What’s On details the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi when eating on a budget. Find out excellent cheap eats for breakfast, lunch, dinner.

You can feast on good food in the capital without breaking the bank. Try these 28 restaurants, where two people can fill up for under Dhs100…

Le Royal Méridien’s café concept is a neat place to meet a friend for breakfast and the portions are big enough to keep your belly from rumbling until well into the afternoon. Try the hefty, although very sweet, blueberry Bircher muesli (Dhs28) and the Bakers’ Breakfast for Dhs35 (two toast, veal bacon, poached eggs, tomato, béarnaise sauce). You’ll still have change from a hundred to get some of the outlet’s excellent banana bread or raid its in-house bakery for some portions of pumpkin bread or rock sugar brioche twist.

Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 6am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 6.30am to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 674 2020. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Wheat

The One
Eating in a furniture shop showroom is a slightly surreal experience, but two people can scoff breakfast here for under Dhs100 – just. Start off with a veggie blend fruit drink or iced tea (Dhs18 to Dhs20) and tuck into a hefty bowl of muesli with sweet cous cous (Dhs32) and their signature omelette, where you choose your own fillings, for only Dhs31.

Sheikh Zayed 1st Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 9am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm. Taxi: BMW Showroom, Sheikh Zayed 1st Street. theone.com

Jones The Grocer
It is possible to tuck into brekkie and save a few dirhams at this popular Aussie chain. The new addition to the menu, the coconut porridge served with a banana and butterscotch compote (Dhs26), is hearty and fillling. The eggs on toast here are also very good (Dhs29) and you’ll still have enough to get a Jones’ fruit loaf or croissant each as well.

Various locations including Gardens Plaza, Al Raha Gardens, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 7.30am to 10.30pm, Fri and Sat 8.30am to 10.30pm. Tel: (02) 5574882. Taxi: Al Raha Gardens. jonesthegrocer.com

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Jones The Grocer

The Living Room
It’s hidden behind a security gate in a compound in Al Khalidiyah, but The Living Room is worth seeking out for the friendly service and wallet-friendly prices. There are absolute steals to be had on the menu, including three pancakes and syrup for Dhs16, turkey bacon and two eggs for Dhs28, crêpes for Dhs16 and a fried egg sandwich for Dhs10.

Khalidiyah Village, 28th Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 6.30am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 8am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6396654. Taxi: Khalidiyah Village

Mora Levantine
Two people can start the day for less than Dhs100 at this quirky little location in Al Zahiyah. Dishes from the breakfast menu won’t cost you more than Dhs20: try the shakshouka (eggs with chilli, tomatoes and loads of flatbread) or the omelette with vegetables. You’ll still have plenty of money left over to spend on their maneesh (which cost as little as Dhs6) and some soft drinks.

Khalifa Compound, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6455532. Taxi: Opposite Abu Dhabi Mall, near Co-Operative Society building

Hippy Chic
If you live in Khalifa City, you can get breakfast with a mate and still make savings. A portion of chilli corn fritters with scrambled eggs will set you back Dhs24, while the pancakes with maple syrup only cost Dhs22. You’ll have enough left over to get some porridge for Dhs28, drinks or a plain croissant for two at Dhs9 each.

Etihad Plaza, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5568264. Taxi: Etihad Plaza, Khalifa City

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Hippy Chic


Shawarma Time
The sandwiches here are an absolute bargain: the Saj, beef and chicken sandwiches only cost Dhs15 each, and the Shawarma Bites (three cheese buns with chicken or beef fillet and veg) only cost Dhs20. There’s several deals on the menu as well, including the Shawarmatain meal: you get two shawarma sandwiches plus a soft drink and it’ll only cost you Dhs25.

Executive Business Centre, Najda Street, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 8am to 1am, Fri 1pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6336633. Taxi: Nadja Street, near La Brioche. shawarma-time.com

Ya Zaien
Head here for pizzas priced between Dhs8 and Dhs22, pastries such as egg with Kraft cheese at Dhs7, labneh with mint at Dhs6 and fruit juices and milkshakes for Dhs10 each.

Muroor Road, Al Mushrif, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 1am. Tel: (02) 4454008. Taxi: Al Etihad Newspaper 

You can order a portion of olives (Dhs12) and hummus (Dhs16) to start and then plough through a quarter chicken meal with two sides and a burger meal with one side. You’ll go home with a dirham in your pocket.

World Trade Centre Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6310002. Taxi: World Trade Centre. nandos.ae

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Nando's Abu Dhabi

Burger Fuel
This Kiwi burger joint does a gourmet mini menu, meaning you save cash and keep the calories down as well. The hamburgers cost no more than Dhs20, and the meal can be topped off with a portion of the grilled chicken fenders and veggie pumpkin, carrot and chickpea bites. You’ll have cash left over for some fries, or a dessert to share.

The Galleria, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10.30am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 10.30am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6738779. Taxi: The Galleria. burgerfuel.com

The emphasis is on healthy dishes at this Al Muroor eatery. Try the Mexican quinoa salad for Dhs25, with red beans, feta, corn and avocado, plus the tuna and rocket sandwich with cheddar and jalapeño (Dhs25). You’ll still have enough cash from Dhs100 to each have one of their thick, filling smoothies and a side to share, such as roasted veg or potato wedges.

Green Emirates Building, Muroor Road, Al Nayhan, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 8am to 11pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6433669. Taxi: Emirates Building, Muroor Road. soulfull.ae

Urban Bites
Head downtown for baguettes priced as low as Dhs28 (try the roasted lamb), pasta dishes between Dhs20 and Dhs25 (the farfalle with shrimps and asparagus is excellent value), and three bean salads at Dhs18. Pudding will only set you back Dhs15 as well: the chocolate walnut brownie is to die for. Some of the capital’s bands often perform here and music organisation White Cube held one of its Metronome events at the end of August.

Shining Tower, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 7am to 10pm, Fri noon to 10pm. Tel: (02) 2222302. Taxi: Shining Tower, Al Khalidiyah. urbanbites.me

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Urban Bites

Bite Rite
You can count your cash and watch your weight here: each item on the menu comes with a calorie count. Sandwiches, such as the cream cheese and broccoli, cost on average Dhs21 to Dhs23, and starters such as the spinach puffs with cashew cost around Dhs12 (or try the veg spring rolls with tomato garlic sauce for Dhs15). Soups are well priced too (most cost between Dhs12 and Dhs16), as are the salads. Try the shitake mushroom salad for Dhs20 – it’s a mere 90 calories.

NMC Hospital Building, Electra Street, Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6179847. Taxi: NMC Hospital, Electra Street. biterite.ae

Bonna Annee
Abu Dhabi’s only Ethiopian restaurant serves unique dishes at moderate prices. Try the steak tartare with chilli powder for Dhs30, and the beef stew for Dhs25. Follow that with some shiro (simmered, ground chickpeas in house sauce) and some tibs, (lamb cubes in onion, pepper and Ethiopian spiced butter).

Behind Salam Street, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (02) 4912128. Taxi: Opposite old Blood Bank building, Tourist Club

Max’s Restaurant
This Filipino outlet sells sandwiches with fries for Dhs22, soups for as little as Dhs12, and noodle dishes for Dhs24, but the real savings are in its combo meals. You’ll get a main, a side and a dessert from Dhs18 to Dhs38.

Corniche Hotel Apartments, Khalifa Street, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6281234. Taxi: Behind Adnic, Khalifa Street


Russian Kitchen House Cafeteria
Situated near the Russian Embassy, huge salads here cost around Dhs14 to Dhs18, and dishes such as pancakes with cabbage won’t cost you more than Dhs20. The meat pies at Dhs8 are also worthy of your dirhams.

Near Russian Embassy, Hamdan Street, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 11am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 1pm to 10pm. Tel: (02) 6744342. Taxi: Russian Embassy, Hamdan Street

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Russian Kitchen House Cafeteria

Dirt cheap Lebanese food but it’s all about the extras: you’ll get plenty of breads and greens to keep you going for a good three days. There are lots of salads on the menu priced around Dhs20 to Dhs25, alongside a huge mezze selection of dishes priced around Dhs15 to Dhs20. Soups are also cheap (Dhs12) as are sandwiches – a shish kebab sandwich is only Dhs12.

11th Street, Defense Road, Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6416655. Taxi: Opposite Burjeel Hospital, Defense Road 

Pizza Amore
Kooky surroundings and staff, but the prices here, and the decent quality, means this place is a good pit stop for the budget-conscious. Small pizzas cost around Dhs25 (try the Rustica, with mozzarella, beef, onions and black olives), while salads cost around Dhs22 and soups, including asparagus, will only set you back Dhs14.

Opposite Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 10am to 12.30am, Fri 1pm to 12.30am. Tel: (02) 6449990. Taxi: RAK bank opposite Abu Dhabi Mall. pizzaamore-uae.com

HWY 55
Get burgers in Al Muroor at economical prices. Regular sized hotdogs are only Dhs14, burgers are Dhs21, and there are several other bargains such as the grilled pimento cheese on toast (Dhs18) and the chicken sandwich (Dhs23). Fries are a scandalously low Dhs8 and the frozen custard scoop desserts are also good value at Dhs15 each.

Hwy 55, Al Muroor, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6411161. Taxi: Al Muroor, just off Dalma Street. hwy55burgers.com

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - HWY554

Automatic Restaurant & Cafeteria
Come here for cheap Lebanese dishes from an Abu Dhabi institution. Sandwiches cost a miniscule Dhs5 (try the shawarma) and it sells plenty of grilled kebabs, including shish tawouk and kabbak hallabi for less than Dhs30. Once again, it’s the extras here such as breads and salads that really make it value for money.

Al Mariah Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 3am. Tel: (02) 6769677. Taxi: Al Mariah Mall

De Thali
Upmarket mall food in Madinat Zayed and the staff are extremely friendly. You’ll only fork out Dhs12 for starters such as the samosas and make sure you try the lentil fritters with coconut chutney for Dhs13. Main course tandoor curries are also cheap, with plenty under Dhs25 (try the murgh angarey, chicken with chilli and garlic). The excellent biryanis here are also cheap at around Dhs25 and the vegetable thalis (a meal on a plate) are excellent value at Dhs35 – and will leave you plenty of change for dessert.

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre, Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 11am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 8am to midnight. Taxi: Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. tablez.com

Biryani Pot
This Galleria outlet is quickly gaining a reputation for selling some of the best Indian dishes in the city at very competitive prices. The salads are big and a meal on their own, and the spicy chickpea in a tamarind sauce is great value at Dhs15. The name means you’d expect the biryanis to be good and they are, especially the more healthy quinoa veggie version at Dhs44.

The Galleria, Sowwah Square, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6766555. Taxi: The Galleria. biryanipot.ae

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Biryani Pot

Chhappan Bhog
One of the best value for money Indian chains in the city, Chhappan Bhog sells more than 70 varieties of sweets, snacks, street food style dishes, dosas and curries. With thalis priced as low as Dhs17 and its massive dosas only costing on average Dhs9, two people can easily fill up here for as little as Dhs50.

Between Electra Street and Salam Street, Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6778864. Taxi: Adnoc Building, between Salam Street and Electra Street

Cheap Turkish grub just off Al Falah Street, with mezzes such as hummus and tabbouleh priced around Dhs10 to Dhs15, roast chicken dishes at Dhs30 and desserts at Dhs7 each. Be adventurous and try the grilled quail at Dhs45.

Al Falah Street, Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to 1am. Tel: (02) 6212557. Taxi: Al Falah Street, near Habib Bank

Foodlands does an excellent buffet, but to feast for less than Dhs100, you’ll need to order a la carte. Chaats cost between Dhs16 to Dhs20, and you’ll have to cough up Dhs10 for samosas, while veggies dishes are priced around Dhs25 each, and biryanis are between Dhs22 to Dhs35. Breads are crazy cheap – a naan is Dhs4.

Al Hamily Building, Airport Road, Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to midnight. Tel: (02) 6330099. Taxi: Airport Road, opposite Al Manhal Palace. foodlands.com

Broccoli Pizza and Pasta
Slices of pizza are available here for Dhs15, and small pizza pies only cost Dhs22. There’s an extensive pasta menu and you can get a lasagne combo meal with a drink and salad for Dhs35.

Near Adnoc, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily open 24 hours. Tel: (02) 6666025. Taxi: near Adnoc and Family Park, Al Khalidiyah. broccoli.ae

Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on a budget - Broccoli Pizza and Pasta

Student Biryani
A second branch in Al Zahiyah will open later this year and big savings can be made if you order a meal deal. For Dhs36 you’ll get a chicken biryani, kheer (rice pudding), a salad, raita, a shami kebab and a can of drink. You can get a chicken Karachi curry, two naan, salad, raita and a drink for Dhs29.

Near Central Market, Khalifa Street, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 3.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4409300. Taxi: Central Market, Khalifa Street. studentbiryani.com

Lebanese Flower
Perhaps one of the most famous Lebanese restaurants in Abu Dhabi, the Flower chain has a cheap mezze menu, with dishes such as hummus, falafels and kebbeh all priced Dhs12 to Dhs15. Portions are big, so if you spend Dhs100 you’ll be taking food home in a doggy bag.

Defense Road, Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 3am. Tel: (02) 6421114. Taxi: Near Union National Bank. lebaneseflowerrestaurant.com

One of only two Indonesian restaurants in the city, Bandung serves traditional dishes such as ba’so campur (meatballs with noodles) for Dhs18. Barbecue dishes such as chicken skewers with peanut sauce are only Dhs16. Expect to fork out around Dhs20 for noodle mains, and Dhs30 for seafood dishes.

Opposite Mina Al Madina Supermarket, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6452008. Taxi: Opposite Mina Al Madina and Abu Dhabi City Bus Terminal, Tourist Club Area