(Home Bakery Kitchen)
Home Bakery Kitchen
Hind Al Mulla began creating her signature desserts in her home kitchen in her mid-20s; just a few years later, she’s one of the best-known Emirati food-preneurs in the city. Every single thing on her Home Bakery menu is worth trying, from breakfast staples such as chicken-and-waffles to Al Mulla’s more daring creations, such as a scrambled-egg doughnut sandwich and a saffron karak (chai) French brioche toast.
BTW: If you’re looking for food souvenirs to bring back, grab some boxes of Home Bakery’s Chewy Melt Cookies. They’re the best chocolate cookies in the country.
Home Bakery Kitchen, D3 Design District, Building 7, Dubai, UAE
Enter Al Barari, the area where the Farm is located, and you’ll find yourself transported to a mini oasis within the city. The outdoor terrace is surrounded by waterways and botanical gardens, giving it a relaxed and tranquil morning setting. Perhaps unsurprisingly given its name, the restaurant focuses on fresh and healthy fare, including organic eggs, keto-friendly bread, oats and quinoa porridge, vegan tofu scramble and exotic-fruit salads.
BTW: The Farm gets busy, particularly on weekends, so it’s best to book a table in advance.
The Farm Restaurant, Al Barari, Dubai, UAE
Al Fanar is a staple for Emirati locals across the city, thanks to its tasty traditional, homestyle fare. At this location inside a shopping mall, start off by sampling breads such as chebab, khameer or raqqaq, which are typically served with cream cheese and date syrup. Lamb, fish and rice are the essentials of Emirati cuisine, so go for a main course like machboos robyan (shrimp cooked with yellow rice) or margougat laham (flatbread simmered in lamb, potatoes and vegetables).
BTW: On the drinks list here, you’ll find Namlait, our name for Japan’s Ramune soda. Emiratis have fond childhood memories of the drink, which famously comes with a marble in the top of the bottle.
Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe, Dubai Festival City Mall, Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City
This taco shop established by Mexican expats in 2002 is a go-to for locals who have a friend visiting from out of town. Start off with the Maria Guacamole, made from scratch at your table, before an entree of the excellent beef fajitas. A slice of tres leches cake is the perfect way to end.
BTW: Tipping is different here than in the States. Some restaurants (primarily upscale ones) will add a 10 percent service charge, but when they don’t, diners normally leave the same amount themselves.
Al Khaja Building Shop 4, Umm Al Sheif Street, Dubai, UAE
Tent Jumeirah Restaurant
If you have a big group, come to this beachside restaurant and eat like the Bedouins did. For about $270, you can order a goat platter (a whole slow-roasted goat, laid on a bed of biryani-style rice), or versions with mixed seafood or chicken. All of the special platters must be reserved 48 hours in advance.
BTW: For a beverage that’s Insta-worthy, the Cappuccino by Gold comes sprinkled in gold leaf. And at the equivalent of $10, it won’t break the bank.
Tent Jumeirah Restaurant, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE
World Cut Steakhouse
The meme-ified Turkish restaurateur “Salt Bae” has a steakhouse in Dubai, but there are way better options to choose from, including the luxe but underrated World Cut Steakhouse, in the Habtoor Palace Dubai hotel. The staff’s knowledge is unparalleled; you’ll be given the lowdown on steaks from different countries of origin, in addition to which cuts are best for your preferred doneness. The sides are big enough to share between two, and the complimentary, fresh-baked bread is divine with a dollop of salted butter.
BTW: You’ll be offered your pick of a range of steak knives, including some very fancy Japanese imports. It’s one of the coolest parts of the dining experience.
Habtoor Palace Dubai, UAE
The Irish Village
Built in 1995, this traditional Irish pub has endured as a favorite of residents craving indulgent comfort food. End a busy day of travel with some Mallon’s Irish sausages, beer-battered cod and chips, or traditional Irish stew, served with homemade soda bread and Irish butter.
BTW: The Irish Village hosts regular events, such as concerts, pub quizzes and sports game viewings. Check the website to see what’s going on before you visit.
Irish Village, 31 A Street, Al Garhoud, Dubai, UAE
Al Reef Lebanese Bakery
Open 24 hours, legendary Al Reef is where everyone gathers for a quick bite after big football (soccer) games, or after clubbing, or even as a study break. What better way to relax or end the night than with some fresh-baked cheesy bread? Go for a manakeesh, a popular Levantine flatbread topped with za’atar, cheese or mincemeat.
BTW: You’ll probably see za’atar on a lot of Dubai menus. It’s a spice mix made of thyme, oregano, marjoram and toasted sesame seeds.
Al Reef, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE