Since the Michelin Guide has not yet taken its prestigious restaurant ranking system to the United Arab Emirates (there are rumours that this will happen in the short term), officially there are no Michelin restaurants in Dubai. However, the stars have been shining for a long time in this Middle Eastern city.
As one of travellers’ favourite places in the world for luxurious experiences, Dubai allows you to enjoy culinary concepts at high-end restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs. Its greatest example is none other than 21-time Michelin star recipient Alain Ducasse. Another example is world-famous master chef and TV personality, Gordon Ramsay, of Hell’s Kitchen, with his namesake restaurant at Caesars Palace in Dubai.
Being the foremost hub in the world, where people from all countries converge, award-winning chefs have contributed immensely to increasing the city’s reputation as a culinary capital. This fact, together with the lavishness that is now taken for granted in the Middle East, has raised the bar for the luxury dining experiences found there and boosted its gastronomic scene to increasingly exciting levels. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lover of Italian, French, British or Japanese food, looking for vegetarian options, seafood or a juicy steak: in Dubai, you’ll find all sorts of high-level concepts to match your liking.
At Empirance we propose an itinerary of Michelin restaurants in Dubai with different specialties and experiences that will delight all kinds of discerning palates.
The top restaurants in Dubai are located in its most luxurious hotels, whose determination to offer the best experiences attracts customers from all over the world. Some of them are Atlantis The Palm, Burj Al Arab or Waldorf Astoria.
Although there are more than a dozen Michelin restaurants in Dubai, in this post we’ll highlight 5 must-try concepts, and we’ll expand the list and offer other alternatives to luxury dining experiences in another post.
It is mandatory to start this list with the quintessential Japanese restaurant in the city. With more than 40 restaurants in numerous countries (an adventure that began with Robert De Niro in New York), Nobu Matsuhisa is the most famous Japanese chef in the world and one of the forerunners of fusion cuisine.
His brand in Dubai has a special reputation and is a meeting point of the crème de la crème of the city, since it combines its exquisite gastronomic offer (with classics such as his mythical black cod marinated in miso and novelties like the Japanese Wagyu meat with hoba miso) with an intimate and elegant atmosphere. It has an inevitably imbued marine décor to match the underwater dream world of Atlantis The Palm, where it is located, but is less ostentatious than the rest of this Rockwell Group hotel.
Nobu is a must for Ladies’ Night on Mondays, when it is filled with a crowd who can enjoy three free cocktails, including the house lychee liquor. A selection of small bites (tapas-style) are also available on request.
Another unmissable experience is its brunch, which features speciality dishes from 14 Nobu locations around the globe. Brunch is on Fridays and starts at 395 AED per person (96 euros).
In the same hotel where Nobu Dubai is located, Atlantis The Palm, you can find another completely different dining experience: this time it comes at the hands of world-famous TV personality Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay. . The Bread Street Kitchen in Dubai is inspired by his London restaurant of the same name, both in the shop-like décor and in the street food menu.
There is a wide variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are suitable for all tastes, from the traditional English fish and chips with mushy peas, cottage pie or beef wellington, to the grilled meats (one of his specialties), such as the Black-Onyx rib-eye, the Denver steak, the grass-fed sirloin or the baby chicken, all of which are accompanied by delicious sauces. The menu also includes vegan dishes, such as vegan Wellington with kale, spiced carrots and beetroot jus.
What’s more, on Wednesday nights, the Bread Street Kitchen celebrates Wellington Wednesdays, where lovers of fine cuisine can enjoy a British classic, beef Wellington, served with exquisite truffle mash, spiced carrots and sauce. It also includes delicious starters to share, indulgent desserts and wine for 2. Diners can enjoy it all for around 73 euros per person (300 AED).
The Bread Street Kitchen is ideal for families. Its family brunch on Fridays delights adults and children, and the little ones will be entertained with fun activities.
The Bread Street Kitchen bar also attracts visitors from all over Dubai, as it combines timeless cocktails with house specialities, as well as select wines from around the world.
Bread Street Kitchen is not Chef Ramsay’s only gastronomic concept in Dubai. He has a second location in another luxury hotel, Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, dedicated to his famous Hell’s Kitchen and inspired by the original location in Las Vegas. Diners can choose from a menu with soft drinks for about 85 euros per person (350 AED), one with house drinks or prosecco (Italian white sparkling wine) for about 110 euros per person (450 AED) and one with champagne and other house drinks for about 146 euros per person (600 AED). It allows you to taste world-class signature dishes, such as beef wellington, eggs in purgatory, the Hell’s Kitchen burger and themed food stations of all kinds for enjoying a spectacular and unique experience.
BASTA! is the first restaurant opened in Dubai by American chef David Myers, and constitutes one of three food concepts at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel Dubai (four if we count the Bleu Blanc, also from Myers), along with the Morimoto Dubai, run by the Japanese chef and television star Masaharu Morimoto, and BHAR brasserie, which offers fusion specialities from the Middle East.
The space features an extraordinary contemporary design that blends the mood of a Roman trattoria, a Florentine brasserie and a Neapolitan pizzeria in an elegant atmosphere facing the Dubai Water Canal. It offers a selection of antipasti, pizzas and pasta and grilled juicy meats. It’s ideal for sharing as a family and offers very moderate prices. A highlight on the menu is the tomato walnut pesto bruschetta — it’s authentically Italian and full of colour and flavour. For dessert, go for the tiramisu, an excellent choice that never ceases to surprise despite being a classic.
The Bleu Blanc is Myers’ French culinary concept located in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel. As its name indicates, its décor features predominantly white and blue and dim lighting for a more intimate atmosphere in the purest French style.
Its menu features delicious fish and seafood (lobster, sea urchins, crabs, oysters, sea bass, etc.), although the main course is the exquisite selection of grilled meats (the grill sits in the middle of the premises as a key element). Buttermilk brined lamb shoulder and lobster risotto flavoured with kaffir lime from Southeast Asia are especially recommended.
TThe Bleu Blanc also offers an open buffet brunch menu with several beverage options (soft drinks, house beverages and champagne) from AED 299 per person (73 euros).
French chef Yannick Alléno is one of the most prestigious in the world, having received 3 Michelin stars before the age of 40, and in turn was the second-most decorated chef to open in Dubai, after Gary Rhodes. His flagship restaurant in town — one of the city’s most exclusive and a benchmark of French cuisine with Middle Eastern touches — is open for dinner only and is located in the One&Only The Palm hotel.
Its exquisite decoration, atmosphere (with live music) and efficient service are especially well known. The space offers incredible panoramic views from its terrace, making it ideal for an unforgettable evening. The highlight, however, is its delicate culinary concept with fish as the main ingredient. Critics agree that Alléno’s dishes are simple and delicate at first, before their true complexity emerges with unimaginable flavours and bursts of texture, thanks to a combination of ancient cooking techniques (smoked, salted, fermented – increasingly fashionable) alongside a stylish and imaginative presentation.
The chef’s suggestions include fresh squid ink pasta with sea urchin, poached black cod with miso ginger broth and a mousseline of green peas and ming and blood orange pulp and Tonka beans. Meat-aholics also have a wide range of options at their fingertips, including the kombu marinated beef rib for sharing and the rack of lamb with anchovy crust and eggplant caviar.
The ultimate experience at Stay can be found towards the end of the evening in the so-called Pastry Library. Within these showcases we find the sweet finish to our time in this restaurant. An ideal ending, be it a classic dessert or something special.
The opening of the Marina Social restaurant at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina, by Jason Atherton, was one of the most discreet in the city.
This restaurant, with a pleasant and chic atmosphere, has New York-esque décor and views of the Dubai Marina. Diners can enjoy several modern concepts from British cuisine with Mediterranean touches, all for a relatively affordable price. Some of his most revered creations are the Italian tomato with burrata, salt and 25-year-old balsamic, or the duck sausage and foie gras with brioche and caramelised onions that takes the concept of hot dogs to the highest expression, or smoked salmon with stew and red caviar. But don’t forget the pizzas. Try the chopped lamb pizza with goat cheese, smoked eggplant, and red onion.
Now, for the star experience at this restaurant, just say the magic words “feed me”, and you’ll be served a tasting menu of 4, 6 or 8 courses. This surprise menu will cost 735, 930 or 1125 AED per person respectively (180, 227 or 275 euros) with wine pairing.
Marina Social, like other luxury restaurants in Dubai, also offers themed concepts such as Ladies’ Night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with free drinks and snacks and discounted dishes, happy hour at the bar from Saturday to Tuesday with a 50% discount on drinks and barbecue on Saturdays and Sundays with excellent meats.
Still, one of the most venerated options is the Friday brunch called Share & Social. As the name implies, it consists of dishes to share in a picturesque British-style picnic presentation. Each person can choose a starter, a main course and a dessert (found on the usual restaurant menu), including salads, tartar, ‘churros’ with goat cheese, mac & cheese, pizza, fish & chips, apple doughnuts and more.
These Michelin restaurants in Dubai are an ideal venue to hold private events, such as personal or business celebrations, with full space reservation, special tasting menus, live music and happy hour. Through agencies like Empirance, groups that want to hold an event with haute cuisine as the central theme can achieve exclusive perks.
Do you want to know even more Michelin restaurants in Dubai? Check out our post on Luxury Dining Experiences In Dubai where you’ll find the continuation of this list, as well as other less well-known but equally sybaritic gastronomic concepts.