Where to eat if you skip meat! Dubai's best veggie restaurants
Dubai is home to enough steakhouses and grills to keep an army of carnivores in rib eyes and racks of lamb for months, but finding exciting vegetarian options can be a challenge. So to celebrate #MeatOut we’ve rounded up the names you need to know – from the best veggie breakfasts to the meanest meat-free takeaways in town. These are the vest vegetarian restaurants in Dubai.
Meat does make an appearance on the menu at The Farm, but its veggie selection is large and anything but bland. As well as the usual selection of breads, tempting pastries and egg dishes, The Farm also serves spelt pancakes and cottage cheese frittatas. Plus there are vegan dishes like tofu scramble and gluten-free coconut waffles. This busy yet tranquil spot also caters to diners whose sweet tooth kicks in early – a chocolate and banana panini for breakfast? Yes please.
Al Barari, opposite Falcon City, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7.30am to 3.45pm, 6pm to 11pm, Fri and Sat 8.30am to 3.45pm, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3925660. Taxi: Falcon City. thefarmdubai.com
Baker & Spice
Many of the vegetarian breakfast options at the always busy B&S have a Middle Eastern flavour, including its take on the traditional shakshouka – eggs poached in tomato sauce with chilli and olive oil. This hearty dish – served with chunky slices of farmhouse bread to mop up all that oozing egg yolk and spicy sauce – will easily prepare two people for the day.
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4252240. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. bakerandspiceme.com
The medu vada fresh from the fryer are the stars of the southern Indian menu at Woodlands. Not dissimilar to a doughnut in appearance, medu vada are moreish lentil fritters served with chutney and sambar. These crispy treats are perfect for a cheap and tasty breakfast on the run.
Karama Shopping Complex, Al Karama, Dubai, Sat to Thur 7am to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm, Fri 1.30pm to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3370253. Metro:
Whoever says vegetarian food isn’t filling hasn’t checked out this Bur Dubai gem. It serves generously proportioned pizzas and a vast array of rustic pastas and risottos, all washed down with fruity mocktails. In a surprising but not unwelcome twist you can also swing by Mexico while in Little Italy, thanks to a tempting selection of tacos and quesadillas and corn enchiladas with a side of garlicky mashed potatoes.
Regent Palace Hotel, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Sun to Thur noon to 3.30pm, 7pm to 11.30pm, Fri 1.30pm to 12.30am, Sat noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3852445. Metro: Bur Duman. littleitaly.ae
77 Veggie Boutique
A relatively new arrival in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, 77 Veggie Boutique whips up low calorie lunches like rice noodles with veggie chilli sauce and aubergine and potato curry alongside a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Tiffany Tower, Cluster W, JLT, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7.30am to 10pm, Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat 11am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 4224116. Metro: JLT. 77veggie.com
Haji Ali Juice Centre
This joint in Karama is as popular for its selection of snacks and grilled sandwiches as it is for its juices and milkshakes. With a snack and a shake likely to cost no more than Dhs30, you’ll have change leftover to try one of the desserts like cream sharifa, which is custard apple with whipped cream.
Near Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha Road, Al Karama, Dubai, Sat to Thur 9am to 2am, Fri 10am to 1am. Tel: (04) 3378078. Metro: Al Jafiliya
It would take many trips to exhaust the selection of vegetarian dishes at this perennially popular Japanese restaurant. The baked Japanese aubergine with sesame seeds and sweet miso glaze is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Or try the brilliantly named Yasai BiBimBap: sesame-soy spinach, beansprouts, courgettes and daikon (Asian radish), with a poached egg and sesame-chilli pesto in a cast iron pot.
H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily noon to 3pm, 7pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 5018777. Metro: World Trade Centre. okku.com
Foodie fashionistas (not always an oxymoron) in search of high-end vegetarian fare should head for Amal in the Armani Hotel. Dine with the beautiful people – by which we mean the staff as much as the patrons – and take your pick from garlic-scented yellow lentil soup with baby spinach and cumin grissini, baby aubergine curry, or clove-smoked paneer cheese from the grill.
Armani Hotel, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 8883888. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. dubai.armanihotels.com
Saravanaa Bhojan Shala
The dosas have made this vegetarian joint a firm favourite with hungry vegetarians. Delicious and dirt cheap, you can order your crisp Indian pancake to come stuffed with onions, paneer cheese, vegetables or – better yet – all three. Dosas aside, the palak paneer and the Saravanaa Bhojan special biriyani both come highly recommended by team What’s On – and neither will set you back more than Dhs20.
Dubai Marina, Marina Pearl Building, behind RAK Bank, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 7am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4512525. Metro: JLT. saravanaabhojan.com
The perennial favourite of pizza is always a great go-to option for a quick and tasty vegetarian take-out. However, if you’re after something more inspiring than a plain old margarita, the cosy Red Tomato can help. Try their delicious white pizza laden with Italian mozzarella, gorgonzola and slices of fresh pear, or the Noci pizza, which is topped with fried chicory and crushed walnuts. All pizzas are cooked in an authentic Italian woodfired oven.
Saleh Bin Lahej Building, Al Barsha, Dubai, daily 11am to 1am. Tel: (800) 866286. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. redtomato.biz