Reminder: Due to Covid-19, some restaurants have altered their offerings and may be temporarily closed.
Before dining at any restaurant in Dubai, here are some general rules to take note of:
Make a reservation (Duh!) | Gents, no shorts, flip flops, tank tops and the likes (always best to call and confirm before going) | Confirm that the offer/special you are looking to redeem is still available or applicable on your day of preference.
Below are my favorite Italian restaurants in the city (that I’ve personally tried):
ALICI ($$) – Bluewaters Island
Oh how I love Alici! Alici has the best flavors from Southern Italy packed into the most beautiful venue – high ceilings, beach blue interior reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast, beautiful craftmanship with amazing seafood the Italian way. Also, Alici is by far one of my favorite places to brunch! While I love a good outdoor seat, the interiors of Alici are too beautiful to miss (book an indoor table if it’s your first time or request an indoor table in front the window).
- Brunch: Alcohol packages starts from 495 AED | Fridays & Saturdays, 1-4PM
IL BORRO TUSCAN BISTRO ($$-$$$) – Jumeirah Al Naseem
Located in the beautiful Turtle Lagoon inside Jumeirah Al Naseem is one of Dubai’s most popular Italian eateries, Il Borro Tuscan Bistro. If you’ve been to Tuscany, you’ll enjoy the authentic Tuscan flavors packed in every dish, specifically the black truffle pizza, Tuscan braised beef and octopus. Their private dinning area is the perfect setting to hold an intimate gathering.
BELLA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE ($$$) – Business Bay (Grand Millennium Hotel)
What I love the most about Bella is the ultra-chic loft style atmosphere with great views of the Dubai Canal and their fully retractable glass ceiling! Bella is one of the newer Italian restaurants in the city but they entered the scene with a solid menu fueled with weekly events.
- Bella Lunch: 3 course lunch menu | 125 AED | Everyday, 12-4PM
- Bella Vita: Brunch | Alcohol packages starting at 395 AED | Fridays, 3-6PM
- Ladies Night: Unlimited drinks | 145 AED | Wednesdays, 8-11PM
- Bella Notte: Live entertainment | Thursdays & Fridays
- Bella Secret Cellar: Exclusive dinner hosted by Sommelier Tushar Borah | Sundays, 7-11PM
SOCIAL BY HEINZ BECK ($$-$$$) – Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah
A delicate menu from the Michelin-starred chef, Heinz Beck, is a concise list of salads, appetizers, pastas, mains and sides and everything is well prepared and tasty. Although a great date night spot, the portions are a tad bit on the small side (like any other fine dining menu). During the cooler months, request a table on the terrace.
- Sociale Saturday: Brunch | 550 AED pp w/ alcohol | Saturdays
CIPRIANI ($$$) – DIFC (Gate Village)
Love, Love, LOVE the décor of Cipriani Dubai – elegant white and blue nautical hues, glossy wood, and brown leather seats spanning across two floors. The truffle pizza & gnocchi w/ gorgonzola are a must try! If you’ve been to the New York locations, Dubai’s venue & food is just as great!
- Business Lunch: 3 course menu | 150 AED | Sundays – Thursday, 12-5PM
BASTA ($$) – Business Bay (Renaissance Downtown Hotel)
Translating to “enough” in Italian, Basta tastefully combines the “food and feel” of a Roman trattoria, Florentine steakhouse and Napolitan pizzeria into one exciting tasting experience.
- Apertivo: 2 drinks 1 antipasta | 78 AED | 5-7PM, Sundays – Fridays
- Business Lunch: 3 course meal w/ coffee | 95 AED | Sundays – Thursdays
- Bollicine: 4 Bubbly Cocktails or a Bottle of Prosecco with food platter | 164 AED OR 2 Bubbly Cocktails with food platter | 82 AED
MAREA ($$$) – DIFC (Gate Village)
A New York City classic, right in the heart of Dubai serving coastal Italian cuisine. Plus, it’s a Michelin Star rated resto! The lobster burrata & sea bream are two of my favorite dishes.
- Business Lunch: 3 course menu | 120 AED | Sundays – Thursdays
BUSSOLA ($$-$$$) – Dubai Marina (The Westin Mina Seyahi)
Vibe: Trendy/Smart Casual
3 restaurants in 1 – part lounge, part restaurant, part pizzeria all with a seaside view and a wide variety of pizzas (generous in size). The menu is quite simple but Bussola is known for their pizza options.
- Business Lunch: 2 courses | 140 AED | Sun-Thurs, 12-3PM
- Apertivo: Happy Hour | 35AED per drink
- La Tavolata: Array of chef’s specials and free-flowing house beverages| 325 AED pp | Saturdays, 2-5PM
- Pizzeria: Sun-Thurs, 6-11:30PM, Fri & Sat, 12-11:30PM
LARTE ($$) – Design District/Studio City
Pizza & pasta galore. Also, known to have one of the best Aperol Spritz in Dubai!
- Meatball Mondays: Unlimited Spaghetti & meatballs + 1 drink | 99 AED | Mondays
- Ciao Bella: 3 drinks & 1 dish | 99 AED | Tuesdays
- Pizza & Wine Night: Unlimited wine & pizza (2 hours) | 149 AED | Wednesdays
- Apertivo: Unlimited antipasti & premium beverages | 199 AED | Fridays & Saturdays
- Happy Hour: Selected Drinks | 35 AED each | 5 to 8PM daily
ROBERTO’S ($$$) – DIFC (Gate Village)
A Dubai classic serving authentic Italian flavors in a fine-dining atmosphere. Roberto’s is known for hosting unique, experiential dinners – keep an eye out for them.
- Business Lunch: 3 courses | 125 AED | Sundays – Thursdays
- Brunch: Food & House Beverages | 495 AED | Saturdays
- Apertivo/Happy Hour: Drinks/Food starts from 25 AED | Saturdays – Thursday, 4-8PM
TRATTORIA TOSCANA ($$) – Madinat Jumeirah
Vibe: Smart Casual
Simple décor but delicious Italian restaurant overlooking the Madinat Jumeirah lagoon. The lamb meatballs are delicious!