Unique Restaurants in Dubai: 12 Coolest Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Dubai
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Dubai, the gleaming jewel of the Middle East, is renowned for its opulence and innovation. From towering skyscrapers to sprawling deserts, it’s a city that constantly redefines luxury. Among its many marvels, the unique restaurants in Dubai stand out, offering culinary experiences that are as unforgettable as the city itself.

In a city where the extraordinary is ordinary, Dubai stands as a testament to human ambition and luxury. Known for its towering skyscrapers, man-made islands, and gold-plated cars, it’s no surprise that Dubai’s culinary scene is equally extravagant. Each restaurant is not merely a place to dine; it’s a statement, an experience, a spectacle.

Imagine dining underwater with marine life swimming around you, or feasting atop a skyscraper with the city’s glittering panorama stretching beneath. From gold-infused dishes to dining 50 meters above ground, Dubai’s unique restaurants are often extraordinarily over the top.

In a city that boasts the tallest, the largest, and the most luxurious, its restaurants are no exception. They compete not just in flavor but in grandeur, offering experiences that are as visually stunning as they are palatable.

So, if you’re seeking dining experiences that are as lavish as they are delicious, look no further. This guide will take you on a journey through the most unique restaurants in Dubai, where every meal is a celebration of the city’s love for superlatives.

The top restaurants to visit in Dubai right now
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Unique Restaurants in Dubai: 12 Culinary Wonders That Redefine Dining

Ready to embark on a culinary expedition through Dubai’s most unique dining spots? This beautiful city in the UAE isn’t just about glitz and glamour. It’s also a melting pot of flavors where every meal is an event. Stay with us as we reveal where to eat in Dubai for an experience that’s as dazzling as the city itself.

Are you intrigued by the idea of a dinner spread under the stars in the desert? Or a high-flying meal atop the world’s tallest building? Dubai’s restaurant scene is ready to transform your dining into a story worth telling. Here’s your curated guide to the most unique and mesmerizing eateries Dubai has to offer.

1. Ossiano

Dining at Ossiano is like stepping into an aquatic dream. As one of the most unique restaurants in Dubai, it offers an experience that transcends the ordinary. Nestled within the luxurious confines of Atlantis, The Palm, Ossiano presents a mesmerizing view of the vast Ambassador Lagoon. With every bite, diners are treated to a visual spectacle of marine life, from graceful stingrays to vibrant schools of fish, making each meal a feast for the senses.

Under the guidance of the acclaimed Chef Grégoire Berger, the menu at Ossiano is what makes it worthy of being listed in a Dubai restaurant guide. Signature dishes like the Langoustine Tartare and the indulgent Caviar showcase the restaurant’s commitment to culinary excellence. Each plate is a work of art, designed to tantalize the palate and leave a lasting impression.

Given its premium location and exceptional offerings, Ossiano is a top choice for those looking to celebrate special moments. It’s a place where culinary dreams come to life, set against the backdrop of Dubai’s enchanting underwater world.

Secure the best views by booking in advance, especially for weekend slots. And while the ambiance is magical, remember to adhere to the smart elegant dress code.

Ossiano is one of the unique restaurants in Dubai.
Ossiano at Atlantis, The Palm offers a unique dining experience with stunning underwater views, creating a sensory feast.

2. Pierchic

Looking for scenic places in Dubai to eat? The views at Pierchic are breathtaking. Perched on stilts above the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, Pierchic offers a dining experience that’s both luxurious and magical. Recognized as one of the top fine dining in Dubai establishments, this over-water restaurant is a haven for seafood lovers and those seeking a romantic setting for their meals.

As you walk down the private pier leading to the restaurant, the anticipation builds. The panoramic views of the coastline, combined with the gentle sound of waves, set the tone for an unforgettable evening. Inside, the ambiance is intimate, with soft lighting and elegant decor enhancing the overall dining experience.

The menu at Pierchic is a celebration of the ocean’s bounty. From succulent oysters to perfectly grilled lobsters, each dish is a testament to the chef’s dedication to quality and flavor. The restaurant’s wine list, curated to complement the seafood offerings, features selections from some of the world’s best vineyards.

For those seeking unique restaurants in Dubai for dinner, Pierchic stands out not just for its location but also for its commitment to offering an unparalleled dining experience. It’s a place where every detail, from the service to the presentation of the dishes, is meticulously crafted.

Sunset reservations are highly sought after at Pierchic. To enjoy the breathtaking views of the sun setting over the Gulf, book well in advance.

Pierchic, a top fine dining restaurant, offers a luxurious and romantic seafood experience perched over the Arabian Gulf.
Pierchic, a top fine dining restaurant, offers a luxurious and romantic seafood experience perched over the Arabian Gulf.

3. Al Hadheerah

Venture into the heart of the desert and discover Al Hadheerah, a dining experience that captures the essence of the Middle East. As one of the standout unique restaurants in Dubai, Al Hadheerah offers guests a chance to relive the tales of old Arabia in a captivating setting. Located within the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, the restaurant is surrounded by rolling dunes and starlit skies.

The atmosphere is reminiscent of an ancient Arabian village. Mud-brick structures, flickering lanterns, and the soft sounds of traditional music create a mesmerizing backdrop. As you dine, live performances, from soulful oud players to spirited horse shows, add layers of authenticity to the experience.

Culinary delights at Al Hadheerah are rooted in tradition. The menu is a celebration of classic Arabian dishes, with highlights like tender grilled meats and flavorful rice dishes. Every bite evokes the rich flavors and heritage of the region.

For those on the hunt for themed restaurants in Dubai that offer an immersive cultural experience, Al Hadheerah stands out. It’s a place where stories of the past come alive, one dish at a time.

Evening reservations are popular, thanks to the cooler desert climate and the chance to dine under a canopy of stars. Booking ahead is recommended.

Al Hadheerah offers a Middle Eastern dining experience amid desert dunes and starry skies.
Al Hadheerah offers a Middle Eastern dining experience amid desert dunes and starry skies.

4. Arabian Tea House

Stepping into the Arabian Tea House is like traveling back in time. Nestled in the heart of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, this charming eatery is a serene escape from the bustling city. As one of the hidden gem restaurants in Dubai, it offers a glimpse into the Emirati way of life from decades past.

The ambiance is reminiscent of old Dubai. Traditional wind towers, white rattan furniture, and vibrant cushions create a cozy setting. The courtyard, with its lush greenery and the soothing sounds of a fountain, provides a tranquil backdrop for a leisurely meal.

But it’s not just the setting that draws people in. The menu at the Arabian Tea House is a tribute to traditional Emirati cuisine. From the flavorful Al Harees to the aromatic Camel Meat Stew, each dish tells a story of the region’s rich culinary heritage. And, of course, no visit is complete without sampling their extensive range of teas, sourced from across the Middle East.

For those seeking an authentic taste of Emirati culture in a relaxed setting, the Arabian Tea House stands out as one of the best restaurants in Dubai. It’s a place where traditions come alive, and every meal is a journey through history.

Try their breakfast trays for a comprehensive sampling of Emirati morning favorites. And if you’re visiting during the cooler months, opt for outdoor seating to enjoy the ambiance of the courtyard.

Arabian Tea House is a serene escape, offering a glimpse into Dubai's rich history.
Arabian Tea House is a serene escape, offering a glimpse into Dubai’s rich history.

5. Ski Dubai’s Avalanche Café

Imagine savoring a hot chocolate or a hearty meal surrounded by snow while outside, the desert sun blazes. Welcome to the Avalanche Café in Ski Dubai, one of the most fun places to eat in Dubai. Located within the Mall of the Emirates, this café offers a dining experience that’s as unique as it is exhilarating.

Ski Dubai, known for being the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort, is not just about skiing or snowboarding. At the heart of this snowy wonderland is the Avalanche Café, a cozy eatery perched halfway up the ski slope. The large windows offer diners panoramic views of the snowy slopes and the thrill-seekers whizzing by.

The menu is a delightful mix of comfort foods, perfect for the chilly environment. From creamy soups to hearty sandwiches and a range of hot beverages, there’s something to warm every diner.

For families, couples, or solo adventurers looking for fun restaurants in Dubai, the Avalanche Café is a top pick. It’s not every day you get to dine in a winter wonderland in the middle of the desert!

After your meal, consider joining in on the fun. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-timer, Ski Dubai offers activities for all skill levels. And if skiing isn’t your thing, there’s always the Snow Park with its toboggan runs and giant snowballs!

Indulge in hot chocolate and meals at Avalanche Café, a thrilling dining spot within the Mall of the Emirates.
Indulge in hot chocolate and meals at Avalanche Café, a thrilling dining spot within the Mall of the Emirates.

6. Al Ustad Special Kabab

Nestled in the heart of Meena Bazaar is a restaurant that’s as much a gallery of memories as it is an eatery. Al Ustad Special Kabab stands out among the unique restaurants in Dubai, not just for its delectable Iranian cuisine but for its walls that narrate tales from the past. Photographs, currency notes, and mementos from patrons across the globe adorn every inch. This makes dining here a journey through time.

Stepping into Al Ustad is like entering a vibrant tapestry of stories. From pictures of celebrities and world leaders to heartfelt notes from travelers, the decor is a testament to the restaurant’s legacy and the countless lives it has touched. Each memorabilia piece, whether it’s a photo from the ’80s or a foreign banknote, adds to the rich tapestry of experiences that Al Ustad embodies.

While the walls captivate with their tales, the menu ensures the culinary experience is equally memorable. The kebabs, marinated and grilled to perfection, are a symphony of flavors that resonate with authenticity. And despite the rich history and exceptional food, Al Ustad remains one of the cheap eats in Dubai, proving that a unique dining experience doesn’t always come with a hefty price tag.

Take your time to explore the walls and the myriad of stories they hold. And if you’re moved by the experience, consider leaving a note or memento of your own!

Al Ustad Special Kabab is one of the unique restaurants in Dubai.
Al Ustad Special Kabab in Meena Bazaar is a unique restaurant where Iranian cuisine meets a gallery of memories.

7. At.mosphere

Imagine dining with the world at your feet, where the horizon stretches endlessly, and the city’s iconic landmarks appear like miniature masterpieces. Welcome to At.mosphere, undeniably one of the coolest places to eat in Dubai. Perched on the 122nd floor of the iconic Burj Khalifa, this restaurant offers an experience that’s as unparalleled as its altitude.

The journey to At.mosphere is an experience in itself. As the elevator ascends, anticipation builds, and upon arrival, you’re greeted with interiors that exude elegance and sophistication. Mahogany walls, amethyst stone accents, and sleek designer furniture set the stage for a memorable dining experience. But it’s the panoramic views, showcasing Dubai in all its splendor, that truly steal the show. Whether you’re watching the sun paint the sky with hues of gold or witnessing the city lights shimmer like stars, the backdrop is nothing short of mesmerizing.

At.mosphere’s culinary offerings are as impressive as its views. Signature dishes like the Black Cod with miso glaze and the Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with truffle jus are the stars of the show, reflecting the restaurant’s commitment to quality and innovation. They craft every dish, from appetizers to desserts, with precision. This ensures a dining experience that tantalizes the palate.

For those on the hunt for the coolest restaurants in Dubai, At.mosphere is more than just a dining destination; it’s an experience that elevates your senses, both literally and figuratively.

While every seat offers impressive views, request a window table when booking to ensure an unobstructed panorama of the city below.

At.mosphere, atop Burj Khalifa's 122nd floor, boasts unparalleled dining with endless horizons and iconic landmarks.
At.mosphere, atop Burj Khalifa’s 122nd floor, boasts unparalleled dining with endless horizons and iconic landmarks.

8. Al Mahara

Nestled within the iconic Burj Al Arab, Al Mahara offers an unparalleled dining experience that transports guests to the depths of the ocean. The centerpiece of this restaurant is its majestic floor-to-ceiling aquarium, where vibrant marine life glides gracefully. The aquarium provides a mesmerizing backdrop to your meal.

This aquatic display, teeming with vibrant marine life, sets a luxurious ambiance. The circular dining room, built around this marine spectacle, is adorned with plush seating and golden accents. Every detail, from the ambient lighting to the intricate table settings, reflects Al Mahara’s commitment to offering a dining experience that’s as visually stunning as it is gastronomic.

Helmed by Executive Chef Kim Joinié-Maurin, the menu at Al Mahara is a testament to the best food in Dubai. Signature dishes include a king crab salad presented in daikon ravioli with honey & sherry vinaigrette, and Sea Bass paired with artichoke barigoule and a vongole emulsion. For those seeking a meatier option, the Wagyu striploin with grilled vegetables and a Mantova sauce is a must-try.

With its recent enhancements, including the appointment of Chef Kim and a renewed focus on the finest produce, it promises a dining experience that lingers in memory long after the meal concludes.

Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab offers a dining experience with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium, immersing guests in oceanic beauty.
Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab offers a dining experience with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium, immersing guests in oceanic beauty.

9. The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2)

Anchored in the historic Port Rashid, the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is a testament to timeless elegance and luxury. Among its many offerings, this floating hotel is home to some of Dubai’s best restaurants, each providing a dining experience that’s as memorable as the ship’s illustrious history.

Stepping aboard the QE2 is like traveling back in time. The ship, with its rich maritime legacy, has been meticulously preserved, with many of its original features intact. The grand ballroom, the vintage cabins, and the polished wooden decks all tell tales of grand voyages and royal gatherings.

When it comes to dining, the QE2 offers a range of options, each more enticing than the last. From gourmet British cuisine at The Queens Grill to an extensive buffet at the Lido restaurant, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The ship also boasts themed nights, where diners can indulge in cuisines from around the world, all while enjoying live entertainment and panoramic sea views.

But it’s not just the food that makes dining aboard the QE2 special. It’s the ambiance, the history, and the sense of nostalgia that envelops you as you dine. Few places can claim to offer such a unique blend of culinary excellence and historical significance, making the QE2 one of the most unique restaurants in Dubai.

For an added touch of romance, consider booking a table on the deck during sunset. The views of the Dubai skyline, combined with the gentle lapping of the waves, create an ambiance that’s truly magical.

The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) in historic Port Rashid hosts some of Dubai's finest restaurants, offering memorable dining experiences.
The Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) in historic Port Rashid hosts some of Dubai’s finest restaurants, offering memorable dining experiences.

10. Sonara Camp

Nestled amidst the tranquil dunes, Sonara Camp offers an eco-friendly desert dining experience that stands out among the unique restaurants in Dubai. This oasis, surrounded by the serene beauty of the desert, promises an evening of gastronomic wonders.

Under the guidance of French chef Franck Sanna, the menu is a blend of regional and western flavors. From beef tacos and fusion lamb asador to the delectable black truffle and mushrooms risotto, every dish speaks of culinary excellence. And for those with a sweet tooth, the dulce de leche pie is a must-try.

Sonara Camp ensures that the entire evening is an adventure. Guests can indulge in activities like drumming, sand-boarding, and archery. For those intrigued by the stars, a mini astronomy lesson under the desert sky offers insights into Bedouin navigation techniques. The evening comes alive with captivating fire shows and dance performances. The restaurant offers a complete experience of culture, entertainment, and fine dining!

Sonara Camp provides an eco-friendly desert dining experience amid tranquil dunes.
Sonara Camp provides an eco-friendly desert dining experience amid tranquil dunes.

11. The Pods

In a city that’s always looking forward, The Pods stands out as a dining experience that’s truly ahead of its time. As a unique restaurant in Dubai, The Pods offers a futuristic take on dining. Here, guests are seated in individual, state-of-the-art capsules that promise both privacy and a multisensory experience.

From the outside, The Pods resembles a scene from a sci-fi movie. Gleaming spherical capsules are scattered across the restaurant’s expanse, each illuminated with ambient lighting that can be customized to the diner’s preference. Stepping into a pod, guests are enveloped in a world of their own. Advanced acoustics ensure that each pod is a sanctuary of silence, while interactive touchscreens allow diners to set the mood, choose their playlist, and even select visual displays that project onto the pod’s walls.

The menu at The Pods is as innovative as its setting. They present the dishes with a futuristic twist, drawing inspiration from global cuisines. Molecular gastronomy techniques, edible art, and interactive elements make each course a visual and gastronomic spectacle.

But beyond the tech and the tantalizing dishes, The Pods offers something invaluable: a moment of respite in the bustling city. In your private pod, the outside world fades away, allowing for intimate conversations, reflections, and a dining experience that’s truly out of this world.

For an added touch of magic, book a pod during the evening. As the sun sets and the stars come out, the pods’ transparent ceilings offer a mesmerizing view of the night sky.

The Pods offers a futuristic dining experience in individual state-of-the-art capsules, providing privacy and multisensory delights.
The Pods offers a futuristic dining experience in individual state-of-the-art capsules, providing privacy and multisensory delights.

12. Dinner in the Sky

If you’ve ever dreamt of dining among the stars, Dinner in the Sky is here to turn that dream into reality. As one of the coolest restaurants in Dubai, this unique eatery takes culinary adventures to new heights, quite literally. Suspended 50 meters above the ground, diners are treated to panoramic views of Dubai’s iconic skyline, making each meal an event to remember.

The concept is as thrilling as it sounds. Guests are securely strapped into their seats at a table, which is then hoisted into the air by a crane. As the ground recedes, the breathtaking vistas of Dubai – from the shimmering Burj Khalifa to the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf – unfold in all their glory.

Dinner in the Sky prides itself on its gourmet offerings. With a rotating menu crafted by some of Dubai’s top chefs, every dish is designed to be a visual and gastronomic delight. Whether you’re savoring a succulent steak or indulging in a decadent dessert, the combination of delicious food and stunning views ensures an unparalleled dining experience.

Beyond the food and the views, it’s the thrill of the unexpected that makes Dinner in the Sky stand out. Every moment, from the ascent to the gentle descent, is filled with excitement. This makes it a must-visit for adrenaline junkies and food enthusiasts alike.

Given its popularity and the limited seating, it’s advisable to book your spot well in advance. And for those looking to celebrate a special occasion, there’s nothing quite like a sunset or nighttime slot, where the city lights add to the magic.

Dinner in the Sky is one of the unique restaurants in Dubai.
Dinner in the Sky elevates dining to new heights, suspended 50 meters above, with panoramic skyline views.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Unique Places to Eat in Dubai

Unravel the mysteries behind the city’s most exceptional dining spots with our FAQ on unique restaurants in Dubai.

What makes a restaurant unique in Dubai?

Dubai is a city that thrives on innovation and luxury, and its dining scene is no exception. A unique restaurant in Dubai typically offers more than just exceptional food. It’s about the entire experience – from the ambiance and location to the service and presentation. Whether it’s dining underwater, amidst the clouds, or in a futuristic pod, these restaurants push the boundaries of what’s possible, ensuring an unforgettable culinary journey.

What is the hardest restaurant to get into in Dubai?

Securing a reservation at some of the most exclusive and unique restaurants in Dubai can be quite a challenge, given their popularity and limited seating. Restaurants like At.mosphere in the Burj Khalifa or the exclusive underwater Ossiano often have waiting lists, especially during peak tourist seasons or special occasions. It’s always advisable to book well in advance and to be flexible with your dates and times.

Which area in Dubai has the best restaurants?

Dubai is dotted with culinary hotspots, but if one had to pick, the Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina areas stand out. These districts are home to a plethora of dining options, ranging from upscale gourmet restaurants to quaint cafes. The views of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain, and the Marina waterfront add to the dining experience, making these areas a favorite among both residents and tourists.

Night view of Dubai Marina with illuminated skyscrapers
Night view of Dubai Marina with illuminated skyscrapers

Is it expensive to eat in Dubai?

Dubai’s dining scene is diverse, catering to a range of budgets. While the city boasts some of the world’s most luxurious and expensive restaurants, there are also plenty of affordable options. From street food stalls to mid-range eateries, there’s something for everyone. However, if you’re looking to dine at a unique restaurant in Dubai, it’s advisable to check the prices beforehand, as these experiences often come with a premium price tag.

How do I choose the right unique restaurant for my occasion in Dubai?

Consider what you’re looking for in a dining experience. If it’s romance, an overwater restaurant with views of the city might be ideal. For thrill-seekers, something like Dinner in the Sky could be perfect. Always check reviews, see what kind of ambiance the restaurant offers, and ensure it aligns with your preferences.

Are there any dress codes for unique restaurants in Dubai?

Many of the upscale and unique restaurants in Dubai have a dress code, typically smart-casual or formal. It’s always a good idea to check the restaurant’s website or contact them directly to ensure you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion.

Do unique restaurants in Dubai offer vegetarian or vegan options?

Absolutely! Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population, and its restaurants cater to various dietary preferences. Most unique restaurants offer vegetarian and often vegan options, ensuring that every guest has a memorable dining experience.

Dubai’s most popular food is a reflection of its cosmopolitan makeup, but if there’s one dish that stands out, it’s Shawarma. This Middle Eastern delight, featuring thinly sliced cuts of meat like chicken, beef, or lamb, wrapped in a soft pita bread with veggies and sauce, is a staple. It’s the go-to fast food for locals and travelers alike, capturing the essence of Dubai’s rich culinary diversity. You’ll find it almost everywhere, from street-side vendors to high-end eateries, each adding their own twist to this beloved dish.

Is it essential to book in advance for unique restaurants in Dubai?

Given the popularity of many unique dining experiences in the city, it’s highly recommended to book in advance. Some restaurants, especially those with limited seating or exclusive experiences, can be fully booked for weeks or even months.

Final Thoughts on Unique Dubai Restaurants

Dubai, a city of superlatives, never ceases to amaze. From its towering skyscrapers to its sprawling deserts, it’s a place where dreams become reality. This ethos extends to its culinary scene, where dining is not just about the food but the entire experience. The unique restaurants in Dubai offer more than just a meal; they promise memories that last a lifetime.

Whether you’re suspended in the sky, dining amidst marine life, or relishing gourmet dishes in a historic vessel, Dubai ensures that every meal is an adventure. As you explore the magnificent city of Dubai, take the time to indulge in its diverse and innovative dining experiences. After all, in Dubai, the extraordinary is ordinary.

The top restaurants in Dubai for all types of travelers
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