Over the years, Abu Dhabi has become more accommodating of its large expat population. During Ramadan, when the Muslim population observes strict fasting from dawn to sunset, a number of establishments throughout the city continue to serve lunch to those who aren’t fasting. If you’re a tourist visiting the city or a non-fasting resident, there are a number of great lunch spots to check out. Here’s our pick of the best.
*Note: please remember to be respectful and refrain from eating in public. The following restaurants only permit dining inside and cover their windows with drapes. You are only permitted to eat within these restaurants.
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Located at the idyllic Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Carluccio’s is a very popular option with tourists and locals alike. During Ramadan, Carluccio’s continues serving classic Italian cuisine as usual. Be sure to try their delicious authentic tiramisu, which is just one of their range of fabulous desserts. Seating outside is closed off, but you can escape the heat and enjoy your meal under the blast of air conditioning. Do bear in mind that Carluccio’s usually doesn’t serve alcohol during Ramadan.
Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Famous for their authentic Indian curries, Biryani Pot has a wide range of classic dishes, lovingly prepared with fresh ingredients. From an extensive list of biryanis to mouthwatering desserts, Biryani Pot is a must for curry lovers and food enthusiasts.There is also a special Ramadan set menu where you can choose your favourite beverage, soup, starter, main course, and dessert from their delicious array of dishes for only AED 59 (USD$16). Located in The Galleria, Biryani Pot is a perfect pit stop during your shopping excursions. During Ramadan, the mall hosts various Ramadan-themed activities, from calligraphy stations and falconry exhibitions to henna and arts and crafts for children.
Hickory's Restaurant and Bar
Restaurant, European, $$$
Boasting scenic views of the Yas Links Golf Course, Hickory’s is a popular stop for golfers and non-golfers alike. Serving an array of international cuisine; from Asian curries and English fish and chips to Italian pastas and American burgers, Hickory’s is a multicultural experience. Ramadan will also ensure a relatively empty and, hence, private and exclusive dining experience.
Loca Restaurant & Bar
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
This Latin American haven offers an authentic experience of Mexican cuisine. Celebrated for its delicious twist on beloved classics such as nachos and guacamole, Loca is a common meeting point for trendy, fashionable patrons. An award-winning restaurant, Loca is also popular with families and large groups who enjoy Mexican dishes with locally-sourced fresh ingredients. Located in Galleria Mall, the epitome of high-life in Abu Dhabi, Loca perfectly suits its fashionable surroundings, offering a classy dining experience.
Jones the Grocer
Cafe, Australian, $$$
Brimming with natural ingredients, dishes at Jones the Grocer leave you feeling healthy and rejuvenated. With a range of classic dishes, from Wagyu burgers to pastas, and an array of fresh juices, Jones the Grocer leaves you spoilt for choice. There are also several freshly baked treats to top off your meal, from cheesecakes and tiramisu to eclairs and ice cream. Jones the Grocer has four branches in Abu Dhabi, all four of which will be open during Ramadan.
Bistro, Italian, $$$
A popular breakfast option, Andiamo also serves delicious classic Italian dishes for lunch as well. With their cosy and tranquil setting, Andiamo creates a neighbourhood feeling, which is further amplified by their remote location, nestled in the heart of a popular residential area. With handmade pasta, freshly squeezed juices and piping hot breads straight from the oven, Andiamo provides an authentic Italian adventure for families and friends alike.
Cafe, Middle Eastern, $$$
Considered a hidden gem of Abu Dhabi, Cafe Arabia is nestled in an Arabian villa. Their Middle Eastern decor with glass mosaic lanterns and Arabic calligraphy offers a distinctive dining experience. Immerse yourself in Arabian culture and peruse through the various paintings, photographs and books on display while enjoying local delicacies and drinks. There is also a small shop where you can purchase artwork, local jewellery and handmade products such as cushion covers and throws.