Dubai Fountain

Dubai Food and Drink

The food you'll encounter during any holiday can make or break your stay! Eating out is a major part of any holiday and on a Dubai holiday you'll find the choice is vast, the quality is generally superb and the settings can be stunning. We'll bet, especially if you follow our advice you'll find that your cullinary experiences in 'plastic fantastic' Dubai will make your holiday a complete, never-to-be-forgotten experience!

Coeliacs - for tips, ideas, guidance and support for gluten-free living in Dubai see or search 'Gluten Free UAE' on Facebook.

Pork - Eating out - you'll only be able to eat pork in premises that have a specific pork licence. Eating in i.e. self-catering -  you can buy pork in special areas of most big supermarkets, possibly a small side room or a curtained-off section. It will not be on the main meat counter. 

Many restaurants (and bars) in Dubai are situated in hotels. This is great as you get to have a nosey at the hotels at the same time as visiting the bars or restaurants. You can walk into hotels at any time to visit the restaurants although with the more upmarket, 5* ones, you'll only get past the reception area if you've booked a table in advance and are smartly dressed or at least smart casual and wearing shoes, not your usual flip-flops.

 Mall Restaurants & Cafes 

Major hotels may have up to a dozen in-house eating places ranging from upmarket celebrity chef restaurants (shoes not flip-flops) to beach bar cafés (flip-flops are the norm) that you're free to use even if you're not staying there.

Originally the whole Food & Drink section of this website named and commented on numerous eateries for you to try on each of our Best Restaurants, Popular Restaurants and Café pages.

However the restaurant scene in Dubai has grown at a fantastic rate over the last five years, so much so that it's become impossible for a small website such as ours to keep pace with all the new venues. Go to Rome and almost every eatery you'll see is an Italian restaurant. In Dubai the choice is vast - Greek, Thai, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, English, Chinese, American, Mexican, Middle Eastern, African, Vegetarian, French, Asian, Japanese, Eastern European or just 'International'. The list has become endless!

So instead, and especially for new arrivals to this fantastic city, we now just list ten of the favourites on each of our Best Restaurants in Dubai, Popular Restaurants and Café pages. This gives you a starter list of places to try. Ask your hotel receptionist if you're likely to need to make a table booking and if necessary they'll probably book for you anyway to save you the hassle.

Make no mistake there are hundreds if not thousands of eateries in Dubai, but apart from the ones close to where you're staying you'll need to do what all the local expats do, just grab a cab, to get to most of them.

You'll not starve in Dubai - if in doubt just head to one of the larger malls where you'll find a wide variety of restaurants and cafés.They're generally very good and quite affordable.

Visitor Tip - for a much larger selection of venues plus customer reviews, buy a copy of the expats bible on all things Dubai, the weekly Dubai Time Out magazine or look online at Here you'll find huge listings of all the restaurants, cafés, bars, sports bars, spas, nightclubs and places worth a visit in Dubai along with any special offers they're running.

Because of the widespread nature of Dubai it's easy to feel marooned in your holiday hotel. Don't despair. Have a look at our pages on the Best Ways to See Dubai and Getting Around Dubai, they should prove most helpful!

Mall Cafes and Restaurants

Three essentials for you holiday in Dubai - sunscreen, sunglasses and bottled water!

If you're based in a residential and small business district, there's often an area where a few retail businesses are grouped together and here you'll likely find a number of one-off local Japanese, Lebanese, Italian and Chinese restaurants not to mention places like Wagamamas and Shakespears. As they're more local you may even be able to walk to them!

Restaurants and Cafes - Japengos

Wherever you eat you'll usually get excellent service with a smile. The tip may be included as a 10% to 15% service charge. Otherwise we suggest a tip of around 10%.

For more thoughts and information about Drink (and Drugs) visit the Drink and Drugs section of our Important Information page. 

Check out our various food and drink pages pages:
Best Restaurants 
Café Style
Favourite Bars
Popular Restaurants

Your first Dubai holiday?..Keep well...Drink plenty of bottled water!

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