Top 10 Dubai Hidden Gems winners

You voted, they won. Here are Dubai’s best secret foodie hotspots, as chosen by you
Dubai Food Festival celebrates the city’s sprawling selection of gastronomic attractions. As part of the occasion, we sought your help to shine a light on the city’s Hidden Gems – eateries that venture off the beaten track, offer unique dishes and an inimitable atmosphere that makes them stand out from the culinary crowd. Here are the best of the best for 2020.
1

Al Damyati & Iskandaron

Al Karama

Al Damyati & Iskandaron

Al Karama

The meat lover's choice

For succulent Middle Eastern grills and hearty sides, look no further than Al Damyati & Iskandaron. The undisputed favourite at this value-for-money joint is the 1kg worth of generously meaty, juicy and tender Lebanese lamb chops. Served with a large platter of hummus, salad, bread and green chilli sauce, it’s good enough for a hungry group of diners, and available for AED150 only! The kebabs are great too, so be sure to drop by the next time you venture down the back roads of Karama.
2

Bosnian House

Umm Suqeim

Bosnian House

Umm Suqeim

Kebabs of global standing

This bustling hotspot is a cult favourite with food fans that are looking for a little bit more than a traditional European grilling experience. The fuss is all about their signature Bosnian kebabs – served with accompaniments that include a spicy sauce – you get generous portions that you’ll devour in no time. Must-try dishes include a piping hot Bosnian soup, rich servings of their flaky spinach and cheese pastry and a flavourful take on the classic apple pie.
3

Himalaya Restaurant

Oud Metha

Himalaya Restaurant

Oud Metha

An affordable stop for Indian street food

A cosy spot that is tucked away in Oud Metha, Himalaya Restaurant puts the focus on creating sumptuous Indian snacks and multi-dish thali platters jam-packed with spices and flavours that keep diners coming back for more. With sweet-and-spicy street food delights like chaat to hot and crispy samosas and vegetarian meals, it’ll prove difficult to stick to ordering just the one dish. The vote has been cast – it’s the city’s ultimate no-frills spot for simple Indian treats.
4

Indian Summer

Al Karama

Indian Summer

Al Karama

Family-focused dining

A home away from home for many South Asian residents, Indian Summer is no stranger to Dubai’s menu of affordable eateries. This spacious spot reflects Indian traditions in its ambience as well as cuisine and is the go-to spot for group dining. Drop by with family and friends for a fresh and filling meal that caters in equal measure to vegetarians and meat lovers. Enjoy everything from spicy favourites like paneer or chicken tikka masala and black lentil dhal to richly seasoned varieties of biryani and classic syrupy sweet treats like the ghulab jamun.
5

Mana'esho

Dubai Investment Park

Mana'esho

Dubai Investment Park

Oven-baked Lebanese treats

A small venue with high-table-and-chair interiors and a cheerful ambience outdoors, Mana'esho makes snacking on comfort foods something to look forward to. The eatery won fans thanks to its sumptuous variety of manakeesh offerings on the menu. Whether you’re in the mood for a cheesy soujouk or healthy labneh and zaatar filling, you’re sure to get your foodie cravings sorted here.
6

Mantoushe

JLT

Mantoushe

JLT

Your Lebanese food favourite

Mantoushe knows a thing or two about good Lebanese fusion food. If you’re looking for diverse menu options, this delicious spot in the JLT neighbourhood is worth your while. Fill up on falafel and guacamole, customise your own wrap as you see fit, stay healthy with a colourful salad bowl, get a grilled halloumi or lahm bi ajeen mana’ouche to-go or stay indoors to fully enjoy a meaty rice bowl. There’s even a hummus bar to choose from, catering to every taste out there.
7

Saudi Kitchen

Jumeirah

Saudi Kitchen

Jumeirah

Arabic at its best

Head on over to Saudi Kitchen to be instantly transported to a quaint and welcoming Khaleeji setting. For a truly authentic experience, sit back on the floor and tuck into meat-and-rice laden sharing plates of mandi and kabsa or try the grilled seafood specials. The lentil soup makes for a great starter and you’ll want to sample the um ali – a Middle Eastern take on bread pudding – to end on a sweet note.
8

Seedology

Al Safa

Seedology

Al Safa

Urban vibes and healthy nibbles

It’s no surprise that this amicable spot made it on the list. If you’re looking for a wholesome day out that’s easy on the pocket, plan a visit to Seedology. Grab a buddy and head over for colourful salads, healthy dips, tropical superfood bowls and other clean eats. Whether you come for the fresh and zesty guacamole, layered chia jar or detoxifying matcha latte, take a seat, unwind and engage yourself in friendly competition with a board game from the selections available at the cafe.
9

Thushanis

Discovery Gardens

Thushanis

Discovery Gardens

Asian foodie delights

Those who fancy mixing up their meals with a taste of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and servings of Eastern favourites like nasi goreng and Chinese rolls will want to try out Thushanis. The simple but cosy venue puts the spotlight on indulgent culinary offerings. Seafood lovers ought to sample flavour-loaded bestsellers like the chilli prawns and the hot butter cuttlefish, while foodies looking for weekend feasts can look forward to specials like the lamprais, a rice-and-curry delicacy wrapped and baked in a banana leaf.
10

Wise Kwai

Barsha Heights

Wise Kwai

Barsha Heights

Tantalisingly Thai

Wise Kwai is your portal to creative pots and tiffins of Thai street food and the East Asian cinematic culture. Explore everything from seafood and noodles to dim sums and curries, as colourful and energetic as the surrounding interiors and decor. With a fun and friendly vibe, you’ll find it easy to carry on conversations here as you savour a vibrant range of spices.
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