Eat out on a budget in Dubai:
Combine dinner with a spectacular boat tour on a Dhow Boat Dinner Cruise on Dubai Marina or Dubai Creek. Dinner is usually served buffet style and some boats feature extras like children’s entertainment so you can relax as you glide past the magnificent Dubai skyline. Popular cruises include Bateaux Dubai and Rustar.
If you are staying near Dubai International Financial Centre, Palestinian eatery Zaroob offers delicious Arabic street fare in their funky outdoor garden area. Choose a piping hot falafel, pop a mana’oushe morsel, and devour a fateer among other Arabic classics. Afterwards, walk it off with a stroll through the contemporary art galleries of DIFC.
This Indian café dishes out deliciously fresh seafood with an ultra-casual vibe right on the atmospheric Jumeirah Fishing Harbour. Order the house classics like fried fish, BBQ shrimp and fish curry, and then head down to Sunset beach to snap a shot of the Burj Al Arab.
Tom and Serg:
Australian cafe proprietors Tom and Serg have cracked the coffee scene with their warehouse style café in the emerging arts district of Al Quoz. Enjoy salads, simple meals and the perfect flat white in the airy open plan café which also features a play area for the little guests. Go for brunch in the morning and then head over to the iconic Alserkal Avenue, where you will catch the latest exhibitions in the hangar style galleries.
Din Tai Fung:
Hailing from Taiwan, this restaurant chain in Mall of the Emirates is a favourite with lovers of dumplings worldwide. Perfect for fuelling up before you head to Ski Dubai, their hearty versions of noodles, mouthwatering xiao long bao, and simple vegetable dishes have earned them high praise amongst locals.
With rave reviews for its flavoursome curries and budget-friendly prices, this Indian restaurant draws a hungry crowd every evening. Delicious spinach pakodas and cheese-stuffed mushrooms are standard side orders, but it’s the seafood that steals the show. Try the whole pomfret in spicy rub, crab masala and fruity mango fish curry. A cup of fragrant biryani chai, is the perfect end to your meal.
An institution in its own right, this Pakistani eatery in the cultural melting pot neighbourhood of Satwa is popular with travellers from all walks of life. Everything on the menu is worth a try, but we suggest ordering the spicy mutton chops and chicken mughlai (a creamy curry topped with shaved egg). Mop it all up with deep-fried paratha bread for an authentic street food experience at a great price.
Al Ustad Special Kabab:
A Persian gem, this is one of Dubai’s oldest establishments serving authentic, no-frills Iranian fare. The décor is quirky with a dash of old-world charm and the kababs are melt-in-your-mouth perfect. Head here for a super satisfactory meal, before exploring into the exciting alleys of Meena Bazaar.
Walid Mohd Bakheet Grocery:
A few neighbourhood grocers in Dubai have a small stand outside where fresh bread called Regag is prepared. Walid Mohd Bakheet Grocery is probably the most popular of these bakers in Dubai. The wafer-thin bread is topped with egg, cream cheese, and traditional anchovy sauce; ask for a “mix” to get the works. This hidden gem is a popular stop for drive-thru snack for many residents. A cup of boiled chickpeas or fava beans turns your snack into a wholesome meal.
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