Restaurants now open in Expo City Dubai, from Al Baik to The Mattar Farm

Local and international brands unite at the newly opened, repurposed Expo 2020 Dubai site

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The site where Expo 2020 Dubai entertained millions of visitors for six months has relaunched as Expo City Dubai, inviting people to explore some of its biggest and best-loved attractions, including Al Wasl Dome.

Visitors can sit under the dome and get their feet wet in the Surreal water feature free of charge now that the repurposed site has officially reopened.

Dubai’s newest community is intended to attract tourists, residents and office workers as part of its phased opening six months after Expo ended.

With this comes the return of the world's greatest show's popular food and beverage vendors.

Only a handful of outlets have been revealed so far, with plenty more to come, but here's where Expo City visitors can now get a bite to eat.

Al-Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

For a true taste of the Emirates, look no further than Al-Fanar Restaurant & Cafe, which is listed in Dubai's Michelin Guide.

The Emirati restaurant aims to conjure up 1960s UAE through traditional-style interiors and authentic cuisine, reviving "memories of Dubai when it was a small town on the shore of the Arabian Gulf at an idyllic spot close to the creek, with rows of wind towers surrounded by Al Badia oasis, with tents and barasti huts where fishermen, pearl merchants and Bedouins lived", according to its website.


It might be Saudi Arabia's popular broasted chicken brand, but AlBaik is no less beloved in the UAE. The fast food chain, which is famous for its crispy chicken, first opened in the UAE at The Dubai Mall in June last year, much to the delight of thousands of fans across the country.

It then opened a second, pop-up venue at Expo 2020 Dubai and enjoyed some of the event's largest queues throughout its duration.

Now it's back with a restaurant at Expo City Dubai, serving up that famous broasted chicken, which is the chain's most popular dish alongside jumbo shrimp and fish fillet.

Ecco Pizza&Pasta

Italian cuisine lovers flocked to the Opportunity District during Expo 2020 Dubai to get a meal from Ecco Pizza&Pasta. The brand name means "here you are, et voila", and the idea behind the restaurant is fast casual dining where "passion for good food and love of cooking come together".

Of course, there are plenty of pizza and pasta varieties on the menu, as well as salads, soups, risotto, burrata, grilled meats and fish, and more.

La Serre

La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie closed down its Parisian-style restaurant in Downtown Dubai after almost a decade in operation, but has plans to expand across the UAE. That includes a food truck at Expo City Dubai, where it's serving a range of quick bites.

The brand is also preparing to open four new locations across the UAE. This includes the opening of venues in Dubai at Jumeirah, Dubai Design District and Mall of the Emirates. It will also be making its first entry into the capital, at Abu Dhabi's Yas Mall.

The Mattar Farm Express

Hattem Mattar has become something of a celebrity chef across the region. Mattar, who is of Canadian, Egyptian and Emirati heritage, grew up in the UAE with stints of his childhood and adolescence spent in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait.

He's the brains behind The Mattar Farm Kitchen, a home-grown, ­family-run smokehouse, specialising in handcrafted Texan-style barbecue meat (primarily brisket), cooked low and slow, until tender, melting and delicious.

He's revived his food truck at Expo City Dubai, which was in the Opportunity District during the event, and served dishes such as egg pastrami on rye for breakfast or a beef chorizo sandwich for lunch and dinner with coleslaw or salad and chips.

Milky Ice Cream

This Polish-Emirati brand, which has venues across the UAE, is back to sell its popular, towering ice creams from a food truck in Expo City.


B-Cafe became known as a coffee pit stop for Expo regulars during the event, and is now poised to take back the mantle once more through its reinstated food truck.

Cold brews, nitro draft, Spanish lattes, cortados and V60 are only a few of the brews on the menu, all using beans roasted in the UAE by the brand's master roaster.


Serving up "waffles with a twist", Wofl has reopened its food truck, which became a popular Opportunity District stop before Expo ended. The brand also has branches across the UAE.

Savoury and sweet waffle sandwiches are on the menu with a variety of toppings. Think New York-style, Mexican-inspired, toasted croque monsieur and a Mediterranean tuna option.


When the heat gets too much, Tropicool's food truck will no doubt be thriving, as it serves up cooling acai bowls for which customers can choose their favourite toppings.

The brand puts part of its proceeds towards SOS Amazonia, an NGO that focuses on restoration efforts in the Amazon rainforest

Updated: June 01, 2023, 9:48 AM