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The best dishes to try in Dubai

Don’t leave Dubai without trying these quintessential dishes
While Dubai is home to plenty of high-end, fine-dining options, there are also incredible dishes to enjoy that are friendly on the wallet – if you know where to look. We’ve gone back to gourmet basics to find five dishes that epitomise dining in this vibrant city. Discover where to go to enjoy a simple fish curry, a bowl of sticky-sweet dumplings or a breakfast shakshouka that’s big enough to share.
1

Mutton achar handi

Ravi Restaurant

Mutton achar handi

Ravi Restaurant

Brace yourself for a power-packed plate

This hole-in-the-wall canteen serves a bold repertoire of Pakistani plates. The place has become famous beyond the expat community, with people of all backgrounds and nationalities flocking to try delicious street eats and the mouth-watering mutton achar handi, a full-bodied combination of spices and fresh green chilli that will leave you both catching your breath and heading back for a second serve. Mop up every drop with their naan bread that is freshly-baked at the restaurant.
Contact Details
  Shop # 245, Al Dhiyafa Road, Satwa
  +971 4 331 5353

Best plates Dubai
2

Lugaimat

Logma

Lugaimat

Logma

Authentic Emirati flavours with a modern twist

Logma is a casual café in Dubai’s funky Boxpark that serves authentic Emirati dishes with a contemporary twist. If you want to try traditional Khaleeji cuisine – food from the GCC region – pop in for a bowl of lugaimat. The traditional version of these sticky, sweet dumplings come with date syrup and sesame seeds, but other variations involve Nutella and crushed pistachios, salted caramel and pecans, and white chocolate with berry jam.
Contact Details
  Boxpark, Al Wasl Road
  +971 800 56462
3

The New Benedict

Tom & Serg

The New Benedict

Tom & Serg

Gourmet fare that’s good for you

Tom & Serg, a cutting-edge café with a hip industrial vibe, turns out healthy fare celebrating world flavours. Perhaps that’s no surprise, given that the two owners come from Australia and Spain. See how they’re reimagining gourmet classics by ordering The New Benedict, an old favourite updated by adding BBQ braised veal, piled on banh mi toast and topped with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and yuzu and apple chutney.
Contact Details
  15A Street, Al-Joud Center, Al Quoz
  +971 56 474 6812

Best plates Dubai
4

Shakshouka

Baker & Spice

Shakshouka

Baker & Spice

Keeping it real

With four locations throughout Dubai, Baker & Spice prides itself on being a centre of artisanal food excellence, with a focus on fresh, local, organic and homemade fare. At the Souk Al Bahar location, dive into the signature shakshouka that’s designed for sharing – the dish features four eggs nestled in a spicy green sauce topped with spinach, turmeric and chili flakes. Or choose the more traditional tomato-based sauce variety that bursts with flavour thanks to the addition of fresh peppers and onion.
Contact Details
  Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
  +971 4 425 2240
5

Fish curry

Bu Qtair

Fish curry

Bu Qtair

Simple no-frills fish shack

What started as an unassuming seaside shack has fast become a Dubai institution. Turn up and take a seat outdoors, before diving into a feast featuring the catch of the day. There’s no written menu – instead make like those in the know and order fresh fish (or prawns) in a curry sauce. While the queues can get long, persevere as the service is fast, friendly and efficient.
Contact Details
  Old 32B Street, Fishing Harbour 2, Umm Suqeim 2
  +971 55 705 2130
6

Carrot cake

Lime Tree Cafe

Carrot cake

Lime Tree Cafe

A sweet, sweet winner

The battle for the best carrot cake in Dubai may rage on, but for us, the winner is clear. The perfect accompaniment to one of the best flat whites in town, Lime Tree's hefty wedges of homestyle, double-layered carrot cake are big enough to share (not that you'd ever want to) and loaded with carrot shaving and walnuts, and bowing beneath a solid slathering of cream cheese frosting.
Contact Details
  Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah Beach Road
  +971 4 325 6325