Now that the cooler weather has arrived, it’s time to take your dining outdoors, with eight of the best alfresco restaurants in Dubai.
In a nutshell: The go-to for eco-conscious foodies.
The lowdown: Nestled in the region’s first integrated, eco-friendly environment, Al Barari, the Farm is an alfresco dining experience like no other in Dubai. This lush space is surrounded by towering trees, plants and lily ponds, and is ideal for weekend breakfasts and laidback lunches. Their wholesome menu is designed to make healthy eating a breeze, catering to dietary requirements and those who simply like to eat well with juices, salads and mains packed with organic ingredients.
Best for: Back-to-nature bliss.
Al Barari, Dubai, daily, 7:30am-10:30pm, tel: 04 392 5660, thefarmdubai.ae
Garden terrace at folly by Nick & Scott
In a nutshell: An informal take on modern dining.
The lowdown: Now that the temperature has dropped, the garden terrace and lounge at folly by Nick & Scott has once again become a coveted spot. The resident DJ sets the tone for the evening, bringing an upbeat vibe to proceedings. Settle in for a modern tasting menu in the restaurant, or head upstairs to the recently re-launched rooftop for sundowners, soaking up uninterrupted views of Burj Al Arab and the Arabian Gulf.
Best for: Sundowners on the rooftop.
Unit 27, Souk Madinat Jumeriah, Dubai, daily, 12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-11pm, tel: 04 430 8535, folly.ae
Fish Beach Taverna
In a nutshell: Greek-style seafood on the water’s edge.
The lowdown: Ever fancied going to the Greek Islands or the coast of Turkey? Well, now you can… without your passport. The decor for this restaurant on the edge of the Arabian Gulf is reminiscent of a sun-drenched taverna, with lanterns hanging from trees and grass underfoot. The white furniture, aqua accents and nautical touches, such as seashell chandeliers, really add to the holiday feel. The menu boasts a tempting selection of traditional Greek and Turkish dishes, including chargrilled cold-water fish flown in directly from the Aegean.
Best for: Kicking off your shoes and relaxing.
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai, daily, 6pm-11pm, tel: 04 511 7373, fish-dubai.com
In a nutshell: Indulgent Southeast Asian food in a relaxed setting.
The lowdown: Named after the mighty river that flows through Southeast Asia, Mekong is a celebration of the vibrant cultures and cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam and China. This colourful restaurant delivers an authentic taste of the region, with standout soups, dumplings and noodles. We suggest you start with the plaa goong (a prawn and lemongrass salad) before moving on to the Beijing roasted duck for mains. For an alfresco experience, be sure to book one of the rickshaw tables on the terrace.
Best for: Instagram-perfect images.
East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily, 6pm-11:30pm, tel: 04 567 8304, anantara.com/en/palm-dubai
In a nutshell: A taste of the Maldives at Madinat Jumeirah.
The lowdown: Situated at the end of the pier at Al Qasr hotel, this overwater restaurant looks like it’s been plucked straight from the Maldives. The Mediterranean menu showcases seafood that is sustainably sourced and delivered to the restaurant each day. Go all out with the seafood tower, which includes lobster, tuna, swordfish, scallops, mussels, crab and more. And be sure to time your visit for sunset for va-va-voom views.
Best for: Show-stopping sunsets and seafood.
Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily, 12.30pm-3pm and 6pm-11pm, tel: 04 432 3232, pierchic.com
In a nutshell: Living la dolce vita in Dubai Marina.
The lowdown: This award-winning restaurant at the Westin Mina Seyahi is known not just for its enticing Italian menu created by head chef Daniele Marcellini, but its unparalleled views of the beach and Palm Jumeirah. Home to a chic alfresco restaurant, casual pizzeria and the view-blessed Bussola Lounge, this multitasking venue showcases Italian cuisine in all its glory, including antipasti, pastas and the signature Bussola pizza. To welcome the cooler weather, Bussola recently launched La Notte Bianca, serving aperitivi on the terrace.
Best for: Pizza, pasta and aperitivi.
The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily, 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11pm, tel: 04 511 7373, bussoladubai.com
In a nutshell: A Med menu in a polished setting.
The lowdown: For more than 25 years, Boardwalk has been wowing us with its spectacular Dubai city vistas. The Mediterranean-inspired menu offers everything from pizzas and calzones to a selection of freshly caught fish and seafood that will leave you spoilt for choice. By day, it’s a popular option for business lunches; come nightfall, the subtle lighting and cosy seating arrangement make this a favourite for date night.
Best for: Business by day, romance by night.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Creek Club St, Dubai Creek, Dubai, Sun-Thu, 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat, 8am-12am, tel: 04 295 6000, dubai-golf.com
Reform Social & Grill
In a nutshell: All-day dining delivering the best of Britain.
The lowdown: Arguably the city’s first true gastropub, Reform Social & Grill is one place where you can hang with your mates and chill with the family. This dependable JLT eatery boasts an outdoor orchard area, where the kids can roam free while you savour the decidedly British menu of beef Wellington, pie and chips, and the cult-status fish finger buttie.
Best for: A fun day out with the family.
The Lakes, Emirates Living District, Dubai, daily, 8am-late, tel: 04 454 2638, reformsocialgrill.ae