Gastronomy tourism in Abu Dhabi

Restaurants and cafes in Abu Dhabi

Restaurants and Cafes in Abu Dhabi

Restaurants and Cafes.

The UAE capital has transformed from an unknown beggarly fishing village to the richest city in the world. A million skyscrapers of light, entertainment for all tastes and an unforgettable gastronomic experience. Restaurants and cafes in Abu Dhabi are a separate art form, which we will tell you about in our article on UAEtours.


Abu Dhabi Features

Like all the largest population centers of the Emirates, the capital has one peculiarity. The most popular eating establishments are located at the hotels. There is one good reason for this.

In a Muslim country, alcohol is prohibited. In regular cafes there is no opportunity to sit down for a glass of wine or an alcoholic cocktail. To sell drinks the owner of the institution needs to buy an expensive license. Only the real giants can buy it. People go to cafes and restaurants to enjoy their food.

The biggest inconvenience is that in restaurants that have a license, the prices are much higher than average. The prices of the dishes are off the charts, and the check per person exceeds a hundred dirhams. You will definitely not be able to spend a budget evening here.

Small restaurants in the city attract the guests by affordable prices. You can go here to eat after the shopping or a long walk. They are designed to introduce guests to the rich local cuisine. In the dining rooms and bars you can taste Lebanese, Indian, Italian and even Russian dishes. The fish menu is not a popular choice here.

No, you can buy alcohol in the emirate, but only in specialized stores, establishments and hotels. In the UAE it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public places.

In the gastronomic diversity of the capital it is easy to get lost, so below we present a rating of the best bars and cafes in Abu Dhabi. There are big flagships and small cafes here, but what unites them is amazingly delicious cuisine.

Sofra BLD

Sofra BLD

An authentic oriental atmosphere awaits guests here. Authentic interiors and dishes fully convey the mood of the Emirates. In the restaurant Asia and Arabia meet on one territory. Chef presents national cuisine to visitors. It is combined with culinary masterpieces of other cultures. French classics and Oriental flavor are combined on one plate.

  1. Service in the institution is on the “buffet” system. Not only the guests of the hotel, but also anyone can come here for gastronomic pleasure.
  2. Meals are cooked at several stations, as if reproducing the atmosphere of an oriental market. The guests can communicate with cooks, discuss ingredients and cooking process.
  3. The room starts in the morning, feeding breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Brunch is mandatory on Fridays.
  4. All the food is the freshest, and the fish is even live.
  5. Juices are squeezed out of juicy ripe fruit right in front of the guests. There are first class meat snacks and the most delicious sushi in the whole city, a huge choice of bread varieties and desserts.

Yes, in the institutions of the emirate will not be allowed to visitors in shorts and flip-flops. Men should at least wear a shirt and pants to visit the restaurants, and women should wear classic dresses.

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There is a chocolate fountain in the hall that all guests can use.

Before entering the establishment you need to buy a pass. Breakfast with alcohol and natural juices costs 142 AED. An evening meal without drinks costs 242AED and with hot drinks 350AED.

Thematic buffets are also available.

Crystal Lounge

Crystal Lounge

Another vibrant venue with a breathtakingly oriental design. The atmosphere is sumptuous: blown-glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling, the furniture is all polished and expensive wood, and the armchairs are upholstered on plush rugs.

  1. In such surroundings guests are offered to taste elite sorts of tea and coffee, delicious snacks and desserts. The bar features the best brands of sparkling wines in the world.
  2. Facility’s specialty is a kind of performance with a saber. The barman cuts off the neck of a bottle of champagne under the delighted cries of the guests. The golden liquor spills on the floor and splashes on the table of the show participants.
  3. The menu is not extensive. It’s more of a fancy place to eat than a proper meal. Omelets, olives, bruschetta with various fillings, grilled cheese, chips from the oven are waiting for the guests here.
  4. On Saturdays, buffets are organized.

Amazing author’s sweet dishes are served with drinks. The mood is supported by talented musicians’ piano playing.

There is a dress code in the institution. It is, of course, semiformal, but in flip-flops and T-shirts and shorts you are definitely not allowed here. You don’t have to dress in classics, but light cotton pants with a shirt and a discreet dress will come in handy.

Drinks are quite expensive. A glass of cocktail or martini costs 60 AED, a glass of liquor or cognac 35 AED, a glass of wine 50-105 AED and champagne over 150 AED.

Li Beirut

Li Beirut Restaurant

This modern art deco restaurant is rated one of the best ethnic restaurants in Abu Dhabi. There is an outdoor veranda with stunning views and decorations. There are always a lot of locals among the visitors. Whole families with kids come. And that means a lot.

In general, tourism has an unspoken rule – if the public restaurant eat locals, then you should pay attention to this institution. Natives of the resort always go to places where the best combination of price and quality.

Visitors to the capital who appreciate authentic Lebanese wine and Arabian treats also purposefully go to this particular restaurant. The main advantages of Lee Beirut:

  1. Royal service.
  2. Lightning-fast food service.
  3. Noble ambience.

A big disadvantage – it is not possible to eat cheaply here. Prices for everything correspond to the level.

  1. The chef will please inveterate meat-eaters. Beef, lamb, lulas, kebabs and mezes are cooked on 100 points.
  2. The menu is oriental, but quite modern and adapted to European demands.
  3. You can try the chicken and young veal dishes cooked by author. Bread deserves the special attention. All dishes are accompanied by freshly baked oriental flatbread. If you come here with your child, you should treat him/her to almond ice cream. It’s wonderfully tender here.

The sets of different dishes are popular among the visitors. The price of one set ranges from 250 to 400 local dirhams. But it is not possible to eat such a portion even for two guests because the portions are so big.

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Almayass Restaurant

This restaurant is located on the territory of the hotel with the same name. The locals often come here too. The skill of the cooks of this place deserves admiration. The vaulted windows and bright accents in the interior create a unique oriental atmosphere. The restaurant serves delicious national dishes of Lebanese and Armenian nations.

A large selection of meat dishes will please not only men, but also women. Before the main dishes are served, the waiter brings a compliment from the chef – fruit, bread and the traditional set of appetizers or mini-portions – meze.

For cherry kebab and Beirut hummus, go to Almayas. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the juicy desserts.

On the terrace you can smoke a fragrant hookah. From here you can enjoy picturesque sea views.

Prices: Meze for vegetarians will cost up to AED 37, but the meat one will cost up to AED 120. Desserts cost from 30 to 50 AED, salads up to 40 AED, a cup of coffee from 16 to 23 AED (price depends on variety and method of preparation). The average bill for a two-person dinner is AED 300.

The Terrace on the Corniche

Gastronomic paradise The Terrace on the Corniche

Creative gastronomic paradise in Abu Dhabi. The creators of this place are pretty adventurous people. On the territory of one institution they have created a large number of culinary stations, where they prepare dishes from different countries. When you visit this restaurant, you go on a delicious world tour.

Yes, some establishments in the Emirate have separate days where they set up “buffets” for visitors.

Each day is dedicated to a new theme, and a gastronomic spectacle is played out in front of the guests.

Even those who come here just to have a glass of good wine stay for a few hours. Guests cannot resist the huge number of delicious dishes and drinks. Barbecued dishes are much praised, especially the lamb ribs.

  1. Every Wednesday, visitors take a trip down an impromptu silk road. Guests are immersed in a mysterious world of spices and spices. The aromas of Iran, Egypt, India and Turkey soar in the air. On Thursdays exquisite seafood and fish dishes are served.
  2. On Fridays there is a traditional brunch oriented for families with children. Children are offered a special menu.
  3. The restaurant is considered a sweet-tooth paradise. The range of sweet dishes excites the imagination and amazes.
  4. As part of the buffet you can break off a piece from a block of real high-class chocolate on your own.

Depending on the day of the week, a restaurant pass can cost between 200AED and 250AED. Friday admission for a family of 2 adults and 2 children is 500AED. The price includes food only. Drinks must be paid for separately.

Azura Panoramic Lounge

Azura Panoramic Lounge

Stylish contemporary lounge bar in the heart of the capital. The Lounge Café serves European cuisine and guests sit outdoors on the terrace with breathtaking views of the city.

Incredible scenery opens up from here: all high-rises with numerous lights can be seen as if on the palm of your hand. It’s especially beautiful at sunset or in the dark. No matter what time of day it is, the aesthetic pleasure is guaranteed.

It is a youth place and art space. Here you can make new acquaintances and enjoy a delicious cocktail.

The most popular dishes are hummus, sushi and rolls. Huge assortment of seafood and meat dishes. If you visit this place, order an assortment of roasts and steaks cooked on grills.

A great addition to the overall experience is the incredible serving of treats.

Visitors don’t come here just for the delicious food and stunning views. It’s a jazz music lover’s paradise. After dinner, guests are invited to the pool to smoke a soft hookah.

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Dinner for two costs between AED 150-200.

Cabana Bar & Grill

Cabana Bar & Grill

The popularity of this place is off the charts. The beach club is always full of visitors, and there are rarely any empty seats.

  • The bar is located almost by the sea;
  • A wide choice of dishes;
  • relatively low prices.

The bar makes amazingly light dishes, burgers, vegetable salads. This is an ideal place for a modest lunch in a pleasant atmosphere. If the cafe is empty, you can sit on the sun loungers and your order will be brought here. Tables are on the veranda and on the sand under large umbrellas, reliably hiding visitors from the scorching rays.

The menu is as follows:

  • Deep-fried onion rings cost 55 AED;
  • BBQ chicken wings 80 AED a piece;
  • A seafood portion of shrimp and lobster costs AED 100;
  • A sandwich costs up to 90 AED;
  • cheese patty 85 AED;
  • burger 90 AED;
  • ice cream 55 AED per serving.

At local rates, the beach bar is an affordable option among Abu Dhabi eateries.


Nahaam place

One of the small number of establishments with Russian-speaking staff. This is very rare in the Arab world. This is the key to why there are many tourists from Russia among the guests of the establishment. Here there is no need to overcome the language barrier and there are no problems with the choice of dish.

The cafe specializes in the preparation of dishes of Italian cuisine.

Nahaam is located on the first floor of Etihad Tower. The eating area gradually transitions to the street. Under the open air, eating is particularly enjoyable. Freshly baked pizza or freshly cooked pasta will be especially delicious in the fresh air.

  1. The menu includes delicious panna cotta, paella and other masterpieces of Italian chefs.
  2. This place is very loved by children, because here you can order their favorite pasta with chicken or cheese.
  3. During late brunch there’s a lively time, as they often roast a young lamb at that time. On Saturdays, there’s a special grill menu package. The roast meat is served with fresh vegetables.
  4. Brunch on Friday has a fixed price. The deposit of 375AED includes non-alcoholic drinks only, if wine is added the price goes up to 450 AED, with champagne goes up to 500 AED.
  5. A Saturday night with meat dishes costs AED 195 excluding spirits.

If a package deal isn’t enough for you, the price for a meal in the restaurant is AED 250 which includes a main dish and drinks.

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Shawarma Time

Shawarma Time

Unremarkable at first glance, the fast-food type establishment is the best shawarma in the capital.

One of these places is Shawarma Time. There they cook mostly fast food, and the cost of the dishes on the menu is democratic. For example, the cost of shawarma is 30 dirhams.

  1. This is a great bargain for the budget-conscious tourists. If you buy a large shawarma, you get lentil soup and iced tea as a gift. The result is a full lunch for not much money.
  2. They put chicken, lamb, beef, add vegetables, herbs and spices into the bread flatbread.
  3. The menu here is large, in addition to different kinds of shawarma, there are many salads, sandwiches and drinks.

There is a special children’s menu and toy boxes for the little ones.

Shawarma costs up to 30 dirhams. The price depends on the filling. Snack and chips combos 36 AED, salads 25 AED.

Lebanese Mill.

Lebanese Mill

Another great place for budget-priced tourists. The food is fast and inexpensive. It is a very modest place and there are not many tables but the food is very good. That’s why visitors don’t spend a lot of time here. Eat and go on.

The cafe belongs to the institutions for local people. Hence the low prices and decent quality. They cook as if for their own people.

Meat is cooked first class here – fresh, soft, juicy. Portions are huge. One dish is enough to feed two adults.

  1. They make amazing lentil soup, kebabs, kebabs.
  2. They serve mango juice or black tea with mint.
  3. There is a separate menu for children without spices and spices: rice, chicken, falafel. The place is perfect for a daily meal.
  4. Financially, the prices are really nice. A full meal for two of half chicken, hummus, pickled vegetables, olives, lamb kebabs and bread will cost about 90 dirhams.
  5. Abu Dhabi and all the resorts of the UAE can hardly be called budget. But even here you can eat tasty and relatively inexpensive food. The main thing is to find the right establishment that will meet your standards of price and quality.

Share on UAEtours what places in Abu Dhabi you must visit and what is the most delicious in this institution?

Gourmet Abu Dhabi Culinary Festival

Gourmet Abu Dhabi is one of the largest culinary festivals in the world, which has been held annually for the past 5 years in Abu Dhabi, turning the capital of the emirate into the culinary capital of the world for almost 2 weeks. The best chefs come here to demonstrate their exquisite culinary skills, and all the gourmets come to Abu Dhabi to enjoy the most amazing culinary masterpieces. This is the only cultural event of its kind not only in Abu Dhabi, but in all the UAE which brings together all the culinary traditions of the Arabian people and is designed for the most demanding, true connoisseurs of high culinary art.

Renowned chefs from the East and West, internationally renowned chefs, Michelin Star chefs, the highest accolade in the industry and reception consultants all gather annually in Abu Dhabi in February for one of the world’s premier culinary events.

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With participants from over 15 different countries taking part in the Abu Dhabi Culinary Festival, guests at the culinary event benefit from a huge variety of cuisine. Gourmet Abu Dhabi is a feast for gourmets who can indulge in the gourmet treats and discover many new flavours at the festival. The masters present to the jury and the guests of the festival impressive masterpieces of exquisite dishes that whet the appetite with their stunning presentation alone.

The program of the culinary festival is rich with a variety of events that will allow you to get in touch with different culinary traditions and have a great time. Aristocratic dinners, gala dinners and lively parties are all part of the Abu Dhabi Culinary Festival to showcase the very best in food.

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Gourmet Abu Dhabi offers master classes from some of the world’s finest chefs who are on hand to share their culinary secrets, and the opportunity to taste some of the delectable dishes created by the leading masters of the culinary arts. Also during the festival there are a lot of thematic forums where topical issues in the field of catering are discussed which have a significant influence on the development of both the restaurant and hotel business.

Gourmet Abu Dhabi usually opens with a sumptuous gala dinner followed by a series of specialist thematic forums.

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The most exciting part of the festival is usually the awards ceremony for the winners of the culinary competition for the title of best chef of the year, as well as determining the best restaurant of the year. To be among the lucky ones who deserve the honor of being at the awards ceremony, the festival participants have to go through three stages of online voting, which will leave only the best chefs and restaurants participating in the competition, and in the final stage the winners in each of the 10 categories of the festival will be determined. Masters of culinary art from all over the world every year surprise both jury and guests of the festival with new unique dishes, and confectioners create the real masterpieces, and not for nothing one of the nominations sounds like “Picasso of baking”, thus confirming the amazing skill. Many of the winners win very tempting job offers and stay in the Emirates.

Spectators of Gourmet Abu Dhabi can not only taste the delicious dishes, but also participate in the process of preparation by going to any of the thematic master classes from leading cooks of the world. Real sweet-tooth people will appreciate the amazing chocolate master class, which is becoming more and more popular during the festival.

The unforgettable culinary evenings, each one different and varied in its own way, will enable visitors to make many new discoveries about taste and have many a vivid impression of the exciting festival events.

Every year more and more hotels in the Emirate wish to take part in the festival, which is where all the stages of Gourmet Abu Dhabi usually take place. Real foodies should never miss an opportunity to visit the massive culinary festival in Abu Dhabi.

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