Dubai is popular for many things. Its high rises, unique buildings, enormous malls, picturesque beaches, amazing desert, thrilling theme parks and great shopping experiences are some of the things that attract people to Dubai. Apart from all this, it also offers a vast range of cuisines. You would find restaurants from almost all the countries around the world here, making the food scene in Dubai even more interesting. However, when you are visiting a new city or country, you have to take time to explore the local food scene, and Dubai is home to some amazing street food. Let us check out the best street food of Dubai.
Best Street Foods to Try in Dubai
The Emirati cuisine is deeply influenced by Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Most dishes include some kind of meat mixed with vegetables, herbs and spices. Just like street food anywhere in the world, the street food in Dubai is also cheap. Moreover, you do not have to worry about hygiene as there are really strict rules on hygiene that hawkers and street restaurants have to adhere to. However, the best part is that these dishes are filling and are great options of budget travellers. Without much ado, we will see the street foods that you have to try during your holiday in Dubai.
Shawarma: When it comes to Emirati street food, shawarma is the undisputed king. It consists of flat-bread that is filled with the juiciest meat (slow-cooked chicken, beef or lamb), a mix of fresh vegetables, thinly sliced onions and creamy hummus and other sauces. The delicious combination of all these ingredients makes the shawarma irresistible to everyone. Once you have had it in the streets of Dubai, you would want to have it again and again.
Samboosa: Samboosa is clearly the cousin of the Indian samosa, a deep-fried, triangle shaped pastry filled with spiced vegetables. In Dubai, the samosa gets a non-vegetarian twist. The samboosa is a pastry filled with meat and vegetables mixed with a variety of exotic spices, served with tomato ketchup or chutney. This is the perfect mid-evening or afternoon snack and goes well with tea or coffee.
Manakkish: Not many can resist a good looking cheese pizza. If you are one of them, you must try its Arabic variant in Dubai, the Manakkish. A flat bread topped with a variety of toppings (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian), herbs, spices, olive oil and cheese, this one would not only fill your tummy but your heart as well. It is possible to get it prepared the way you want to.
Shish Tawouk Sandwich: This sandwich is quite popular amongst the locals, and something that tourists must try. It is actually a roll made of flat bread and is filled with thinly sliced chicken, variety of herbs and spices, garlic, assortment of vegetables and pickles. It may sound like shawarma but tastes quite different. Do try it while walking along the street markets of Dubai.
Karak: You would find the most popular and world famous cafes and tea houses in Dubai. However, if you want to taste the most authentic drink of the area, you must try karak. It is a tea made by boiling loose tea leaves, evaporated milk and a blend of spices together. It is served piping hot and would make you feel refreshed. The best thing is that it costs only AED1 and is available at any street shop. Have it with a donut or sweet cake for a complete experience.
Harees: This is a traditional Emirati dish which is usually made during festivals and special occasions. However, it is possible to find it in restaurants serving Arabic cuisine. This is a filling dish made by cooking wheat, salt and meat together, until the meat is completely blended with the wheat. It is then kept in a clay pot or oven filled with burning coal, for several hours. The thick mixture is then served with a dollop of ghee or clarified butter.
Knafeh: Desert is the perfect ending to any meal and one of the best sweet dish to have in Dubai is the knafeh. This gooey desert is made with sweet cheese which is browned to perfection and topped with rose syrup and chopped nuts and dry fruits. The desert is flaky and at the same time gooey and melts in your mouth. Once you have this, you can never get enough of it.
Falafel: If you are a vegetarian, you would be disappointed as this list hardly mentions any vegetarian dishes. However, you really need not worry as you can devour on falafel, which is a chickpeas patty that is served in a roll along with different vegetables, sauces and other dressings. It is quite a popular dish and you can easily find it anywhere in Dubai.
Luqaimat: Another sweet dish that should be part of this list is luqaimat, which are dumplings made of flour, yeast, cardamom and saffron. Although crispy on the outside, they are soft on the inside, making it a unique dish. To add more flavour to the dish, luqaimat is served with date molasses and white sesame seeds for that extra crunch.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are several more street dishes that are popular in Dubai. You can enjoy these foods in the street markets of Downtown Dubai, Bur Dubai, Satwa, etc. While the luxury restaurants of Dubai would give you a unique dining experience, the street markets and hawkers of the city are the ones that would give you a taste of the local flavours.