Our pick of the city’s re­saurants, cafés and bars

Time Out Abu Dhabi - - FOOD -

About these list­ings Out­lets are listed al­pha­bet­i­cally by cat­e­gory. Tim­ings and prices may change af­ter we go to press, so we ad­vise you to call and book ahead.

How to get listed List­ings must be sent at least two weeks in ad­vance. In­clude the name of the event, a short de­scrip­tion, tim­ings, lo­ca­tion and taxi land­mark, web­site and con­tact num­ber. List­ings are free, but space is lim­ited so in­clu­sion is not guar­an­teed. Email in­for­ma­tion to har­riet.shep­[email protected]

★★ 2017 Time Out Abu Dhabi Restau­rant Awards win­ner

★ 2017 highly com­mended in the Restau­rant Awards

ASIAN

Barfly by Bud­dha-bar This stylish venue has a su­per­cool in­te­rior and a de­light­ful ter­race over­look­ing the canal. From sushi to the stir-fries it is rou­tinely ex­cel­lent.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-wed 6pm-2am; Thu 6pm-3am;

Fri 4pm-3am; Sat 4pm-1am. Vene­tian Vil­lage, The Ritz­carl­ton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta

(02 404 1951). ★ Asian

Cho Gao Ma­rina Walk

The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal’s branch of this pan-asian eatery has a lovely din­ing room and bar area as well as a top ter­race out­side. Ex­pect flavours from across the con­ti­nent all pre­sented with style and pack­ing plenty of flavour.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed 6pm-1am; Thu-fru 6pm-2am. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­dul Aziz Al Saud Street

(02 666 6888). ★ New­comer.

Li Jiang Some of the best South-east Asian food in town, be sure to or­der a noo­dle dish to see some real culi­nary magic.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 4pm1am. The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).

Pachaylen A foray into

Thai food doesn’t get much bet­ter than at this Eastern Man­groves spot. En­joy au­then­tic dishes with­out emp­ty­ing your wal­let.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm11pm. Eastern Man­groves Ho­tel & Spa by Anan­tara, Al Salam Street

(02 656 1000). Son­taya Cre­ative and well-ex­e­cuted Asian fare with a fo­cus on Thai and In­done­sian cui­sine. A su­perb lo­ca­tion and top ser­vice.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon2.45pm, 6.30pm-10.45pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Is­land Re­sort (02 498 8443).

★★ Ro­man­tic, ★ Asian

BAR & PUB FOOD

3rd Av­enue Au­then­tic

Bri­tish pub pop­u­lar with ex­pats. It’s smoky and suit­ably nos­tal­gic.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon1am. Sher­a­ton Kha­lidiya Ho­tel Abu Dhabi (02 666 6220).

Bel­gian Café Plenty of hops on tap and great Euro­pean pub grub to ac­com­pany them. The fresh moules and chunky frites are ex­cel­lent, as are the bar bites. → Li­censed. Open Sat-tue 4pm-1am; Wed-fri 4pm-2am. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­dul Aziz Al Saud Street (800 423 463).

Cap­tain’s Arms A favourite among Western ex­pats and the place to go for the fa­mil­iar buzz of a Bri­tish pub. Ar­guably serves up the best fish ’n’ chips in the cap­i­tal.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon12.30am.le Méri­dien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 644 6666).

Caramel Restau­rant & Lounge Swanky bar food, with slid­ers, sal­ads and ex­cep­tional starters all pre­sented with style.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed 6pm-2am; Thu-fri 6pm-3am. The Col­lec­tion within

St. Regis Saadiyat Is­land

(02 678 3344). Cooper’s Bar Gas­tropub with hearty grub and an elec­tric at­mos­phere dur­ing the live sport. It’s a great place for watch­ing the match. → Li­censed. Open daily noon2.30am. Park Rotana, Khal­ifa Park Area (02 657 3325).

★ Pub Food

Eclipse Ter­race Lounge An out­door lounge that turns into an ur­ban din­ing venue in the evenings where din­ers can en­joy fresh seafood and a res­i­dent DJ.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 8am8pm. Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 333 2222).

Glo Over­look­ing the water at the Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, this out­door lounge of­fers a sur­pris­ingly large and im­pres­sive menu. The food is fresh and the por­tions are gen­er­ous, but noth­ing beats the at­mos­phere.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon– mid­night. Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 813 5565).

Heroes An un­pre­ten­tious sports bar with de­cent food and a very loyal fol­low­ing. Burg­ers are def­i­nitely the pick of the menu.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon-4am. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah

(02 616 6132). ★ Pub Food

Hick­ory’s Bustling sports bar that makes for a wel­come change of pace from the golf course. The menu of­fers a mixed bag of tapas, burg­ers and meat.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6.30am-10.30pm. Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Is­land

(02 810 7710).

Hid­den Bar Of­fer­ing a lim­ited, but high-qual­ity se­lec­tion of Mediter­raneanin­spired dishes.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 4pm1am. Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 813 5574).

Iris Lovely bar bites served in style. The sushi is par­tic­u­larly good at this spot with stun­ning views of Yas Ma­rina and Yas Ho­tel.

→ Li­censed. Open Mon-sat 6pm-3am, Fri 4am-3am.

Yas Ma­rina, Yas Is­land

(055 160 5636). ★ Bar Food.

Mcget­ti­gan’s What­ever time you’re here, the full Ir­ish break­fast, chicken wings, fish and chips and a wide va­ri­ety of soups and sal­ads will sort you out.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-wed 3pm-3am, Thu-sat noon-3am. Al Raha Beach Ho­tel and Re­sort, Chan­nel Street, Al Raha (02 652 4333).

★★ Pub Food

PJ O’reilly’s Lively Ir­ish pub with mon­ster burg­ers and more clas­sics such as fish and chips on the menu. Per­fect for a ca­sual catch-up with your friends over drinks. → Li­censed. Open Sat-wed noon-1.30am, Thu-fri noon3am. Le Royal Méri­dien Abu Dhabi (02 674 2020).

Porters English Pub Tasty Amer­i­can-style food with the odd Brit clas­sic thrown in for good mea­sure. Be warned though: the por­tions are hefty to say the least.

→ Li­censed. Open Mon-fri noon-3am, Sat-sun noon3am. Grand Mil­len­nium Al Wahda, Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 443 9999).

Smokin’ Pineap­ple

A beach club and bar with its own wood-fired pizza oven? Sounds good to us. What’s that? The pizza oven is pineap­ple shaped? Even bet­ter. It takes just ten min­utes to get there from Saadiyat Is­land.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 10am10pm. Zaya Nu­rai Is­land

(02 506 6222). ★ Ro­man­tic.

Stars ’N’ Bars Burg­ers, Tex-mex, steaks and seafood are all good here.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-wed 11.30am-1.30am, Thu-sat 11.30am-2.30am. Yas Ma­rina, Yas Is­land

(02 565 0101).

Stills Restau­rant

& Bar The gas­tropub menu is ex­ten­sive and filled with lots of classy op­tions.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed noon-1am; Thu-fri noon-late. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Is­land (02 656 3053).

★ Bar Food.

The Retreat At this neat lit­tle bar and eatery you’ll find many old friends on the menu from fa­ji­tas to sand­wiches and fish and chips, along­side some more ad­ven­tur­ous op­tions for you to try.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon1am. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Re­sort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl (02 616 9999).

The Sports­man’s Arms Amer­i­can-ir­ish gas­tropub serv­ing big, hearty por­tions of your favourite pub foods. A su­perb venue for hav­ing a fill­ing meal and watch­ing live sport. Delivers one of the best break­fasts in town, per­fect for a morn­ing re­fuel.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 8am-11pm. The In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Cen­tre, Zayed Sports City, (02 447 1066).

★ Break­fast

The Tav­ern One of the city’s proper pubs. Serves up all the clas­sic dishes with plenty of sport and mu­sic on the side. Keep an eye out for the reg­u­lar deals.

→ Li­censed. Open Fri-wed noon-2am; Thu noon-2.30am. Sher­a­ton Abu Dhabi Ho­tel & Re­sort, Cor­niche Road East (02 677 3333).

Trader Vic’s The Poly­ne­sian theme is strong with this one. Good for af­ter-work drinks and light plates, and wel­com­ing to kids dur­ing the day.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm­mid­night. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 697 9011).

Ve­loc­ity More than your aver­age sports bar, dine on a se­lec­tion of gourmet burg­ers, lob­ster and spe­cial­ity wings. → Li­censed. Open Sun-wed 4pm-2am; Thu-fri noon-3am; Sat noon-2am. Mar­riott Down­town Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street

(02 304 7777). ★★ Bar Food

Y-bar The slick bar on Yas Is­land has an im­pres­sive menu in­cludes wagyu burg­ers, cod and chips and shep­herd’s pie amongst over pub grub favourites.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed noon-2am; Thu-fri noon-3am. Yas Is­land Rotana, Yas Is­land (02 656 4172).

Zsa Zsa Named af­ter Zsa Zsa Ga­bor, this lounge bar is just as glam­ourous. Cre­ative small plates pair per­fectly with the drinks menu.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed 5pm-1am; Thu-fri 4pm-2am. Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 333 2222).

CAFÉS

Café 302 The quin­tes­sen­tial mod­ern cof­fee shop. Break­fast dishes are worth a look, sal­ads are vi­brant and filled with top in­gre­di­ents and we se­ri­ously rec­om­mend the good-value steak.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 6am-10.30pm. Al Maha

Ar­jaan by Rotana, Ham­dan Street (02 610 6666).

★★ Café

Café Ara­bia A cosy book-lined cof­fee nook that dou­bles as a place to de­mol­ish Sul­tan of Ara­bia burg­ers, cakes and mezze.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sat-wed 8am-10.30pm; Thu-fri 8am-10pm. Villa no.37, 15th street, Air­port Road

(02 643 9699). ★ Café.

Le Café Of­fers a huge af­ter­noon tea pack­age in the op­u­lent sur­round­ings of Emi­rates Palace. Ex­pect sand­wiches, mini-quiches and cakes or opt for the Ara­bian ver­sion, all of which is served with style.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 2pm-6pm. Emi­rates Palace, Cor­niche West (02 690 7999). ★★ Af­ter­noon Tea

Nolu’s An Afghan-western fu­sion restau­rant that does ridicu­lously good food pre­pared with such heart, you can al­most taste the love. It of­fers fan­tas­tic break­fasts that rightly won a top gong at our Restau­rant Awards.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 9am-11pm. Al Ban­dar

(02 557 9500).

★★ Break­fast

Tawa Bak­ery The city’s first 100 per­cent gluten-free eatery serves very good food. There are plenty of breads, pas­tas and baked goods that come highly rec­om­mended. Check out the sand­wiches and break­fasts.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 8am-11pm. Al Muneera Beach Plaza. Al Raha Beach (02 556 6900). ★ Café.

WHEAT This fan­tas­tic ar­ti­san bak­ery oozes style. A great spot for a lazy week­end break­fast, or to grab some gourmet food­stuffs. Good cof­fee, too.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sun-thu 6am-10pm; Fri-sat 6.30am7.30pm. Le Royal Méri­dien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khal­ifa Street (02 674 2020).

CHI­NESE

Bei­jing Restau­rant The set­ting here is ba­sic — a few prints and a bub­bling fish tank count as dé­cor. But the food at Bei­jing is cheap and tasty.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 11am-mid­night. Mad­i­nat Zayed (02 621 0708).

Chi­noy Haven Good Chi­nese food in a play­fully tacky set­ting. Keen prices but the quiet din­ing room can feel a lit­tle stiff.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-2am. Al Ain Palace Ho­tel, Al Markaziyah (02 599 6000).

Dai Pai Dong Top Can­tonese street food done in fine-din­ing style. Great at­mos­phere and good value. Cur­rent holder of our Best Chi­nese gong.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-wed noon-11pm, Thu-fri 6pm11.30pm. Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 813 5550). ★★ Chi­nese

Hakkasan The ser­vice is slick, the dé­cor stylish and the food very, very good in­deed. We’re big fans. Has won sev­eral of our Restau­rant Awards over the years and with good rea­son.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm­mid­night. Emi­rates Palace

(02 690 7999). ★ Chi­nese. Shang Palace Au­then­tic Chi­nese cui­sine pre­sented with the flair of a fine-din­ing venue. Well worth a look if you are stay­ing here or just vis­it­ing the area.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Shangri-la Ho­tel Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jess­rain

(02 509 8503). ★ Chi­nese.

ETHIOPIAN

Bonna An­nee This friendly joint of­fers food that packs a spicy punch in a laid-back set­ting. If you haven’t tried Ethiopian food, this is your chance to give it a go.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 11am-mid­night. Al Salaam Street (02 491 2128).

EURO­PEAN

Bent­ley Kitchen A bustling at­mos­phere, ex­cel­lent Euro­pean dishes and some ex­cel­lent cuts of meat.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon-1.30am. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 626 2131).

Brauhaus The only Ger­man joint in town, this place does an ex­cel­lent line in Bavar­ian treats, from a se­lec­tion of Euro­pean meats to a wide range of hops.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon-1am. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 697 9011).

Bravo Tapas Bar and Restau­rant Tra­di­tional Span­ish tapas and drinks, served in a ca­sual, warm and wel­com­ing at­mos­phere.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm-12.30am. Sher­a­ton

Abu Dhabi Ho­tel & Re­sort, Cor­niche Road East

(02 677 3333).

Di­ablito A laid-back rooftop tapas bar with real char­ac­ter and flair. In spite of its name, there’s noth­ing di­a­bol­i­cal here, just good times and chilled vibes.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 8am2am. Yas Ma­rina, Yas Is­land (02 565 1175).

Eat Greek Kouz­ina

A friendly, ca­sual restau­rant serv­ing a tasty menu of clas­sic Greek dishes.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon-mid­night. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land (02 309 2323).

Sar­dinia Ex­cit­ing cui­sine served in dra­matic style, but a din­ing room of­ten lack­ing in at­mos­phere.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon- 3pm, 7pm-11pm. Abu Dhabi Coun­try Club, Al Mushrif

(02 657 7640).

The Ware­house A tapas bar that’s as cool as they come. Ex­cel­lent dishes that work as bar bites or as a proper meal out. Keep an eye out for reg­u­lar deals, too, and be sure to book in ad­vance. → Li­censed. Open daily 4pm1am. Pearl Rotana Cap­i­tal Cen­tre, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 307 5591).

Todd English’s Olives Ex­cel­lent and hearty dishes, all served with style. Try the flat­breads, they’re some of the best in town.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-11pm. Vene­tian Vil­lage, The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 404 1941).

★★ Euro­pean

FRENCH

La Brasserie Amaz­ing French dishes served at good prices by out­stand­ing staff in a slick venue.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-11pm. Vene­tian Vil­lage, The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 404 1931).

★ Euro­pean. La Pe­tite Mai­son A quite­bril­liant restau­rant serv­ing Niçoise cui­sine. Ex­pect su­per in­gre­di­ents, pre­sented sim­ply but ef­fec­tively. A more than wel­come ad­di­tion af­ter star­ring in Dubai for so long. The lamb chops and tiger prawns are just amaz­ing.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3pm, 7pm-11pm. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 692 9600). ★ New­comer.

Le Beau­jo­lais An un­pre­ten­tious eatery with plenty of char­ac­ter and charm. You’ll find all your rus­tic French favourites here, along with great ser­vice.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon­mid­night. Novel City Cen­tre Ho­tel, Ham­dan Street

(02 633 3555). ★ Euro­pean.

IN­DIAN & PAK­ISTANI

An­gar Cre­ative and charm­ing and ri­valling the likes of Avasa and Tamba as one of the city’s best up­scale, lux­u­ri­ous In­dian restau­rants. Worth check­ing out.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm11pm. Yas Ho­tel Abu Dhabi, Yas Is­land (02 656 0600).

Asha’s An up­scale mall restau­rant, Asha’s of­fers de­cent In­dian food af­ter a spot of shop­ping, but not much more.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily noon-8.45pm. Yas Mall, Yas Is­land (02 492 6680).

Avasa The menu at this fan­tas­tic up­mar­ket In­dian is as cre­ative as the dé­cor. Don’t ex­pect stan­dard dishes here, as they’re done with a twist.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-thu noon-11pm; Fri-sat noon­mid­night. The Col­lec­tion, The St. Regis Saadiyat Is­land Re­sort, Abu Dhabi

(02 674 2221). ★ In­dian

Biryani Pot This good-value no-frills spot of­fers lots of au­then­tic biryani dishes (ob­vi­ously), but also health­ier quinoa op­tions.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sat-wed 10am-11pm; Thu-fri 10am­mid­night. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land (02 676 6555).

Indigo Ex­cel­lent food in a lovely restau­rant. Ask the staff for help with the big menu, there’s plenty to choose from and it can seem a bit daunt­ing to start with.

→ Li­censed. Dhs500-750. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah. (02 697 9011)

Pun­jab Grill High-end, cre­ative In­dian dishes that look great and are packed

with plenty of flavour. Ser­vice is good, too, as you would ex­pect for a restau­rant in such a lovely lo­ca­tion.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-mid­night. Vene­tian Vil­lage, The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 449 9839).

★ In­dian.

Ran­goli A great-look­ing restau­rant that serves the usual ar­ray of clas­sic In­dian dishes. Ab­so­lutely worth a visit to see how good it is for your­self. It’s good value, too and you should def­i­nitely check the Fri­day brunch out. → Li­censed. Open daily Tue­sun 7pm-mid­night; Fri brunch 12.30pm-4pm. Yas Is­land Rotana (02 656 4000).

Ruchi A back­street gem with cur­ries that put most of the up­mar­ket In­dian joints to shame. Try the ba­nana leaf Ker­alan spe­cial for a real taste of the south of In­dia.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 7am-mid­night. Ham­dan Street, Al Markaziyah

(02 679 5679).

Tamba An In­dian restau­rant, sure, but ac­tu­ally much more than that. Tamba not only does the ba­sics that you’d ex­pect from an In­dian eatery very well, it also adds a touch of glam­our, cre­ativ­ity and style in an ex­tremely cool.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-wed noon-1am; Thu-sat noon-2am. The Hub at The Mall, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi

(02 672 8888). ★★ In­dian

Ushna Ex­cel­lent In­dian cui­sine in a busy set­ting with a fan­tas­tic view of canal.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sat-wed 12.30pm-11.15pm, Thu-fri 12.30pm-11.45pm. Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jess­rain (02 558 1769).

ITAL­IAN

Amici A con­cise menu of big-hit­ters. The food here is well pre­sented and tastes as good as it looks. Not the cheap­est place, mind.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm; 7pm-11pm. Yas Ho­tel Abu Dhabi, Yas Is­land (02 656 0600).

BICE Su­perb Ital­ian food with plenty of op­tions for vege­tar­i­ans and meat-lovers and a par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive se­lec­tion of pasta.

→ Li­censed. Open daily, noon-3pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah at Eti­had Tow­ers, Cor­niche West (02 811 5555).

Bocca Sim­ple Ital­ian clas­sics done very well in­deed, with all the flavour you’d ex­pect from such a clas­sic cui­sine.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3pm, 7pm-11pm. Hil­ton Abu Dhabi, Cor­niche West

(02 681 1900).

Cafe Mi­lano

Lovely staff and food that is very, very good make din­ing at this ele­gant restau­rant a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence.

Our cur­rent Best Ital­ian.

→ Li­censed. Open daily, noon-4pm, Sat-wed 7pm­mid­night, Thu-fri 7pm-1am. Four Sea­sons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land (02 333 2222). ★★ Ital­ian

Cipri­ani The Yas Ma­rina restau­rant serves high-end clas­sic Ital­ian op­tions in a beau­ti­ful set­ting. Fancy food and ser­vice.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm-mid­night. Yas Ma­rina, Yas Is­land (02 657 5400).

★ Ital­ian.

Circo A thor­oughly en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence awaits at this cir­cus-themed restau­rant. From the en­ter­tain­ing staff to the tra­di­tional dishes, you’ll find per­fectly ex­e­cuted Ital­ian hos­pi­tal­ity.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon­mid­night. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal

Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­dul Aziz Al Saud Street

(02 666 6888). ★ Ital­ian.

Dino’s Bistro Ital­iano

An au­then­tic Ital­ian serv­ing a mod­ern take on the clas­sic cui­sine. Ev­ery­thing from pasta to meat and fish is on the menu, all made with top in­gre­di­ents and served in un­pre­ten­tious style.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3.30pm, 6pm-11pm. Pearl Rotana Cap­i­tal Cen­tre, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street (02 307 5591).

Filini An unas­sum­ing restau­rant that serves great-value, re­ally good

Ital­ian dishes. Check the al­fresco Filini Gar­den out as well for post-din­ner drinks.

→ Li­censed. Open Fri noon3pm, daily 6pm-11.30pm. Radis­son Blu Ho­tel, Abu Dhabi Yas Is­land (02 656 2000).

Mez­za­luna Its take on tra­di­tional Ital­ian fare bor­ders on the lav­ish and this place is cer­tainly glam­ourous.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Emi­rates Palace, West Cor­niche (02 690 7999).

Pap­pa­gallo A warm and wel­com­ing place. Go for the piz­zas, es­pe­cially.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm11.30pm. Le Méri­dien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 644 6666).

Pizza Di Rocco Spe­cialises in one dish, but that’s no bad thing when they’re this good. Great takes on the clas­sics and some un­usual piz­zas thrown in.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 11am-mid­night. Salam Street, be­tween 9th and 11th Street (02 641 8300). ★★ Bud­get

Prego’s Per­pet­u­ally busy, you’ll want to book ahead if you’re plan­ning to eat here. The hearty mains hit the spot. → Li­censed. Open daily noon11.30pm. Beach Rotana

Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 697 9000).

Roberto’s A stylish Ital­ian restau­rant. The pre­sen­ta­tion of dishes is bril­liant and the qual­ity of food is to be ad­mired. Make sure you check out the bustling bar on a night, too.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-thu noon-2am, Fri-sat noon-3am. Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land (02 627 9009).

Sacci An­tipastis and hand­made pas­tas and piz­zas. Try the Bis­tecca Florentina that is carved at the ta­ble.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-thu 7pm-11.30pm; Fri-sat noon3pm, 7pm-11.30pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Re­sort and Spa, Khal­ifa City

(02 616 9999).

Spac­canapoli In­stead of at­tempt­ing to blow your mind, Spac­canapoli just con­cen­trates on get­ting the food ex­actly right. Sim­ple and ele­gant decor sets the tone. → Li­censed. Open daily noon11pm. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah

(02 616 6166).

Villa Toscana Charm­ingly rus­tic dé­cor and friendly ser­vice give this Ital­ian all the charisma you could ask for. The food of­fers the per­fect com­bi­na­tion of sim­plic­ity and great flavours.

→ Li­censed. Open noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Na­tion Tow­ers

(02 694 4553).

JA­PANESE

99 Sushi Bar & Restau­rant Watch­ing the chefs work metic­u­lously to pre­pare the stun­ning food is a joy, and as the dishes come out – one-by-one, each with its own ex­pla­na­tion – you’ll be wowed.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon-3.30pm; Sun-wed 7pm-11.30pm; Thu-fri 7pm12.30pm. bar open Sat-wed noon-1am; Thu-fri noon-2am. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land (02 672 3333).

★★ New­comer

Kaizen If you are a fan of Ja­panese ro­bata, this scenic place should be on your list of restau­rants to try. We think you’ll just love it.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-thu 3pm-11pm, Fri-sat 12.30pm 11pm. Vene­tian Vil­lage, The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta

(02 404 1921). ★ Ja­panese.

Kazu The food is im­pres­sive and the staff are at­ten­tive and friendly. You can ex­pect top Ja­panese cui­sine and a thirst-quench­ing drinks menu. → Li­censed. Open Mon-fri 7pm-11pm, Sat 12.30pm4pm and 7pm-11pm. Yas Ho­tel Abu Dhabi, Yas Is­land (02 656 0000).

Sho Cho Stylish place with great views that spe­cialises in sushi and stays open un­til 3am for post-din­ner drinks if you have the room.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3am (kitchen un­til mid­night). Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jess­rain (02 558 1117).

Sushi Cen­tral Qual­ity sushi and Ja­panese cui­sine with­out many frills. Watch out for regualr deals, too.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sat-thu 11.30am-11.45pm; Fri noon­mid­night. Com­mer­cial Bank of Dubai build­ing, Kha­lidiya

(600 52 0007).

Teatro Serves a wide range of food, but the Ja­panese of­fer­ings are by far the most suc­cess­ful. The miso sea bass is a win­ner as are the sushi plat­ters. Take a seat at the sushi bar and find out just how good it is­for your­self. → Li­censed. Open daily 6pm-11pm. Park Rotana

Abu Dhabi, Khal­ifa Park

(02 657 3333).

Toki This place is el­e­gance de­fined, with min­i­mal­ist rooms con­cealed be­hind spot­less slid­ing doors. The menu is ex­ten­sive with some unique dishes.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon3pm; 7pm-11pm. Hil­ton Abu Dhabi, Al Khubeirah

(02 681 4951).

Tori No Su The open kitchen im­presses here, and thank­fully the food matches the am­bi­ence. Nar­rowly missed out on our Best Ja­panese award in 2017.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm11.30pm. Jumeirah at Eti­had Tow­ers, Cor­niche Road West (02 811 5666). ★ Ja­panese.

Zuma High-end Ja­panese in a stun­ning set­ting. This hot spot serves up the best Ja­panese food in town. Book­ings are es­sen­tial as this place is al­ways busy.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-sat noon-3.30pm, Sat-wed 7pm­mid­night, Thu-fri 7pm-1am. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land (02 401 5900). ★★ Ja­panese

LATIN AMER­I­CAN

Asia de Cuba A quite­bril­liant mix of Chi­nese and Cuban dishes. If that doesn’t sound im­me­di­ately de­li­cious to you, then know this: it re­ally is.

→ Li­censed. Open Thusat noon-3pm; Sun-sat 6pm-mid­night. Fri brunch 1pm-4pm. Bar open Thu-fri noon-2am; Sat noon-mid­night; Sun-wed 3pm-mid­night. Na­tion Riviera, Cor­niche Road West (02 699 3333).

★ Amer­i­cas.

BU! The pan-latin eatery, with Ja­panese in­flu­ence is a re­ally fun venue that al­ways has a great vibe. We love the bar area and big ter­race, but it’s the food that re­ally keeps us com­ing back. → Li­censed. Open daily 7pm-mid­night. Fri brunch 12.30pm-4.30pm. Bar 5pm3am. The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 666 8066). ★ Amer­i­cas.

Chamas All-you-can-eat meat and sal­ads at this Brazil­ian chur­ras­caria. Make sure you bring an in­sa­tiable ap­petite and you might be best served to leave the vege­tar­i­ans at home.

→ Li­censed. Open Sat-tue 6pm-11.30pm; Wed-fri 6pm­mid­night. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­dul Aziz Al Saud Street

(02 666 6888).

COYA Fun and funky, with a su­per bar area, lovely ter­race and vi­brant din­ing room. The food is ab­so­lutely ex­cel­lent hre. From ce­viches to seafood, tacos to tom­a­hawk steaks, we’re yet to find some­thing that’s any­thing less than bril­liant.

→ Li­censed. Open Sun-thu and Sat 12.30pm-5.30pm; Sun-mon, Wed, Sat 7pm­mid­night; Tue, Thu-fri 7pm-12.30am. Fri brunch 12.30pm-4pm. Lounge open daily 12.30pm-1.15am. The Gal­le­ria, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 306 7000).

★★ Restau­rant of the Year, Amer­i­cas ★ Brunch

MEX­I­CAN

Ameri­gos Per­haps not the most tra­di­tional Mex­i­can you’ll find in the city, but it’s full of flavour, good value and great fun so we re­ally don’t care.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon2am. Radis­son Blu Ho­tel,

Abu Dhabi Yas Is­land

(02 656 2000).

El Som­brero Top-notch at­mos­phere and a crack­ing Latino band make the fan­tas­tic food all the bet­ter at this buzzing Mex­i­can joint. Keep and eye out for spe­cials. → Li­censed. Open daily 7.15pm-11.30pm. Sher­a­ton Abu Dhabi Ho­tel & Re­sort, Cor­niche Road East

(02 677 3333).

MID­DLE EASTERN

Al Ar­ish The set­ting and ser­vice are some­what sur­real in this Emi­rati restau­rant, how­ever there is an ex­cel­lent se­lec­tion of fresh fish to choose from.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 10am-4pm, 7pm-11pm. Al Meena (02 673 2266).

Al Dhafra As with any Emi­rati restau­rant, there is a range of grilled meats, hot and cold ap­pe­tis­ers, and sal­ads to be had. We can’t help but feel this is one for the tourists get­ting off the boats at Meena Port, as there is bet­ter qual­ity to be found el­swe­here in the city.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 10am-4pm, 7pm-11pm. Meena Street (02 673 2266).

Al Fa­nar Ven­ture to Vene­tian Vil­lage to en­joy tra­di­tional lo­cal cui­sine at this quirky Emi­rati restau­rant. The menu of­fers plenty of meat and rice dishes and there’s a kind of dio­rama on the way in.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily noon-mid­night. Vene­tian Vil­lage, Grand Canal, Al Maqta (02 448 1144).

Al Mayass Tucked away in the depths of the Sher­a­ton, this restau­rant of­fers a range of Ar­me­nian and Le­banese food, and we’re big fans of most of it. Worth check­ing out. → Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-1am. Sher­a­ton

Abu Dhabi Ho­tel & Re­sort, Al Markaziyah (02 677 3333).

Atayeb The pan-ara­bian dishes may not be cheap, but the food is in­ven­tive, tasty and worth the money. There are great views of the For­mula 1 cir­cuit, too. Def­i­nitely worth a visit if you like Mid­dle Eastern food.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm1am. Yas Ho­tel Abu Dhabi,

Yas Is­land (02 656 0600).

★ MENA.

By­b­los Sur Mer There’s a wide va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional dishes from grills and cre­ative mezze. There’s also au­then­tic en­ter­tain­ment in the evening. → Li­censed. Open Sun-thu noon-2am, Fri-sat noon-3am. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­dul Aziz Al Saud Street

(02 666 6888). ★★ MENA

Dolmabahçe An old favourite that of­fers a su­perb range of grills and tra­di­tional Turk­ish and Mid­dle Eastern cui­sine. The restau­rant pays close at­ten­tion to its roots.

→ Un­li­censed. Open Sun-thu noon-12.30am; Fri-sat 9am12.30am. Al Raha Boule­vard, Al Zeina (02 552 5571).

Kahra­man You will find sushi sit­ting along­side Ara­bic grills here. Ser­vice is quick and at­ten­tive and while the pair­ing might be un­likely, it’s all done well and the restau­rant is nice.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7.30pm-mid­night. South­ern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Mina Street, Al Zahiyah (02 818 4888).

Li Beirut This fine-din­ing Le­banese restau­rant of­fers some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. There is a set se­lec­tion of mezze if you’re not sure of what to or­der, but the mains and starters are truly worth or­der­ing and that’s where the kitchen team re­ally seem to shine.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm­mid­night. Jumeirah at Eti­had Tow­ers, Cor­niche West

(02 811 5893). ★ MENA.

Me­zlai This fine eatery at Emi­rates Palace is suit­ably op­u­lent and the ex­quis­ite food matches up to the at­ten­tive staff and ele­gant sur­round­ings of the ho­tel.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 1pm10.30pm. Emi­rates Palace, Cor­niche West

(02 690 7999).

Mi­jana Fine din­ing in a ro­man­tic set­ting. Opt for a ta­ble out­side when the weather is cool. Some of the best mezze in town and the grills are ex­em­plary, too.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 4pm1am. The Ritz-carl­ton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).

Phoeni­cian An ex­ten­sive menu of Le­banese and Ar­me­nian fare in a ca­sual set­ting. It won’t set you back too much, ei­ther.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon2am. Le Méri­dien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 644 1121).

Sam­busek Stylish restau­rant with an ex­cel­lent ar­ray of Le­banese dishes and su­per ser­vice that will keep you com­ing back to Al Maryah Is­land for more.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon12.30am. Rose­wood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 813 5552).

SEAFOOD

Bu Tafish This age-old eatery was one of the first to find its feet in Abu Dhabi. The menu proudly boasts its his­tory and as­so­ci­a­tion with the great Sheikh Zayed.

→ Un­li­censed. Open daily 1pm-1am. Al Zahiyah. Ham­dan Street

(02 677 7780).

Catch This Na­tion Riviera spot serves up a wide ar­ray of seafood, show­cas­ing Asian, Euro­pean and Mid­dle Eastern cui­sine, all with a gen­er­ous sprin­kling of flair. Head up­stairs to the roof top for a dance once you’re fin­ished.

→ Li­censed. Open daily noon1am. Na­tion Riviera Beach Club, Cor­niche Road West

(02 611 0909). ★★ Seafood

Finz One of the most ro­man­tic spots in the city also hap­pens to be one of the finest seafood joints you’ll find.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm11.30pm. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah

(02 697 9011). ★ Seafood.

Fish­mar­ket Choose your seafood and how you’d like it cooked. One of the best places around for fish lovers. → Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-mid­night. In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Abu Dhabi, King Ab­dul­lah Bin Ab­du­laziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

Sayad With its turquoise colour theme, glass walls and bright lights, Sayad feels a world away from the city.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm. Emi­rates Palace, West Cor­niche

(02 690 7999). ★ Seafood

STEAKHOUSES

55&5th, The Grill

A stun­ning venue and ev­ery­thing it serves will wow you. From in­ven­tive starters to suc­cu­lent main cour­ses and deca­dent desserts, this should be on your list.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 7pm11pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Is­land Re­sort (02 498 8443). ★ Steak­house.

BOA Steak­house A trendy spot that dishes up great cuts of meat with man­grove views. → Li­censed. Open Fri-wed 12.30pm-1am; Thu 12.30pm2am. Eastern Man­groves Prom­e­nade, Al Salam Street (02 641 1500).

Butcher & Still This is a must-visit. The food is ex­cel­lent and the staff are per­son­able. One of many rea­sons it won our Best Steak­house in 2017.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm­mid­night. Four Sea­sons Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Is­land

(02 333 2444).

★★ Steak­house

D’cap­i­tal Steak­house The steaks and sides are ex­cel­lent but it’s not quite up there with the very best in the city.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Sul­tan Bin Zayed The First Street

(02 698 8137).

JW Steak­house A clas­sic Amer­i­can-style steak­house serv­ing pre­mium-qual­ity cuts. At­mo­spheric dé­cor and ex­cel­lent pre­sen­ta­tion add to the bril­liant meat.

→ Li­censed. Open daily 6pm1am. Mar­riott Ho­tel Down­town Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).

The Foundry An in­ti­mate and stylish steak restau­rant serv­ing some of the finest cuts in the city. The South African steaks are a must-try. → Li­censed. Open daily 6am-10.30am, noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. South­ern Sun Abu Dhabi (02 818 4888).

The Park Bar and Grill Up­mar­ket grill with su­per cuts of meat and a good seafood menu too. → Li­censed. Open daily 7pm-mid­night. Park Hy­att Abu Dhabi Ho­tel, Saadiyat Is­land (02 407 1138).

3rd Av­enue

Avasa

Bocca

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