Abu Dhabi is renowned for its cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and delectable cuisine.
As the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants, offering diverse flavors that cater to every palate.
Among the many culinary experiences available in the city, Emirati cuisine stands out as a true gem, offering a unique blend of spices and flavors that reflect the region’s rich history and cultural diversity.
Whether you are a local or a tourist, these restaurants are must-visit destinations that showcase the very best Emirati cuisine.
In this article, we will explore the best Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi, where you can savor traditional dishes that will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Best Emirati Restaurants In Abu Dhabi
1. Al Fanar Restaurant & Café
Located in the Venetian Village on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Fanar Restaurant & Café is one of the most popular Emirati restaurants in the city.
The restaurant’s décor is inspired by traditional Emirati architecture, and the menu features a variety of classic Emirati dishes, including machboos, biryani, and thareed.
The restaurant also has a shisha lounge, where guests can relax and enjoy the traditional Arabic water pipe.
Located in the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel, Mezlai is a fine-dining restaurant that offers a sophisticated take on Emirati cuisine.
The restaurant’s menu features dishes made with the freshest local ingredients, including the famous Arabian Gulf prawns, lamb machboos, and grilled hammour.
Mezlai also has an outdoor terrace that offers breathtaking views of the hotel’s gardens and the Arabian Gulf.
3. Al Arish
Al Arish is a casual Emirati restaurant popular among locals and tourists.
The restaurant’s menu features a variety of Emirati dishes, including machboos, thareed, and grilled meats.
The restaurant is known for its generous portions and affordable prices, making it a great option for families and large groups.
4. Al Dhafra
Located in the city’s heart, Al Dhafra is a traditional Emirati restaurant that offers a cozy and intimate dining experience.
The restaurant’s menu features a variety of Emirati dishes, including the famous luqaimat, a sweet dumpling made with dough, honey, and saffron.
Al Dhafra is also known for its traditional Emirati breakfast, which includes balaleet, a sweet vermicelli pudding, and chebab, a pancake made with dates and saffron.
5. Al Maqam
Al Maqam is a restaurant that’s located in the heart of the city and offers a range of Emirati dishes that are both delicious and affordable.
The menu includes dishes like the famous luqaimat, a sweet dumpling made with honey and saffron, and other traditional Emirati sweets.
The restaurant also offers a range of juices and smoothies, perfect for those hot Abu Dhabi days.
What Is the most popular Emirati dish in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and its culinary scene reflects the diverse cultures and influences that make up the city.
Emirati cuisine blends Middle Eastern, Indian, and African flavors, with many delicious dishes.
While there are many popular Emirati dishes in Abu Dhabi, one that stands out is machboos.
Machboos is a rice dish flavored with spices, including saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom.
The dish is typically made with either chicken, lamb, or fish, and is often served with a side of raita, a yogurt-based sauce.
Machboos is a staple dish in Emirati cuisine and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.
Other popular Emirati dishes in Abu Dhabi include thareed, a bread and meat stew, and luqaimat, a sweet dumpling made with honey and saffron.
Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, trying Emirati cuisine is a must-do experience in Abu Dhabi.
What Is the average price of Emirati dishes in Abu Dhabi?
The price of an Emirati dish in Abu Dhabi can vary depending on the type of restaurant and the location.
Generally, dining in a high-end restaurant or a five-star hotel can cost more than eating in a local or casual eatery.
However, Emirati cuisine is generally reasonably priced and there are many options for budget-friendly dining.
On average, a single Emirati dish in a casual eatery or a small restaurant can cost around AED 20-30 (approximately USD 5-8).
In mid-range restaurants, the price for a single Emirati dish can range between AED 50-100 (approximately USD 13-27).
In high-end restaurants or five-star hotels, the price for a single Emirati dish can range between AED 150-300 (approximately USD 41-82) or more.
It’s worth noting that the price of Emirati dishes can also depend on the specific dish you choose, as some ingredients and preparation methods can be more expensive than others.
Regardless of your budget, Abu Dhabi has many delicious and affordable Emirati dishes.
Which area in Abu Dhabi has the most Emirati Restaruants?
Abu Dhabi is a diverse city with many neighborhoods and areas.
While Emirati cuisine can be found throughout the city, some areas have more Emirati restaurants than others.
Al Ain is one of the areas in Abu Dhabi with the highest number of Emirati restaurants.
This historic city, located about 160 km from Abu Dhabi, is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional Emirati cuisine.
Many Emirati restaurants in Al Ain offer a range of authentic dishes.
Another area in Abu Dhabi with a high concentration of Emirati restaurants is the Al Muroor neighborhood.
This area is located in central Abu Dhabi and has many local and affordable restaurants serving Emirati cuisine.
Other areas in Abu Dhabi known for Emirati restaurants include Al Bateen, Al Mushrif, and Al Khalidiya.
These areas are popular among locals and tourists for their diverse dining options, including traditional Emirati cuisine.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi’s culinary scene reflects the city’s diverse cultures and influences.
Emirati cuisine, in particular, offers a rich blend of Middle Eastern, Indian, and African flavors that will delight any food lover.
While there are many Emirati restaurants in Abu Dhabi, some stand out as the best.
From the high-end, luxurious atmosphere of Mezlai in Emirates Palace to the casual, family-friendly atmosphere of Al Fanar, there is an Emirati restaurant for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
Whether you’re looking for traditional dishes like machboos and thareed or modern interpretations of Emirati cuisine, these restaurants offer something unique and unforgettable.
Exploring Abu Dhabi’s Emirati restaurants is a must-do experience for any visitor or resident.
By trying the delicious and authentic dishes offered by these restaurants, you can discover the true flavors and culture of Abu Dhabi.
- Gillett, K. (2023, March 13). Five Emirati restaurants to try in the UAE. The National. https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/food/five-emirati-restaurants-to-try-in-the-uae-1.925471
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