The Cuisine of Italy in the UAE
If you are looking for great Italian food in the nation’s capital, then look no further. From osso bucco to pasta primavera you can sample it all and from world class chef’s who consider it an honor to work in a culinary haven such as Abu Dhabi!We have complied our top 10 favorites! Do you agree? Let us know!
Top 10 Italian Restaurants in Abu Dhabi
1. Frankie’s, Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Frankie’s is fully booked every night and with good reason, the food is prepared under the name of the famous chef Marco Pierre White and was first opened by culinary wonder Giampaolo Maffini, from Milan.
It is my favorite and the best Italian restaurant Abu Dhabi offers by far. The restaurant serves generous helpings of freshly made pasta and pizza to a trendy but family friendly crowd who can choose to sit inside or out on the terrace. There is also a lively atmosphere with the occasional live background music.
Frankie’s is licensed, the staff is impeccable and the business menu deals and all-you-can-eat antipasti buffet make it pricey but worth it.
2. Mezzaluna, Emirate Palace Hotel
The innovative Italian menu here presents a new twist on old Italian standards. The décor and atmosphere are elegant and romantic while the luxurious surroundings make this the number one Italian restaurant in Abu Dhabi.
Their seafood spaghetti (or squid ink tagliatelle) and the tiramisu are renowned and the restaurant is vegetarian. The restaurant is licensed; the service impeccable and they also have special deal menus.
There is inside and outside seating at Mezzaluna which is however in the higher price range. This is a classy place and should be your first choice for Italian food in Abu Dhabi.
3. Porto Bello, Grand Millennium Al Wahda
The décor at Poro Bello is modern yet sophisticated and so are the dishes as the chef takes Italian favorites and gives them refreshing lightness.
On the menu you can find options for diabetics and together with traditional Italian dishes a few healthier options. Live piano and violin music is often played here to complement the trendy scene.
The chef, who trained in Italy believes that “ingredients should be fresh and high-quality” and that “food should be light, but not rich”, and that explains the excellent award winning menu at Porto Bello. The restaurant is licensed and serves deal menus.
4. Prego’s, Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
A lively, busy restaurant conveniently located in the middle of the city, Prego’s is popular with expats as well as locals. Prego’s is more of a casual family restaurant than the other restaurants mentioned above but if you’re looking for romance just step onto the romantic terrace.
There are no frills attached at this venue but the food is served in generous portions and if very flavorsome. Try the lasagna or one of the sea food dishes. The restaurant has won awards and is licensed, it also serves deal menus. A great cohice for one of the best Italian restaurants Abu Dhabi has to offer.
5. Bice, Hilton Abu Dhabi
This Italian restaurant has been around longer than most of the Italian restaurants on this list and the experience shows in the smooth running ease with which they serve up superb meals without fail time after time. The menu is marked to point out vegetarian, diet and allergy free options.
Bice is a classic Abu Dhabi fixture with its sharp black and white décor and large windows. Relax in the knowledge that only the finest ingredients have been used to create all time Italian favorites. Bice is licensed and has deal menus.
6. Certo, Souk Qaryat Al Beri
Certo is located in an area where there are lots of restaurants to choose from yet it persists in being a favorite among locals and guests. The ingredients are fresh and thoughtfully presented and the atmosphere is cool and romantic.
The homemade dishes are cooked in a wood burning oven and served with a range of olive oils. Notice the six meter high wine tower and efficient service. Sit on the terrace to get a brilliant view of the Grand Mosque and the sea. Certo is licensed and serves deal menus.
7. La Mamma, Sheraton Abu Dhabi
Looking for that Italian Mamma who will load up your plate with a hearty meal, well this is the place.
The restaurant has that homely atmosphere which can’t compete with the glamorous neighbors with its décor but its food is on a par with the best. The service is friendly and welcoming and the food on the menu consists of basic Italian classics.
La Mamma is licensed and serves deal menus. Sample the delights at the appetizer counter or relish in the homemade ravioli, just like an Italian Mamma would make.
8. Amalfi, Le Royal Meridien
Here the food outshines the décor but never the less this restaurant has been around a while and proved it has staying power. The thing that keeps diners coming back is the food.
The most impressive part of the menu is the main course with juicy lamb and delicious fish. The food is consistently top quality and artistically presented.
Live performances are often present and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The restaurant is licensed and serves deal menus.
9. Cipriani, Yas Island
In the higher price range this restaurant is part of a chain of high end glamorous eateries.
The food is basic good Italian fare but the real attraction at this venue is the trendy atmosphere of the well to do celebs and sophisticates who flock here to been seen at this “in” place.
The staff is efficient and the terrace view over the marina is worth the extra price. The restaurant is licensed but does not serve deal menus.
10. Casa Verde, Sas Al Nakhl
The menu here includes more than just Italian cuisine but is always good. The restaurant is classy and stylish but also serves up quality food.
There are incredible views over the golf course and you can’t go wrong with the Friday lunch buffet. Dress smart-casual for Casa Verde and tuck in to the juicy steaks, and generous portions.
This is an elegant Italian restaurant for those who want to go beyond simple pasta and pizza and venture into the seafood and meat menu of Casa Verde.