One of the best things about Dubai is the sheer volume of off-beat, under-the-radar little restaurants serving up a plethora of culinary treasures.
Dubai Food Festival (DFF) returns for 2018 with a quest to shout about the city’s low-key fantastic places to eat. From 35 ethnic eateries from around the city, 10 have been named the festival’s Top Hidden Gems.
It wasn’t chefs or self-styled foodies who make the final decision, but YOU, the people who actually chow down at these haunts on the regular and here’s who you came out in favour of:
Smat Café & Restaurant
A quirky and cosy little bolthole in Al Barajeel Oasis Complex, Uptown Mirdiff, serving traditional Emirati recipes that have been passed down through generations.
04 224 2474
Chai and Co.
Fans claim this quaint chai spot serves some of the best karak and Emirati bites in Al Warqa and beyond. Don’t miss the UFO Paratha.
04 248 1986
Seasonal seafood and fish cooked to order with a choice of marinades. Head to Oud Metha for the catch of the day.
050 387 2775
Rice with everything and a variety of other Sri Lankan delights, Ayubowan, takes you on a culinary journey through the Silk Route from JLT.
04 452 1007
Wok n Roll
Unpretentious Asian fusion – dimsum, rolls and noodles – in the heart of Al Barsha.
04 248 2909
That Place Café
Carb lovers commune in Jumeirah takes dishes from around the world and improves them immensely by packing them into fluffy scrumptious buns.
04 455 1618
On point Goan cuisine in a rustic setting in Umm Hurrair.
04 448 9095
Pinoy favourites and Asian eats tucked away in Karama. Lunchtime buffets for AED 29 and evening spreads at AED 49 are an absolute bargain.
04 453 5265
Tum Tum Asia
People rave about the hot pots, woks and noodles at this trendy take on Asian street food in Oud Metha, and we’re intrigued by the chocolate burger and fruit sushi.
04 453 5496
Greek eats just like yiayia (grandmother) used to make, prepared with plenty of love in a homely setting at Dubai Sports City.
04 553 0467
To celebrate their place in the top 10, each of these restaurants will serve up a one-off two-course meal for AED 25. Contact them directly to find out which day the offer will be available.
DFF returns from 22nd February to 10th March. As well as the Hidden Gems of Dubai, highlights of the 2018 edition will include Dubai Restaurant Week, the Beach Canteen and Taste of Dubai. Let the feasting begin!