Are these Dubai's most iconic dishes?
What does Dubai taste like to you?
We’re very spoilt in Dubai to have a diverse food scene with everything from authentic ceviche bars to sizzling Korean BBQs. But there are some dishes that have become almost bucket list items for foodies, found on just about every menu in the city.
From fine dining to street food snacks, here are 12 of Dubai’s favourite dishes…
Black cod, Zuma
One of the most popular dishes in the city is black cod and there are plenty of top-notch Japanese restaurants providing their versions of the dish. DIFC hotspot Zuma is one of our favourites: miso-marinated, wrapped in hoba leaf, and the perfect mix of sweet and umami. You won’t regret a single second.
Burrata, LPM Restaurant & Bar
It is safe to say the people of Dubai are here for burrata – the creamy Italian white cheese that can be found on just about every menu in the city. And at Team What’s On, we find it pretty hard to resist too. At DIFC’s long-standing popular French Mediterranean restaurant LPM, the melt-in-the-mouth burrata is complemented by fresh and fruity cherry tomatoes.
Calamari mozambique, Flamingo Room by tashas
Unlike the majority of the dishes on this list, the calamari mozambique is exclusive to one restaurant – Flamingo Room by tashas. The instantly-recognisable African-inspired platter of calamari served in a peri-peri sauce underneath a mountain of shoestring fries is a must-try and a favourite among both residents and tourists.
Cheeto burger, Salt
For those in the know, Salt has long been a fan-favorite when hunting down mouthwatering burgers. It started as a food truck at Kite Beach (with queues down the sand), before expanding to include sit-down restaurants and, recently a super-cool camping pop-up in DIFC. Their sliders are amazing – we love the Chicken Cheetos with lashings of melted cheese.
Chicken shawarma, Qalat Baalbak
Nothing says street food in Dubai like a chicken shawarma. With toasted bread, fresh pickles, tahini, fries, and juicy chicken, you can’t go wrong with this wrap at Qalat Baalbak. It is one of the top contestants for the best shawarma in Dubai.
Habibti bao, BB Social Dining
Bao buns are another popular dish in Dubai and BB Social Dining is the best place to satisfy your bun cravings with a whole section on its menu dedicated to the popular Asian street food. Fluffy, warm, and stuffed with whole softshell crab, watercress, and wasabi dressing, the habibti bao is one of their best sellers.
Masala dosa, Saravana Bhavan
Masala dosa is a common breakfast dish among the Indian expat community but it’s also an old favourite when it comes to inexpensive street food in Dubai. For those who don’t know, masala dosa is essentially a large crepe, made of lentil batter, and served with a potato filling and a variety of flavourful chutneys. There are tons of amazing Indian restaurants in Dubai, but for a foodie experience like no other head to Saravana Bhavan in Karama. Their large masala dosa is easily one of the biggest, and tastiest, in Dubai and an unforgettable foodie experience.
Knafeh, Al Baba Sweets
Price: Dhs26 per piece
A pudding you ought to save room for… Knafeh is a Middle Eastern dessert and an essential part of the Dubai diet. It’s made with phyllo pastry, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, syrup, and is usually sprinkled with pistachio. Head to the Arabic dessert shop Al Baba Sweets in Al Barsha for the authentic recipe.
Sharjah ‘Chips Oman’ sambusa, Roobaru
Chips Oman are a nostalgic and legendary snack for Dubai folk with a cult following across the UAE and Oman. So much so, you’ll find a number of restaurant dishes in Dubai served with a helping of the iconic chilli-flavoured crisp. From shawarma to sushi, one of our favourite Chips Oman dishes is the cheese and onion samosa from Indian restaurant Roobaru.
Truffle pizza, The Artisan
Dubai residents love truffle. In fact, you can add truffle to just about anything and it will sell like wildfire. Despite the abundant truffle pizzas in town, The Artisan’s tartufo nero stands out the most. Shaved truffle from Piemonte and 72-hour fermented dough are key players to this indulgent dish, with a crisp-meets-moreish dough that cradles an ooey gooey lava of the good stuff.
Tuna tartare, Opa
Since 2018, this Dubai institution has taken guests on a journey through traditional Greek cuisine, paired with fun-filled festivities that include plate smashing and zorba dancing. The tuna tartare is one of their best sellers, served with black truffle, Greek yogurt, confit shallot, and crispy koulouri.
24-karat gold steak, Bosporus
Supercars, seven-star hotels, and edible gold… it is true that Dubai has a love for all things luxury so we couldn’t leave this one off. Turkish restaurant Bosporus launched the UAE’s first Prime Gold Menu featuring six dishes wrapped in edible 24-karat gold. Dishes include Asado burger, baklava cheesecake, kebab, and if you really want to impress, a gold Tomahawk steak.