A Foodie’s Guide to Abu Dhabi: 10 Must-Try Restaurants and Local Cuisine

1. Li Beirut

Address: Nation Galleria, St Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/auhxr-the-st-regis-abu-dhabi/

Li Beirut is a hidden gem nestled within the elegant St Regis Abu Dhabi. This exquisite Lebanese restaurant offers a captivating culinary journey of traditional Lebanese flavors with a modern twist. The menu reflects the rich heritage of Lebanon, offering a wide array of mezzes, grills, and other signature dishes. The live cooking stations and open kitchen add to the vibrant atmosphere, while the spectacular views of the Corniche create an unforgettable dining experience. Be sure to try their mouth-watering shawarma and the velvety smooth hummus, expertly prepared by skilled chefs.

2. Hakkasan

Address: Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.hakkasan.com/abudhabi/

For a taste of authentic Cantonese cuisine, Hakkasan at Emirates Palace is a must-visit. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers a carefully crafted menu blending traditional Chinese techniques with modern flavors. The tastefully decorated dining area creates an intimate ambiance, making it perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion with friends. From their signature Peking duck to the succulent dim sum, every dish at Hakkasan is a work of art. Don’t miss their creative cocktails, meticulously crafted by skilled mixologists, to accompany your gastronomic journey.

3. Al Fanar

Address: Venetian Village, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.alfanarrestaurant.com/

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich Emirati culture and cuisine at Al Fanar. Located in the beautiful Venetian Village, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience like no other. The traditional Emirati decor, complete with majlis seating, creates an authentic atmosphere. The menu features a wide selection of local delicacies, from savory mandi rice to delicious grilled meats. Make sure to try their famous seafood dishes, such as the fragrant hammour and shrimp majboos. Al Fanar is a true gem that allows visitors to indulge in the flavors and traditions of the UAE.

4. Byblos Sur Mer

Address: InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.icabudhabi.ae/dining/byblos-sur-mer

Byblos Sur Mer brings the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean to the heart of Abu Dhabi. Nestled within the luxurious InterContinental Abu Dhabi, this restaurant offers breathtaking views of the marina and a delightful dining experience. The menu showcases a fusion of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine, featuring the freshest seafood, grilled meats, and an array of mezze. The warm and inviting ambiance, coupled with friendly service, makes Byblos Sur Mer a perfect spot for both intimate dinners and family gatherings. Don’t forget to end your meal with their delectable Lebanese sweets, showcasing the best of Middle Eastern desserts.

5. Sambusek

Address: Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/abu-dhabi/dining/sambusek-restaurant

Experience the flavors of Lebanon at Sambusek, located within the elegant Rosewood Abu Dhabi. This restaurant offers a modern twist on traditional Lebanese cuisine, focusing on bold flavors and high-quality ingredients. Sambusek’s menu features a wide range of mezze, grilled meats, and fresh seafood. The chic and contemporary ambiance, combined with live entertainment, creates a lively dining experience. Don’t miss their mouthwatering lamb chops and the classic Lebanese dessert, kunafa, which is perfectly prepared. Sambusek is the ideal spot for those looking for a taste of Lebanon in the heart of Abu Dhabi.

6. Salt Bae

Address: Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.instagram.com/saltbaeabudhabi

Salt Bae is a culinary sensation known for its mouthwatering cuts of prime meat prepared with a flourish by the renowned Turkish chef, Nusret Gökçe. The Abu Dhabi branch of Salt Bae, located at Nation Riviera Beach Club, offers a unique dining experience that combines exceptional food with a lively atmosphere. The menu features a wide range of premium steaks, juicy burgers, and succulent kebabs. Each dish is expertly prepared and presented with Salt Bae’s signature flair and theatrics. With its stunning waterfront location and energetic vibe, Salt Bae is a must-visit for meat lovers and those seeking a memorable dining experience.

7. Wafi Gourmet

Address: Abu Dhabi Mall, 2nd level, Tourist Club Area, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.wafirestaurants.com/abu-dhabi

Indulge in the rich flavors of Lebanese cuisine at Wafi Gourmet, located in the popular Abu Dhabi Mall. This casual dining spot offers an extensive menu filled with traditional Lebanese dishes, made using authentic recipes and the freshest ingredients. From mouthwatering shawarma wraps to flavorful grilled meats and vibrant salads, Wafi Gourmet ensures a delightful gastronomic experience. The cozy and laid-back atmosphere, coupled with friendly service, creates a welcoming ambiance. Don’t forget to explore their market area, where you can purchase a variety of Middle Eastern products, spices, and specialty ingredients to bring a taste of Lebanon to your kitchen.

8. Mezlai

Address: Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.kempinski.com/en/abudhabi/emirates-palace/dining/culinary-highlights/mezlai/

For a truly authentic Emirati dining experience, Mezlai at Emirates Palace is a must-try. This elegant restaurant showcases the heritage of Emirati cuisine, offering an exquisite menu inspired by the traditional dishes of the Emirates. The opulent decor and luxurious setting contribute to the overall grandeur of the experience. From traditional lamb machbous to tender camel meat dishes, every bite at Mezlai showcases the region’s rich culinary traditions. Emirati hospitality is at its finest here, making it a perfect choice for both locals and tourists seeking a taste of Emirati culture.

9. Loca

Address: The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.locauae.com/

Loca is a vibrant Mexican restaurant located in The Galleria on Al Maryah Island. This lively spot offers a fiesta of flavors, bringing the best of Mexican cuisine to Abu Dhabi. The menu features an extensive selection of tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, and other traditional Mexican dishes, all made using authentic ingredients and spices. Their signature guacamole, prepared tableside, is a true crowd-pleaser. With its colorful decor, energetic ambiance, and live music, Loca provides a fun and festive dining experience. Whether you’re craving classic Mexican dishes or innovative twists on traditional favorites, Loca is the place to be.

10. Afghan Khorasan Kabab House

Address: Shining Tower, Al Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi
Website: https://www.afghankhorasankabab.com/

Transport your taste buds to Afghanistan with a visit to Afghan Khorasan Kabab House. Tucked away in Shining Tower, this restaurant offers an authentic Afghan dining experience. The menu highlights traditional Afghan dishes, with a focus on the art of grilling. From juicy kebabs to hearty stews and aromatic rice dishes, every bite satisfies. The cozy atmosphere, reminiscent of an Afghan home, adds to the charm of the dining experience. Embrace the warm hospitality and flavorful spices of Afghanistan at Afghan Khorasan Kabab House.

Abu Dhabi is a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a wide range of international and local culinary delights. From Lebanese and Emirati cuisine to Mexican and Cantonese dishes, every gastronomic craving can be satisfied in this vibrant city. These ten carefully selected restaurants are just a glimpse of the diverse culinary scene that awaits. Embark on a culinary adventure and indulge your senses in the rich flavors and cultural experiences that Abu Dhabi has to offer!