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Food & Drink

33 of our favourite restaurants to open in Dubai in 2022

Thu, January 5, 2023

Have you ticked off these hot newcomers to the Dubai gastronomic scene?

Have you ticked off these hot newcomers to the Dubai gastronomic scene?

Fat Uncle


Alaya Dubai
Ideal for a special occasion, chef Izu Ani's Alaya is an ode to Eastern European and Mediterranean plates, with a strong sprinkling of Middle Eastern flavours and ingredients. The upmarket DIFC hotspot from the team behind GAIA, oozes sophisticated chic when it comes to its decor, plates and dressed-up clientele. Book ahead, especially on weekends, as this is a bona fide hotspot. As the night goes by, the music gets uptempo adding to the upbeat atmosphere and happy chatter of the culinary crowd.


He's known for serving up the most delicious smashed burgers and fried chicken but now Emirati chef Faisal Naser has expanded his culinary horizons by opening a standalone restaurant. Expect not just his signature dishes but also a selection of limited-edition specials that take inspiration from global travels. His cosy industrial-chic eatery, situated in Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road, is a labour of love for the restauranteur who follows the ethos of careful, considered cooking – that's why he named his spot LENTO, which means 'slow' in Spanish.


Amelia restaurant sashimi
Nikkei accents add flavour to Japanese and Peruvian dishes at this Beirut-born restaurant and lounge that calls Downtown Dubai's Address Sky Views Hotel home. A 1930s art deco vibe permeates through the glamorous three-floor venue, with Mediterranean plates adding to the menu's mix. Particular highlights include the raw seafood selection with tiradito, ceviche and sushi sharing space with Josper-grilled meats.


Avatara vegetarian dish
A curated, vegetarian degustation experience, AVATARA is defined as the reincarnation of soulful Indian food. Chef Rahul Rana has reinvented the dishes of his childhood to create a 16-course menu rich in nostalgia, and each plate arrives with an explanation of its ingredients and origin. The restaurant, which was awarded one Michelin star in the 2023 Dubai selection, presents an intimate experience for just 30 diners a night, so it's worth booking ahead.

Chic Nonna

Chic Nonna Italian restaurant 3

There's something irresistible about Chic Nonna's spectacular setting along with head chef Francesco Torcasio and group executive chef Giuseppe Pezzella's delicious Italian cuisine. Located in Dubai International Financial Centre, expect a blend of tradition combined with innovation at this popular two-floor osteria with prime Burj Khalifa views. Located at one end of Gate Avenue, the two-storey space is reminiscent of a sophisticated mansion filled with curated collectibles, artwork and fireplaces. It features a lounge and main dining area, with the spotlight firmly on the theatrical open kitchen, showcasing the culinary team at work. Foodies should ensure they book the chef's table for the most immersive dining experience.

Not Only Fish

Not Only Fish
Born in Kyiv, the Dubai outpost of Not Only Fish in JLT's Almas Towers is sure to live up to its hotspot pedigree. Although pescatarian pleasures are a speciality – their raw bar with sushi, sashimi and tartare is a particular highlight – there is plenty to tempt aside from seafood with robata grills and vegetarian options too. Indulge in tried-and-tested favourites like crisp spring rolls, plump dumplings or popcorn shrimp. 

Monno Ristorante

Monno ristorante
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.


ramen bowl baofriend
Fluffy baos filled with imaginative flavours may be the main attraction, but they are just some of the highlights of this casual eatery that's already made its name in the Dubai Silicon Oasis neighbourhood. Instagrammable, eye-catching interiors accented with neon lights, bright hues and greenery make this an inviting place to pop in when craving a bowl of kimchi ramen noodles or miso-glazed short rib bao.

Clay Dubai

Seafood dish at Clay Dubai
Bringing fresh servings of Nikkei cuisine to our shores, Clay at Bluewaters Island presents enviable views and signature dishes that reflect culinary creativity from Japan and Peru. Make your selections across tempura, ceviche, salads, grills, sushi and more, or opt for the omakase experience where the chef selects eight to 12 signature courses for you. Everything is designed to be admired with exceptional presentation details and a medley of flavours and textures in every bite.


Beefbar at DIFC

A relaunch that we can’t be more excited about, Beefbar now has a new home at Jumeirah Al Naseem. The upscale steakhouse has plenty of surprises, with street food favourites to share and vegetarian treats alongside prime cuts that are prepared to perfection. The emphasis is on fired-up flavours and there’s something for all tastes, including delectable desserts such as the dulce de leche fondant. Take a seat outside by the hotel’s popular turtle lagoon – this is one meal you won’t want to rush.



With a prime location at the top of the Dubai Opera and an experiential Italian dining concept that’s designed to impress, Belcanto ticks all the boxes. The menu features artfully-plated Italian dishes – think classic recipes refreshed with a contemporary twist. The elevated food matches the vibrant setting that draws on European influences and refined flair. After dinner, take a stroll along the picturesque Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard or team dinner with a show a short elevator ride away.

The Crossing

The Crossing Dubai
This homegrown eatery, perched on the ground floor of the H Dubai hotel, shines a spotlight on the diversity of Indian cuisine, plating up recipes you are unlikely to find elsewhere. The contemporary space, decked out with blue banquettes, gold accents and leather seats creates a welcoming atmosphere – and then ups the ante with delicious food. Standouts include the fiery 'gunpowder' prawns, Bengali mustard fish, shiso-leaf chaat and mutton pulao rice.

The Nice Guy

The Nice Guy
The Nice Guy is well known for attracting celebrities at its original West Hollywood outpost as well as for its comforting American classics with a strong Italian influence. Its Dubai location, at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard, is just as impressive with a candle-lit patio and interiors that echo retro 1920s decor. The local menu features signature dishes like the lobster pizza, arancini and eggplant parmigiana, while other fan favourites are also given a subtle regional twist for their new setting.

Bushra by Buddha-Bar

Bushra by Buddha bar
He's known to be one of the most innovative chefs in the region which is why foodies are all a flutter that Greg Malouf is at the helm of Bushra by Buddha-Bar. The eastern-inspired space is the perfect spot to showcase Malouf's modern Levantine dishes, with the yacht-filled Dubai Marina providing an impressive backdrop. Generous plates, ideal for sharing, put the spotlight on regional cuisine. Start with Beiruti hummus before moving onto creative appetisers like the wild mushroom sambousek pastries.


 juns Downtown
Drawing on celebrity chef Kelvin Cheung's French training, Canadian roots and Asian heritage, Downtown Dubai-based Jun's has a prime location and proven pedigree. Expect North American comfort food, combined with Asian flavours, served up in an upmarket, chic setting. Top plates include the tempura and sweet potato chaat, sitting alongside his take on a carrot, labneh and furikake 'bagel', spiced garlic prawns with Korean kimchi served on khichdi rice, and the Macau-sauce lobster

The Byron Bathers Club

Chef Tom Arnel's new waterside spot on the shores of Palm Jumeirah takes inspiration from Australian beaches, with a surf-style aesthetic and menu that you can happily graze on all day. Bright, airy interiors complement views of the Arabian Sea, with an easy local neighbourhood vibe that ensures visitors become regulars. Snack on small plates or feast on a selection of mains, with an emphasis on coastal flavours putting the spotlight on seafood and seasonal ingredients.

Ristorante L’ Olivo at Al Mahara

Ristorante L'Olivo at Al Mahara
Chef Andrea Migliaccio helms the only two Michelin-starred restaurant on the chic island of Capri and now he's bringing his famed Ristorante L'Olivo to Burj Al Arab's spectacular Al Mahara restaurant. It feels like a real sense of occasion as you take your table among the coral-filled aquariums and sample seafood-centred plates refined in the kitchens of the Capri Palace Jumeirah.

Pavilion at The Beach

pavilion on the beach family 2

With a prime spot at one of Dubai's top lifestyle destinations, Pavilion at The Beach promises 365 days of dining with extraordinary views. Whether you are in the mood for comfort food or craving something more decadent, this 66,000sqft dining destination offers a variety of eateries and cuisines to satisfy every appetite. The venue also has terrace seating for select restaurants, perfect for those who want to enjoy sunshine-sprinkled al fresco feasting.

Jamie's Italian

Jamie's Italian
He's instantly recognisable the world over and now television star Jamie Oliver is serving up his popular Italian dishes in Dubai Mall. A focus on quality ingredients ensures the simplest of plates is delicious. Inspired by the cooking he learnt under his mentor Gennaro Coltado, as well as via his travels through the country, he stays true to tried-and-tested recipes. Think perfectly-prepared pizzas from a wood-fired oven, freshly-made pasta with generous toppings, and much more to savour in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

RSVP restaurant

RSVP restaurant
An always bustling atmosphere ensures RSVP lives up to its reputation as a 'fun dining' eatery. Chef Aadel Ouaoua's finely-tuned plates serve up French flavours alongside Asian and Mediterranean tastes. Given its pedigree – the team behind it also helm Michelin-starred 11 Woodfire and Indian Mohalla – the restaurant is already a hit among foodies. Situated in Boxpark, the decor pays homage to explorers' journeys, with collectibles adding interest to the smart-casual space.

L’Amo Bistro del Mare

lamo bistro del mare appetizers

Perched by the waterfront of Dubai Harbour Yacht club, this sleek eatery offers a taste of fresh Italian seafood in a chic setting. Dive into a sea of flavours with dishes like spaghetti with sea urchin and saffron-flavoured lobster risotto. With its upscale ambience, panoramic vistas of the skyline and authentic Italian fare, L'Amo Bistro del Mare is a great choice for a romantic dinner or an all-out celebratory feast.

Mayabay Dubai

Maya Bay Dubai

It is one of the most popular venues in Monte Carlo, serving up Asian cuisine in a chic setting, and now Mayabay has opened its first overseas outpost at Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel. Feast on Thai curries, Chinese dim sum, Japanese sushi and signature dishes like the Maya crispy duck as you admire stunning views of the resort's Turtle Lagoon. If you're looking for a lively spot to celebrate a special occasion, Mayabay delivers on all fronts.


Vaga Restaurant
They have a shared heritage when it comes to ingredients, influences and recipes, which is why it was only natural that VAGA – short for vagabond – takes you on a culinary journey through Middle Eastern and Armenian cultures. Situated in the heart of Bluewaters Island, this opulent eatery also offers up spectacular views of Ain Dubai and the city skyline. Signature plates include manti beef ravioli with a yoghurt sauce, lamb-topped lahmajoon flatbread, and the khorovats mixed grill.

Café Beirut

Appetisers at Cafe Beirut
Take a seat by the garden and savour a casual dining experience at Café Beirut. Located in Al Murooj Complex Downtown, this is a bright and breezy spot. Ask for a table in the outdoor garden to admire Burj Khalifa views or take a seat inside where an olive tree, vintage portraits and a domed skylight steals the show. With extensive dining options – including a menu just for little ones – it’s a great choice for families.


Nonya Taj JLT
Sky-high views from the 44th floor of Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers set the scene for this Pan Asian eatery. Nonya's menu spans the breadth of the Far East, and puts the spotlight on the melting-pot nature of the region's cuisines. The restaurant manages to effortlessly mix a modern aesthetic with exotic touches, with an outdoor terrace and private dining rooms adding to the allure.


Raspoutine restaurant
It's long been considered one of the chicest lounges to while away an evening in Paris and Dubai's edition of this hotspot is just as vibrant as the original. With a predominantly French menu, foodies are set to be as impressed with the cuisine as they are with the opulent chandelier-bedecked scarlet interiors. Dine on high-end plates like duck and foie gras pelmeni dumplings, caviar-topped spaghetti and caviar and Wagyu beef pirojkis pies while resident DJs appear to perk up proceedings as the clock strikes midnight.

YABA by Chef Shaheen

YABA by Chef Shaheen Dubai
Fans of chef Shaheen, whose social media following reaches into the millions, have ensured his first restaurant in Jumeirah's Wasl Vita mall has been a resounding success right from the start. The young restauranteur has returned to his Baghdad roots, showcasing his take on Iraqi cuisine in this Dubai venture. Although you might not find traditional Iraqi cooking here, you'll find heartfelt plates with plenty of finesse.
YABA by Chef Shaheen
Food & Drink
  • Wasl Vita Mall, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai



From the moment you enter Tabu, set on the mezzanine floor of The St. Regis Downtown hotel, you'll be surrounded by a sophisticated opulence. The Middle Eastern and Asian menu is complemented with sides of entertainment, including a resident DJ as well as roaming theatrical performances. St. Regis executive chef Juan Luis and Tabu's head chef, Mohamad Alshemal have created a fusion of Middle Eastern and Asian techniques within the menu, with a range of flavours to be savoured from all over the world.

Food & Drink
  • The St.Regis Downtown, Business Bay

Tan Cha

Tan Cha
If you're looking for a special night out featuring some of the most delicious Asian dishes in the city, then Michelin-selected Tàn Chá should be on your hit list. Channeling the vibrant energy – and diverse tastes – of Hong Kong, this upbeat venue, located at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, has secured its place in Dubai's foodie scene. The eatery cleverly walks the line between being inventive and innovative with bold new pairings like slow-cooked short rib dressed in mandarin sauce.


Tamoka Dubai at Ritz-Carlton Dubai

A beachside dining destination that radiates warmth, Tamoka at Ritz-Carlton Dubai presents enviable views, vibrant fare and laidback island-style vibes inspired by the coasts of Latin America and the Caribbean. The menu sings with highlights such as the sticky tamarind beef ribs, shredded chicken buns, zesty salmon ceviche, baked eggplant and more. The al fresco setting is a definite highlight, complemented by outdoor fire pits and sunken lounges.



One of the most talked about contemporary Latin American restaurants in the world, SUCRE has now made itself at home at Dubai International Financial Centre. The acclaimed restaurant by chef Fernando Trocca features carefully-sourced ingredients in unexpected preparations that draw on Italian, Spanish and Latin American influences. The menu is ever evolving with current standouts including the salteña beef and chilli empanada, king crab tostada, and skirt steak with avocado, horseradish and labneh.

11 Woodfire

World Cut Steakhouse Dubai
Located along Jumeirah Beach Road, this restaurant is chic but casual, centred around the concept of gathering around a warming fire. The culinary force behind 11 Woodfire is chef and restauranteur Akmal Anuar who showcases a menu filled with simple, natural flavours. Dishes are prepared using specialist grill techniques and different wood types. Try the wagyu kebab, seabass with hay-salted crust and tamarind, and Australian T-bone steak.
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