12 indie restaurants in JLT foodies need to visit
From create-your-own noodle bowls to all-American pizza parlours and kitsch, cosy cafes…
JLT is one of the most inhabited living areas in Dubai, with buildings lettered from A right through to Z. However, this cool social hub isn’t just a cluster of buildings, but a cluster of cool little eateries, bursting with character and cuisines from around the world.
From authentic Asian street food to lovingly-crafted wood-fired pizza or deliciously spicy Mexican, these indie restaurants are must-visits for foodies.
Here are 12 indie restaurants you can find in JLT…
For those times when only noodles will do, Daikan Ramen will definitely satisfy. The tiny restaurant is always full of people tucking into belly-warming broth bowls packed with noodles, meat and vegetables. You can opt for the chef-recommended or even create your own, loaded just as you like it.
Daikan Ramen, Lake Shore Tower 1, Cluster X, JLT, Dubai, 11.30am to 11pm. Tel: (050) 725 6338. facebook.com/daikanramen
Pitfire Pizza is a seriously popular spot in JLT for those in the know. These ‘pies’ are no ordinary run-of-the-mill pizzas, but more of a passion project, with ever-evolving recipes and techniques from over 40 years of the business. Try The Hipster for a refreshing vegetarian alternative to a meatier option, and don’t forget to order their delicious garlic knots.
Lake Terrace Tower, Cluster D, JLT, Dubai, 11am to 11pm, daily. Tel: (800) 7483473. pitfiredubai.ae
For those who just can’t get enough of quesadillas, nachos, burritos and more, Mexican restaurant Maiz Tacos is a must-visit in JLT. They started out as a food truck before opening up a restaurant in Al Wasl, with the JLT spot marking their second restaurant opening. Small but contemporary, it’s a great place for a post-work dinner catch up while you feast on some authentic Tex Mex.
Maiz Tacos, Cluster Y, JLT, Dubai, 12pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 514 4712. facebook.com/maiztacosdubai
If you’re keeping it healthy, it doesn’t get much more healthy than Vietnamese Foodies, who pride themselves on cooking up traditional and nourishing dishes with seafood, meat and fresh vegetables authentically cooked in water or broth instead of oil by a hand-picked team of Vietnamese chefs. Vegan & vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and paleo are all catered for at this healthy cafe.
Vietnamese Foodies, Cluster D, JLT, Dubai, Sun to Wed 11am to 11pm, Thurs to Sat 11am to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 565 6088. vietnamesefoodies.com
Is Asian food your thing? Well, you need to check out Streetery Food Hall – the first authentic Asian food hall in Dubai. Try as many different dishes as you like with Fat Aunt’s Chinese, Zen Thai and Hing Kee BBQ and Roast all there to satisfy you. Tables are set out canteen-style, so perch up and tuck in.
Streetery Food Hall by Zen, Cluster D, JLT, Dubai, 11am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 587 3373. zendubai.com
Another brilliant foodie find in JLT’s Cluster D is Bait Maryam. The menu at this cosy Middle Eastern restaurant is spearheaded by chef Salam Dakkak, and the menu is a perfect read
Bait Maryam, Cluster D, JLT, Dubai, 10am to 11am daily. Tel: (04) 241 8447. baitmaryam.com
Poke & Co
Step aside acai, Poke bowls are the colourful, full of flavour and great for the ‘Gram meals we no need on our feed. As well as poke bowls, packed with nutritious ingredients, Poke & Co in Cluster Y also do breakfast options, wholesome salads and some healthy dessert alternatives.
Poke & Co, Cluster Y, JLT, Dubai, 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 423 1059. pokeandco.com
This cool and cosy neighbourhood hangout spot is always bustling with people, from breakfast to brunch groups or those lucky enough to work remotely, with their earphones in, hidden behind their laptops. The dishes are healthy and wholesome, the coffees are strong and the vibe is good. Enough said.
Friends Avenue, Cluster T, JLT, 8am to 10pm, daily. Tel: (04) 554 5813. friendsavenue.ae
If you’ve never had a Pickl burger, trust us when we say you’re missing out. The setting of the restaurant has that cool, industrial interior and the burgers are equally as impressive. Try their famous Chicken Sando, with crispy fried chicken, lashings of sauce, tangy onions and pickle in a potato bun. It won’t disappoint.
Pickl, Ground Floor, One JLT Tower, Dubai, 11am to 1am, Sun to Wed, 11am to 2am Thurs & Fri. Tel: (04) 584 6859. eatpickl.com
Little Erth by Nabs&G
One for the vegans and the health conscious is cute cafe, Little Erth by Nabz&G. Their best-selling dishes include the fresh summer rolls (Dhs30) – traditional rice paper wraps filled with seasonal veggies, coriander and parsley, served with peanut sauce. Little Erth has also launched a vegan-only meal plan service, where you’ll find some of their other top dishes (such as the vegan brownie, truffle mushroom risotto, and vegan meatballs) included.
Little Erth by Nabz&G, Mohammed Ibrahim Tower, JLT Cluster J, Dubai, Sat to Wed 12pm to 10pm, Fri & Sat 12pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 276 7287. nabzandg.com
Wokyo Noodle Bar
For those who like to carve their own path, Wokyo Noodle Bar lets you create your own wok noodle creation every time. Choose your sauces from options like Osaka teriyaki or Hong Kong black pepper, then add your preferred noodle, rice or vegetables, proteins and any additions to get your perfect mix, just the way you want it.
Wokyo Noodle Bar, Cluster J, JLT, Dubai, 11am to 11pm. Tel: (800) 96596. wokyo.com
Cafe Le Flair
Another one to add to your cute cafe list, Cafe Le Flair is a delightful little spot serving up fresh pastries, croissants, pressed sandwiches and freshly-ground coffee. It’s got a nice outdoor seating area for al fresco breakfasting by the lakes, which is perfect now the weather has cooled.
Cafe Le Flair, Cluster G, JLT, Dubai, 7am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 427 8629. @cafeleflair