Eat like a Local in Abu Dhabi

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

When faced with as many amazing dining options as there are around Abu Dhabi, it can be tricky to make the important decision about where to eat. So, we’ve polled some local and international culinary luminaries to point you in the right direction.


Ray's Grill

Filipa Sousa

Foodie and Director of Marketing, Rosewood Abu Dhabi


Where will you find the very best breakfast in the city?

Breakfast food, in my opinion, is the best food, and I will happily eat it all day! My favourite place is Tasha’s in Al Bateen. Tasha’s has the perfect menu with both healthy and comfort food options with a great view. For a little indulgence, you won’t regret seeking out the Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s almond croissant--it’s DIVINE!’


Bill Bragin

Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center at NYUAD


Is there a hotel restaurant that doesn’t feel like a hotel restaurant?

Al Mayass in the Sheraton, one of the city’s earliest iconic hotels, has an old school charm and a water view. It serves delicious Lebanese Armenian cuisine, including sour cherry lamb

kabab bi karaz, an unexpected treat. Mezze, like hummus with pine nuts, garlicky batata harra, and grilled halloumi are also always delicious.


Shipra Pradhan

Restaurant consultant and hospitality trainer


What is the best small restaurant to explore?

I love exploring restaurants, and I’m always look for something new. I like Sushina in the World Trade Center for its interesting fusion of cuisines with Arabic influences on Japanese food. My favourite dish is the duck salad with dates. There is also ramen if you’d prefer a healthier option. The service is pleasant and quick, and the prices are reasonable.


Martin John Corrado

Advisor and long time Abu Dhabi resident


Which restaurant is still your usual and what do you order?

I travel to the 63rd floor to Ray’s Grill where my own personalized steak knife awaits, and I don’t even have to ask for my usual flawlessly prepared medium rare Black Angus 250-gram

rib eye; it just comes when I walk in. An array of salts and mustards accompanies the steak, which add savoury nuances to the meat. The mac & cheese is also a must try’.


Hassan Al Nowais

Director of Marketing & Communications, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas


Where do you take your family for a meal on weekends?

My most preferred weekend spot is the Friday Brunch at Beach Rotana for its variety of dishes. It’s attractive to families for its colourful and diverse dessert selection and kids’

area. I also love Bait Yadoo, which means grandma’s house in Arabic, where they serve authentic Emirati food.



Heba Buhazzaa

Manarat Al Saadiyat, Senior Specialist Teen Programmes


Where can visitors find the best Emirati sweets and coffee?

Lugimat, a delicious Emirati sweet, is best found in the house of a local family but, if you are just visiting, you can go to Al Fanar in the Ritz Carlton – it’s the best place to try traditional Emirati food. The very best way to beat the summer heat is with an affogato from Rain Café in Al Wahda.


Melinda Healy

Weekend Editor, The National


Where do you take out of town visitors to eat in the capital?

There are so many fabulous places, and most of them are not in the most obvious spots. One that always comes to mind is Café Arabia - from the beautiful lantern marking the entry, reflecting a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours in the evening, to the artworks and cluster of

hanging Turkish lamps overhead, it is a definite must-visit if you want to enjoy a touch of Arabia across from Umm Al Emarat Park.


Archie Berens

Chairman, Hanover Middle East


What’s your ‘never-miss’ restaurant?

For all round quality, Zuma is unbeatable. The food is amazing, the service impeccable, the setting is cool, and it’s an excellent value — especially the brunch. Up at the other end of town is a personal favourite: the Forge in the Ritz-Carlton; it’s beautifully laid out, and the food is exceptional.


Published on April 2018

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