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Seven Restaurants You Need to Try in Abu Dhabi

The best restaurants in Abu Dhabi might be a subjective thing, but these are seven that you really need to try.

They might only be 120 kilometers apart, but there was a time, not long ago, when the food scene in Abu Dhabi was seen as the poor relation to its flashier neighbor, Dubai. But that was then. Now Abu Dhabi has upped its food game considerably, with a cluster of excellent restaurants based on Al Maryah Island alone as well as venues across the city.

Here are seven of the best restaurants to start with in the capital.

Asia De Cuba

Best restaurants in Abu DhabiIt sounds like it shouldn’t work. How do you combine Cuban and Asian food? Thankfully, you’ll be glad to know, it does work – and rather well at that. The restaurant, at the St Regis Hotel’s Nation Riviera Beach Club on the Corniche, serves your staple Latin American ceviches, but the fusion dishes, like the Cuban bao buns, Asian paella, and wagyu spring roles, are where it really excels.



Best restaurants in Abu DhabiAnother Asian restaurant in another St Regis hotel, but Sontaya doesn’t mess around with multi-cuisine dishes. Instead, the kitchen concentrates on serving strictly Thai food. A favorite is the caramelized chili and lemon grass salmon, while the beef massaman short rib curry may be the best you’ll find this side of Bangkok. In the cooler months, dining alfresco is highly recommended as the terrace offers great views over Saadiyat Island and the Arabian Gulf.

You Need to Stop Going to the Same Restaurants Every Week


Best restaurants in Abu DhabiZuma Abu Dhabi maintains the impeccable standards of the Dubai branch with the added bonus of, arguably, being set in more stylish surroundings. Located in the Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island, the restaurant takes Japanese cuisine to the next level with its sushi, tempura, as well as skewers from the robata grill. At the risk of stating the obvious, you really should try the signature black cod. It’s still incredible.



Best restaurants in Abu DhabiThe capital’s Coya is no poor relation to its sister-restaurant in Dubai. Expect the same superb red snapper, truffle and ponzu ceviche (the prato a la trufa), pots of Chilean seabass with rice, lime and chili (arroz nikkei), and spicy beef fillets (lomo des res) at the restaurant in Al Maryah Island’s Galleria mall. If that’s not enough, Coya is also one of the coolest looking restaurant and bars in the city.


Butcher and Still

Best restaurants in Abu DhabiAnother great-looking place to eat (and drink). Butcher and Still, in the Four Seasons Hotel on Al Maryah Island, has been styled like a prohibition-era Chicago restaurant. It nails this look with its long bar, low lighting, and selection of steaks and cocktails. Meat is king here, but before you settle down to tackle the 1,200 gram tomahawk chop (a 21-day aged, bone-in ribeye steak) make sure you try the bone marrow, served with grilled break homemade pickles, and garlic jam, or the oysters, flown in from Europe.


Dai Pai Dong

Best restaurants in Abu DhabiAsian street food has never been so cool. The newest edition to the Al Maryah Island Rosewood Hotel’s culinary offerings, Dai Pai Dong could well be our favorite place for dim sum in the UAE – the roast duck and the beef dumplings are mouthwatering.
Dai Pai Dong



Best restaurants in Abu DhabiA grand restaurant in the grandest of settings. This Emirates Palace favorite serves fine-dining Cantonese cuisine to a discerning and well-dressed crowd. The stir-fried lobster in black bean sauce and pan-fried Australian venison fillet with Mongolian sauce are the top picks from the menu.

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