Step into the Mediterranean with 16 of the best restaurants in Dubai
From beautiful beachfront tavernas to contemporary Athenian cuisine…
The Mediterranean diet has long been highly regarded for its range of health benefits, using olive oils, grains, fresh fruit, fish and meat. Thankfully, we can get all of these benefits and authenticity of Mediterranean cuisine, right here in Dubai. With outdoor terraces reminiscent of hidden Greek islands and restaurants with light and airy decor there are a number of places to try to transport you straight to the Mediterranean for a moment…
Ammos will make you feel like you’ve stepped out of Dubai and into the heart of Greece for a moment. Set in an airy open plan venue that leads out onto an alfresco terrace overlooking the sea, the tables and chairs are set in a blue and white hues that brings the island of Santorini to mind. The raw bar is a particular highlight, with seabass and octopus carpaccio or a number of different oysters to sample.
Ammos, Rixos Premium JBR, Dubai, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (052) 777 9473. @ammosgreekdubai
Avli by tashas
Chic, elegant and stylish, Avli by tashas provides a contemporary setting in which to enjoy refined Athenian dishes inspired by restauranteur Natasha Sideris’ upbringing. Make sure you try one of their signature cocktails, inspired by Grecian history such as The Spartan Cave or Trojan Horse at the adjacent Galaxy Bar before dinner.
Avli by tashas, Building 9, Gate Village, DIFC, 12pm to 1am. (04) 359 0008. avlibytashas.com
Located in the stunning Edition Hotel Downtown, Ergo can only be described as fashionable, fun and delish. Naturally, serving Mediterranean cuisine, this high-end cocktail bar cum restaurant is the perfect spot for a cheeky date night. Begin your evening with bespoke and creative cocktails before diving into soulful dishes including grilled branzino, pastas and even a raw bar.
Ergo, The Edition Dubai, Downtown Dubai, daily from 6pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 554 2456 ergodubai.com
If hearty Italian classics just like Nonna makes them is your version of authentic Italian cuisine, then make yourself a reservation at Fi’lia. The restaurant is perched on the 70th floor of SLS Dubai, and as well as a restaurant adorned in shades of lime and orange, a folia-filled terrace boasts some incredible views of the Burj Al Arab and Downtown Dubai. The menu celebrates multi-generational Italian cooking, with dishes inspired by family recipes passed on from generation to generation. Think rustic homemade Foccacia, twirl-able ribbons of pasta and fresh fish served sharing style.
Fi’lia, SLS Dubai, Downtown Dubai, 12pm to 12am daily. Tel: (0)4 607 0770, sbe.com
Fish Beach Taverna
Thanks to its beautiful beachfront setting, stunning whitewashed interiors and lights littered through the trees that twinkle by night, it deserves a mention. It specialises in fresh seafood and Aegean cuisine, served up alfresco across the beach and garden. It’s like dining on your own little Grecian island right here in Dubai.
Fish Beach Taverna, Le Meridien, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 511 7373. fish-dubai.com
Gaia combines traditional Greek-style mezze, salads and succulent meats served with delicate precision. The interior is light and soft, with the subtle simplicity of the Mediterranean style. Open for lunch and dinner, at its helm is local hero chef Izu Ani, so you know you’re in safe hands when it comes to top-quality flavours delivered with flair.
Gaia Restaurant, DIFC, Gate Village 4, Dubai, daily 12pm to 11.30p,. Tel: (04) 241 4242. gaia-dubai.com
Lola Taberna Española
Named after the country’s most famous Flamenco dancer, Lol Taberna Espanola is a true love letter to the excellence that is Spanish comfort food. Paella galore, complemented by tapas to your heart’s content, round out your evening with churros and you’re suddenly whisked away to the dreamy country of Spain.
Tryp by Wyndham Dubai, Barsha Height, Sun to Thur 5pm to 1am, Fri and Sat 1pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 2476688. @lolataberna
Laguna Beach Taverna and Lounge
With an alluring bohemian chic vibe, this canopied and elegant restaurant is any beach lover’s dream. Laguna Beach Taverna curates Greek dishes that are perfectly designed for sharing, which means if you’re after that cheesy Lady and The Tramp moment, this might give you the ideal opportunity.
Laguna Beach Taverna & Lounge, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Jumeirah, East Crescent Rd, Dubai, 12pm to 2am daily, Tel: (0)4 455 6677. sofitel-dubai-thepalm.com
Stunning West Beach restaurant Lucky Fish certainly brings those Mediterranean vibes to the shores of Dubai. When dining outdoors, visitors will be seated under a sun-dappled white canopy which features elegant 19th Century French chandeliers hanging from the ceiling with linen curtains and lush green plants swaying gently in the breeze. There are also cushy sun beds and huge white cabanas on the beach. The Mediterranean-inspired menu at Lucky Fish will feature Italian, French and Spanish flavours, as well as focusing on fish, meat and seafood.
Lucky Fish, West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 11am to 3am. @luckyfishdubai
This Greek and Spanish-inspired restaurant, on Club Vista Mare, is the ideal beachside spot to enjoy a view of the ocean with your fresh oysters and catch of the day. Spanish cuisine fans will enjoy the traditional paella, while lovers of Greek food will fawn after dishes such as kleftiko and spanakopita. There’s both indoor and alfresco seating, plus a dedicated area for the little ones to play and enjoy. Huge blooms adorn the inside restaurant and spill outside onto the terrace and beach.
Myrra, Club Visa Mare, Palm Jumeirah, daily, 11am to 1am. Tel: (0)4 770 1433. @myrrarestaurant
If you’re looking for a place with all of the authenticity of a traditional Greek tavern, Mythos is definitely worth a visit. Described as a ‘hidden gem’ in Dubai, the food is prepared delicately and by hand, not losing any of the Traditional greek style or flavours that you’d expect. This place quickly packs out, so book ahead to bag the best table.
Mythos Kouzina & Grill, Armada BluBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT, Dubai, daily 12pm to 11.45pm. Tel: (04) 399 8166. @mythosdubai
Given that the original Nammos in Mykonos is popular with celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio to Mariah Carey, it’s no surprise that the Dubai outpost is popular with a famous face or two. Tucked next to the main entrance of the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, Nammos Dubai has its own private beach, terrace and restaurant. True to the Greek provenance, the menu exudes a lightness of touch that takes you to the Mediterranean. Nammos is definitely on the more expensive side of Dubai dining, so come prepared.
Nammos Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, daily 12.30pm to 12.30am. Tel: (058) 1210000. nammos.gr
Opa is an absolute must-visit for a lively Greek dining experience. When arriving, you’ll step into a Mediterranean oasis with white mosaic flooring underfoot and beautiful flowers and fauna reaching up to form a dramatically beautiful entrance hall. Florals are a prominent feature, and you’ll find them scattered throughout the traditionally whitewashed restaurant.
OPA, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed, Dubai, open daily from 7pm to 2am, . Tel: (04) 357 0557. @opadubai
This beautiful restaurant is actually set on the beach with stunning views of the ocean and front-row seats to the Burj Al Arab. It really celebrates its beachfront location, with whitewashed furniture, wooden decking and palm trees providing the ultimate ‘on-holiday’ experience. On the menu, expect traditional Greek dishes and an array of light salads and meats cooked to order from the grill.
Shimmers, Jumeirah Mina A Salam Road, Dubai, 1pm to 10.30pm daily. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com
Tasca By José Avillez
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Mandarin Oriental Jumiera, Dubai boasts a gorgeous infinity pool at their sixth floor restaurant, Tasca. Previously only open to hotel guests, you can pay a visit to this adults-only haunt from Tuesday to Sunday, with an Infinity Pass. At Dhs1,000 it’s not cheap, but it does include a full day of indulgence, including a welcome drink and fruit platter, three-course meal from José Avillez, Portuguese drinks, wines and mocktails, and a sunset cocktail.
Tasca, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road, Tue to Sun, Dhs1,000, 21+. Tel: (04) 777 2231. mandarinoriental.com
Perfect for relaxed alfresco dining, you’ll find the beautiful restaurant Taverna at the oh-so-picturesque Madinat Jumeirah. With a fresh fish counter, plentiful mezze dishes and meats cooked from a charcoal grill visible from the walkway, you’ll have a rustic experience with pretty views of the Madinat waterways. Bag a seat out on the terrace for that true outdoor Dubai dining experience.
Taverna, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, weekdays 12pm to 12am daily. Tel: (04) 589 5665. Facebook.com/tavernagreekkitchen
Images: Facebook/ Supplied