Answers from Our Experts (1)
From going upscale and eating like the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to mingling with locals over authentic Middle Eastern fare in a casual setting, these are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for five of the best places to eat in Abu Dhabi:
1. Mezlai. Opened in 2010, the Emirates Palace’s Mezlai is one of the city’s few restaurants offering authentic Emirati cuisine. We swooned over our roasted lamb shoulder entrée, while the traditional shebab, which resemble pancakes and are topped with cinnamon and saffron, is a highly recommended dessert.
2. Nolu’s Café. If it’s good enough for the Crown Prince, it’s good enough for us. We can easily see why Nolu’s Café, located in the city’s Al Bandar area, is a favored spot of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is often seen dining at this spacious café with his family and entourage. The menu is littered with an eclectic mix of sandwiches, salads, burgers and Afghani dishes, and the sea views from the dining room are stunning.
3. Pearls & Caviar. A Western-Oriental fusion restaurant located at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Pearls & Caviar serves mouthwatering seafood, including highly recommended Scottish oysters and Chilean sea bass. Ask for a table on the terrace, where you’ll enjoy spectacular views of imposing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
4. Zyara. This homey Lebanese restaurant, with its low Arabian-style seating and bohemian décor, serves authentic cuisine in a casual, totally unique setting. Pick and choose whatever sounds appealing from a long list of tapas-like platters called meze, but be sure to include some fried cauliflower in your order.
5. Indigo. Abu Dhabi has a number of good Indian restaurants thanks to the influential presence of a growing South Asian expat community, and we feel Indigo, which is located at the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi hotel, is the best of the bunch. You can’t go wrong with just about anything on the menu, but the dal makhani, a buttery dish made with black lentils, is particularly delish.