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Dubai Dining Delights: 9 Must-Try Food Experiences in the City of Flavors


When it comes to recommending the must-try food in Dubai, these nine delectable treats hold a special place in the hearts (and taste buds) of those who have grown up here. While they may not be the most unconventional or hidden gems, these iconic dishes are deeply intertwined with the city’s culinary identity. They evoke a sense of nostalgia and are the flavors we yearn for when we find ourselves away from Dubai for an extended period.


Shawarma Stock Photos, Royalty Free Shawarma Images | Depositphotos

When it comes to must-try food in Dubai, it’s no surprise that shawarma takes the top spot. This beloved street food has gained popularity among locals and tourists alike, sparking passionate debates about the best places to indulge in this delectable treat.

While finding shawarma joints in the city is relatively easy, discovering ones that meet the discerning standards of long-time residents can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few standout options that consistently impress. Aroos Damascus in Deira, for example, earned recognition when their beef shawarma emerged victorious in our #Sufrataste battle. Another notable choice is Al Mallah in Dhiyafah, a place that garners both adoration and criticism, making it a polarizing destination. On Baniyas road, you’ll find two contenders vying for the title: Hatam Al Tai and Shiraz Nights. In my opinion, Shiraz’s spicy chicken shawarma reigns supreme over Hatam’s offerings. If you’re longing for a chicken shawarma that transports you back to the flavors of your childhood, complete with succulent, well-marinated chicken and a generous drizzle of garlic aioli or town, I highly recommend joining our Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage for an unforgettable culinary experience.


Hummus Wallpapers - Wallpaper Cave

When it comes to hummus in Dubai, settling for anything less than exceptional is simply not an option. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of hummus perfectly infused with the right balance of tahini and olive oil. One of the most common mistakes made by food enthusiasts is ordering hummus from any restaurant, regardless of their culinary expertise. We strongly advise against it. Instead, leave the art of crafting outstanding hummus to the masters from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Syria.
In the heart of Deira, Aroos Damascus takes hummus to new heights with their noteworthy Hummus Beiruti, generously embellished with a plethora of parsley. Additionally, you’ll find delightful hummus variations at multiple branches of well-regarded restaurant chains such as Al Hallab and Safadi.
However, the highlight of our Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage is an extraordinary stop that will leave you craving more. Nestled along our route, this hidden gem combines the rich flavors of Palestine and Jordan, offering a wildly creamy hummus that is simply irresistible. As a delightful finishing touch, this Palestinian-Jordanian gem drizzles their hummus with a vibrant and zesty salsa-like concoction of lemon juice, garlic, and green peppers, elevating the taste to unparalleled levels of deliciousness.
When you visit or reside in Dubai, don’t settle for mediocre hummus. Embark on our Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage and uncover the extraordinary world of hummus that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.


Pancakes with Date Syrup – House of Halva

Prepare yourself for an unforgettable culinary experience on our Dubai Food Tour on Wheels, where we celebrate the exquisite combination of Dibs (date syrup) and cream cheese with Emirati Mohalla (crêpes). Get ready to douse anything and everything in a jar of this thick, molasses-like date syrup, even if it means using your bare finger. Dibs holds a significant place as a sweetener in Emirati cuisine, and you’ll encounter it in various delectable forms during your journey. Start your day with a delightful Emirati breakfast featuring chebaab (pancakes), luqaimat (irresistible sweet fritters), and muhalla (sweet crêpes), all accompanied by the traditional and iconic flavor pairing of Dibs and good old Kraft cream cheese. While the cream cheese may be processed and salty, the addictive combination is hard to resist.

On our Souks and Creekside Food Walk, as well as our Food Tour on Wheels, we give you the opportunity to indulge in as much Dibs as your heart desires. Let the syrup trickle down on your favorite dishes, adding a burst of sweetness and richness to each bite. Join us on this culinary adventure through Dubai and experience the magic of Dibs and cream cheese paired with Emirati Mohalla. Allow your taste buds to savor the unique flavors and textures that define the rich heritage of Emirati cuisine.


Egg Paratha/Egg Roll

When it comes to flavor and value for your dirham, nothing compares to the humble breakfasts served at street-side cafeterias across the city, particularly in the older neighborhoods. These breakfasts, often prepared by skilled cooks from Kerala, India, offer a mouthwatering delight known as Anda Parotta. Anda Parotta is a delectable combination of an egg omelet (anda) wrapped in a parotta, a flaky and elastic white flour flatbread that carries the perfect touch of street-style grease. The result is a culinary masterpiece that tantalizes your taste buds with every bite. For an unforgettable Anda Parotta experience, join our Souks and Creekside Food Walk, where we take you to my go-to spot. Here, you’ll discover a version of Anda Parotta that captures the essence of nostalgia for those who grew up in the 80s. Picture this: a creamy smear of cream cheese, a tangy vinegary hot sauce (aka daqoos), and a delightful crunch from crushed chips. And not just any chips, but the iconic blue and red Chip Oman packet’s papery crisp chili potato chips. It’s a harmonious blend of flavors that will transport you back in time.

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary culinary experience. Venture into the heart of the city and relish the unmatched flavors of humble breakfasts. Join us on our Souks and Creekside Food Walk, where we’ll guide you through the vibrant streets, immersing you in the rich food culture of Dubai. Discover the magic of Anda Parotta, a breakfast that offers unrivaled taste and incredible value for your dirham.


The bitter truth about your sweet karak tea in UAE | Uae – Gulf News

When it comes to satisfying cravings, it’s a universal law that an Anda Parotta roll in one hand demands a Styrofoam cup of Karak Chai in the other. Karak Chai, affectionately known as Karak, is undoubtedly our national drink. This Indian-style tea is brewed to perfection, combining black tea leaves, cardamom pods, evaporated milk, and a generous amount of sugar that can challenge even the heartiest of arteries.
For locals, the ritual is simple. They drive up to a nearby cafeteria, give a quick honk, and have a piping hot Styrofoam cup of Karak brought to their car window, all for a mere pocket change. It’s a cherished tradition that embraces the simplicity and accessibility of this beloved beverage.
Beware, though, if you dare to ask for a sugarless version of Karak, be prepared to be met with a cup of hot water and a bland tea bag. The bold flavors and indulgent sweetness are the essence of Karak Chai that locals hold dear.
Here’s a hot tip: The usual price for a cup of Karak Chai is around 1 to 2 dirhams, depending on whether you prefer yours with a touch of saffron (which I highly recommend). If you find yourself paying more than 5 dirhams for a cup, you’re likely paying too much. Don’t be swayed by claims of gold-dusted cups; nothing beats the affordable and fuss-free experience of sipping Karak Chai on the streets. Indulge in the perfect combination of Anda Parotta and Karak Chai, immersing yourself in the vibrant street food culture of Dubai. Embrace the flavors, aromas, and the simple joy of savoring these quintessential treats. Join us on a culinary adventure and discover the authentic tastes that make Dubai truly special.


Easy Homemade Panipuri or Golgappa Recipe- Popular Indian Street Food


With the largest Indian diaspora in the world, the UAE is a treasure trove of explosively delicious Indian food from all corners of the country. The culinary landscape of Indian cuisine in Dubai is vast, particularly in the vibrant neighborhoods of Karama and Bur Dubai. So, I implore you not to settle for the usual suspects like butter chicken, saag paneer, and garlic naan. Instead, delve into the regional specialties that will transport your taste buds to different parts of India.
On our Food Tour on Wheels, we showcase the delightful combination of appams and stew from Kerala. Experience the authentic flavors and textures of this beloved South Indian dish. Indulge in Goan seafood at Eric’s, where the coastal flavors come to life with each bite. Discover the vibrant flavors of Gujarati/Rajasthani thaali at Maharaja Bhog and savor the Rajasthani daal bhaati churma at Manvaar. For a taste of Madras, delight in the traditional dosa and sambaar at Woodlands. These regional dishes offer a glimpse into the diverse culinary traditions of India. However, my personal favorite Indian fix is chaat or street food, which is a must-try. In Dubai, you can experience the fantastic and hygienic line-up of Indian street food. Indulge in pani puri, paper-thin spheres of dough filled with potatoes or sprouts, accompanied by sweet chutney and spicy water. It’s a tantalizing combination that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. Locals have their preferred spots for chaat, and on our Little India tour, you’ll have the opportunity to try one of our go-to spots.
Embark on a flavorful journey of Indian cuisine in Dubai, where every bite tells a story of tradition, culture, and vibrant flavors. Join us as we explore the diverse culinary offerings that make Dubai a haven for Indian food lovers. Uncover the hidden gems and indulge in the authentic dishes that will leave you craving for more.


Turkish kebabs Recipe | Barbeque Recipes in English

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, each with their own unique take on skewered kebabs. Choosing which ones to try can be a delightful dilemma. However, there are a few kebabs that simply cannot be missed. Allow me to guide you through the must-try kebabs that will take your taste buds on a captivating journey. First on the list is the kebab khoush khash found in Levantine restaurants like Al Hallab and Aroos Damascus. This delectable dish features skewered minced lamb bathed in a warm and aromatic spiced tomato gravy. Its irresistible flavors make it a culinary no-brainer that always earns a place on my table.
For a slightly more upscale experience that retains a welcoming ambiance, Turkish restaurants such as Kaftan excel in their mastery of meat. Their kebabs offer tempting variations, often served with creamy yogurt or baked dough, adding a unique twist to this beloved dish. Iraqi restaurants, although pricier, showcase some of the most decadent kebabs you’ll ever taste. Their secret lies in grilling up succulent kebabs with rich fat from lamb tails—a historically significant ingredient known as lamb tail fat or liyya. Ask us about it on any of our tours, and we’ll share fascinating insights about this culinary treasure.
Another favorite worth mentioning is the Pakistani-style Bihari kebabs. When done right, these kebabs melt like butter as you scoop them up with your naan. If you’re up for a culinary adventure, head to the hidden gem called Desi Adda in Qusais. However, I must admit that navigating the traffic in that area might not be worth the trek unless you have a specific reason to visit.
But if I had to choose just one type of kebab, my heart would undoubtedly go to the Iranian variety. On our Dubai Souks and Creekside Food Walk, we visit Special Ustad, one of the oldest family-run kebab joints since the 1970s, located in Bur Dubai. Paying homage to “Ustadi” is an essential part of your culinary journey in the city, according to the old-timers who cherish its heritage.Embark on a kebab extravaganza across Dubai’s diverse culinary scene. Join us as we explore the flavors and traditions that make each kebab unique. Indulge in the mouthwatering delights that have captivated locals and visitors alike for decades. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of kebab culture and create unforgettable culinary memories in the vibrant city of Dubai.


Try With Me: Za'atar and Cheese Mana'eesh - Mostly Masala

Za’atar, a delightful Levantine blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sour ground sumac berries, and salt, holds the power to captivate your senses. When paired with salty cheese, high-quality olive oil, and freshly baked bread or pizza, it becomes an addiction that lasts a lifetime. I must admit, there have been days when I subsisted solely on za’atar and cheese mana’eesh, the Levantine pizza, from the bakery across my apartment. It’s simply irresistible.
Now, let’s explore the realm of mana’eesh. While za’atar and cheese is a classic combination, there are other compelling flavors to discover. Imagine minced lamb infused with tangy pomegranate molasses, or the fiery kick of spicy red pepper and walnut muhammara combined with cheese (Al Mallah offers a noteworthy version). For those seeking a bold and indulgent experience, the spicy sujuk sausage paired with melty kashkaval cheese is a winner. Alternatively, indulge in the creamy goodness of labneh complemented by the sweet tang of apricot jam. The options are endless, and each combination offers a unique burst of flavors. Speaking of za’atar and cheese, there are hidden gems tucked away in unassuming corners of Old Dubai—Afghani bakeries that craft elongated pockets of za’atar and wonderfully gooey cream cheese (reminiscent of La Vache Qui Rit) at an affordable price. The secret lies in using a fragrant and flavorful za’atar, which unfortunately, many bakeries overlook. However, one bakery that stands out is Mama’eesh, a homegrown chain that has made a memorable mark with their Palestinian za’atar and cheese manousheh. The nabulsi cheese fatayer and chili minced meat and cheese fatayer are equally outstanding. In fact, our podcast couldn’t resist featuring Mama’eesh for their exceptional creations.

Prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable experience with za’atar and cheese. Let the aromatic blend and creamy cheese transport you to the enchanting streets of the Levant. Explore the diverse flavors, indulge in the finest ingredients, and create lasting memories with every bite. Join us as we celebrate the art of za’atar and cheese, igniting your passion for this delightful culinary masterpiece.


Best Places for Kunafa in Dubai: Narbus, Barbousa & More - MyBayut

Desserts may not typically captivate my palate, but there’s one exception that breaks the rule—fresh, warm cheese Knafeh (also known as Kunafa). This mouthwatering delicacy features a melted cheese pie adorned with either kataifi noodles for a satisfying crunch or pulverized dough for a softer texture. And let’s not forget the generous drizzle of sugar syrup that takes it to the next level. While you can find Knafeh in nearly every Arabic restaurant and bakery, the seasoned connoisseurs often swear by Firas Sweets. Established in 1993, Firas Sweets has become an institution with multiple branches across the country. Turkish restaurants also serve their own rendition of Knafeh, but nothing compares to the original Palestinian Knafeh Nabulsiye. The true magic of this delectable treat is experiencing it fresh, hot, and gooey right out of the pan—a fantasy fulfilled on our Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage. Guests on our tour have fondly reminisced about this unforgettable experience for years to come.

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that will enchant your taste buds. Let the enchanting flavors and textures of warm cheese Knafeh transport you to a realm of pure delight. Join us as we celebrate the artistry behind this timeless dessert, savoring every bite of its luscious, indulgent goodness. Don’t miss the chance to witness the creation of a fresh Knafeh Nabulsiye from scratch, savoring its irresistible allure straight from the pan. Join our Middle Eastern Food Pilgrimage and make cherished memories that will linger on your taste buds for a lifetime.

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