You can expect to find many restaurants serving Emirati, Arabic and Indian cuisine, though it’s more than likely you’ll be able to find somewhere serving whatever it is that you’re craving! Most restaurants in Abu Dhabi are specialist, and concentrate on one country’s cuisine, or a particular type of food. This is especially evident in the sea-food restaurants and steakhouses around the city.
Arabic food is flavoursome and inspiring, using many different ingredients. Lamb and chicken are very popular, as is shawarma, which is lamb or chicken sliced from a spit and served in pita bread, and falafel. Mezze is another greatly enjoyed dish. Emirati foods focus on healthy living, containing lots of fish, meat and rice. A mixture of spices such as cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, rose water, black pepper and saffron are used in the majority of meals.
Restaurants in Abu Dhabi are the highlights of many visitors’ trips, with beautiful new outlets opening in high-end hotels around the city. Most major hotels contain three to four restaurants, and there are plenty of street food vendors to choose from as well.
The best restaurants to try for a lavish night out are Rhodes 44, a restaurant owned and run by international chef Gary Rhodes. Great service and an impressive menu makes this restaurant one of the best in the city, and well worth booking in for. Similarly, top-end Japanese restaurant Tori No Su is brilliant. For more traditional meals, try the Arabian Hakkasan, for mouth-watering food.
For those on a tighter budget, try Le Beaujolais, a charming French bistro. Alternatively, try Lebanese Flower or Teatro at the Park Rotana hotel.
Buffets are very popular in Abu Dhabi, especially in the month of Ramadan. If you choose to visit during this holy period, there are certain restaurants that open their doors to tourists during this time, to enjoy a post-sunset buffet meal with those observing the rule of fasting.