Arab Cuisine in the UAE
Looking for Arabic Restaurants in Abu Dhabi? I simply adore the flavors of Arabic food- from hummus to harees -I can’t get enough!
If you are visiting or living in Abu Dhabi you will certain want to try some of the restaurants below!
Most of the Arabic food restaurants in Abu Dhabi feature Lebanese cuisine but here is a list of Arabic restaurants which serve a variety of national dishes from Arabic countries around the world.
Some are expensive elegant restaurants and some are simple fast but flavorsome low cost establishments.
Here are our favorites!
Top Ten Arabic Restaurants
1. Atayeb, Yas Vicroy Hotel
This award winning restaurant serves Arabic food from several traditions as well as a few Mediterranean dishes as well. There is a blending of traditional dishes with a modern twist but the food retains the flavorsome Arabic spiciness.
Try couscous from Tunisia, or Emirati, Lebanese, Moroccan or Syrian cuisine. The food is prepared over a charcoal stove and grills. Keeping with the theme of the restaurant they serve Moroccan and Lebanese wines. The restaurant may be a bit pricey for some. Delicious Arab cuisine!
2. Barouk, Crown Plaza Yas Island
This upmarket award winning Lebanese restaurant has the chef Danny Kattar to thank for the contemporary twist they’ve given to true Lebanese cuisine yet maintaining the authentic quality of the dishes.
To make the restaurant even more genuinely Arabic there is a belly dancer or other forms of live entertainment. On the terrace you can also use one of the restaurant’s shishas (Hukka/Nagila). Some of the highlights on their menu include the Batenjen el barouk eggplant and for desert vermicelli dough with honey and ashta ice cream.
Moroccan Food in Abu Dhabi
3. Marakesh, Millennium Hotel
This is the only truly Moroccan restaurant in Abu Dhabi situated in the Millennium Hotel. The dramatically Middle Eastern décor sets the mood for this stylish restaurant where there is also live entertainment and the restaurant is licensed. They also have theme nights with a one price covers all policy. The food is genuinely Moroccan in flavor and presentation. This is my personal favourite Abu Dhabi Arabic restaurant.
4. Zaatar W Zeit, Madinat Zayed
Traditional Lebanese food served mostly in wraps you can eat in or take away and the food is reasonably priced. This is a no nonsense establishment which keeps things simple. The menu does include some “fast food” but the majority of the dishes are down to earth Arabic dishes. Try the Jebneh with Jambon. The restaurant offers a large number of vegetarian options. It is open 22 hours a day.
5. Lebanese Flower, Khalidiyah
Extremely popular with the locals there are sometimes lines of diners waiting to get in. The décor is disappointing and doesn’t match the high quality of the cuisine. The waiters cope well with the busy restaurant and serve up simple but definitely genuine Lebanese dishes. They also serve seafood and delicious grilled meats but end off the meal with one of the basic deserts like rice and milk or Muhalabiya.
6. Abu Shakrah, Al Markaziyah (Tourist Club Area)
This is a cheap cafeteria style eatery serving genuine Egyptian fare. The decor is uninspired but the food is very traditional and delicious. Open 24 hours a day they serve dishes like moussaka, falafel, stuffed grilled pigeon and shrimp stew!
7. Istanbouli, Madinat Zayed
The authentic and tasty Turkish food is served in a simple cafeteria and the menu is straight forward Arabic and Turkish food with no frills attached. Don’t expect a fancy place but with great food and low prices you’ll leave satisfied. Try the kebabs, tahini and humus. You can tell the food here is genuinely Turkish by the number of Turks that choose to eat here!
8. Afandem, Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and Resort, Ghantoot
An upmarket Turkish restaurant captained by the chef Adem which serves consistently delicious menu of dishes including chicken, beef and lamb. You can eat on the terrace while smoking the shisha or indoors. The décor is quite bland but the menu will tantalize your taste buds.
9. Pars Palace, Al-Khalidiya
The restaurant décor is in keeping with the Persian theme, it is not one of the best known restaurants but once discovered is unforgettable. Freshly baked flat bread and sheep milk cheese is served on the house to wake up the taste buds and then fresh ethnic ingredients like pomegranate seeds and saffron are used to flavor the traditionally Persian cuisine.
10. Sadaf, Mourouj Hotel Apartments
A reasonably priced restaurant where they have made an effort with the décor keeping to the Persian and Arabic theme. Here you can get traditional Iranian dishes, grilled meats and mouth watering deserts. The appetizers also do not stray from the traditional and national dishes of Persia. Try the Kashk Bademjan or the tabboula.