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 Greek cuisine, right here in Dubai, with a new wave of Greek restaurants opening across the city.
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…
Gaia combines traditional greek style mezzes, 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 1am. Tel: (04) 241 4242. gaia-dubai.com
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. Stay late into the evening and you’ll catch the traditional Zorba dancing and plate smashing. Opa!
OPA, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed, Dubai, weekdays 7pm to 1am, weekends 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 357 0557. Facebook.com/opadubai
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
Perfect for relaxed alfresco dining, Taverna recently opened 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.
Taverna, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, weekdays 12pm to 1am, weekends 12pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 589 5665. Facebook.com/tavernagreekkitchen
Ammos will really 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 setting that leads out on to a alfresco terrace over looking the sea, the tables and chairs are set in a blue and white hue 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 1pm to 5.30pm, 7pm to 12am. Tel: (052) 777 9473. facebook.com/ammosgreek
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 12.30pm to 5pm, weekdays 7pm to 11.30pm, weekends 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 399 8166. Facebook.com/mythosdubai
The Pointe is fast becoming a go-to foodie destination for dinner in a beautiful setting, with views of the water and the iconic Atlantis stretching out in front of you. Ena takes prime position and offers stunning views looking out onto Atlantis and a menu filled with sophisticated Greek dishes.
Ena Resturant, The Pointe, Plam Jumeirah, Dubai, weekdays 3pm to 12am, weekends 12pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 243 6668. enarestaurant.com
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, 12pm to 5pm, 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 432 3232. jumeirah.com
Mr Greek plays on all the stereotypically Greek beachfront restaurant accents there is: think endless shades of blue furniture, mosaic flooding and a taverna-style setting. The menu is just as to-the-point, filled with traditional, reasonably priced dishes.
Mr Greek, La Mer, Dubai, daily 10am to 12am. Tel: (04) 341 5788. instagram.com/mrgreek
Greek & Delicious
Greek & Delicious is a relaxed, unlicensed restaurant in the heart of Dubai at JLT. It’s a no-frills fit inside, with a lovely little terrace that overlooks the lake. Their menu is extensive, but we recommend the Souvlaki (wrapped pita) for an easy-eat balance of meat, salad and fresh tzatziki.
Greek & Delicious, Cluster J, JLT, Dubai, daily 12 to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 277 6926. greekanddelicious.com
A hidden gem in Old Dubai, Elia has a romantic candle-lit outdoor setting that adds a little magic to your dining experience. It’s got a regular crowd, and is a great option for family get togethers and catching up with friends. The menu brings together the best of traditional dishes passed through generations, interpreted by chef Baxevanis.
Elia, Majestic City Retreat, Mankhool Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 501 2690. facebook.com.eliadubai
Fish Beach Taverna
Okay, so Fish Beach Taverna isn’t strictly Greek, but 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
Images: Facebook/ Supplied