Must-Try Restaurants in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Al Majaz - Sharjah - United Arab Emirates
Al Majaz - Sharjah - United Arab Emirates | Photo by Hassan Pasha on Unsplash
Huw Fullerton

With a thriving art and culture scene, including sights such as the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation and the House of Wisdom, Sharjah is fast becoming a cultural hotspot in the Middle East. Its restaurant scene is growing, too, with a focus on high-quality Middle Eastern and Indian fare. For an authentic, aromatic experience, these must-try restaurants in Sharjah reflect local culture and international cuisines.

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Gazebo

Inspired by the royal kitchens of India, Gazebo explores the Indian regions of Lucknow and Hyderabad, along with the former North-West Frontier (today, part of Pakistan), to present a varied, rich menu. Its biryanis (mixed-rice dishes), notably the most popular Indian recipe worldwide, are of particular merit and well worth their reputation. However, it also offers a popular selection of starters and kebabs. Enjoy your food within beautiful interiors, complete with soft music and subtle lighting. Things can get a little packed at peak times, but with three other branches in the city, you are sure to find a Gazebo that will accommodate you.

Shababeek

Meaning “window” in Lebanese Arabic, Shababeek offers a glimpse into Middle Eastern fine dining beside the Al Qasba Canal. Modern Lebanese dishes are a speciality here, albeit with a solid grounding in tradition. Families are well catered for with its excellent children’s menu. While the service can be a little variable, the food makes up for it. Popular dishes include the soujouk (Lebanese sausages sautéed in garlic, lemon and coriander), lamb kebabs and batata harra (fried cubes of potato tossed in lemon, olive oil and garlic). Between October and March, when the weather is a little cooler, enjoy canal-side seating outdoors.

Katis Restaurant

Well known for its steamed momos (dumplings), handi biryani and kati rolls (a street-food dish), this Indo-Chinese restaurant is a great low-budget option that’s a hit with the locals as well as tourists. The interiors are fairly basic and not naturally ambient, but Katis is known more for its food. Its motto, “excellence is not a skill, but an attitude”, is reflected in the food and service, which remain of a high standard even within the relatively small space of the restaurant.

India Palace

India Palace concentrates on Mughal cuisine and the royal Mughal dynasty that produced it. Strongly influenced by Persian, Indian and Afghan dishes, this food is often associated with a distinctive aroma and ground spices, and this restaurant’s offerings are no exception. Food is marinated before serving and cooked in clay ovens or tandoors. Try the bhuna murgh (chicken in a spiced tomato sauce) or bhuna gosht (slow-cooked lamb with garam masala and red onion). The restaurant also aims to recreate the dazzling grandeur of the Mughal dynasty through its hand-carved woodwork, elaborate pictorial presentation and, of course, the “secret recipes” that make its dishes so popular.

Mushmaool Arabic Grill Restaurant

Sometimes, a restaurant can’t go wrong with good food and fantastic service, and Mushmaool is one of those restaurants. Often seen as the best grill in town, it’s just 50m (164ft) away from the Mega Mall. Lamb chops and shish tawook (Lebanese chicken skewers) come highly recommended, with the waffle fries also a popular choice. The interiors are clean and pleasant, with a variety of illustrations and colours dotted around the restaurant. The staff are committed to providing a dining experience as close as possible to a home-cooked meal, so while the food has always been popular, it’s the great service that people often remember.

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