Until recently, Dubai Hills Estate was bereft of decent places to eat, unless you were stopping off at the Dubai Hills Golf Club or in the mood for fast food from a petrol station.
Since the opening of Dubai Hills Mall in February, however, more restaurants open almost every week, quickly solidifying the area's reputation as a must-visit for foodies.
Here are some of the best restaurants to be found in and out of the mall.
The newest addition to the Dubai Hills fold is Maiz Tacos, which opened within the Acacia B building on Monday. Following the success of its original branch in JLT, the homely Mexican restaurant is now offering its tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more at its second venue.
Taco flavours include six-hour slow-cooked pulled beef, marinated Angus flank steak, grilled shrimp, and roasted cauliflower with sweet potato — to name a few. There's also pollo torta, enchiladas and churros on the menu.
Open Monday-Thursday noon-10pm, Friday-Sunday noon-11pm; Acacia B, Dubai Hills; 04 577 6745; www.maiztacos.com
One of the latest restaurants to open in Dubai Hills Mall is Vietnamese Foodies, a cosy, home-grown restaurant that was started by Lily Hoa Nguyen in JLT and has since expanded to include five branches across Dubai.
Expect everything from pho and banh mi to summer rolls and satay skewers on the main menu, as well as daily specials.
The new branch can seat up to 60 people and is the first with a dedicated coffee spot and takeaway window.
Open daily 10am-11.30pm; ground floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 04 880 2329; www.vietnamesefoodies.com
Another new addition to the mall is British chef Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italian. It's a beautiful spot, with homely yet stylish decor with wooden accents and plenty of plants. It's one of the few restaurants in the mall to also offer outdoor seating.
Popular dishes from the chain are on the menu, including tagliatelle bolognese, creamy burrata and the truffle shuffle pizza, which comes with truffled bechamel sauce, a sunny-side-up egg, fontal cheese, balsamic onions and shaved black truffle.
Open Monday-Thursday, 11am-11pm, Friday-Sunday, 11am-midnight; ground floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 056 509 0374; linktr.ee/jamiesitaliangcc
Eataly, which first opened in Turin in 2007, puts the focus firmly on high-quality Italian ingredients and classic dishes from the home country. The Dubai Hills Mall branch, which opened its doors in early August, is a light and airy spot that's a shop as well as a restaurant, where you can pick up some items to make your meal at home, or order from the chefs.
The extensive menu offers classic dishes, with all manner of bruschetta, pasta, risotto, pizza, salads and authentic Italian desserts on offer.
Open daily, 9am-midnight; ground floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 04 445 3464; www.eatalyarabia.com
L'Eto Caffe's picture-perfect plating consistently makes the rounds on social media, and has fast become a popular breakfast and lunch spot at Dubai Hills Mall. The chain has branches across the region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as in London, and puts the emphasis on healthy Italian and European flavours.
Find pancakes, porridge or croissants for breakfast, which is served until 4pm, alongside an array of egg dishes, including shakshuka, burrata scrambled eggs and a traditional Turkish platter. For lunch and dinner, options include salads, bowls, pasta and main courses such as beef tenderloin, pan-fried sea bream and baby roasted chicken. There's also an inventive children's menu on offer.
Open daily, 9am-midnight; ground floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 04 271 5710; www.letocaffe.ae
Mitts & Trays
Another fairly recent addition to the mall's dining portfolio is Mitts & Trays. The original branch of the restaurant opened in City Walk, but that has since moved to Bluewaters Island. It's an elegant cafe that serves up wholesome food with an "oven-to-table, kitchen-to-living-room style menu".
There are cafe classics on the menu, from eggs Benedict to calamari and braised short ribs. There are also a whole load of international flavours on there, too, from Khaleeji balaleet for breakfast to Mexican-inspired Wagyu quesadillas and butter chicken masala.
Open daily, 8am-midnight; ground floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 04 457 0406; www.instagram.com/mittsandtraysuae
This popular cafe recently opened its fifth branch in Dubai Hills Mall and has been consistently busy ever since. Situated by the giant yellow bunny statue, the beautifully designed cafe with its wooden, foliage-strewn interiors is hard to miss.
There's a wide selection of coffee, smoothies and juices, as well as healthy dishes, including the acai bowl, avo on toast and chia pudding, alongside more hearty options such as the vegan avocado burger or hoisin duck wrap.
Open daily, 8am-midnight; first floor, Dubai Hills Mall; www.eatx.com/common-grounds
You might recognise Zouzou from La Mer, where the Turkish restaurant was often packed for lunch and dinner. That branch has now closed, but Dubai Hills Mall is picking up where it left off.
The restaurant has an extremely extensive menu of modern to authentic Turkish dishes. A dozen salads sit next to hot and cold mezze, a variety of pide and plenty of grilled meats. There's a children's menu and international options, such as pasta and South American-style asado, too.
Open daily, 9am-midnight; first floor, Dubai Hills Mall; 800 968968; www.instagram.com/zouzoudubai
Find modernised Japanese street food at Akiba Dori's fourth UAE branch in Dubai Hills Mall. It's hard to miss the brightly coloured interiors with neon-lit archways.
The venue sits right near the soon-to-open Roxy Cinemas venue and has got all the favourites on the menu, including the signature Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizza.
It's also got some new stuff on the menu, including breakfast options and its first children's menu. There's also a milkshake bar.
Open daily, 10am-midnight; first floor, Dubai Hills Malls; 058 124 1909; www.akibadori.com
The Hills Eatery
This neighbourhood restaurant by Emaar is located near Dubai Hills Park and close to the splash park. The quaint spot, which is surrounded by greenery, offers indoor and outdoor seating. The main is a simple, international selection of starters, mains, salads and desserts.
It's the perfect spot for families looking for a bite to eat after burning off their energy in the park.
Open daily, 11am-10pm; Dubai Hills Park; 04 367 3777; www.ecm.ae
The restaurant at the Dubai Hills Golf Club has long been popular with families across the city, particularly thanks to its weekend brunch, which took a hiatus in the pandemic. Not only does it offer spacious indoor seating, but also a lovely terrace that overlooks the gorgeous greens.
Nowadays, it offers a ladies' night deal and weekend roast menu. Throughout the week, the a la carte menu offers an international selection of dishes, from chilli crab and Cajun crumpets to cauliflower pakoras and chicken souvlaki. There are also plant-based options for vegetarian and vegan diners.
The breakfast menu is streamlined but popular, with classic options for children and adults, such as pancakes, smoothies, granola and eggs.
Open daily, 7am-11pm; Dubai Hills Golf Club; 800 323232; www.jumeirah.com
The Duck Hook
The other venue at Dubai Hills Golf Club is this neighbourhood pub that's open to families and their pets. The expansive terrace is especially popular during the cooler months, as guests can take in the scenic views.
Expect indulgent pub grub on the menu, including massive sandwiches, burgers and roast dinners. It's a quintessentially British offering, with items such as a Scotch egg, Welsh rarebit and fish and chips, alongside UK favourites with international flavours — think chicken poppers, onion bhajis and chicken Kiev.
For dessert. there's a rhubarb and apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding among the highlights.
Open 11.30am-midnight; Dubai Hills Golf Club; 800 323232; www.jumeirah.com
This Mexican restaurant is branching out of The Dubai Mall with another branch at Dubai Hills Mall. While the focus is firmly on Mexican flavours, there is international influence on there. Find chilaquiles next to French toast on the menu, as well as quesadillas and avocado toast. Everything has a flourish of Mexico, though.
It's opening near Roxy Cinemas.
There isn't much information publicly available at this spot yet, but a board in Dubai Hills Mall announces its imminent arrival and promises a "multisensory experience coming your way", which certainly makes it one to watch. It's by Maristo Hospitality, a food and hospitality division of Ring International Holding, established last year.