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Men drinking karak out of traditional Emirati teapots
Men drinking karak out of traditional Emirati teapots | Flickr
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The Best Street Food You Need to Try in Dubai

Picture of Jessica Harn
Updated: 1 October 2017
Although Dubai may be known for being a futuristic city teeming with malls, shopping, and fancy restaurants, many people don’t realize that the street food in Dubai is also a traveler’s dream. Here’s the secret to what the locals in Dubai actually eat!

Shawerma

Made with either thinly sliced chicken, lamb, or beef, this is probably the most common and filling street food in Dubai. Rolled into a soft flatbread and filled with fresh vegetables, onions, and a delicious spicy or creamy sauce, this is one of the best street foods worth traveling to Dubai for.

Shawerma
Shawerma | Flickr

Shish Tawouk Sandwich

This is another roll or sandwich that is extremely popular in Dubai, and yet stays relatively unknown by tourists. Filled with garlic and spices, the thinly cut chicken is pressed flat against the flatbread and then rolled with other vegetables or pickles. The taste of this is truly out of this world!

Shish Tawouk
Shish Tawouk | Flickr

Chips Oman Roll

One of Dubai’s most favorite childhood snacks, this roll is sold in every cafeteria or road side tea ship. A simple roll made with spreadable cheese and smashed spicy potato chips, for reasons unknown this remains Dubai’s absolute favorite with children and anyone who wants a quick snack down memory lane.

Fluffy flatbread used for many rolls, like Chips Oman
Fluffy flatbread used for many rolls, like Chips Oman | Flickr

Samboosa

Originally brought over from India and based on the Indian samosa, these are triangle shaped stuffed pastries. Filled with succulent meats, vegetables, and spices, these are a popular snack for a long car ride. Be careful though, they can get addictiveand you’ll start to lose count of how many you’ve eaten!

Samboosa
Samboosa | Flickr

Manakkish

Another delicious road side food is manakkish – basically a large flatbread cooked in an oven with different assortments on top, almost like a pizza. You can choose from meat toppings to vegetable toppings to thyme and olive oil, and will never regret ordering one!

Manakkish with meat
Manakkish with meat | Flickr

Lugaimat

This is a dessert street food that is purely Emirati, and a huge hit with tourists! Lugaimat are fried balls of dough, made perfectly so the outside is crispy while the inside is still fluffy and piping hot. To finish it off locals will lightly sprinkle date syrup or rose flavored honey over the top of these bite-sized donuts. You won’t be able to just have one, and people will usually order an entire bowl just for themselves!

Lugaimat
Lugaimat | Flickr

Karak with Fried Donuts

Karak can be said to be the national drink and symbol of Dubai. Made with cream and spices, this tea is drunk in little paper cups sold for just one dirham each at any roadside stop. The best thing to eat with this delicious tea are small fried donuts that are sprinkled with sugar over the top. Once you’ve had karak you’ll realize why Dubai is one of the best cities in the world.

Men drinking karak out of traditional Emirati teapots
Men drinking karak out of traditional Emirati teapots | Flickr

Freshly Squeezed Juices

Even though Dubai is in the middle of the desert, the fresh fruit juice sold alongside almost every single street in the city is truly worth trying! With a huge range of flavors and mixes, choosing which fresh juice you want to try will leave you wanting to just drink everything! These juices are the perfect finish to a long day in the sun.

Fresh Fruit Juices
Fresh Fruit Juices | Flickr