Where to grab a casual meal with your feet in the sand
In Dubai, with the Arabian Gulf at your doorstep, you’re never too far from a bit of sand. Here are some fabulous places to relax while feeling the sand between your toes.
Emirati with a twist at SIKKA
Take a seat by the sea and enjoy myriad flavours from Arabia. With a nod to the region’s trading past, SIKKA Cafe’s menu celebrates Emirati food with Indian and Persian influences. Try the SIKKA chicken tikka manakish, topped with butter chicken sauce, chicken tikka and gooey cheese. Or the veggie-favorite Khameer bread sandwich, stuffed with fresh falafel, lemon, tomato and rocca leaves.
La Mer South, Jumeirah 1
+971 4 385 6524
With a fun wanderlust theme and seafresh decor, Parker’s at La Mer is an inspiring spot for all-day treats. Whether you’re looking for eggs sunny-side up, exotic acai bowls or delicious sharing plates that are simply irresistible, you’ll find it all here. Favourites include the pretzel chicken strips, spicy toffee shrimps and signature truffle fries. Take a seat outside on the shaded terrace and watch the world go by.
La Mer South, Jumeirah 1
+971 56 369 1388
Fabulous fish fare at Bu Qtair
This unpretentious little seafood shack has garnered an almost cult-like following. What started as a tiny porta-cabin in a Jumeirah bylane has now been promoted to a more sophisticated - albeit modest - venue at the Fisherman’s Harbour. Each day’s fresh catch is spiced and served grilled or fried, Indian-style, with sides of salad, rice or parathas (fried flatbreads) and a generic (spicy) gravy, on paper plates. There’s no menu, prices vary (a bit of haggling is acceptable), and there’s usually a queue every evening. All you need to do is select your seafood – the prawns and pomfret are usually good - and tuck into the fresh, delicious fare.
Street 4D, Fisherman’s Harbour, Jumeirah
+971 55 705 2130
Beachy vibes at Park House
Just footsteps from Nessnass Beach, this chilled-out community cafe is the perfect escape. With hand-crafted coffee, all-natural breakfast and lunch menus, and an effortlessly relaxed vibe, it won’t take you long to unwind by the waves at this homegrown concept. You’ll find the classics: eggs done how you like them, French toast and pancakes, but also yoghurt and porridge pots, plus power-packed smoothies.
Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall
+971 56 525 7485
Healthy delights at HOLA
A fresh concept by Emirati brothers Ali and Yousef Karmostaji, this Latin American-inspired restaurant serves up delicious, healthy dishes. The menu is eclectic to say the least, with crêpes filled with ice cream, fruit sushi, teppanyaki ice-cream rolls and Mexican fruit paletas (ice lollies). All the products used are of the highest quality, making every meal here a refreshing treat.
La Mer North
+971 4 388 7999
Sample old school classics at Al Ijaza Cafeteria
This no-frills place on Beach Road is a Dubai landmark of sorts, having served residents for 25 years. Popular with those looking for a quick, cheap bite to eat, the hole in the wall, open until the early hours of the morning, is known for its shawarmas, inventive sandwiches and mixed fruit cocktails. Try the 'Hassan Mathar', a toasted cheese and garlic chicken wrap that will melt in your mouth. To drink, indulge in a classic 'avocado and milk' (Dubai's cafeterias adopted the creamy green fruit long before the hipsters took over), or any of the amusingly named combos: 'Expo 2020', 'Dubai Metro', 'Computer' or 'Abood'.
Jumeirah 1 (near Mercato Mall), Jumeirah Beach Road
+971 4 344 4874
Breakfast by the beach at LaOla
Eat good, feel good - that’s the mantra at this Kite Beach cafe. Offering views of the beach and the city, you can drift away while taking in the fresh sea air and deep blue scenery. Nibble on the beach breakfast packed with farm fresh eggs (however you want them), bircher muesli, fresh fruit and more. Early-riser? Don’t miss the free sunrise yoga and meditation sessions on the cafe’s terrace three times a week.
Kite Beach, Street 2D, Jumeirah
+971 4 344 9301
Chill out at LEEN’s Casual to Gourmet
This trendy locale is just off the Jumeirah public beach next to surfer’s haven, Surf House Dubai. In a hip setting, complete with a beachgoer clientele and chalkboard menus, you'll find all-day breakfast, acai bowls and fresh salads (for the healthy set). You can also find poke bowls, sushi and bento boxes, and the popular vegan almond butter & strawberry pancakes and gluten-free flaxseed pancakes. The venue also brews its own coffees.
Umm Suqeim 2, Jumeirah Beach Road
+971 4 346 6292
Share a meal at Pots, Pans and Boards
At the helm of this eatery on The Beach is celebrity chef Tom Aiken, who has the honour of being the youngest British chef to have been awarded two Michelin stars. With its wooden floors and a galaxy of hanging cooking utensils, it offers a relaxed eating environment for families and beachgoers alike. Diners can enjoy hearty meals of short ribs or oxtail burgers, and are encouraged to share. For a sweet ending, there’s traditional sticky toffee pudding, served with date-flavoured ice-cream.
The Beach, JBR
+971 4 456 1959
Try the sliders at Salt
Burger fans have been lining up at this Kite Beach hotspot since its debut. The food truck has evolved into a pop-up, air-conditioned terrace called The Beach House. The menu keeps it simple with classic Wagyu sliders and fries, fresh drinks including pink lemonade, and ice-cream. Salt is also one of the first to jump on Dubai’s Lotus-flavour obsession, with their creamy cookie-butter soft-serve.
Kite Beach, Dubai Marina Mall Promenade and La Mer
Eggy delights at Eggspectation
A favourite of the breakfast crowd, this aptly named eatery meets all your eggy expectations. Savour poached eggs or eggs Benedict or choose any of the delicious three-egg omelettes. Or try the Uneggspected with the Eggsuberant for a true Eggstravaganza (you get the gist!).To drink, there is a wide selection of tropical fruit smoothies and green juices; try the Banana Java for an espresso kick or a refreshing coconut water. Take in the fresh air outside or settle in more cosily indoors.
The Beach, JBR
+971 4 430 7252
Tantalising treats at Breeze Beach Grill
A popular choice along the pristine strip of beach by Club Vista Mare on Palm Jumeirah, Breeze has all the ingredients for a fun day out – good tunes, great food and a chilled, laid-back vibe. Signature dining highlights include fresh sushi, juicy lamb cutlets, buffalo chicken tenders and beef sliders. There’s also a dedicated ‘healthy shack’ selection if you’re looking to indulge without the guilt. Head over early to grab a table on the sand.
Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah
+971 4 568 3000
Family fun at Beach Canteen
One of Dubai’s most exciting pop-up foodie events, Beach Canteen is a highlight of the annual Dubai Food Festival. Organised along the pristine shores of Jumeirah Beach, the foodie extravaganza features the city’s best culinary concepts, cool shops and incredible live music. sywp Beach Canteen took place from 21 February to 9 March 2019, so stay tuned for next year's edition.
Jumeirah Beach, behind Sunset Mall
For more fun by the shores of Dubai, have a look at
top beaches and the best beachside hotspots.