Omelette on a plate.
Omelette on a plate.
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21grams Urban Balkan Bistro

Dubai

The Best Casual Restaurants in Dubai

Looking for the best casual dining in Dubai? We've got you covered.

Updated on Feb 09, 2024 | World of Mouth team

After a long day on the beach in Dubai, you may want to visit a relaxing restaurant or just a place for a casual dinner. This list includes the best casual places the city has to offer. In Boca, you will get a meal with plenty of Spanish influences. Slab serves contemporary cuisine featuring an open kitchen. You will find these and many more casual restaurants in our guide.

Every choice is based on personal recommendations from local World of Mouth experts, including celebrity Chef Mohamad Orfali and food writers Hani AlMalki and Liam Collens.

BOCA

Gate Village 6 - near DIFC Parking - Trade Centre - DIFC - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Offering a casual, Spanish-inspired dining experience, BOCA is known for its delicious, sustainable cuisine and an extensive wine list with 48 varieties served by the glass. The restaurant champions local produce, featuring a desert plant garden on-site and using local ingredients such as Dibba Bay oysters. With standout dishes like the 12-hour braised lamb with creamy polenta and Emirati seabass tartare, BOCA provides a reliable and enjoyable dining experience.

Recommended by

Delicious, casual Spanish-inspired cuisine at a venue that’s a bit like Cheers - where everybody knows your name. A happy haunt for the foodie crowd, BOCA doesn’t disappoint with its food nor wines, 48 of which they serve by the glass (all Spanish or nearby). BOCA has started some great sustainability measures and champion local produce with their on-site desert plant garden and use of local produce such as Dibba Bay oysters.
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BOCA

BOCA

Gate Village 6 - near DIFC Parking - Trade Centre - DIFC - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Slab - mercato

Mercato Mall - Ground Floor - شارع جميرا - جميرا - جميرا ١ - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Slab - Mercato offers modern cuisine at affordable prices, with a regularly changing menu to keep things fresh and exciting. The restaurant is led by the talented American-Peruvian chef, Omar Rodriguez, who is known for his diverse dishes ranging from ceviche to steak or fillet mignon. Customers particularly enjoy the great salads and absolutely fantastic desserts, such as the popular torrija.

Recommended by

Excellent food by a fantastic chef. It’s in a mall but is far from a “mall restaurant”.
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Slab - mercato

Slab - mercato

Mercato Mall - Ground Floor - شارع جميرا - جميرا - جميرا ١ - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Bait Maryam - Dubai

Cluster D - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

With a warm, welcoming atmosphere, Bait Maryam offers authentic Palestinian and Lebanese cuisine that makes you feel at home. Led by Chef Salam, the restaurant serves up delicious dishes like hummus, falafel, and daily home-style stews. Customers highly recommend the hummus with meat and kofta with Tahini, praising their exquisite and flavorful taste.

Recommended by

Just Like Home Chef Salam makes you feel like you are ih her home having beautiful Palestinian and Lebanese food. She makes some of thr best hummus and falafel you will ever have. The whole menu is excellent with daily home style stews for lunches. Highly recommended.
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Bait Maryam - Dubai

Bait Maryam - Dubai

Cluster D - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Dar Wasl Mall - Al Wasl Rd - Al Wasl - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

This Japanese eatery, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, offers a fun and tasty twist on traditional cuisine, best enjoyed in a group to sample a variety of small dishes. The restaurant's decor combines personality with comfort, featuring dark wood, generous window light, and an open plan kitchen that adds a lively touch. The menu focuses on flat iron grilled food, with highlights including the nearly soupy beef gyoza, crispy baby squid katsu, and the Sanchoku Wagyu Sando, while also showcasing subtler dishes like raw seabass with yuzu soy.

Recommended by

Fun and tasty play on Japanese food. Fun and tasty play on Japanese food. Best to come with a few people to enjoy as many small dishes as possible, such as raw hamachi with umeboshi and almonds, melo with kimchi sauce and sesame (this I will copy at home) maki with soft shell crab or a variety of kushi (beef with black pepper teriyaki and bonito flakes eryngi mushrooms and seaweed butter). PS Reif was also named the best ramen place in town - and not without a reason!
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Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Reif Japanese Kushiyaki

Dar Wasl Mall - Al Wasl Rd - Al Wasl - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

San Wan Hand Pulled Noodles

JLT Cluster F , Basement Lake level - and walk past G's Bakery to the end - next to Asian Street - أبراج بحيرات الجميرا - دبي - United Arab Emirates

San Wan Hand Pulled Noodles is a small but popular spot in Dubai, known for its homemade delicacies. The restaurant's signature dishes include traditional biang biang noodles with beef and homemade cumin chilli oil, spicy wontons in black vinegar, and a refreshing chilli cucumber salad. Guests can also watch the chefs hand-pull noodles, adding to the authentic experience.

Recommended by

You know you’re coming back before you leave. Another small, hard-to-find space in JLT with less than 20 seats and a line out the door. San Wan Hand Pulled Noodles sells more than just that, but it’s the reason you should come. Get the traditional biang biang noodles (with gamey beef) laced with a generous splash of their homemade cumin chilli oil, the homemade spicy wontons in black vinegar and the cooling-but-spiked chilli cucumber salad. Prices are reasonable. Be prepared to wait for a table.
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San Wan Hand Pulled Noodles

San Wan Hand Pulled Noodles

JLT Cluster F , Basement Lake level - and walk past G's Bakery to the end - next to Asian Street - أبراج بحيرات الجميرا - دبي - United Arab Emirates

THE SUM OF US

Ground Floor, Burj Al Salam, 6th Street - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

This restaurant offers a delightful variety of freshly roasted, single-origin coffee and an assortment of bakery items, including breads and cakes. The menu highlights include bacon and mushrooms on sourdough toast and a variety of egg dishes, with a recommendation for the light, creamy scrambled eggs. A must-try dessert is their unique doughnut, filled with dulce de leche, homemade honeycomb, cinnamon, and caramelised white chocolate cream.

Recommended by

Coffee and more In my opinion they have some of the best coffee in town. Theres also a bakery for great breads and cakes. Everyone loves this place.
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THE SUM OF US

THE SUM OF US

Ground Floor, Burj Al Salam, 6th Street - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

21grams Urban Balkan Bistro

Meyan Mall - Floor 2 - شارع الثنيه - ام سقيم - ام سقيم ٢ - دبي - United Arab Emirates

This bistro, 21grams Urban Balkan Bistro, provides a unique dining experience with its modern Balkan soul food. It offers a range of flavorsome dishes such as crunchy burek wedges, spicy pindju eggs, and Balkan breakfast eggs with smoked paprika sausages. The mid-century modern decor provides a peaceful ambiance, making it a perfect place to enjoy a hearty breakfast or a casual meal.

Recommended by

21 grams’ modern Balkan soul food nourishes offering one of Dubai’s best home-grown restaurants. Minimalist self-described Urban Balkan Bistro is a full service, casual restaurant but its breakfasts are my reason to come back again and again. It breaks away from the tiresome avocado toast to offer gusty Balkan dishes including crunchy, totemic burek wedges, spicy pindju eggs, Balkan breakfast eggs with smoked paprika sausages and cooling feta. Clove cherry juice and diesel-strength cold brews are worth ordering. The mid-century modern decor makes 21 grams a quiet retreat.
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21grams Urban Balkan Bistro

21grams Urban Balkan Bistro

Meyan Mall - Floor 2 - شارع الثنيه - ام سقيم - ام سقيم ٢ - دبي - United Arab Emirates

3 Fils

Jumeirah Fishing Harbour - Shop 02 - 1 Al Urouba St - Jumeirah 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

This restaurant, 3 Fils, is located by the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, providing a casual dining experience with community style seating. The menu features dishes with a Japanese influence, such as the signature 'Charcoal' surprise, the seaweed salad with sweet apple and crunchy walnuts, and the wagyu truffle burger. The restaurant, which started in 2016, prides itself on serving premium Asian dishes with a Japanese twist in a comfortable setting.

Recommended by

Flavourful Abundance 3 Fils holds the title of Best Restaurant in Middle East & North Africa 2022 and after just one visit you’ll understand why. This casual and reasonably priced dining spot overlooks the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour and it’s, arguably, one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai (with good reason, of course). The restaurant offers unique community style dining with large shared tables. You can look forward to a menu selection of Japanese influenced dishes. Each and every dish is loaded with flavour to impress. The ‘Charcoal’ surprise is one of their signature dishes that’s not to be missed; a secret dish that will not only keep you guessing but wanting more too. Another classic 3 Fils dish is their seaweed salad which boasts sweet apple and crunchy walnuts. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the mouth-watering 3 Fils wagyu truffle burger; simply superb. Great food, great service and a great setting; you don’t want to miss out on 3 Fils when visiting Dubai.
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3 Fils

3 Fils

Jumeirah Fishing Harbour - Shop 02 - 1 Al Urouba St - Jumeirah 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Al Fannah Restaurant

86 2b St - Umm Suqeim - Jumeirah 3 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Al Fannah Restaurant is a hidden gem known for its South Indian style cuisine, with a specific emphasis on seafood dishes. Customers highly recommend the spicy fried prawns and grilled or fried fish, describing them as some of the best they've ever had. With a variety of seafood options on the menu, including their signature Seabream grill and a mixed seafood bucket, Al Fannah guarantees a satisfying meal for seafood lovers.

Recommended by

Best spicy fried prawns ever… This is a hidden gems only locals know about. They do south Indian style foods and specialize in fish and prawns. For me, their fried prawns are the best I ever had. They are spicy and delicious. Go for a grilled or fried fish as well. It is one of my Dubai favorite meals.
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Al Fannah Restaurant

Al Fannah Restaurant

86 2b St - Umm Suqeim - Jumeirah 3 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

BIG T BBQ KITCHEN

Warehouse 30, street 24 - القوز - منطقة القوز الصناعية 4 - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Specializing in BBQ dishes, BIG T BBQ KITCHEN operates from Friday to Sunday, which sometimes results in a waiting line due to its popularity. The menu features a variety of dishes, but regulars often recommend the BBQ pastrami, brisket, ribs, and fries. Despite its limited operating days, the quality of the food remains consistently excellent.

Recommended by

BBQ Pastrami, Brisket and Rib This is where we go for BBQ in Dubai. It is open Friday to Sunday and on most times there is a wait. The food is excellent. My favorite there is the rib, the pastrami, the brisket and the fries.
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BIG T BBQ KITCHEN

BIG T BBQ KITCHEN

Warehouse 30, street 24 - القوز - منطقة القوز الصناعية 4 - دبي - United Arab Emirates

BordoMavi Seafood

Al Urouba St - Jumeirah - Jumeirah 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

This Turkish seafood restaurant, BordoMavi Seafood, brings freshly flown in fish from Türkiye to your table. The skilled chefs use both traditional coastal fishing village methods and global culinary techniques to deliver a variety of seafood dishes. Despite not serving alcohol, the restaurant's setting and food quality are highly recommended.

Recommended by

It’s brand new and going straight into my recommendations. It is a Turkish seafood restaurant. There no alcohol but the setting and the food are excellent. They fly lots of fish in from Türkiye.
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BordoMavi Seafood

BordoMavi Seafood

Al Urouba St - Jumeirah - Jumeirah 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Chaat Bazaar - Karama

Mabrooka Building, Near - الكرامة - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Known for serving perhaps the most loved Indian chaat dish, Chaat Bazaar - Karama is described as the epitome of a hole-in-the-wall eatery. Their pani puri, served individually by hand, is a must-try and stands out for its exceptional quality. The staff's expertise, honed by countless hours of practice, ensures a memorable dining experience for every visitor.

Recommended by

The definition of a hole-in-the-wall. You may come to Chaat Bazaar for many things, but you must come for the pani puri served individually, by hand, from people who’ve spent their Gladwellian 10,000 hours churning out perhaps the most loved Indian chaat dish.
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Chaat Bazaar - Karama

Chaat Bazaar - Karama

Mabrooka Building, Near - الكرامة - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Daikan

Lake Shore Tower 1 - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

With a laid-back atmosphere tucked away in a residential tower, Daikan is a casual spot specializing in ramen. Their menu highlights include a spicy chef’s special ramen and a rich, creamy shoyu ramen, both hailed as among the best in the area. In addition to ramen, they also serve notable dishes such as miso aubergine and chicken katsu bao with kimchi.

Recommended by

A low-key, casual ramen spot in the back of a residential tower. Daikan cooks some of Dubai’s best ramen in my opinion particularly the spicy chef’s special and a rich, creamy shoyu ramen. Other dishes like the miso aubergine and the chicken katsu bao with kimchi are worth ordering. I have to limit myself to eating here no more than once a week!
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Daikan

Daikan

Lake Shore Tower 1 - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Din Tai Fung - Mall Of Emirates

Mall Of The Emirates - Level 2 Sheikh Zayed Rd - near Vox Cinema - Al Barsha - Al Barsha 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Known for its impeccable service and good food, Din Tai Fung at the Mall of Emirates offers a delightful dining experience. Despite not serving Pork XLB, it maintains a reputation for great pricing. It's a destination worth considering for those seeking a quality meal.

Recommended by

They may not serve Pork XLB here - But the Din Tai Fung in Dubai still has impeccable service, great pricing and good food.
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Din Tai Fung - Mall Of Emirates

Din Tai Fung - Mall Of Emirates

Mall Of The Emirates - Level 2 Sheikh Zayed Rd - near Vox Cinema - Al Barsha - Al Barsha 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

DUO Gastrobar

Dubai Hills Business Park, Building 4 Ground Floor - دبي - United Arab Emirates

This casual yet stylish restaurant offers a variety of both hearty and light dishes, including the recommended oxtail puff pastry pie, yellow zucchini with a Parmesan mousse, and a unique Gorgonzola dessert. The interior design of DUO Gastrobar is laconic and pleasant to the eyes, with a focus on comfort and the use of natural materials. In terms of cuisine, it offers modern European dishes with a slight touch of Asia, aiming to create everyday food that is understandable, non-trivial, and evokes powerful emotions.

Recommended by

Solid casual and reasonably priced restaurant with both hearty and light dishes. Serves late breakfast on the weekend. Must orders: oxtail puff pastry pie, yellow zucchini with a Parmesan mousse, seared young cabbage with black truffle and passion fruit and Gorgonzola dessert.
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DUO Gastrobar

DUO Gastrobar

Dubai Hills Business Park, Building 4 Ground Floor - دبي - United Arab Emirates

Electric Pawn Shop

1 Sheikh Zayed Rd - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the Electric Pawn Shop, an Asian bar-restaurant inspired by the 70s Chinatown of New York. Here, you can enjoy creative Asian cuisine and cocktails, accompanied by the superb turntable DJing. The place is also known for its natural wine selection, underground beats, and conceptual design.

Recommended by

A heady mix of superb turn table DJing and an original take on popular cocktails. If it was any closer to my home, I’d never get anything done.
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Electric Pawn Shop

Electric Pawn Shop

1 Sheikh Zayed Rd - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 1 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Em Sherif Cafe

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Specializing in high-end Lebanese cuisine, Em Sherif Cafe is recognized for its exceptional dishes. Many customers consider it to be one of the best Lebanese dining experiences available. While the restaurant's website does not provide further details, the strong recommendations speak volumes about the quality of food and service.

Recommended by

Excellent high end Lebanese food. It’s probably the best Lebanese restaurant in Dubai.
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Em Sherif Cafe

Em Sherif Cafe

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Downtown Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Fusion Ceviche

𝐉𝐋𝐓 𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐐 𝐒𝐀𝐁𝐀 𝟑 𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐏 #𝟒 - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Fusion Ceviche is a casual Peruvian restaurant, popular in its neighborhood for more than just ceviche. The place is known for its communal tables and ceviche bar, where locals often gather to enjoy grilled octopus, empanadas, seafood rice, and three milk cake. Despite its casual ambiance, the quality of its dishes makes it a worthwhile visit for those seeking a taste of Peruvian cuisine.

Recommended by

A local delivery hero done good by opening an instantly popular neighbourhood cevicheria Fusion Ceviche is a decidedly casual, but determined Peruvian restaurant that serves more than just ceviche. It is a communal space for the residents in the area to eat rounds of grilled octopus, empanadas, seafood rice and three milk cake as they come together around communal tables and the ceviche bar. It leans on your goodwill a little, but the results are worth it.
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Fusion Ceviche

Fusion Ceviche

𝐉𝐋𝐓 𝐂𝐋𝐔𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐐 𝐒𝐀𝐁𝐀 𝟑 𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐏 #𝟒 - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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