Here are 9 must-try Arabic restaurants in Dubai
Lebanese or Levant, these places do it best…
There are no shortages of Arabic restaurants in Dubai. They are dotted all across the city and they range in variety from fancy to no-frills, expensive to pocket-friendly, but one thing is guaranteed – the food is delicious.
So, if you’re looking for a spot to take your visitors to or to simply enjoy the fantastic cuisine with friends, here are a few of our favourites.
Here is a list of 9 fantastic Arabic restaurants in Dubai to try…
There is a long-standing debate about where shawarma really originated from. But it honestly doesn’t matter because Allo Beirut has some of the best ones in town. The wraps are packed with fries, gherkins and garlic cream, and of course, that succulent shawarma meat. The popular restaurant also serves up a list of other popular faves such as falafel sandwiches and manakish.
This restaurant transports you into a medieval setting with cobblestone walls, high regal chairs, and archways that rival a colosseum. There are private dining halls, a designated shisha area, a butchery and an Arabic sweet counter. Have little ones? There’s a kids corner where they can let out all their energy. As of their food, it’s traditionally Lebanese (of course) with cold and hot starters such as hummus, falafel plate and spicy potatoes. Their mixed grill is a combination of lamb and chicken kebabs as well as boneless lamb and shish tawook. The desserts round off the meal with different assortments of French pastries and Arabic sweets like kunafa and baklava.
Bayt al Wakeel
Ths space along the Dubai Creek originally started as a shipping office in 1354 and is now a hot spot for delicious Middle Eastern food. Bayt al Wakeel serves mezza-style foods and its portions are quite big which means it can be shared with your table. Make sure you try the calamari which is always fresh, crispy and very tasty. It’s the perfect place to take visitors to show them a bit of Old Dubai including the textile souks, dhows and abras.
Bayt al Wakeel, Inside Textile Souk, Bur Dubai, open daily from 11am to 11:30pm, Tel: (0)4 353 0530, wakeel.ae
Unassuming and hidden in JLT, Bait Maryam is a love letter to Levantine cuisine. If you haven’t been then you are truly missing out, Chef Salam Daqqaq puts love into every dish that she cooks. We recommend the Fatet Maryam Muskhan and the Maryam salad.
Bait Maryam, Cluster D, JLT, open Sun to Thu 10am to 11pm, Fri and Aat 10am to 11.30pm. Tel: (800) 627926 @bait.maryam
This Armenien-Lebanese restaurant Batchig is a hidden gem situated in the Milennium Plaza, Mirdif. Offering a wide variety of innovative home-style Armenian-Lebanese dishes from a menu that is a mouth watering blend of the two cuisines. They even have a weekend brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 8pm with an unlimited set menu and free flow drinks.
Batchig, Milennium Place Hotel, Mirdif Hills Avenue, Brunch Sat and Sun from 4pm to 8pm, Dhs175 soft and Dhs245 house. batchig.com
The botanically inspired setting alone is enough for Café Beirut to make this list. That being said, their food is worth a try. Popular and classic Arabic hot and cold mezza foods can be found on the menu as well as an interesting take on tacos, the falafel tacos are not to be overlooked. The shisha area is always a vibe with its lively chatter.
Cafe Beirut, Al Murooj complex, Downtown Dubai, open daily 10am to 3am, Tel:(0)4 4225211/(0)56 575 0777, @cafebeirutdxb
The fortress-like restaurant is known for its chargrilled meats. At Qalat Baalbak there is a selection of mixed grills as well as a raw meat option where you can choose from an array of options such as raw kafta or raw kibbeh. Of course, there is the cooked alternative as well. A great vegetarian option in the cold mezza is the dandelions with oil (Hindbeh).
Qalat Baalbak, various locations around Dubai, open daily from 8am to 4am, Tel (0)4 262 2242, baalbak.ae
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Recognition for a cuisine that deserves it. Winners of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Orfali Bros has to make the list. At its heart the Syrian-led restaurants maintain that the rules are meant to be broken so expect Arabic cuisine with a genuine twist.
Orfali Bros, D92, Jumeirah 2, open daily from midday to midnight. Tel: (0)4 259 2477 @orfalibros_bistro
From its humble beginnings in Wafi Mall, it has since become one of the most well-known restaurants for Lebanese cuisine. They have a multitude of options on their menu from hot and cold mezza to classic Arabic desserts such as Lebanese kashta served with honey. The restaurant is set up such that you can go directly to the counters to choose your selection of Arabic sweets and treats.
Images: Social and supplied