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Food & Drink

12 of the best Italian restaurants in Dubai

Mon, July 18, 2022

There are plenty of restaurants in Dubai delivering world-class Italian cuisine and earning praise from diners, but we've selected the ones that consistently come out on top.

There are plenty of restaurants in Dubai delivering world-class Italian cuisine and earning praise from diners, but we've selected the ones that consistently come out on top.

1

Il Borro

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Taste the best of Tuscany in Dubai, only at Il Borro. The award-winning restaurant is the brainchild of Salvatore Ferragamo's son, Ferruccio Ferragamo, who opened the restaurant in Dubai and instantly attracted the city's gourmands. While the menu elevates Italian fine dining to levels that impress, you can still notice authenticity in every bite thanks to homemade recipes that celebrate organic produce. Book a table at the restaurant's airy terrace in winter and let the staff recommend their favourites, or simply choose the tried and tested classic Italian ossobuco that features a slow-braised veal shank served with creamy mash.

2

Alici

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Forget about making your way to Italy’s Amalfi Coast – simply make your way to Alici instead. From fresh seafood to handmade pasta, a trip across the bridge to Bluewaters Dubai is all you need for a true taste of southern Italy. The name, Italian for anchovies, gives a hint as to what the spot focuses on. With a super setting overlooking the sea and sparkling shores of the lively Jumeirah Beach Residences, this chic restaurant that puts the spotlight on fruits de mer is perfect for a lazy lunch or date night. The brunch is a must-try and courses come out in waves, including a raw selection that features local Dibba Bay oysters, tuna tartare and fresh seabass.

3

Bussola

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A favourite during the cooler winter months, Bussola features three restaurant concepts in one – the ground floor restaurant for a traditional fine dining experience, an upstairs rooftop that showcases the tastiest wood-fired pizzas in town and Bussola Mare for a luxury beachside treat. From here, you can also enjoy prime sunset views of Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah in the distance. The menu is ode to Sicilian-influenced fare with plenty to savour for diners of all ages – try the handmade ravioli filled with mushroom and truffle cream, or the signature Bussola pizza.

4

Scalini

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If you're looking to impress, Scalini at the Four Seasons Resort on Jumeirah Beach Road is an excellent dining choice. The restaurant is proud to offer a menu filled with time-honoured recipes, many of which can be traced back to old culinary books from Italy – the picattina al limone (escalopes of veal in lemon sauce) and the spaghetti all'Astice (signature spaghetti with lobster) are both divine. The food here is exceptional, but so is the service. Whether you take a seat inside or on the outdoor terrace, you'll appreciate the finer details that have gone into the designing the airy space.

5

Fi'lia Dubai

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Making waves as the Middle East’s first female-led restaurant, Fi’lia Dubai is an ode to honest, family-focused Italian food. Think housemade pastas, rustic breads and cheesy pizzas straight from a firewood oven. The name Fi’lia is derived from ‘daughter’ in Italian and, led by chef Sara Aqel who trained under the legendary Massimo Bottura, the restaurant celebrates an all-female team of strong, talented women from around the world. Fi’lia Dubai is located on the 70th floor of SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences in Business Bay, so it’s worth asking for a terrace table in winter. The views from this hotspot are meant to be admired.

6

Gia

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Located in The Dubai Mall it may be, but Gia is a far cry from food court dining. Sitting right next to the Burberry store in the mall’s high-end Fashion Avenue section (with a terrace offering a view over The Dubai Fountain), Gia’s food is as prestigious as its position suggests. Focusing on Tuscan cuisine, highlights from the menu include the tagliolini cacio e pepe (pasta with parmesan and pecorino) as well as the lasagne made with fresh black truffle. Gia’s chefs are not afraid to experiment, also offering regular special menus, such as Emirati-Italian fusion food starring rigatoni biryani, camel lasagna and more.

7

Cipriani

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This longstanding Downtown restaurant is popular for post-work dinners and lunchtime meetings, and it has a prime location in the financial district. Expect crisp white tablecloths, a subtle nautical theme and the top-notch service you’d expect from a world-famous chain. The space is always buzzing and staff ensure every meal feels like a special occasion – if you want to impress, this Dubai outpost of the Venetian celebrity hotspot should be your top pick. The menu ticks off all the Italian favourites, with portions made for sharing. Regulars return for the signature baked veal tagliolini gnocchi, beef carpaccio and spaghetti lobster. 

8

Roberto's Ristorante

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Located among some of Dubai’s hottest dining spots in DIFC, this is an ideal spot for either a lively, or romantic dinner. Walk through the doors into a warm and earthy dining room to find the tables gently lit with candles, and draped with white linen. The restaurant brings authentic Italian into Dubai’s diverse dining scene with a strong focus on using only the freshest and highest quality produce. Check out the well-executed menu, featuring antipasti, salads, pizza, pasta and seafood. The housemade tortelli stuffed with spinach and ricotta, drizzled with a light cream sauce and black truffle brunoise is a perfectly rich option.

9

Solo

Based in Raffles Dubai, Solo is consistently one of the best-reviewed Italian restaurants in the city. Taking pride in being 'homegrown' – not a branch of an international chain – Solo focuses on providing authentic regional Italian cuisine, created with locally-sourced or seasonal Italian ingredients, and served with passion. Again and again reviewers praise the service of Solo’s extremely dedicated staff, who are on hand to offer recommendations and advice. Solo’s fresh ingredients shine through in dishes such as the seafood risotto, the burrata with basil sponge, and the homemade ice cream.

10

Vivaldi

The most striking thing about Vivaldi is the view: set above Dubai Creek in the Sheraton Dubai Creek hotel, the restaurant’s terrace and extensive windows give a stunning view over Dubai’s waterway, as well as to the city’s famous skyline, including the Burj Khalifa. When it comes to the food, the focus is on high quality dishes, beautifully presented. The burrata salad with cherry tomatoes is a highlight, as is the mushroom risotto. Vivaldi also offers an evening 'brunch' (in the Dubai sense of a high-end buffet) on weekends, with a mixture of buffet items and freshly prepared dishes.

11

Monno Ristorante

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This homegrown eatery, located in the heart of Jumeirah, is a passion project for its Emirati owners who joined forces with Italian head chef Federico Bartoli to launch Monno. An air of nostalgia permeates the menu with authentic recipes, carefully-sourced ingredients and attention-to-detail ensuring this cosy trattoria already has a legion of fans. Whether you are looking to graze on antipasti, moreish starters, meaty mains or large bowlfuls of pasta, diners of all ages will find something that is sure to tantalise their tastebuds.
12

The Artisan

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Housed on the ground floor of the upmarket Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, this chic restaurant has secured a name for itself by serving up some of the most authentic Italian food in town. Florentine-trained chef Luca is at the helm here, and with links to the three-Michelin starred Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, you can taste the pedigree of this exceptional eatery. Luca peppers the menu with signature dishes that you won't find elsewhere. His Tuscan take on Bolognese paccheri is thyme-infused, while pumpkin-stuffed agnolotti offers up delicate sweet and savoury flavours. The grilled octopus is a highlight when it comes to starters, and his honey-inspired multi-layered dessert has become an Instagram and taste sensation.

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