Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money’s too tight to mention

Dubai has no shortage of amazing places to eat out. But it can be tricky to track down and navigate the best reasonably-priced spots, that are still good. Lucky for you, you’re smart and you’re here and we’ve compiled this special guide – just for you.

Discover where you can get 10AED epic noodles, 30AED for 3 pretty-as-a-picture sushi doughnuts, 16AED top-notch flat whites, 20AED dynamite shrimp paratha rolls and more, here. Tuck in…

Inclusion requirements: Has that “woah, that is a complete steal” vibe and yet still stands up to its more expensive counterparts.

Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Al Reef Lebanese Bakery, Al Karama & Jumeirah & Al Qusais & Sharjah

First opened in 1986, Al Reef Lebanese Bakery is famed for its reasonably-priced manakish and its 24/7 operational hours. A small Zaatar manakish is priced at 6.30AED and the most expensive thing on the menu is the big cheese hotdog priced at 25.20AED. Sweet pastries and cakes are also available.

Insider tip: The food from here is best eaten hot straight away and in your car (the restaurants are small and don’t offer the comfiest seating areas).

Location: Click here for all locations


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Zam Zam Mandi, Al Karama (and various other locations throughout the UAE)

Famed for its cheap and cheerful Mandi dishes, this Karama gem also serves up 7AED plates of Luqaimat (Emirati deep fried dumpling/doughnut balls), kunafa (12AED) and karak. Chicken mandi starts at 22AED and there’s a hamour mandi for 25AED.

Insider tips: There are also Zam Zam Mandi branches in Deira City Centre, Downtown Dubai, Ras Al Khor, Sharjah and more.

Location: Near LULU Hypermarket، Al Fahad Building, Sheikh Rashid Road, Al Karama, Dubai


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Al Ustad Special Kebab, Mankhool

Formerly known as Ostadi, Al Ustad Special Kebab Dubai is one heck of a hidden gem. Open for over four decades and counting, the family-owned Iranian restaurant offers friendly service in a unique setting with delicious Arabic fare. A great option for a small family or group of friends for lunch or dinner on a budget, you can get a mixed grill for 3 people for 108AED (36AED per person, although it’s also good for 4) and rice for the side is priced at 10AED.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: Al Ustad Special Kebab Dubai is open every day apart from Friday for lunch between 12noon and 4pm. It is open 7 days a week for dinner between 6pm and 1am. Cash-only payments – cards are not currently accepted.

Location: Ground Floor, Bahwan Plaza, Al Mussallah Road, Mankhool, Dubai


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Falafel Frayha, Barsha

Lebanese street food gem Falafel Frayha’s menu is chock-full of reasonably priced delicious eats. The French Fry sandwich is priced at 16AED and filled with fries, garlic sauce, pickles, ketchup and coleslaw and the speciality at this humble restaurant is the falafel – which come plain (18AED for 9 pieces) or filled with cheese (25AED for 5 big pieces) or stuffed with a spicy tomato mix (20AEd for 5 big pieces).

Insider tips: Available on Deliveroo from a central delivery kitchen in Barsha. You can request free bread for every order. There’s also a restaurant in Sharjah.

Location: Online via Deliveroo here.


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Ravi Restaurant, Satwa

Dubai icon Ravi’s was founded by Pakistani expat Chaudary Abdul Hameed in 1978 and not much has changed in the four plus decades since the humble restaurant first opened its doors. Famed for its delicious and low priced curries, head here for a brillianty filling lunch or dinner and wonderfully friendly staff. The Butter Chicken is priced at just 24AED and is said to be one of the best in the whole of the UAE.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: Open daily from 5am until 3am apart from Fridays when it closes for prayer and is open from 5am until 11am and then again at 12:30 until 3am. No free wifi or other amenities on offer. Outside seating is available. 

Location: Opposite Union Co-operative Society, Al Dhiyafa Road, Al Satwa, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Maxzi, Al Quoz

Ever since The Huntr first stumbled across Maxzi in Al Quoz we’ve returned, on average, around 3 times a week. An (incredible) flat white is just 16AED, and if you visit in the morning, you can add a delicious breakfast sandwich to that and pay just 18AED. Total. Thursday is ’20AED for half a rotisserie chicken and fries’ day and there are various other specials on rotation. The burgers are wonderful, the service is great and there’s an outdoor seating area. All of the meat and poultry is hormone-free, antibiotic and MSG-free. There is even an in-store butchery and speciality food retail space. The only thing that isn’t so hot is the bathrooms – but they aren’t terrible, just a little ‘budget’.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: Pick up a coffee loyalty card (trust us, you are going to return for this coffee) – you get 1 free for every 5 purchased. There is ample (paid RTA) parking out front and further down the road.

Location: Shop 20, Al Shafar Investment Building, Near Noor Bank Metro Station, Al Quoz 1, Dubai


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Châteraisé, Mirdif 35

Sweet tooth’s will love this gem – a quaint little Japanese bakery in Mirdif 35. Whilst you can’t pick up anything savoury or ‘main meal-esque‘ here, it’s made the cut because the prices are wonderful and the sweet treats are even more so. We love and recommend the Japanese Apple Custard Pie (12.50AED), which is just divine and the Souffle Cheesecake (14.50AED) – worth every calorie. More of a ‘takeaway situation’ than a kick back and relax establishment (although seating is available), Châteriasé is also a wonderful spot to pick up reasonably priced and impressive gifts (in the form of cake(s).

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Châteriasé will pack your pastries with ice bags to make sure they make the trip home.

Location: Ground Floor, Mirdif 35, Mirdif, Mirdif Area, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Al Farwania Restaurant, Umm Suqeim

This 40-year-old gem has been serving karak (1AED) to hoards of people in the know for four decades. Alongside its famed chai, Al Farwania Restaurant also serves up a host of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner including paratha concoctions, curry, grilled meats and more, alongside Chinese rice and noodle dishes. There are also ample vegetarian options. Although, full disclaimer: We have not tried the food. However, we did see some dishes and have heard great things. Worth a try. Especially if you are a karak lover.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Limited parking outside because of the queues of cars waiting to get their karak fix straight to their door.

Location: Opposite Dubai Public Library, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

HumYum, Umm Suqeim

This homegrown restaurant offers snappable interiors and delicious, cheat-day worthy Emirati cuisine. Outside it is flanked by a charming little straw stick gate and clad in wood, there is a small outdoor seating area and ample indoor seating. We love the vintage Land Rovers, which serve as the kitchen and the coffee corner. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are many reasonably-priced dishes to choose from. The Huntr tried the Chips Oman and Cheese Regag (10AED), and the Dynamite Shrimp Paratha Roll (20AED) – washed down with karak (3AED) and a flat white. The coffee isn’t the best we’ve ever had, but the food and the vibes are what seal the deal (not to mention the excellent prices).

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: The most expensive savoury item on the menu is 20AED.

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Satwa Falcon Cafeteria, Al Satwa

Alongside its popular Karak, Satwa Falcon Cafeteria offers a range of juices and smoothies, milkshakes, burgers, sandwiches, shawarma, noodle dishes, biryani, Chinese specials, curries, fried chicken, paratha and Indian breakfast dishes. This cheap and cheerful “no frills” spot first opened in Dubai in 2010. The Huntr tried and loved the karak (1AED) and we hear good things about the paratha, so we are already planning our return…

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Open 24 hours a day!

Location: Behind the Four Points by Sheraton, Al Satwa, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

The Arabian Tea House, Al Fahidi

For over two decades Arabian Tea House Al Fahidi has been offering a unique and rare opportunity to experience authentic Emirati and Arabic cuisine and hospitality in one of the UAE’s oldest neighbourhoods. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the regag bread is awesome and to guarantee a reasonably priced meal you need to do a little hack and share one of the trays, which are around 70-80AED each. They feature enough to feed 2-3 people depending on hunger levels. The Huntr recommends the Emirati Breakfast Tray (75AED), which with a choice of tea or coffee (side note: the drink won’t be easy to share!) or The Arabian Tea House Breakfast Tray (68AED) (also vegetarian), which is comprised of hummus, falafel, beans, olives, grilled halloumi cheese, cheddar cheese wrap and jam served with fresh vegetables and Arabic bread. 

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: No WiFi. Unless you share the trays or opt for the regag bread, the prices and bill will creep up.

Location: Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi Historial Neighbourhood, (Opposite Musalla Post Office), Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Al Shaab Restaurant, Meena Bazaar

If you find yourself aimlessly walking around the Meena Bazaar area, hankering after something sweet and warm to give you an energy kick – you can’t go wrong with a pitstop at Al Shaab Restaurant for a cup of karak. This tiny hole-in-the-wall gem has been operating for over 50 years. Open from 7:30 am every day (until 10.30 pm at night), Al Shaab offers one of our editor’s favourite karaks in the city at the very reasonable price of 1AED. There are also an assortment of samosas (2 for 1AED or 12 for 5AED), paratha, pakora and other fried snacks alongside main menus featuring Indian favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Disclaimer: The Huntr is yet to try the food, but it does look good and we will be returning to do just that, soon.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Pick up a takeaway and explore the Meena Bazaar area on foot.

Location: Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Project Chaiwala, Al Quoz

Project Chaiwala Dubai is the brainchild of two tea enthusiasts – Emirati Ahmed Kazim and Indian Justin Joseph. What started as a travelling pure tea concept (as the name suggests) has now grown to become a permenant cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner options inside the homegrown independent film hub – Cinema Akil. There are three breakfast menu items alongside 6 ‘Chai Toasts’, bites, ‘smashmosas’, salads and wraps. The Huntr sampled and recommends the Chili Cheese Toast (20AED) – spicy, cheesy and buttery toasted bread, and the Vada Pav (15AED), a Mumbai street food delicacy, which is crafted with veggies, spices and potato and served inside a bread bun.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: When there are no films running, you can sit inside the expansive Cinema Akil screen space and get some work done, study or relax.

Location: Inside Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Raju Omlet, Various locations

Raju Omlet first started in Karama with very loose opening times and eventually, very long queues forming out the door. It now has a total of 5 restaurants in the UAE – JLT, the original Karama outlet, Al Quoz, Safeer Mall in Sharjah and Dubai’s Business Bay. Centered around eggs and Indian street food, Raju Omlet offers a variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus light snacks, karak and soft beverages. There are curries, omlets, sandwiches, starters and more. The Huntr recommends trying the Egg & Cheese Roll (17AED), the Mumbai Omlet Sandwich (12AED), the Power Omlet (14AED), Eggs Kejriwal (18AED) and the Rice Bhurji (18AED). The karak is 4AED.

Discover The Huntr’s Raju Omlet review features (3) and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: The JLT branch has a moving mini train inside that the little ones will love.

Locations: JLTAl QuozKaramaBusiness Bay


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

El Mostacho, JLT

El Mostacho has some of the best and most reasonably-priced Mexican food The Huntr has sampled in Dubai. The brains behind this JLT gem are the same brother duo that used to run a little place called The Taqueria in Business Bay and Joe & Sons in Al Quoz. Co-founder and Mexican-born Isaac Mendoza leads the kitchen. The tacos are handmade from real corn, the sauces are straight from Mexico and even the Coca-Cola is Mexican. The Huntr recommends starting with the Proper Guacamole & Chips (15AED) and then sampling any of the tacos that tickle your fancy – they come in sets of 3 and are priced at 30AED.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: The drinks menu features some interesting ‘Berbidas’, which are all handmade using natural ingredients and are a steal at 10AED.

Location: Ground Floor, Silver Tower, Cluster I, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Vietnamese Foodies, JLT & Downtown Dubai

The kitchen staff at Vietnamese Foodies outlets are all entirely Vietnamese, which means you are getting an authentic Vietnamese experience. The spices are from Vietnam, the dishes are very healthy, they are MSG-free, there are many naturally paleo, dairy-free, and gluten-free dishes, and the food is rich in flavour and textures. There’s also a new menu dedicated to vegan and vegetarian diets. Plus it all comes in at a really good price point. Although – word of warning, the bill can creep up to a standard price if you aren’t mindful of the dishes you are choosing.

Read The Huntr’s full JLT review and see all of the pictures here

Read The Huntr’s full Downtown Dubai review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: The Huntr recommends the Pho Bo Tai (38 AED) – beef tenderloin pho served with bean sprouts, chilli and mint leaves. This dish will transport you to the streets of Saigon.

Location: Shop 4, Cluster D, Lake Level, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai, UAE and Ground Floor, Tower 1, Burj Vista Residence, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot (Xiao Wei Yang), Various Locations

Mushrooms and bok choy. Oodles of inseparable noodles. Thin-cut lamb and beef. Deliciously juicy fish balls. All of these ingredients sound appetizing enough as is, but imagine mixing them together in a spicy soup broth and cooking them up on a warm stove – with your friends and family. Say hello to Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot Dubai for a quintessential hotpot experience. A meal for 5 costs around 242.5 AED – that’s 48AED per head for dinner. The Huntr tried and loved the chilli-infused broth (there are also non-spicy options) with vegetable noodles, mushrooms, fish balls, thin-cut lamb and beef, bok choy, and coriander.

Read The Huntr’s full Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot Dubai Marina review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Unfortunately when The Huntr visited the Marina branch we experienced very slow and lack lustre service – you may need to stand up on the table and scream and wave to get these waiters’ attention.

Locations: Dubai MarinaAl RiggaDeira


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

The regag bread stand at Al Labeeb Grocery store, Jumeirah 3

Regag bread is actually more of a crepe or a cracker than bread, this Emirati delicacy is crafted using unleavened dough and water – which is spread out thin onto a super hot griddle and cooked until crispy. It can then be topped with all manner of concoctions, before being folded and handed to the lucky person who gets to wolf it down. And one of the best spots to find this tasty nostalgic treat is at the regag bread stand at Al Labeeb Grocery store in Jumeirah. For 5-6AED you can enjoy this for breakfast, lunch or a snack and walk around Jumeirah or head to the beach.

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: Takeaways only. Fillings include Chips Oman, cheese, Nutella, fish sauce and egg.

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Chongqing Noodle House, International City

Imagine the perfect bowl of warm egg noodles, thoughtfully, and depending on your preference – abundantly – spiced, with the perfect amount of flavour in each bite. After some digging, The Huntr team has found the perfect spot for this craving. And the best part is: you can get it for as low as 10AED a bowl… Say nǐ hǎo to Chongqing Noodle House Dubai – an International City gem with no frills and all the flavour. The Huntr recommends the spicy vegetable noodles (10AED), spicy fried beef noodles (15AED), and the chicken wontons (15AED).

Read The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tips: Everything is pretty spicy, so make sure you let the kitchen know if you are sensitive to spice. Cash-only accepted.

Location: Shop No 16, China F15, International City, Dubai, UAE


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Yakitate, Al Rigga

Situated in the Al Ghurair Centre Extension in Al Rigga, Yakitate is a Japanese boutique, bakery and cafe serving up an eye-popping array of tempting treats. Including an assortment of exotic-sounding pastries and buns, the must-try rice and ramen burgers and some pretty amazing beverages – we loved the matcha drinks and Japanese-style syphon coffee. There are an assortment of breakfast meal deals for under 28AED (including hot and cold drinks), alongside lunch deals for 20-40AED.

Discover The Huntr’s full review and see all of the pictures here

Insider tip: Your Instagram will love the sushi donuts and so will your wallet – it’s just 30AED for 3 of these beautiful creations.

Location: Shop E3, Ground Floor, Al Ghurair Centre Extension, Al Rigga, Dubai


Guide: Where to eat in Dubai when money's too tight to mention

Yamanote Atelier, The Dubai Mall

Yamanote invites you to experience the Japanese bakery culture and self-serve yourself a plethora of interesting delights from the buffet station that stretches across this quaint little Dubai Mall cafe. Adorable Totoro character buns (15AED) are so cute they are hard to eat, but one bite and you’ll forget about its exterior as you enjoy the sweet dough filled with chocolate custard cream. A curry doughnut (16AED) awaits the more adventurous foodies and Yamanote’s Hello Kitty Nutella buns (15AED) are a regular fixture on Instagram. Sandwiches range between 20-30AED and there are plenty of savoury options including pizza, rolls and bakes for under 20AED.

Insider tips: Yamanote has one of the best cheese croissants in the city. It’s also a great place to pick up edible gifts that will impress and not be too hard on the bank balance. Closest parking is ‘Fashion Parking’.

Location: LG Floor, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Dubai


Know of a great gem serving cheap eats not featured here? Drop us a line, email us now