Eat like a Dubai expat

Eat like a Dubai expat 20150429T021433 20170430T153913:636291635536693383 Restaurants

With around 85 percent of Dubai's population hailing from outside the UAE, the city has become a melting pot of cultures – and delicious food. For visitors, there's no better city for taste-testing regional dishes from around the world.

Eat like an expat at one of these multi-cultural eateries

Taste the culinary comforts of your home cuisine – or try someone else’s

For Persian food, try… The Iranian Club

Serving up a smorgasbord of Persian food, The Iranian Club [] is a weekly pilgrimage for Dubai's Iranian businessmen and merchants. Most opt for the juicy mixed grills, with the saffron-spiced shandiz (lamb chops) and pan-fried zobeidi fish firm favourites. A large space capable of hosting groups for celebrations (the facilities also include an auditorium, library and sports classes), the cultural centre caters to a more conservative crowd, with guests expected to follow a modest dress code that includes hair-covering headscarves for women.


Oud Metha Road

+971 4 335 2002

For Canadian food, try… Maple Leaf Restaurant

While American eateries are easy to find in Dubai's mega-malls, authentic Canadian cuisine is a rarity. Enter Maple Leaf [[], a kitschy and comforting Montreal-style eatery serving French-Canadian favourites for homesick locals. Head here for rib-sticking bowls of poutine – a dish that originated in Quebec, made with French fries, topped with a gravy-like sauce and real cheese curds - and the best American-style beef bacon in the city.


Cluster V, Jumeirah Lakes Towers

+931 4 338 3001

For Indian food, try… Anmol Hyderabadi Restaurant

Happy to heat things up? For the large contingent of South Indian residents, this curry canteen is a cheap and cheerful lunch and dinner option. With no menu offered, it's a test of faith, but diners are rarely disappointed. Chilli-lovers will relish hunks of chicken and lamb slow-cooked in spicy sauces to a mouth-numbing flavour. Heat-adverse? Request the mutton biryani, without the gravy and served old-school-style from a huge tin pot.

Hor Al Anz, Deira

+971 4 297 6646

For Australian food, try… Tom & Serg

Owned and run by Australian Tom Arnel and Spaniard Sergio Lopez, Tom & Serg [] brings cosy, hipster cafe culture to Dubai. Try the steak sandwich with tomato chutney and roasted beetroot, followed by a stodgy lamington for dessert. Since opening in 2013, the two-storey cafe has gone from strength to strength, with the duo’s latest concept, The Sum of Us due to open this April.


15A Street, Al-Joud Center, Al Qouz

+971 4 474 6812

For Filipino food, try… Sinugba Ng Cucina

Filipinos, one of the largest of Dubai’s expat groups, numbering more than one million, have cornered the market on fried chicken. Head in to this tiny, friendly shop for excellent golden fried crisp chicken legs, or opt for the healthy (or, should we say, healthier) options from a specials menu: stuffed tilapia fish and taro leaves with coconut, or a pot of local mussels steamed in a green chilli broth.

Al Nahda

+971 4 263 7482

For Irish food, try… The Irish Village

The Irish Village [] in Garhoud is less of a village and more of a cosy tavern, which suits its regulars – a mix of mostly UK expats with a smattering of other Commonwealth residents – just fine. Here, the bangers and mash and a hearty cottage pie take top billing on a menu that sticks to Gaelic comfort foods, punctuated with the occasional (but still substantial) salad. The venue hosts a steady stream of musical acts throughout the year, and celebrities such as Sir Bob Geldof have even been known to stop by when in town.


31 A Street, Garhoud, Tennis Club

+971 4 282 4750

For Greek food, try… Eat Greek Kouzina >

One of the first restaurants to open its doors at Dubai's new JBR foodie precinct at The Beach, Eat Greek [] serves hearty and fresh Mediterranean cuisine, with the tzatziki and feta in the mezze a novelty for the Arab clientele. The calamari - grilled and drizzled with lemon oil - is a tasty and healthy main course for those not up to the challenge of hearty lamb souvlaki. Finish up with a slice of orange pie and a real iced coffee, before a digestive lie-down on the nearby beach.


The Beach at JBR

+971 4 430 5249

English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing

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