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
+971 4 385 6775
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
Beachy vibes at Park House
Just footsteps from Kite 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.
Kite Beach, Street 2D, Umm Suqeim
+971 4 2541565
Chill out at The Surf Cafe
This trendy locale is just off the Jumeirah public beach, located 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), and a range of seafood options. Fresh king prawns, live lobsters, oysters, clams, crab, scallops…name it and you'll get it, grilled or steamed and served with lemon-y or spicy sauce. Keeping with the theme of the sea, there’s also a sushi and sashimi bar.
Umm Suqeim 2, Jumeirah Beach Road
+971 4 346 6292
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
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 4 346 6292
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, Jumeirah
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
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
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
Food meets fun at Poco Loco
Sink your teeth into the flavours of Latin America with a view of the waves at Poco Loco. There’s tacos and tostadas to share and larger plates of Peruvian style and Mexican cooking. In the evenings, you’ll be entertained by a live band with tunes from the continent, while you munch on crunchy sea bass or slow cooked lamb. Don’t miss the sugary churros for a perfectly sweet end to your meal.
The Beach, JBR
+971 4 456 2081
For more beach fun, have a look at Dubai’s top beaches, and all the best beachside hotspots. If you’re an avid foodie, make sure to check out the Dubai Food Festival from 21 February to 9 March 2019.