6 Affordable Dubai Restaurants Preferred By Locals

SALT at Kite Beach | Courtesy of SALT
SALT at Kite Beach | Courtesy of SALT
Photo of Erina Baftiroska
9 February 2017

A city of luxury and comfort, Dubai glows in visitors’ minds as a metropolis with countless luxuries – such a magnificent hotels, high-end shopping and of course delicious food. In a city full of expatriates and inspiration from different traditions and cultures, Dubai residents have created a movement by bringing cuisines from all corners of the world. One of the best things to discover about Dubai is the selection of international restaurants, the hidden gems and the go-to places the locals love to eat – here’s where to start.

Maria Bonita

Located in the heart of Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s oldest low-rise neighborhoods, this Mexican favorite opened up just over 12 years ago (that’s ancient in Dubai terms). With just a single location to serve everyone’s favorite, traditional home-made dishes, this family run restaurant is never empty. You will feel the warm welcome from the moment you set foot in the door. And the best part? You don’t even need to be dressed up for it! Serving everything from freshly made guacamole to traditional enchiladas, you’ll have trouble deciding what to order.

What to try: Their freshly made guacamole!

Lunch time! 😋🌵 #mydubai #mariabonitadubai

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Comptoir 102

Map View
One of Dubai’s best organic cafés is hidden in the oldest part of Jumeirah. Just a few steps away from the beach, the boho-chic interiors, fresh, home-grown organic food and incredible design collections for sale will make you want to stay here forever. In just over three years this café has become a go-to spot for foodies, bloggers and Dubai’s health enthusiasts. The villa includes a café and boutique, so make sure you have a look around – you might just find your next statement piece while drinking your freshly-made smoothie.

What to try: Heaven on Earth Smoothie, Seaweed Pesto and anything served on the daily menu!


Diner, Restaurant, Indian, Asian, Pakistani, Vegetarian, Vegan
Map View
Chances are, 95% of Dubai’s residents have dined at Ravi’s at some point in time. One of Dubai’s most famous restaurants (now a small chain), it serves some of the best Pakistani food in town. Quality and taste are always consistent, and the crowd is always friendly. This modest diner will welcome you regardless of your outfit or time of day, and have you sat down within five minutes, even during rush-hour. Open until late, this restaurant invites everyone, from families to businessmen to 2am after-party-goers.

What to try: Their famous Butter Chicken Masala

Tom & Serg

This LA-inspired café is tucked away in one of Dubai’s industrial areas, Al Qouz, but don’t let that put you off from visiting. Once you’re inside this sun-filled café you won’t know the difference. Opened just over two years ago, owners Tom and Serg took Dubai’s food scene by surprise bringing with them amazing coffee, extensive healthy options and have added healthy twists to some of your favorite fast foods. Slowly becoming a household name, Tom & Serg is the go-to option for anything from breakfast with friends to business meetings.

What to try: The Togarashi Seared Yellowfin Tuna Salad

Tom & Serg, 15 A St., Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Qouz, Dubai, UAE, +971 56 474 6812

Xiao Wei Yang Hotpot

Nobody does a hot pot like they do in Xiao Wei Yang, at least not in Dubai. Today they have spread to over three locations in the city, but their food quality has remained perfect. Their original branch in old-town Deira faces the Dhow loading docks and really gives you a sense of old Dubai. In a modest, two-storey building, you’ll have an extensive choice of bottomless hot pot soups with spices and sides. The charm of this place and its staff will really make an impression on you.

What to try: The hot pot soup!

Xiao Wei Yang Hotpot, Baniyas Road, D 85, Deira, DUbai, UAE, +971 4 221 5111


Opened almost a year ago, and one of the first food trucks on the scene, Salt took Dubai by storm. Located on Kite Beach, the mini slider burgers will have you melting and begging for more, but really, two are just about enough! The food-truck shop became famous among residents for its Black Burger and recently added lotus ice cream to its menu! Being residents of the UAE, the owners knew just what to bring to the community to make this the perfect go-to destination for those cold, winter nights by the beach.

What to try: Their classic cheese burgers (come in pairs)

Salt, Kite Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2, Dubai, UAE, Email: hello@find-salt.com

Perfect to share 📦 !

A photo posted by SALT #FINDSALT (@findsalt) on

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