A Foodie's Guide To The 14 Best Dishes In Dubai

best local food in dubai
Teesha
Teesha
Updated

We all know how Dubai is known for being a global city. With luxury oozing from every corner of this Emirati city, it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In addition to its dizzying skyscrapers, beautiful beaches, luxurious malls and tax-free shopping, there is one more thing that Dubai is popular for. Yes, that’s right - the food. Dubai’s cuisine is a combination of Iranian, Lebanese and Arabic food. And the choices are not just limited to these, you can find a variety of American, Indian and Italian delicacies here, as well. If you’re planning a trip to this magnificent city of dreams and are confused about how to plan your food itinerary, we have it all figured out, here for you. Given below is a list of the 14 yummiest dishes that you must try, irrespective of whether you are a foodie or not. Ready for a flavour awakening? Read on.

1. Mutton Achar Handi

Achar Gosht
Source: Photo by user Miansari66 used under CC0

As lip-smacking as it looks, the Mutton Achari Handi will also win your heart. Mutton cooked with fresh green chilis and assorted spices, this main course has a tangy, pickled aftertaste. With its roots originating in Pakistan, Mutton Achar Handi is one of the most popular dishes to try in Dubai.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Ravi Restaurant

Address: Shop 245, Opposite Union Cooperative Society, Near Satwa Roundabout, Satwa, Dubai

Price: 13 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 5 am - 2:30 am

2. Shawarma

Beef Shawarma
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hill93 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Just like typical chicken rolls, shawarmas make an appetizing dish. They feature minced chicken or mutton, wrapped in a tortilla along with some spicy sauces and freshly chopped vegetables. You will find numerous versions of shawarma in Dubai. Chicken, mutton and paneer shawarmas can’t be missed.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Jedoudna

Address: The Walk, JBR, Rimal Building, Opp Hilton Hotel - Dubai

Price: 3 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 8 am - 1 am

Website: Jedoudna

3. Baklava

Baklava
Source: Wikimedia

Do you have a sweet tooth? Well, then try Baklava! This special dessert is basically a pastry, made from layers of filo dough and filled with chopped and sweetened nuts. The pastry is drizzled with a sugar syrup or honey to give the dessert its signature taste. Baklava is a must have, while you are in Dubai.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Café Bateel

Address: Near The Waterfall, Lower Ground Level, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai

Price: 60 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 8 am - 12 am

Website: Bateel

4. Nihari

Nihari
Source: Photo by user Miansari66 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Dubai is undoubtedly a paradise for meat lovers and Nihari is a favorite dish that features meat. This slow-cooked stew consists of mainly beef or lamb, cooked with some of the most exotic Arabian spices and served with bread. Lemon and chilies are served on the side.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Delhi Restaurant

Address: Opposite Talal Supermarket, Frij Al Murar, Naif, Dubai

Price: 15 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 11 am - 12:30 am

5. Egyptian Koshari and Feteer

Egyptian food Koshary
Source: Photo by user Dina Said used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Being a global city, Dubai has a variety of cuisine to satiate your food-lust. Egyptian food is one such popular cuisine that you must sink your teeth into, at least once. Egyptian koshari is a comfort food that has baked noodles or even rice sometimes, drizzled with exotic condiments, lentils, white chickpeas, fried onions and vinegar. It is often served with feteer, which is a pie made from flour and sugar and is topped with different toppings.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Al Amoor Express

Address: Next to Al Ansari Exchange, Near Mall of the Emirates, Barsha 1, Dubai

Price: 15 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 7:30 am - 2 am

6. Bihari Kebabs

Chicken tikka2
Source: Photo by user Sagar U Shetty used under CC BY-SA 4.0

A forkful of Bihari kebabs will automatically send you to food heaven. With its roots in the Indian state of Bihar, this famous dish has been winning hearts in Dubai. Infused with exotic spices, yoghurt and tenderised papaya, Bihari kebabs will melt in your mouth. You’ll instantly fall in love with these Indian kebabs and the way they are served in Dubai, is just outstanding.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Jaffer Bhai’s

Address: Opposite Karama Civil Defence City, Near Karama Post Office, Zabeel Road, Al Karama, Dubai

Price: 35 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 12 pm - 4 am, 7 pm - 12:30 am

7. Manousheh

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Manousheh is a delicious breakfast option to try in Dubai. This Lebanese dish is actually a pizza made from stretched dough and is stuffed with toppings like zaatar herbs, olive oil, Akkawi cheese and more. It is an appetising dish that will help you start your day.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Man'oushe Street

Address: Icon Towers, Next to Byblos Hotel, Barsha Heights, Dubai

Price: 30 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Website: Man'oushe Street

8. Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh
Source: Photo by user cyclonebill used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Light and delicious, tabbouleh is a tangy salad that is made from green onions, tomatoes and cucumber and is often seasoned with mint leaves and lime juice. Nowadays, you will find several variants of this salad, in Dubai. Don’t forget to try the version flavoured with corn and blueberry.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Farzi Cafe

Address: CITY WALK, Al Safa & Al Wasl Road Intersection, Al Safa, Dubai

Price: 50 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 10 am - 3:30 pm, 7 pm - 11 pm

9. Falafel

Food in Israel
Source: Photo by user young shanahan used under CC BY 2.0

Falafel is a respite for vegetarians in Dubai. This dish is comprised of deep-fried balls or patties that are made from finely ground fava beans or chickpeas. They are often combined with hummus, salad and other Israeli dippings.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Operation Falafel

Address: The Beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai

Price: 25 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Website: Operation Falafel

10. Fattoush

Fattoush
Source: Photo by user [Unknown] used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you are on a diet and still want to test the waters of tempting Dubai cuisine, Fattoush is for you. This is basically a Levantine bread salad where the fried pieces of pita bread are tossed in several sauces along with freshly cut veggies. A true delight for weight-watchers.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Mama'esh

Address: Bayswater Tower, Business Bay, Dubai

Price: 25 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 8 am to 12 am

11. Shish Tawook

Shish Tawook
Source: Pexels

Shish tawook is a traditional kebab that is served with a twist, in Dubai. You can find it in almost every small and swanky restaurant in the city. It tastes best when eaten with bread, garlic dip, fries and pickles.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Zaroob

Address: Shop 1, Jumeirah Tower Building, Sheikh Zayad Road, Trade Centre Area, Dubai

Price: 25 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Website: Zaroob

12. Chelo Kebab

The Chelo Kabab
Source: Photo by user Devang Mukherjee used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Chelo kebab is certainly the thing for you if you love the combination of rice and kebabs. These delicious kebabs are hot favourites, in Dubai. Team them up with aromatic basmati rice and some pickles to finish off this dreamy delicacy.

Where Do I Get the Best?

Where: Al Ustad Special Kabab

Address: Near Musalla Tower, Al Musalla Road, Meena Bazaar, Dubai

Price: 35 USD approx.

Opening Hours: 12 pm - 4 pm, 6:30 pm - 1 am

13. Stuffed Camel

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Stuffed camel is a traditional dish in UAE that is only served to the rich and wealthy families and Sheikhs. It’s a dish that is often served only during special occasions but today, it’s gained some attention when it made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest dish to be found on any menu. However, don’t expect to order this specific dish in any restaurant as it is quite a handful to prepare. Stuffed camel is not exactly for the common eater, a dish for adventurous eaters. Stuffing eggs and rice inside a chicken is the first step then stuffed inside a lamb and finally into the camel which is then broiled and decorated with rice, eggs, and nuts.

14. Al Harees

Al fanar harees
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Krista used under CC BY 2.0

Al Harees is another traditional delicacy in UAE and is usually prepared during ceremonial festivities or religious holidays like Ramadan, Eid, weddings, and birthdays. This dish is simply made up of lamb or chicken, wheat, and salt and is cooked in a pot that is left to simmer for many hours until it’s completely dissolved into the wheat then cooked over burning coal to make a thick wheat and meat soup. The gelatinous dish is then finished with local ghee then served on flat plates usually a popular dinner dish in many Middle Eastern countries. Al Fanar Restaurant at the Dubai Festival City Mall is a place to try the Shorbat Harees at just 5.72 USD and is best paired with their Salalat Jarjeer salad.

Al Fanar Restaurant and Cafe

Address: Dubai Festival City Mall, Festival City, Dubai, UAE

Opening hours: 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM, Sundays to Saturdays

Contact: 600524646, 04 2329966

Price: an estimate of 69.43 USD for 2

Drooling?

Has this list got you drooling? Make sure you treat yourself with these delicious delicacies, while in Dubai. The city is an explosion of flavour, which a foodie traveler shouldn’t miss. And don’t forget to share photos of your favourite dishes, with us.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hello. I'm Teesha, a freelance writer and an aspiring travel blogger. My affair with travelling doesn't have a lot of history as of now but I'm determined to make it one of the most passionate love...Read more

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