Dubai has established itself as a place of luxury, and that definitely applies to restaurants. After all, nowhere else in the world are you able to sit and eat a three-course meal suspended 50 metres above Dubai’s marina.
But what are you supposed to do if you can’t afford the five-star treatment?
If you look hard enough there are some hidden gems that still provide high-quality food but for a fraction of the price of the most celebrated luxury restaurants. Here are some of our top picks for you to choose from.
We can’t talk about budget eating and not mention this place. Ravi’s can almost be classed as a Dubai institution, and it’s a go-to for many tourists. With the bright, fluorescent lights, plastic chairs, blaring indian music and the soundtrack of the Satwa streets passing you by, it doesn’t seem like it would be the best place to eat. But many argue that Ravi’s is the only place in Dubai where you can find authentic Indian cuisine. And with many of the dishes on the menu costing no more than AED 25, you could easily secure a five-course meal for less than AED 100.
If fresh, fried fish is up your street then Bu Qtair is an eatery to visit. Don’t be put off by the set-up, because there isn’t really one. With a small trailer and plastic tables and chairs on a sandy area that may have to be shared with other visitors, it could come across as a little rough and ready, but don’t be fooled. With no set menu, you only have the option to choose from the catch of the day, and the flavours and quality of fish are the real draw. For three people, it will only cost around AED 200, and you should have plenty of food left over.
Hidden away in Jumeriah Lakes Towers, this cosy Greek tavern offers authentic Greek cuisine that will keep you coming back for more. If you head down there, make sure you try the popular Greek-style beef meatball, chicken gyros and xylopitesi pasta. For two people you won’t be expected to pay more than AED 150.
Often, it’s the case that, when Asian food is cheap, it’s greasy. However, this is not the case with Thai restaurant Fuchsia. The price per person is around AED 60 and each dish is better than the last. The papaya salad and the beef with garlic stir fry are highly recommended – you’ll think you’re paying more for what you’re getting.
Living away from home, there is always one thing you end up missing the most – a decent home-cooked meal. That’s exactly what Fibber’s offers and at a reasonable price. Along with the sensibly priced food and drinks, there are special deals on most nights. A laid-back atmosphere can help you unwind after a long day, and a deal you can’t miss is the full Irish breakfast with drink for only AED 55.
This restaurant is perfect for families, with a family-friendly, non-smoking area far away from all the shisha smoke. The traditional Egyptian street food tries to guarantee quality and authenticity. The food is hearty, so if you’re on a diet, it’s probably best to stay clear of this place. Our top pick is the carb-fest dish of rice, brown lentils and pasta, topped off with onion and tomato sauce washed down with a sugar cane juice. You get to eat fantastic food at an average cost of AED 150 for two people.
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