3Fils, 21Grams and Aamara: Michelin Guide Dubai reveals Bib Gourmand 2023 restaurants

In a nod to the city's culinary diversity, the chosen restaurants serve Japanese, Balkan and Indian food

Indian restaurant Aamara at Voco Hotel is part of the 2023 Michelin Guide Dubai, in the Bib Gourmand category. Photo: Aamara
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The Michelin Guide is set to release its second list for Dubai on May 23. Before then, though, the anonymous Michelin inspectors, who have been visiting restaurants around the emirate for some months now, have made their selection of Bib Gourmand restaurants for 2023.

Japanese-inspired spot 3Fils; 21Grams, which serves Balkan cuisine; and Aamara, a fine-dining Indian restaurant have all made the cut.

While a Michelin star (or two or three) are considered one of the highest culinary accolades a restaurant can get, Bib Gourmand represents value-for-money spots. Named after Bibendum, the Michelin Man and official company mascot of the Michelin Group, the Bib Gourmand category is “not quite a star, but most definitely not a consolation prize”, according to the guide.

It recognises “just-as-esteemed” and friendly establishments that serve good food at reasonable prices.

Of the three venues revealed for 2023 thus far, 3Fils was part of the debut Michelin Guide Dubai (having received an honorary mention in 2022), while the other two are new to the Michelin family. 3Fils also won top honours on yet another culinary list, coming in at first place on Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2022 and fifth place in 2023.

Stasha Toncev, founder of 21grams, says the award is a testament to the power of community support.

"We have always strived to create a warm and inviting atmosphere, a cherished homegrown space. This recognition from Michelin inspires us to continue nurturing this sense of belonging.

"We have also been privileged to bring Balkan cuisine to the forefront of the culinary world. This accolade reflects our commitment to showcasing the rich flavors, vibrant traditions and diverse culinary heritage of the region. The Michelin recognition marks an important milestone in our journey, but it is just the beginning."

Lists such as these, awarded by culinary experts and industry insiders, are highly sought after by local foodies and gastro-tourists alike, who often plan their social and travel calendars based on the award-winning restaurants they want to sample.

See the full list of Bib Gourmand restaurants in Abu Dhabi (which got its own Michelin Guide late last year) and Dubai, although it remains to be seen which of these venues will make the cut this year.

Bib Gourmand restaurants in the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2022

  • Almayass
  • Beirut Sur Mer
  • Otoro
  • Tazal

Bib Gourmand restaurants in the Michelin Guide Dubai 2022

  • Al Khayma
  • Bait Maryam
  • Brasserie Boulud
  • Fi'lia
  • folly
  • Goldfish
  • Ibn AlBahr
  • Indya by Vineet
  • Kinoya
  • Ninive
  • Orfali Bros
  • Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
  • Shabestan
  • Teible
Updated: May 17, 2023, 6:28 AM