Where to Eat in Dubai on a Budget

Ultra-luxury hotels, chic boutiques, and fabulous experiences are what come to mind when most people think of Dubai. The city is the epitome of wealth and glamour and travelers often leave a visit to the Persian Gulf city off their list.

While Dubai is a mecca for the rich this doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to experience life in the city. For example, did you know some dining hotspots in Dubai are surprisingly affordable? If you’re looking for some great places to eat but don’t want to blow your budget, here’s where you may want to go for your next meal.

Top Affordable Places to Eat in Dubai

Whether you’re carving shawarma, noodles, fava beans, or fresh sushi, you can find it and more in one of Dubai’s dining hotspots. Here’s a look at where some of the city’s locals including famous restaurant chefs go to eat.

Allo Beirut

The small café on Hessa Street is famous for its delicious and affordable street food. The menu has a distinctive Lebanese flair, as indicated by the café’s name.

The prices are affordable and the menu is extensive. You can choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. The fava beans cooked in lemon and garlic are a popular menu item, especially when covered with a spoonful of diced tomato and chickpeas.

If you’re heading back after a late night out at Dubai’s club scene, the Francisco sandwich with either chicken or beef shawarma is a filling and delicious way to end the evening. As a personal note: the sandwich is also a great way to start your day.

3 Fils

Once a hidden gem at Jumeirah Fishing Harbor, 3 Fils is rapidly making a name for itself with its low prices and delicious menu offerings. Open since 2016, the low-key restaurant boasts a relaxed atmosphere.

Locals rave about the fresh sushi, especially the dragon and volcano rolls. If you stop in for dinner, the beef carpaccio always hits the spot. You can also indulge in a Wagyu overload burger. The sandwich comes topped with chipotle mayo and provolone cheese.

Don’t forget about dessert—the African Powerhouse is a scrumptious combination of Ghana dark chocolate and Madagascar vanilla. Top it off with some extra sea salt to add even more flavor.

Al Ustad Special Kabab

Open since 1978, this Iranian café is the city’s go-to place for mutton kebabs and yogurt-marinated chicken. Dubai residents know this is the place to go when you want a great meal but are also on a tight budget.

While you can’t go wrong with the mutton kebab, the BBQ tenderloin is another top-seller. If you want to take a break from the kebabs, you’ll find plenty of grill and rice dishes on the menu. If you’re planning a trip to Old Dubai, stop in at Al Ustad Special Kabab for lunch or dinner.

Bombay Bungalow

The prices are a little higher here—but don’t worry, they’re not going to blow your budget. The restaurant’s atmosphere is fun and relaxing and the menu features some exciting dishes you don’t want to miss. Burrata butter chicken is only a taste of what you’ll find at Bombay Bungalow. The pani puri is also recommended by locals and even chefs.

If you want a description of the menu before heading in. Think about what you can get by combining French and Indian food. You get an explosion of flavor in every bit.

Al Mallah

Al Mallah is a Lebanese-style cafeteria that got its beginnings as a juice bar in the 1970s. Since then, the cafeteria has expanded its menu to include everything from falafel, grills, shawarmas, and more.

The restaurant has a relaxed and welcoming vibe which is exactly what you expect from a spot selling street food. With more than 150 menu items to choose from, making a decision can be difficult. However you can’t go wrong starting with a piece of falafel and working up to the shawarma. With their low prices, you can easily afford to splurge on both.

Boston Lane

You’ll find this Australian coffee shop in the courtyard of Al Quoz. So if you’re looking for an affordable breakfast spot, Boston Lane may be the place to go.
The menu is fairly simple but each dish is delicious; you can choose from items like Turkish eggs, delicious cheeses, and garlic yogurt. Oh, and don’t forget to add a cup of coffee to your order!

Even though Dubai can be an expensive city to live in and visit, you can still eat great food on a tighter budget. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals about some of their favorite dining hotspots in Dubai.

View Comments

  • Visiting Dubai is a very farfetched dream for me. I'd like to think that I'd get there one day, but for now, I'm quite happy to live vicariously through your adventures. Every single place on your list sounds like a surefire hit!

  • We have never traveled in that part of the world, but this is a very helpful post. I'm fairly certain we would get to all of these places, although I think Al Mallah would be first on the list!!

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