adda (Indian & Pakistani)
Offering a trendy take on street food from Pakistan and India, Desi Adda is located on Damascus Street in Qusais and is open daily until midnight.
Tuk Tuk Thai
Unassumingly located in the food court of Uptown Mirdiff Mall, this Thai restaurant offers incredible cuisine that won’t put a dent in your wallet.
The Smokin’ 9 (Mini Burgers)
This JLT joint is the perfect spot for those who can never decide on a burger – you can mix and match all of your favourite fillings.
Tucked away in the Al Ghurair Centre Extension, Al Rigga, this Japanese bakery serves all kinds of tasty treats from sushi to ramen burgers, as well as a whole host of delicious baked goods.
Rasoi Ghar (Indian)
Serving only vegetarian Indian cuisine, Rasoi Ghar is quickly becoming something of an institution in Al Karama, with diners enjoying everything from thali platters to desserts.
Aroos Damascus (Middle Eastern)
Offering a wide range of some of the most iconic dishes from the Middle East, and situated in Al Muraqqabat, this restaurant has become a bit of an institution, drawing in a large local crowd.
The Acai Spot (Brazilian)
With strong Brazilian influences, this clean-eating spot is located in Deira and offers a range of healthy juices, shakes, and salads.
Al Ustadi Special Kabab (Iranian)
One of Dubai’s oldest restaurants, previously called Special Ostadi, this eatery is famed for its authentic kebabs which the team has been serving up from the Meena Bazaar location near Al Fahidi metro station since 1978.
Singapore Deli Cafe (Singaporean/Malaysian)
Located opposite the Burjuman Centre, this restaurant has won fans for its authentic dishes heralding from Singapore and Malaysia.