Dubai Food Festival 2024: A guide to discounted menus and one-off experiences

From subsidised dishes and supper clubs to walking culinary tours, here are nine meals worth sampling

Burger joint Eleven Green is offering a breakfast spread for the duration of Dubai Food Festival. Photo: Eleven Green
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It's that time of the year again when Dubai doubles down on its gastronomic expertise, allowing the city's bustling restaurant scene to shine via special menus, celebrity chef masterclasses and dining discounts.

Dubai Food Festival, now in its 11th year, kicks off on Friday and will run until May 12.

Dozens of spots participate in the annual affair, with intrepid foodies looking forward to Dubai Restaurant Week and Foodie Experiences.

The former has 65 participating restaurants (up from last year's 52) offering set lunch and dinner menus at discounted rates. Foodie Experiences, meanwhile, has a diverse line-up of 43 events, from culinary masterclasses to four-hands dinners, children's workshops and more.

Evidently, the month-long festival can be overwhelming even for the most discerning of diners, so here is our guide to this year's most delicious entries.

5 to try at Dubai Restaurant Week

Hoe Lee Kow

When The National sampled the Korean restaurant in Dubai Hills, we couldn't get enough of the tteokbokki, a popular street food in the East Asian country. The restaurant, a brainchild of Reif Othman, is serving the dish in its set dinner menu (Dh250) during Dubai Food Festival. The dish is made with home-made rice cakes, maple beef bacon and Manchego cheese.

It comes with other Korean classics such as Wagyu bulgogi and sweet potato brulee. There's also a lunch menu for those who want to visit the restaurant earlier in the day.


Dubai is a melting pot when it comes to cuisines, but one of the latest ones to gain popularity in recent months is Eastern European fare. Babushka, located at The Beach, showcases this via its three-course lunch (Dh125) and dinner (Dh150) menus as part of Dubai Restaurant Week.

Dishes include potato pancakes with red caviar; buckwheat with stewed beef; porcini mushrooms and cheese mousse; and pavlova with berry sorbet and custard vanilla cream.


Popular supper club Hawkerboi, run by the eponymous and anonymous chef, opened a restaurant in The Park, Jumeirah Lakes Towers last year. A set dinner menu (Dh250) includes dishes such as chicken skewer with spiced satay and chilli vinegar, roast duck quarter, and the oh-so-yummy mango sticky rice served with a fried paratha.

From first-hand experience, a meal there among three friends cost Dh700 for five sharing dishes, making the festival price of Dh250 for three courses for one person a real steal.


DFF is also a good way for sample new restaurants in a rather crowded foodie scene. Indonesian spot Andaliman at the newly opened The Link at One&Only One Za'abeel is serving a set dinner menu (Dh350) with dishes such as pangsit sayur or Indonesian wantons and classic nasi goreng.


Also in the newcomer department is steakhouse Rare at C2, a licensed restaurant hub at City Walk. The National was the first to dine at the restaurant before it opened to public, and we can attest the meat expertise is par excellent.

For the restaurant’s debut at the festival, there is a lunch (Dh125) and dinner (Dh250) option. Dishes include heirloom tomato and peach salad, Wagyu strip loin with wasabi cream and batter crispies, and whipped burnt cheesecake.

Foodie Experiences

Eleven Green

As The National’s review noted, the home-grown restaurant offers the “best burgers in Dubai”, a tall order by all means. At the festival, the venue is offering a breakfast spread featuring American diner classics with an all-you-can-eat deal for Dh150.

Dishes include breakfast muffin with Wagyu beef, bacon bits and cheese; chorizo hash with scrambled eggs and a side of smoked labneh; and sweet treats such as classic buttermilk pancakes, sticky pecan buns and cinnamon rolls. Free-flowing coffee and orange juice are also included

Food tour in Karama and Deira

The Dubai Food Festival is not all sit down and stay put, either. There are also walking tours where food remains the main event. Karama and Deira, part of old Dubai, are often associated with authentic foodie finds.

This year Palestinian chef Haya of Haya's Kitchen will lead a three-hour food tour interspersed with stories of Levantine cuisine. The tour stops in four casual eateries, sampling classics such as felafel and kunafa. It is scheduled to take place on May 4 and costs Dh195 per person.

Girl and the Goose supper club at Couqley

Perhaps one of best meals I have had in years, the supper club by Nicaraguan chef Gabriela Chamorro is taking over French restaurant Couqley in Jumeirah Lakes Towers on May 9 and 10. The five-course menu, priced at Dh250 per person, is a multi-sensorial journey through Central America. Diners can expect dishes such as baby corn curry, green pepian ceviche and beef tacos.

Dinner and kitchen tour at 11 Woodfire

The festival is also a good opportunity for foodies to glance at the behind-the-scenes action of prominent dining spots, including Michelin-starred restaurant 11 Woodfire in Jumeirah. After the four-course menu (dish details of which have not been revealed yet), diners will be led to the back of house for an exclusive kitchen tour, getting up close with the restaurant's pit masters. There are sessions from May 5 to 12, priced at Dh375 per person.

Updated: April 18, 2024, 3:55 AM