Looking for a midnight snack in Dubai? Here are some casual dining options you should check out on your way back to the hotel.
In Dubai, where the dinner rush doesn’t really start until 10pm, you can eat into the wee hours. The city’s main artery, Sheikh Zayed Road and even the streets running parallel to it, are home to a handful of late-night Arabic-style cafes, bakeries and restaurants, where you can snack on everything from shawarmas to Lebanese manakeesh. Here are some of the best late-night pit-stops.
Zaatar W Zeit
With outlets all over the city, most of Dubai’s Lebanese community have this 24-hour fast food-style Arabic cafe on speed-dial. The baked Lebanese manakeesh or flatbreads are topped with everything from cheese to sausage and labneh or za’atar with herbs and are traditionally eaten for breakfast, but they’re still available around the clock. More substantial wraps, salads and pizzas are also served.
Open 24 hours, this slick restaurant inside the lobby at five-star hotel, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, is a popular pit stop for late night shoppers. The cuisine is modern European and while it’s not cheap, the food is good. Browse the iPad menu while you snack on crunchy, freshly-baked bread rolls and choose between the lobster bisque or beef cheeks with saffron risotto.
Food & Drink
This casual cafeteria in Al Barsha 1 near Mall of the Emirates specialises in fruity drinks, snack-sized shawarmas filled with toum (garlic paste), pickles and fries (get two if you’re hungry or order the shawarma plate), whole BBQ chickens, tabouleh, fatoush and, oddly enough, some of the best Chinese fried rice we’ve tasted in the city. As with most restaurants in Dubai, they also deliver, but dining in is all part of the experience.
Al Reef Lebanese Bakery
An even less formal option on Al Wasl Road, this bakery and takeaway in Jumeirah 3 runs parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road and is a popular late-night stop for Arabic baked goods, with a focus on manakeesh. A Dubai institution, it joins the list of venues opens 24 hours and at under AED10 a pop, the manakeesh is superior and the menu is extensive. The options include everything from cheese and sausage to za’atar with fresh vegetables and herbs, and cheese with chicken and spinach.
Follow Dubai’s partygoers for some after-hours ma’anouche and fresh juices at this ever-busy hotspot on Sheikh Zayed Road. Open until 4am, the eatery has plenty of seating space across two levels and a terrace strung with lanterns. Inspired by the street food vendors across the Levant, Zaroob’s interior is adorned in eye-catching decorations and vintage artefacts, jogging fond memories for expats from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and beyond who form a huge part of the regular clientele.