Dubai has an array of fun activities for the tourists and locals as well. You can plan a complete 7-days itinerary easily without getting bored from Burj Khalifa, Dubai miracle garden or go for yacht rental Dubai. Emeriti cuisine blends Lebanese, Iranian, and Indian flavors, offering a mix of vegetarian and meat dishes. Dubai’s dishes are packed with herbs, ensuring tasty and healthy meals. While hummus and falafel are well-known, we’ve gathered more local dishes that provide an authentic taste of Arabic cuisine. This list is a great way to start exploring the best Dubai food.
Top 11 Foods You Should Try in Dubai 2023
Harees Dubai’s Special Occasion Star
Harees stands out as a Dubai culinary icon, gracing Emirati dinner tables and prestigious restaurant menus alike. With a blend of crushed wheat, minced meat, onions, and aromatic spices, this dish is a labor of love that’s reserved for cherished moments like weddings and banquets. Passed down through generations, Emirati harees preserve tradition and taste.
Dubai’s Culinary Tradition
Tahta malih stands as a treasured traditional dish in Dubai, still enjoyed today with its original taste preserved. Using salted and preserved fish called malih, this dish harks back to a time when fresh fish was scarce in the Emirates. Popular fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and queenfish are used, with yellowfin tuna being a common choice. Check out one of the best seafood restaurants in Dubai and have a taste. While relishing this delicacy, it’s important for those with high blood pressure to be mindful of its salt content.
Old School Shawarma Street Food
At the pinnacle of Dubai’s must-try foods, shawarma reigns supreme, causing spirited debates among street food aficionados. Unearthing the city’s best shawarma joints is a quest for authentic flavor. Aroos Damascus in Deira, Al Mallah in Dhiyafah, and the Baniyas Road contenders, Hatam Al Tai and Shiraz Nights, offer a delectable showdown. For a nostalgic bite of childhood memories, seek out the chicken shawarma enveloped in rich marinade and robust garlic notes.
Luqaimat is a beloved treat in Dubai, often enjoyed at cultural events across the city. These little golden pastries are made from flour, sesame seeds, turmeric, milk, sugar, salt, and a bit of yeast. They’re shaped into soft balls, fried until golden, and then drizzled with syrup. You can find a similar treat called loukoumades in Greece. In Dubai, luqaimat is a must-have at homes and restaurants, especially on special occasions, offering a delightful blend of flavors and textures.
Flavorful Meat Biryani
Biryani is a dish that has traveled far and wide, reaching Dubai and winning hearts. Originating from Indian cuisine, it has become popular in the Arab world for its delicious taste. Made with fragrant basmati rice and an assortment of spices, meat biryani can be prepared with chicken or other meats. This dish is a blend of diverse flavors that come together to create a savory sensation that Dubai residents and visitors alike relish.
Indulge in Gooey Delights with Knafeh in Dubai
Snap a photo of the gooey cheese-pull when you dig into Knafeh at a local café. This Middle Eastern dessert sensation is a must-try during your Dubai city tour. Don’t miss out on the queues that form, especially during Ramadan, when locals savor it for Iftar. The velvety, cheese-filled treat is at its best when enjoyed fresh, right after it’s made. Keep an eye out for cafes serving up this delight in its prime.
Traditional Machboos on Your Plate
Prepare for a taste explosion with Machboos, as layers of flavors dance on your taste buds. Despite its simple appearance, this traditional Dubai dish packs a punch of taste in every mouthful. The local spices, such as cardamom and cinnamon, create a captivating aromatic blend that’s further elevated by the tang of dried lemon. Machboos is a flavor journey that will leave your senses yearning for more throughout your stay in Dubai.
Tasty Street-side Breakfast
Experience an explosion of flavor without emptying your wallet with the Anda Paratha Roll, a popular breakfast found in Dubai’s older neighborhoods and street cafeterias. This simple yet delicious dish features an egg omelet (anda) tucked inside a parotta, a flaky flatbread made from white flour. Originating from Kerala, India, this dish brings together the softness of the omelet with the chewiness of the parotta, creating a perfect balance of tastes. Often served with a smear of cream cheese, tangy hot sauce, and crushed potato chips from the iconic Chip Oman packet, this roll is a nostalgic favorite among many.
National Tea Craze
When you’re savoring an Anda Paratha Roll, it’s almost customary to have a Styrofoam cup of Karak Chai in hand. Karak Chai, lovingly known as Karak, is a quintessential Dubai drink that has become a local favorite. This Indian-style tea is a mix of black tea leaves, cardamom, evaporated milk, and a generous amount of sugar. Often, locals drive up to cafeterias, honk, and receive a cup of Karak right at their car window for just a small amount of money. If you’re brave enough to ask for a sugarless version, be prepared for a simple tea bag in hot water. The trick is to find a budget-friendly cup of Karak Chai from the streets, which usually costs around 1 to 2 dirhams, unless you’re opting for saffron-infused Karak. Remember, paying more than 5 dirhams for a cup means you might be overpaying, as the true essence of this beloved drink lies in its simple and affordable charm.
Creamy and Delicious Dip Hummus
Hummus is a super yummy dip made from chickpeas. It’s creamy and a little bit nutty in taste. People love dipping pita bread or veggies into hummus. It’s healthy too because chickpeas are good for you. Hummus comes in different flavors, like garlic or roasted red pepper. It’s a great snack and also goes well with sandwiches.
Crunchy and Tasty Balls
Falafel is like a crispy ball made from chickpeas or sometimes fava beans. It’s a popular snack in many places. Imagine a crispy outside and a soft inside – that’s falafel! It’s usually served in pita bread with veggies and sauces, like tahini. People also enjoy falafel on its own or in salads. It’s a favorite for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians because it’s so flavorful and satisfying.
As you explore the vibrant streets of Dubai, the diverse and delectable array of foods is sure to captivate your taste buds. From the rich and flavorful Harees to the irresistible street-side Anda Paratha Roll, Dubai’s culinary scene is a journey of flavors that reflect its cultural diversity. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the gooey delights of Luqaimat or experience the aromatic explosion of Machboos.
And of course, no culinary exploration of Dubai is complete without sipping on a cup of Karak Chai or diving into the world of hummus and falafel. With each bite, Dubai’s unique blend of traditional and contemporary flavors offers a culinary adventure that’s both memorable and mouthwatering.
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