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Food & Drink

Dine at sustainable restaurants in Dubai

Fri, February 25, 2022

Check out these delicious eateries that put the environment first with their menus and eco-friendly practices.

Check out these delicious eateries that put the environment first with their menus and eco-friendly practices.


Keep it local at BOCA

Sustainability is built into the DNA of this DIFC-based Mediterranean restaurant thanks to head chef and green champion Matthijs Stinnissen. Passionate about sourcing local ingredients, they’ve hosted zero-waste dinners and even written a guide dedicated to Emirati produce. BOCA's menus change with the seasons, with everything from local seabass ceviche and Emirati honey on the menu. No matter when you visit, there's always something delicious to try here.


Crave environmentally-friendly fare at Cassette

Cassette brings food wastage down to a minimum, using offcuts for soups, sauces, syrups and ensuring their ordering reflects requirements. The Al Quoz eatery's takeaway containers are made of 80% Bagasse, an efficient by-product of the bioenergy sector, plus their cassava-made straws and cups are entirely biodegradable – they'll break down into carbon dioxide and water within six months of being disposed. There's a reason their food is so tasty – local farms like New Leaf Herbs, Harvest Fresh Produce and Urban Fresh Local Produce are championed, while weekly special menus showcase seasonal ingredients.


Put the earth first at Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Dubai-based celebrity chef Reif Othman is a champion of going green and, in his eponymous restaurant, you'll find metal straws are used for drinks while tap-filtered still and sparkling water fill glass bottles for customers. There is also a minimal food wastage policy, as Reif believes in knowing your product and using it wisely. Impressed by the staff uniforms? Not only do they look chic, but they're also made from recycled plastic bottles.


Commit to the green theme at The Sum of Us

The Sum Of Us Bakery in Dubai

The Bull&Roo Group, owners of Common Grounds, The Sum of Us and Tom & Serg, pride themselves on being among the first restaurateurs in the local scene to prioritise the planet. The venues are plastic free and all packaging is bio-degradable; in fact, the straws are made out of avocado seeds. Free filtered water is available at all the restaurants, and Encounter, their coffee roastery, only sources via direct trade. Need an excuse to order that extra flat white? Encounter beans are prepped fresh at the in-house micro roastery inside The Sum Of Us café and patrons who bring a reusable takeaway cup get 10% off their drinks.


Dine with a clear conscience at One Life Kitchen

One Life Kitchen strongly advocate switching takeaway cups with reusable glass bottles, while local purchasing minimises their carbon footprint – you'll be able to taste the quality thanks to their in-house coffee roastery and bakery. Reducing food waste is another priority as they plant avocado seeds, burn used coffee grounds to deter flies, and even use the strained water from yoghurt as a protein shake. They also offer a 40% discount at their counter daily at 3pm to sell off remaining stock, and anything that's left at the end of the day is distributed to staff around the Dubai Design District.


Stay sustainable at Sanderson's Cafe

Sanderson's Cafe at Sustainability City serves up top-notch green credentials. Sourcing is done from local suppliers where possible and the menu is streamlined to ensure both quality and waste reduction. Going beyond offering free house-filtered water, all their used oil is recycled, waste water is cleaned and reused within the community to water plants, and there are solar panels that feed into the national electricity grid. And that's not all, they're planning a kitchen garden so they can incorporate harvests into their dishes.

Select seasonal specials at Atlantis, The Palm

This family-friendly resort destination has its focus on the future, with the launch of the Atlantis Atlas Project that puts sustainability firmly on the menu. Eight of its restaurants have been teaming up with local suppliers to develop special dishes that champion seasonal produce. Try additions like Bread Street Kitchen's superfood salad from Dubai's UNS Farms, chestnut golden puffs from HakkasanSeafire's organic beetroot-cured salmon carpaccio, Ronda Locatelli's seabream with candy tomatoes and basil, or Nobu's coconut seabass ceviche.


Sample vegan treats at Seva

Locals and visitors both love the green, serene atmosphere that pervades plant-based cafe Seva, located in Jumeirah. They serve up wholesome choices that are meat-free and better for the environment, while the entire venue is plastic free, and working towards a zero-waste goal. Plus their popular shop endeavours to support small businesses. With the exception of some superfoods you cannot get in this country, all their food comes from local farms and organic wholesalers. Our top tip? Don't forget to order the vegan chocolate snickers cake.


Eat ethically at Wild & The Moon

Acai bowl at Wild & the Moon in Dubai

Local, seasonal, ethically-sourced and organic produce come together to form the flavourful raw dishes that healthy Dubai eatery Wild & The Moon is known for. Enjoy your Power Bowl with mango, almond mylk, chia seeds, and hazelnuts safe in the knowledge that everything at this spot is hormone-free and cruelty-free. And you won't see any plastic at any of its branches, including the one at Alserkal Avenue. Their commitment to zero-waste is apparent; fibre-rich pulp from their juices and nut mylks are made into raw crackers, while leftover products are given to FoodKarma, a delivery app that sells them at a discounted price.


Care for the community at Lowe

The first ever winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award by MENA's 50 Best Restaurants, Lowe has a firm focus on reducing waste, local sourcing and giving back to society. Australian duo Jesse Black and Kate Cristou's eatery initially kick-started this ethos with Waste Not dinners made entirely of scraps and then adapted the rest of their practises too. Think nose-to-tail dining, using leftover peels in recipes and fermentation, and avoiding single-use plastic. They have also set a 20% annual reduction target for non-food waste.

Food & Drink

Keep the community spirit at Teible


The fact that this restaurant has clearly defined the four pillars it revolves around: sustainability, seasonality, simplicity and integrity, says a lot about chef Carlos Frunze's vision. Small-scale growers, local farmers and suppliers are at the heart of this enterprise, which has won applause from environmentalists. Located in Jameel Arts Centre on the Jaddaf Waterfront, the Japanese-inspired space serves up delicious plates in a stunning setting, without compromising on its principles. Plus, the artisanal on-site bakery produces the best yuzu cronuts in the city.

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