36 of the best Italian restaurants in Dubai
Serving up so much more than perfect slices of pizza…
Pizza… pasta… fresh seafood… Italian cuisine has something for everyone. And in Dubai, there’s no shortage of delicious restaurants serving top-quality Italian fare. From contemporary restaurants inspired by the artsy cities of the north to fresh ingredients you’ll find in beachside trattorias in the south, we’ve rounded up the city’s best Italian restaurants.
Amalfi Coast-inspired restaurant Alici is located on the waterfront of Bluewaters Island, and walking inside feels like stepping into a chic restaurant on the Italian coast. Everything inside Alici – which means anchovy in Italian – is beautiful. Contemporary cream interiors are blissfully interrupted by art and pottery, most of which has been hand-painted by ‘The Anchovy Man’, famed in Italy for his fish paintings. The menu is extensive but not overbearing, the food is flawless, the service is engaging without being obtrusive, and while dishes aren’t cheap, they’re not overly expensive either.
Alici, Bluewaters Island, Mon to Fri 12pm to 4pm and 5pm to 11pm, Sat and Sun 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 275 2577. alici.com
At the top end of the price scale for Italian restaurants in Dubai, you’ll find Armani Ristorante. Located in the glamorous surroundings of the Armani Hotel inside the Burj Khalifa, the restaurant serves lavish, thoroughly modern Italian cuisine that’s plated to perfection.
Armani Ristorante, Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, daily Sat to Thur 6pm to 11.30pm, Fri 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 888 3666. armanihoteldubai.com
Bella comprises of an ultra-chic loft-like lounge area and a dining room and bar. One of the coolest things about this new Italian haunt is that it boasts a fully-retractable glass ceiling, meaning you can look up into the velvety night sky when you can tear your eyes away from the twinkling skyscrapers of Business Bay.
Bella’s Restaurant & Lounge, 20th floor, Grand Millennium Hotel Business Bay, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 873 3377. @bellarestaurantdxb
What makes Bice Mare at Souk Al Bahar special is the views – they have one of the most enviable spots in the souk for overlooking the Dubai Fountain. There’s a big focus on seafood and handcrafted pasta. Dishes are designed to be shared and the menu changes seasonally.
Bice Mare, Level 2, Souk Al Bahar Downtown Burj Khalifa, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 423 0982. bicemare.com
Basta! is one of two restaurants by the ‘Gypsy Chef’, David Myers. Promising a blend of Roman trattoria, Florentine steakhouse and Neapolitan pizzeria, Basta! is inspired by Myers’ travels to these regions. You’ll see elements of this throughout the restaurant, from the open-plan kitchen and wood-fire grill to an extra-large painted artwork of iconic actress Sophia Loren. On the menu, it’s a modern-meets-traditional combination of stone-baked pizza, handmade pasta and boards of antipasti.
Basta!, The St Regis Downtown Dubai, Marasi Dr, Business Bay, daily 6.30am to 11am and 12.30pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 512 5522. basta-dubai.com
Part lounge, part pizzeria, part restaurant, Bussola is all three in one. In the cooler months, we love nothing more than to enjoy sips during sunset on the upstairs terrace at Bussola, while tucking into one of their delicious pizzas. But in the summer, it’s also a great spot for a laidback Italian meal. While the menu is simpler than some of its counterparts, it’s famed across the city for offering pretty much every pizza imaginable. They’re generous sizes too, so bring your appetite.
Bussola, The Westin Mina Seyahi, Mina Seyahi, Dubai, daily 12pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 511 7391. bussoladubai.com
Casa Mia is the OG Italian restaurant in Dubai. Lined with chocolate-toned timbers and creamy stucco, the old-school dining room looks like it’s been plucked from the backstreets of Rome. Outside, there’s a shaded patio, perfect for sharing classic renditions of pizza, pasta and antipasti.
Casa Mia, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, daily 12.30pm to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 702 2455. casamia-dubai.com
Chic Nonna is a two-storey What’s On award-winning space in DIFC and one of the newest addition to the financial district’s dining scene. For a detailed fine dining experience, book a table at the elegant Osteria restaurant on the ground floor, where diners can pair fine Italian cuisine with vintages from the largest wine cellar in the city. The best seats in the house are right by the open kitchen, where you can catch up with your dining partners while watching the culinary artists at work. You can conclude the evening upstairs in the vibrant lounge bar, where a DJ spins lively sets and a sleek terrace comes with gorgeous Burj Khalifa views.
Chic Nonna, Gate Avenue, South Market, Zone D, DIFC, chicnonna.com
The Dubai version of the world-famous Cipriani restaurant collection is a must-visit when dining in DIFC. The high-end restaurant transports diners back to the 1950s and 1960s thanks to its white-clothed tables, retro decor and glossy wooden interiors. While you’ll find some delicious dishes on the menu (the gelato is arguably the best in the city), no visit would be complete without trying one of the signature Bellini’s, a peach and sparkling cocktail invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in 1930s Venice.
Cipriani, Gate Village Building 10, DIFC, Dubai, daily 12pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 347 0003. cipriani.com
Certo is a cosy, no-frills Italian restaurant in Dubai Media City and a perfect place for after-work dinner and drinks. The menu is well-priced, the staff are friendly, and you’ll find all the classic Italian dishes on the menu, as well as a few more creative options.
Certo, Radisson Blu Dubai Media City, Media City, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 366 9187. radissonblu.com
While Five Palm Jumeirah might be on your radar for its pool parties and picture-perfect sunsets at The Penthouse, its Italian restaurant is a brilliant choice for Southern Italian fare. While the bright, airy interiors that look out onto the pool might not transport you to the Amalfi coast, the classic dishes of pasta, seafood, grilled and roasted meats, sharing platters, and assorted pastries and desserts certainly will. There’s also a second, more casual outpost, Trattoria by Cinque, at Five Jumeirah Village.
Cinque, Five Palm Jumeirah, daily 12.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel (04) 455 9989. fivehotelsandresorts.com
Homely Italian concept, Cucina has opened its doors at the buzzing Palm West Beach, located in the newly-opened Marriott Resort. The restaurant offers a rustic sharing-style dining experience with a fun neighbourhood feel. Whether guests are visiting for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, enjoying an early morning coffee perched at the espresso bar or lingering for longer over a flawlessly-made spritz in the evening – it’s the perfect neighbourhood location to enjoy a slice of Italian dolce vita with family and friends.
Marriott Resort, Palm West Beach, Palm Jumeirah Dubai. Daily 7am to 1am. Tel:(0)4 666 1408. cucinadubai.com
The Dubai EDITION’s Italian restaurant Duomo features striking interiors – Italian for ‘cathedral’, it features a 15-metre high ceiling – as well as a hidden garden-esque terrace that shouldn’t be overlooked for outdoor dining in Dubai. Elevated booths and wooden tables are set among aged olive trees set in Italian Sienna clay and terracotta pots, against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa and its impressive LED shows. For a treat for your tastebuds, the upscale Italian restaurant offers up an indulgent Italian menu, influenced by Southern Italian regions and prepared using a wide array of high-quality ingredients. Diners can expect a unique twist on traditional Italian dishes such as homemade pasta, selected meats and fish, lots of truffle dishes and a selection of authentic pizzas.
Duomo, The Dubai Edition, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 12pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 602 3399. duomo-restaurants.com
Pipped as the region’s first female-led restaurant, Fi’lia is SLS Dubai’s stunning Italian restaurant, complete with a Burj-facing terrace. The contemporary-meets-casual decor features rattan furniture and copper hardware to create a welcoming feminine space. The menu is split into three – nonna (grandmother), mamma (mother) and filia (daughter) – and features recipes passed down through generations. Expect fresh ingredients from the firewood oven and grill, handmade bread and pasta, overlooking Dubai from 70 floors high.
Fi’lia, SLS Dubai, Business Bay, daily, 12pm to 3.30pm and 6.30pm to midnight. Tel: (0)4 607 0770. @filiadubai
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
What makes Il Borro so special isn’t its stunning views (although it does have a lovely terrace that looks out to the waters of Jumeirah Al Naseem), nor its contemporary interiors, which still manage to feel intimate. What gives Il Borro that wow-factor is its dedication to serving authentic Italian fare, made with Italian-sourced products. The Italian restaurant hails from a famous Tuscan estate, which has more than 1,000 years of rich history and is set among a sprawling 700-hectare estate. While its modern Dubai outpost may be a world away from its Tuscan home, the team behind this multi-What’s On Award-winning restaurant remain dedicated to creating a taste of Italy in Dubai, and they do it to an unfalteringly high, and arguably Michelin-worthy standard.
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah St, Dubai, Mon to Fri noon to 3.30pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm, Sat and Sun 12pm to 4pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 275 2555. ilborrotuscanbistro.ae
This homegrown concept on Palm Jumeirah spot has an instant family feel, with welcoming, friendly staff and bright interiors. It’s named Il Passaggio, meaning ‘passage’ in Italian, because it has one running through the middle of the restaurant, with open kitchens on each side. Guests can happily peer in and whet their appetite by observing the preparation of pastries, desserts, bread, pizza and more.
Il Passaggio, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Monday to Friday 9am to 11pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to midnight. Tel: (04) 587 3111. @ilpassaggio_dxb
For the past 26 years, Il Pastaio has been a go-to hotspot for lovers of Italian cuisine in Los Angeles. And in December, the LA restaurant opened its first international export right here in Dubai. Found in Al Habtoor City, Il Pastaio offers homemade pasta, fresh meat and fish, signature sauces and a tempting wine list.
Il Pastaio, Al Habtoor City, Dubai, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (0)4 379 1382 ilpastaiodubai.ae
Isola Ristorante is devoted to the culinary traditions of Sicily, Sardinia and Capri, the new restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Large windows allow natural light to beam in, while clusters of hanging lights provide an ambient atmosphere come evening time.
Isola Ristorante, Jumeirah Islands Clubhouse, Jumeirah Islands, Mon to Thur 12pm to 11pm and Fri to Sun 8am to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 583 3124. @isolarestaurantdubai
L’Amo Bistro Del Mare
A celebration of the uncomplicated pleasures of dining on great food with loved ones, L’Amo Bistro Del Mare – which stands for ‘love and hook of the fish’ – features airy, nautically-inspired interiors in shades of clotted cream, duck egg blue and dove grey, with intricate details including terrazzo style tiles and a fish counter where the day’s fresh catches are displayed on ice. While much of the space is dedicated to dining, there’s also an expansive bar where guests can join for pre-or post-dinner drinks. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with natural light and allow the spectacular city skyline views to take centre stage.
Lively atmosphere meets Italian flair at this new late-night hotspot. Found in Address Sky View, Lucia’s boasts a lemon-hued terrace that oozes coastal vibes, bursting with citrus trees and vibrant blue tiles to create an Amalfi aesthetic. Lucia’s flamboyant character is felt throughout, from the decor to the menu, which highlights the very best of its cuisine. There’s a new menu to try packed with dishes such as seabags carpaccio, a salad with poached prawns, and a whole list of truffle infused dishes.
Lucia’s, Address Sky View, Downtown Dubai, 7pm to 3am. Tel: (0)4 422 4321. @luciasdubai
Homemade Italian dishes are on the menu at Luigia, the pizzeria housed in the Rixos Premium JBR. The expansive restaurant is kitted out in bold, brash hues of purple and red, and it’s well-priced for its prime location on JBR. There’s a dedicated kids’ menu and cinema room too, so it’s a good choice for families looking for hearty Italian food that won’t break the bank.
Luigia, Rixos Premium JBR, Mon to Fri 5.30pm to midnight, Sat and Sun 12.30pm to midnight. Tel (04) 349 6950. luigia.ae
Having spent a decade at the top of its game in New York, Marea has been voted one of the best Italian restaurants in Manhattan. At the sophisticated Dubai outpost, there’s a chic cocktail bar as you walk in, with a wall of amber art glowing from behind and a row of plush blue velvet bar stalls for guests to enjoy a drink before their meal. Downstairs is a more expansive bar area, with intimate seating for 65. The menu serves first-rate Italian food, with carpaccio, pasta and seafood.
Marea, DIFC Gate Village 7, Mon to Fri 12pm to 4pm and 6.35pm to 3am, Sat and Sun 6.35pm to 3am Tel: (04) 583 6366. marearestaurant.com/dubai
Well, it’s not exactly a pizza, but it isn’t a flatbread either – Pinza is in a class of its own. It’s guilt-free without losing its delicious factor made using a proprietary special blend of Italian flour. The result? A crispy, light, easy-to-digest and healthy base. It’s topped with the best-cured meats including bresaola and beef spianata picante, Italian tomatoes, and Italian cheeses. The vegetables are locally sourced where possible, and the mozzarella has been locally produced by the finest Italian craftsmen. Oh, one more reason to try this if you haven’t yet? Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan is a fan.
Pinza, available for delivery around Dubai and dine in at Gate Avenue, DIFC. @itspinza
Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, Bulgari Resort Dubai
Housed inside the luxury fashion-focused Bulgari Resort Dubai is Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, one of only a duo of two Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai. The menu is overseen by chef Niko Romito, the culinary mastermind behind Bulgari Resorts’ Il Ristorante’s in Shanghai, Beijing, Milan and Paris, and celebrates the rich heritage of Italy through top-quality ingredients sourced from across the Italian regions. Blending the classic and contemporary – and coupling it with five-star service, it’s an interpretation of exquisite Italian flavours with modern simplicity.
Bulgari Resort Dubai, Jumeirah Bay Island, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 777 5555. bulgarihotels.com
In Dubai, if you’re talking about romantic restaurants, Pierchic rings out. In 2021, the stunning multi-award-winning restaurant perched at the end of the private pier at Jumeirah Al Qasr shut only to be reimagined by acclaimed chef, Beatrice Segoni into an Italian-first restaurant – with romance still very much in the air. It’s a must-try for an anniversary, or to just treat a special someone.
Pierchic, Jumirah Al Qasr, Sun to Thur 1pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm, Sat and Sun 1pm to 2.45pm and 6.30pm to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 432 3232. jumeirah.com
This stunning rooftop Italian restaurant is located along Palm West Beach. It recently opened its doors and even drew the attention of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Loren ticks all the boxes from the views to the stunning views, and great food.
Tucked away on the ground floor of the Restaurant Village at Jumeirah Four Seasons is Scalini, an Italian restaurant by way of London. The cosy restaurant is littered with pictures of celebrities who’ve frequented the London haunt, while an outdoor terrace is covered in leafy foliage and a central tree twinkles with fairy lights. The real shining star at this restaurant, though, is the staff, many of whom have come to Dubai from the award-winning London spot. They’ve mastered fine dining in a refreshingly modern way, silver-serving dishes of beef carpaccio and creamy burrata while laughing and joking with guests. The menu is authentically Italian, with each dish full of flavour and beautifully presented.
Scalini, Restaurant Village, Jumeirah Four Seasons, Jumeirah, daily 1pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 349 0068. scalini-dubai.com
Pair your exquisite Italian feast with striking skyline views at Sette in JA The Resort. The restaurant and lounge has a new menu featuring authentic bites that will make your palate sing. There’s slow-cooked veal with vegetables, black truffle and tuna sauce; lasagna; Chilean seabass, and much more.
Sette, JA Beach Hotel, JA The Resort, open daily 5.30pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 814 5604. jaresortshotels.com
The offering at Social has been refreshed to reflect a more informal and ‘playful’ approach to Italian cuisine. The menu features generous portions offered at a more affordable price point, allowing the restaurant to appeal to a new demographic of diners who may have only previously visited to celebrate special occasions.
Social, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, daily 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (0)4 818 2155. @social_dubai
The Artisan Dubai
Settle into this art-filled dining room in the Waldorf Astoria DIFC for a meal that combines Italy’s culinary heritage with contemporary polish. Chef Francesco Magro draws inspiration from the full length of ‘the boot’, creating elegant dishes that are rooted in tradition. Highlights include the bottoni ai gamberi, a homemade bottoni pasta stuffed with prawns served with Apulian Burrata cream and Italian Oscietra caviar.
The Artisan, Waldorf Astoria, DIFC, Mon to Fri 12pm to 10.30pm, Sat and Sun 12pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)4 338 8133. theartisan.ae
At Torno Subito, modern, neutral colours and furnishings are forgone in favour of gelati-coloured hues of green, yellow, pink, blue and red, mismatched together with monochrome stripes that give the restaurant a retro, Italian-Riviera feel. The menu features pasta, pizzas, antipasti, mains and desserts, all available for lunch and dinner. Torno Subito may not be Osteria Francescana, but nor does it want to be. It’s certainly up there with some of the tastiest Italian dishes we’ve had in Dubai, and it delivers on its promise of laidback, Italian Riviera-style dining.
Torno Subito, W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Mon to Fri 12.30pm to 3pm and 6.30pm to 11.30pm, Sat and Sun 1pm to 4pm then 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 245 5800. tornosubitodubai.com
With a prime waterfront position at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Trattoria offers a relaxed alfresco experience. From the rustic Italian menu, there’s small bites such as arancini and bruschetta, a serve of golden fritto misto, luscious pastas, and pizzas with just the right amount of chew.
Trattoria, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, daily noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)4 432 3232 @trattoriadubai
The elegant Vanitas restaurant is reminiscent of a grand Italian palazzo, which is not surprising considering its location inside the Palazzo Versace in Al Jaddaf. While this might not be your closest Italian restaurant, it’s worth a trip for a romantic dinner served in lavish surroundings.
Vanitas, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Al Jaddaf, daily 12pm to 4pm and 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 556 8820. palazzoversace.ae
At Caesars Palace’s Venus, you’re treated to breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai Marina skyline and a Mediterranean feast inspired by the Amalfi coast. Your mouthwatering dishes include woodfired pizzas, homemade pasta, perfectly grilled meats, seafood and more sure.
Venus Ristorante, Caesars Palace Dubai, Bluewaters Island, Tues to Sun (closed on Mon) 12pm to 12am, Tel: (0)4 5566466. caesars.com
Hilton Dubai Jumeirah’s Vero brings you flavours of coastal Italy and cool views of Ain Dubai. The dishes are the creation of award-winning Chef Andrea Mugavero. Tuck into seafood platters, pizzas, a variety of pasta and more.
Vero, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, The Walk, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 318 2319. Hilton.com
One of the city’s longer-serving restaurants is Vivaldi, found in the Sheraton Dubai Creek. Here, it’s all about the views, with floor-to-ceiling windows giving way to one of the most romantic vistas of Dubai Creek. It’s a more casual offering compared to some of the city’s fine-dining offerings, and a smaller menu too, but it packs each of its dishes with flavour.
Vivaldi, Sheraton Dubai Creek, Dubai Creek, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (04) 207 1717. vivaldidubai.com