Public Downtown Dubai: Pizza, pasta and good vibes near The Dubai Mall

From the folks behind Salt and Parker’s – Public Downtown Dubai is the Emirati-owned Independent Food Company’s (Inpt’s) first Italian/American concept. Join your friends at The Huntr as we present the scoop…

Located in the building once inhabited by British icon Fortnum and Mason next to The Dubai Mall, Public is kind of the antithesis to the old regal inhabitants. Hip hop music seeps out from the speakers, there’s an industrial vibe thanks to the exposed ceilings and stainless steel tables with splatters of colour and bold graphic text and stickers. The building itself is actually spread over three floors – the ground floor is where you will find Public, the 1st floor is a “TBA Indpt concept” coming soon and the second floor is dedicated to the company’s iconic burger brand, Salt.

Casual in nature, the restaurant is family-friendly, alcohol-free and there are a few arcade games to entertain small and big kids alike. Inside is completely non-smoking (the outside seating is the only place smokers can smoke) and there’s an inviting open kitchen complete with a huge, impressive pizza oven. The concise menu features Italian and American favourites including sharing starters, pizzas, pasta dishes and risotto. Vegetarians are catered too but vegans will have a hard time finding something on the menu. Drinks-wise there are some tempting mocktails and speciality coffee powered by Indpt’s Grind Coffee.

To start, The Huntr opted for the Potato Cauliflower (47AED), which is a decadent creation of baked, layered potato with cauliflower and seasoned cream sauce topped with cheese (one of our favourites) and the Summertime Salad (59AED) – mixed cheese, corn, heirloom tomato and lettuce served with house sauce (we loved the charred corn).

You can’t come to Public and not eat pizza, so naturally we ordered two – the Famous Original Pizza (61AED), which is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves and the Buffalo Pizza (74AED), comprised of buffalo sauce, ranch, Grana Padano cheese and slices of buffalo chicken. Both pizzas were spot on and amongst the best we’ve tried in the UAE. Lastly, we had the Saffron Shrimp Risotto (87AED) – which our second fave dish and Grandma’s Spaghetti (71AED) – spaghetti bolognese served with herbed creamy cheese.

Insider tips: No WiFi was available when we visited. Public is located outside The Dubai Mall down by the fountains, close by to the Address Dubai Mall hotel. Closest Dubai Mall parking is Cinema Parking. Public is open from 12noon until 10pm daily.

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