There is always a way to avoid junk food when eating out, unless you don’t want it. Asking for a salad, meat with veggies or even a sandwich without the bread, and many more options, eating out is certainly not an excuse to binge on the crap food.
However, you may wish to do better than just making pragmatic choices and want to have access to clean food, nutritionally balanced and, moreover, tasty dishes. This might seem difficult in many places, but if you are in Dubai, I’ve got good news for you: there are plenty of places where you can eat organic, local, low carb, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, paleo or vegan without sacrificing the taste or having to pay too much.
When travelling to Dubai, I made a list of all the healthy places I would like to visit. I didn’t have the time to eat in each of them but I visited a few ones and I would love to share with you those that I appreciated the most.
1. Baker and Spice – Souk al Bahar
Located in Souk al Bahar, just in front of Dubai Fountains and offering a wonderful view, Baker and Spice serves organic, local and homemade dishes from salads to desserts and juices. They also sell local products.
The restaurant is not paleo nor gluten free, so you have to be carefull and ask for little modifications if needed.
I had a roasted chicken thigh with pesto and leafy greens and asked them to remove the bread crumbs. The chicken was really tasty.
However, it is the most expensive of all the restaurants I went to. Maybe because of their privileged location. I don’t know if prices are the same in their other locations.
2. Omnia Gourmet – Jumeira
Not far from the Dubai Ladies Club, Omnia Gourmet serves organic food with paleo, gluten free, raw, dairy free and sugar free options. The restaurant is lovely, the employees are very kind and prices are reasonable.
I had a Paleo burger bowl and a pistacchio raw dessert. The dish was incredible and the dessert just a little too sweet for me.
3. Nourish – Dar Wasl Mall
This is one of my favorites. Located in Dar Wasl Mall, they serve clean meals and buy their ingredients from local producers with a focus on waste management.
The restaurant is really elegant and so is the menu.
I visited them at breakfast time and took an egg omelette with spinach, caramelized onions, cheese and aragula. That was amazingly good and regret I didn’t had the time to visit them another time.
4. Menagerie Eatery – Mirdiff 35
A lovely restaurant in an innovative lifestyle center, Menagerie Eatery serves organic, gluten free, vegan, raw food.
I hesitated between the kale salad with beetroot-avocado hummus and the vegan blueberry cheesecake and I finally gave in to my sweet palate. I usually don’t like desserts made with cashews, but this one was simply delicious. Not to sweet, not to voluminous, just enough to enjoy it without having too much.
Very warm and professional service from the employees and I absolutely loved the decoration.
5. Just Salad – BoxPark, (but also Business Bay and JLT)
Just Salad serves organic, local, fresh and seasonal salads.
I ordered the “Buffalo Kale Caesar” : organic kale, romaine, buffalo chicken, shaved Parmesan, celery, shredded carrots and asked them to remove the wheat croûtons.
6. Be Supernatural – Galeries Lafayette, in Dubai Mall
Definitely a place to go. They serve exclusively raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, organic and local food. And even though I am not an advocate to the 100% raw diet, I really appreciate their menu and had a hard time making my choice.
I had raw veggies marinated in lemon, with a cashew curry sauce and cauliflower rice. Really tasty and fine.
7. Soulfull – Emirates Financial Towers
This restaurant made the choices to focus on nutrients balance rather than just looking at the calories. They work with dietitians, recycle and use environmentally friendly packaging, offer their excess to charity and 90% of their ingredients come daily.
I had a paleo burger on a Portobello mushroom “bun” with sweet potato fries. A good old paleo classic, really tasty, in a classy restaurant.
8. The Gluten Free Kitchen – DIFC Building 2
If you are fund of healthy treats, that’s the place for you. Although this restaurant serves savory and sweet food, you can’t resist to their mouth watering cakes.
All their food is gluten free, then you can choose between different options: dairy free, egg free, sugar free, or paleo.
I chose a paleo blueberry crumble that was good but just a little too sweet for me.
9. So’ Salad – Jumeira Lakes Towers
A tiny little place in Jumeira Lakes Towers where you can compose your own salad. I love the idea, however, it is not organic but that would be great if they could come to it.
You choose the salad size, the base, the essential ingredients, dressing and premium ingredients if you wish too. It’s like making your own home made salad.
I had a large salad with mixed leaves, tomato, pepper, avocado, red cabbage, eggs, grains, cheese and Dijon dressing. I really appreciated.
10. A4 Space – Alserkal Avenue
It is not really a restaurant but a community space where you can meet, work, read and also eat. But I really enjoyed this place and they sell food from Appetite UAE (local, organic, whole food). I didn’t eat there, though, I just had a meeting but it was really pleasant and I am sure you would love it as much as I do.
11. The Farm House – Uptown Mirdiff
Last but not least, I really loved this place. It’s a shop and a coffee as well, that sells organic, local and seasonal products. From the farm to your plate as they say.
Dates, olive oil, sesame paste, honey, seasonal veggies and many more products. You just want to buy them all.