What’s On’s Black Hat Guide is a guide to restaurants in Dubai. It gives you contact information and how to book the best restaurants.

The Black Hat Guide is the UAE’s first fully rated restaurant guide from the region’s best-selling entertainment magazine, What’s On.

In compiling the guide we tucked napkins into our collars and ate BBQ chicken wings with our fingers; gently picked up the most delicate piece of sashimi with chopsticks; slurped soup, cracked lobster and nibbled dim sum. We ate at casual places, smart places and everywhere in between, in all four corners of Dubai. We tried French food, Cajun food and Brazilian food. We tucked into curries from India, tapas from Spain and pastries from France. And we did it all to make The Black Hat Guide your essential dining companion. 

Here are the best restaurants in the city according to this year’s Black Hat Guide.

Just bear in mind, a hat is a hat, and a white or a shaded hat means just as much in its price category as the coveted black hat does. Also remember, if a restaurant doesn’t have a hat, it doesn’t mean it’s not good – it’s just not quite there yet.

Each entry is marked with a price. All prices are based on a meal for two, excluding drinks. The guide is split into three price categories: Up to Dhs249, Dhs250 to Dhs749, Dhs750+.

Décor, service and atmosphere are important to us, but our primary concern is, of course, the food.

Restaurants hoping to attain a hat rating will need to offer the best of the best.

We look at the quality and sourcing of the ingredients, the level of technical skill displayed, complexity of flavour and a level of inventiveness and flair found in only the greatest kitchens.

Very good
 = Exceptional

Dhs250 to Dhs749
Awarded to restaurants that provide good food at a reasonable price.

Very good

Up to Dhs249
Awarded to restaurants, cafés and pubs that provide simple, tasty food on a shoestring.

Very good
 = Exceptional 

OK, that’s enough chit chat. Grab a fork – we’re hungry.