With so many brunches to choose from, it’s hard to know which is the one for you, especially if your time in Dubai is short. Luckily, we’ve done all the legwork – here are the best places to get your fill.
Brunch is somewhat of an institution in Dubai, with offers of unlimited food and drink available at highly discounted rates to tempt you away from the comfort of your sofa. Popular with tourists and residents alike, bars and restaurants compete for your business with quirky gimmicks and cut-price offers to get you through the door. Whether you’re after a midday party, a chilled out meal or a few hours by the pool, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained. Often the hardest part of brunch is deciding which one to choose, so Culture Trip has narrowed it down for you.
Saffron, Atlantis the Palm
Bar, Hotel Restaurant, American, Contemporary
Saffron, Atlantis the Palm | Courtesy of Saffron, Atlantis the Palm / Booking.com
Its superb selection of dishes from all four corners of the globe makes Saffron an unmissable spot. The premium brunch involves live cooking stations with delicious choices that range from traditional British fish and chips and sushi, to award-winning South Asian cuisine. Particularly impressive are the seafood dishes – Caribbean lobster, local king prawns and French oysters. The crab legs are some of the finest you’ll ever taste, and the portions are incredibly generous. If seafood isn’t your thing, the melt-in-your mouth, herb-crusted rack of lamb will certainly satisfy. Diners have a choice of seating: the outside area is ideal for those looking to get some sun, but it’s incredibly bright so bring your sunglasses or you’ll be brunching with your eyes closed. Inside is a lot darker but lit up by the entertainment – a group of dancers with heaps of energy, which rubs off on the diners and really gets the party going.
One of the staple brunches in Dubai, Bubbalicious utilises its ideal location at the Westin Hotel with both indoor and outdoor seating to cater to the large crowd. It has 10 interactive cooking stations with plenty of fine-dining options including sushi and oysters, as well as live music and plenty of drink stands. It’s like a mini festival with entertainment including stilt walkers and juggling shows for the kids, and a plethora of drinks for the adults. This brunch is particularly popular around Christmas and New Year’s, so book well in advance if you’re in Dubai in December. It recently won the BBC Good Food Awards for Best Family Brunch, and kids under 12 eat for free.
Those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere with quality food should try the Spice Route Brunch, where guests can experience flavours from East Asia while taking in spectacular views of the Dubai Marina. Unlike Dubai’s buffet-style brunches, food here is served à la carte with Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese and Thai meals to choose from. Candle-holding Buddha statues greet you as soon as you exit the lift, drawing you down a dimly lit hallway into the main restaurant, where glass doors lead out to the balcony – where the most sought-after tables can be found.
Dare to Brunch, STK | Courtesy of Dare to Brunch, STK
With trendy restaurants in London, New York and Miami, it wasn’t going to be long before STK added Dubai to its list of outposts. Staff here deliver flaming bottles of bubby to tables, with fireworks and party poppers adding to the celebratory atmosphere. It’s a relatively small venue, and shareable starters including juicy prawns, oysters and tartare are brought to the table. The mains are perfectly cooked steaks accompanied by fries and vegetables, while those not in the mood for steak have the option of the equally impressive roast salmon. As the hours tick by, the DJ slowly cranks the music up and dancers put on a show on various raised platforms.
Unlike STK’s Dare To Brunch, this is a more family-friendly option for meat-lovers. It’s located at DUKES on Palm Jumeirah, and diners are treated to views of the Marina skyline and sit just metres from the picturesque infinity pool. The kids can dip in and out of the lazy river while the adults enjoy the grub – delicious prime cuts of beef from all over the globe. When you’ve had a belly-full and the kids are asleep, West 14th is the perfect place for Dubai’s shisha with flavours of grape mint, sweet melon and fresh pineapple all on offer.
Summersalt, Jumeirah Al Naseem | Courtesy of Summersalt, Jumeirah Al Naseem
For the ultimate chilled-out brunch, this place has you covered. Located at Jumeirah Al Naseem, in the shadows of the Burj Al Arab, Fridays at Summersalt are spent relaxing by the pool and private beach with unlimited Japanese and South American delicacies. Those who can’t pull themselves away can enjoy happy hour straight after brunch, with discounted drink offers and a DJ playing tunes throughout. This place is a favourite haunt of celebrities, so keep your eyes peeled for famous faces in these luxurious surroundings.
Toro Toro, Grosvenor House | Courtesy of Toro Toro, Grosvenor House
If you value a late lie-in on the weekend, this pan-Latin party has your name on it, with the action kicking off at 3pm. Inside, you’ll find fresh foliage on the darkened walls, all part of a recent revamp, along with deep leather chairs to sink into. The open kitchen serves traditional South American dishes from Brazil, Peru and Argentina – with signatures including churrasco-style meats and sea bass. Located at Dubai’s landmark Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, it’s the perfect place for both residents and tourists.
Dinner, Late Night, Brunch, All Day, Breakfast, Lunch
Il Faro Trattoria and Lounge, Azure Residences
Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Who wouldn’t want three hours of non-stop pizza, pasta and bubbly overlooking the stunningly beautiful Arabian Gulf? Quietly hidden away at the base of Palm Jumeirah, this circular restaurant has 360-degree views of both the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. The sound of the ocean and chilled-out vibe will make you feel as if you’re on holiday – whether you’re a resident or tourist. This place is very popular with those who have their parents in town due to the relaxed atmosphere.