Some of the best people for restaurant recommendations are concierges. They’re usually hired because they know an area well, not to mention regularly seeing guests returning from dining out, often hearing their immediate feedback.
So, when it comes to finding out the best places to eat in Dubai, concierges are who you should ask — particularly as the restaurant scene in the UAE city is fast-paced, so there are always new spots popping up.
“Visitors may expect to only be welcomed by kebab shops in Dubai, but there is actually a wealth of gems to try around the city that serves cuisines ranging from Indian to Italian,” says Brian Faula, Chief Concierge at Dubai hotel Atlantis The Royal. “While there are high-end, expensive restaurants, there is also great food for lower budgets. There’s something for everyone and every budget.”
Ahead, Faula shares his picks for the best restaurants to visit in Dubai right now, as well as the kind of food they serve, what the atmosphere’s like, what to order, and where to sit.
“A hidden gem nestled in the old city of Dubai, Al Ustad is one of the city’s oldest and most cherished restaurants. This family-owned establishment is known for serving the best kebabs in town, a secret that not everyone is privy to. The walls are decorated with photographs of celebrities and prior presidential visits, a testament to the restaurant’s rich history.
“A must-try dish here is the mixed kebab. To fully appreciate your experience, consider going for a late lunch, as Al Ustad offers all-day dining options. I recommend visiting the area around the restaurant and taking a leisurely walk toward the creek after your meal.
“Moonrise Dubai is helmed by a highly acclaimed chef who gained widespread recognition last year after being awarded the Best New Chef by Michelin. The restaurant has also earned its first Michelin star this year.
“Specialising in Japanese cuisine, this intimate establishment offers a unique Omakase dining experience. With only 8 seats around the chef counter, the restaurant ensures personalised attention and a bespoke menu created on the spot, taking into account any dietary allergies or preferences.
“Although relatively new, this restaurant has already made its mark on the culinary scene after 1-2 years and is a great dining option for couples.”
“Located right in front of Jumeirah harbour, 3Fils is a hidden gem owned by locals. The restaurant specialises in Asian and Japanese cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood.
“To make your experience even more memorable, I recommend visiting at sunset to witness the breathtaking view of the sun descending over the harbour. With both indoor and outdoor seating options available, you can choose to enjoy your meal on the rooftop while taking in the surroundings.
“For those with a sweet tooth, you can also head next door to BIIX for desserts as a way to end your meal. This ice cream parlor offers a wide selection of treats and refreshing drinks, including their famous sorbets.”
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
“The newly awarded Michelin Star restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at Atlantis The Royal Dubai offers cutting-edge British cuisine dating back to the 1900s, blending history and innovation.
“As you enter the restaurant, you’re greeted by a sleek cabin-style entrance, and upon opening the doors, you are transported into a culinary journey. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a large pineapple creating an atmosphere of intrigue for guests. The standout must-try dishes include the renowned Meat Fruit and the Tipsy Cake.
“To get the most out of your dining experience, I recommend booking a table closest to the open kitchen for an immersive experience. Enjoy drinks after dinner at Resonance by Heston below.”
“Located in the Bluewaters area near the iconic big wheel in Dubai, Alici is an upscale Italian restaurant that offers a delightful seafood-focused menu with meat options available as well. The restaurant is renowned for serving the best pasta in town, though it has an extensive menu.
“The best time to visit Alici is during sunset or in the evening when tables still offer beautiful views of the Dubai skyline. For the ultimate experience, I recommend heading upstairs to the outdoor seating area, where you can enjoy stunning views while savoring your meal.”
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
“L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is a French restaurant in the Dubai Financial Center (DFC). It offers a sophisticated dining experience rooted in French culinary traditions. For the best seats, guests can enjoy an intimate view of the kitchen’s culinary artistry by requesting counter seating, where glass windows allow diners glimpses into the kitchen.
“While it’s a meat-centric restaurant, it has a great selection of dishes, including standout starters like burrata and scallops. Visit on weekday late afternoon or evening or, if you prefer a livelier atmosphere, on the weekends.”
Time Out Market
“Time Out Market brings together a diverse selection of partnered restaurants under one roof, resembling a food court concept. With approximately 20-30 restaurant counters, visitors can explore a wide range of cuisines, from Asian to Italian and everything in between.
“The market showcases different restaurants from Dubai, offering an array of options to satisfy every palate. It’s a great place to visit for lunch or dinner.”
“Opened earlier this year, Ling Ling at Atlantis The Royal Dubai on the 22nd floor is a trendy dining destination, perfect for families or those seeking a stylish experience. Dishes represent various Asian cuisines, including the Australian Black Pepper Lobster and Scallop Crudo. Ling Ling also offers a Chef’s Omakase menu that lets guests be taken on a culinary journey backed by the chef’s expertise.
“The all-window front provides stunning views, making any table a great choice to enjoy the scenery — especially in the evenings.”