Arabic food, Lebanese classics, cuisine and more
A soggy egg sandwich at your desk not quite cutting it at lunch time? We’ve rounded up 15 top Dubai restaurants where you can grab a spot of lunch.
From Arabic and Lebanese food, Chinese cuisine and international favourites, there is something to whet your appetite whatever your preferred flavours.
If lunch time comes around and you’re in the mood for Arabic food, Al Hallab should satisfy your cravings nicely. We love the mixed grill tawouk, which showcases lamb, chicken and kebab meat on a soft pitta bread and is complemented by a sharp yoghurt side. Those with a sweet tooth will want to save room for the impressive selection of Levant desserts. A top spot to check-out with the family, Al Hallab has all the fine dining feels, but is wallet-friendly at the same time.
Open daily 8am-1am. Garhoud, alhallabrestaurantdubai.com (04 282 3388).
Al Beiruti has put a lot of effort into standing out from its neighbours. There’s a warmly modern, bistro-esque feel to the main dining room, while the separate smoking section serves up a more casual vibe as interiors light up with the night’s sporting action and shisha is ferried between tables. There’s little on the menu that requires explanation or introduction – expect the full gamut of Levantine staples. Za’atar hummus is creamy, punchy and fragrant, while the Al Beiruti fries – crispy curved potatoes topped with yoghurt, dried za’atar, pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped parsley – are a must-try.
Open daily 8am-1:30am. Exit 41, Sheikh Zayed Road, albeiruti.com (04 320 0043).
You will find classic Lebanese dishes at Al Nafoorah where you can expect all the usual favourites from mezze to grills. The hummus is a must; we mean, you even dine at Al Nafoorah if you didn’t order the hummus? It’s some of the dreamiest and creamiest in the city.
Open daily 1pm-11pm. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Crescent Road, The Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah.com (04 453 0444).
BB Social Dining
From the bao and the habibi (sesame beef) to the chicken bang bang, you won’t go wrong with whatever you choose from this menu. The habibti (soft shell crab) will be hit for fans of the ’gram. Don’t miss the cauliflower popcorn for a fun take on a classic bite – doused with Parmesan and a tangy tahini dip. Meanwhile BB’s wagyu katsu sando has become so popular it’s even led to a spin-off for the team – The Little Katsu Shop.
Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu noon-2am, Fri 1pm-2am. Gate Village 08, DIFC Dubai. (04 407 4444).
Bistro Des Arts
Whether impressing a client or deciding on where to have a lazy Friday lunch with the gang, Bistro des Arts is a top lunchtime destination. The casual French bistro in Dubai Marina serves up Parisienne favourites including snails, duck burgers and gratin dauphinous.
Open daily. 8am-11pm. Dubai Marina Promenade, Marina Mall, bistrodesarts.ae (04 5511576).
With a tempting lunch menu offering something to suit all tastes, BOCA boasts a vegan menu and also sources all of its sustainable ingredients locally. Dibba Bay oysters, Emirati sea bass, vegetables from the Waterfront Market in Deira – you can guarantee your produce is fresh and seasonal.
Open daily noon-3am. Gate Village 6, DIFC, boca.ae (04 323 1833).
Bull & Bear
For a sophisticated lunch vibe and superb food all roads lead to Bull & Bear where you’ll discover a playful take on New York favourites. Classic steak tartare is a runaway hit, while the signature Alligator pear not only looks the part, but lives up to its appearance. Pickled avocado is paired with coriander and pomegranate and served with Kalamata rice crackers and gazpacho jelly, making for a delightful explosion of flavours, textures and temperatures.
Sun-Thu 7am-10.30am, 12,30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight; Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight; Sat 7am-11.30am, 1pm-4pm, 6.30pm-midnight. DIFC Al Mustaqbal Street, hilton.com (04 5159888).
Explore Long Ten for lunch, its quality of food and generous portion sizes, prices are reasonable too. For a well-balanced mix of snazzed-up staples and favoured classics with dishes ranging from soups to noodles and of course, fresh seafood straight from the aquarium including lobster, crab and king prawns. If you’re looking for excellent Chinese cuisine, this unassuming spot is a must-visit – and the dim sum alone will keep you coming back for more.
Sat-Thu noon-midnight, Fri 11.30am-midnight. Ground Floor, U-Bora Towers, Building 3m Business Bay. (04 2411666).
Long Yin is well established on Dubai’s Chinese restaurant scene and that experience comes across in the service and the meticulous preparation of all its food. The crispy noodles and mixed seafood and the Vietnamese wok-fried beef cubes are prime examples of the delicious Chinese classics served up here – fresh, appetising, filling and wholesome.
Open daily 12.30pm-4.30pm, 6pm-11pm. La Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Airport Road, longyin-dubai.com (04 217 0000).
Mythos Kouzina & Grill
Head to Mythos on your lunch break and the décor and lunch time menu will make you feel like you are in Greece. The oven-baked feta is indulgent, while the sharp tomatoes cut through the richness for a perfectly balanced dish. For the mixed grill fans – the lamb chops are expertly charred for that proper smoky taste, while the burgers are perfectly seasoned.
Open daily 12.30pm-11.15pm. Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT www.mythoskouzina.com (04 399 8166).
This Chinese dining spot offers a semi-luxurious business lunch, but at the same time is an impressive spot for a romantic lunch date. The menu stars a fantastic range of Cantonese and regional Chinese dishes with plenty on offer for vegetarians and a dedicated dim sum menu, which is a specialty at Royal China. The crispy aromatic duck is served up alongside all the traditional accompaniments and it’s superb. The duck is perfectly crisped and shredded table-side, while the tangy plum sauce is delicious. It’s a real winner and you’ll be back for that alone.
Open daily 11.30am-1am. The Balcony, DIFC Dubai. (04 354 5543).
For a busy lunchtime spot, the menu is enormous and offers everything from soup, salads and sushi to Malay curries, gourmet pizza and pasta dishes to traditional fish and chips. It’s a good spot to have a quick, satisfying bite at a good price.
Open daily. Downtown Dubai, St, Financial Centre Road. (04 339 8640).
If you work or live near Dubai Design District, this hip and happening spot is one to try. The Lighthouse has been designed to be a meeting point for the city’s forward-thinkers, where ideas are shared over meals, and the menu certainly sparks our imagination. The calamari is a firm favourite, fried beautifully to produce that lovely crispy texture. It’s topped off with spicy chilli and lime for a tempered kick. The baby chicken for the main course is tender and juicy and leaves us longing for one more bite, while a sweet treat of passion fruit cheesecake ends lunch with a flourish.
Open daily 8am-10pm. Building 6, Dubai Design District, thelighthouse.ae (04 422 6024).
Un Dimanche à Paris
Indulge in chocolate and lots of it. The brainchild of Pierre Cluizel, the chocolatier stays true to his roots with a chocolate-theme that runs throughout – think chocolate gravy, a savoury tart with salmon and white chocolate, and even cheese topped with cocoa nibs.
The menu is made up of soups, salads, gourmet club sandwiches, tartines, risotto and pasta. There’s also an assortment of cheese platters and of course, plenty of pastries and desserts.
Open daily 8am-midnight. Bluewaters Island, The Wharf, un-dimanche-a-paris.ae (04 564 0044).
Looking for organic dishes in City Walk? Urth Caffe is a popular little hangout thanks to its funky interiors and top-notch food. Dishes on the menu include kale salad and wild mushroom pizza, which is whipped up in the in-house wood-fired pizza oven. There are also vegan options, including a vegan chocolate cake. For the calorie-conscious, the menu includes a plethora of salads – from Greek to heirloom tomato and burrata – as well as sandwiches and paninis. Don’t miss the homemade cakes, biscuits and pies either – we recommend the double chocolate chip cookies.
Sun-Wed 9am-11pm, Thu-Sat 9am-midnight. Jumeirah, City Walk, Al Safa Street @urthcaffedubai (04 589 7413).