With Dubai’s burgeoning health scene giving birth to a new wellness concept almost every month, it’s become impossible to stick to your pre-conceived notions about healthy food. Even if you were once skeptical about vegan dishes, likening them more to rabbit food than anything else, the city’s new crop of animal product-free restaurants has forced us all to accept this one simple fact: vegan food can be just as delicious.
With everything on the menu from bowls bursting with goodness to burgers, lasagnas, and even ice cream, Dubai’s top vegan restaurants deserve a spot at the top of your must-try list.
Not only is Menagarie one of the chicest casual eateries in town (the light and bright interiors are seriously on point), but it also serves up vegan food good enough to hook even the most committed meat-eater. Once sat at your sleek table, you’ll be treated to a vegan feast of dreams. The menu is brimming with mouth-watering creations that aren’t only artfully presented but also bursting with fresh, wholesome flavors so tasty it’s hard to believe they’re free from animal products or processed sugars. Some of our favorite menu items include matcha and vanilla pancakes with cashew dip, figs, and maple syrup, raw falafel on dehydrated crisp bread drizzled with tahini, raw pad thai, ‘Mac No Cheese’, and spiced lentils on toast with smashed avo, crispy kale, and homemade macadamia-nut cheese. One dish that is definitely not to be missed is the vegan chili tacos. Or the bread pudding with vegan ice cream. Or the raw salted-caramel brownies. We could go on…
Mirdif 35 Mall, Mirdif
(+971) 4 288 5004
Wild & The Moon
We are wild for Wild & The Moon. The cool Alserkal Avenue café is all high ceilings, hanging plants, and white walls with wooden accents. Here, every healthy creation is 100 percent vegan, with a strong focus on locally sourced, ethically produced, and organic-whenever-possible ingredients. The team is incredibly eco-conscious and working to be fully waste-free by 2020, not only by using recycled materials and promoting healthy agriculture and biodiversity, but by doing little things like using leftover pulp from juices and nut milks to make raw crackers. Clever.
The breakfast menu is bursting with bright, beautiful bowls, like the famous açai bowl with homemade granola, the pretty pink dragon-fruit bowl, and the hearty ‘Moon Porridge’ made with activated buckwheat, millet, and sprouted almond milk. For lunch, there’s everything from soups of the day and lentil salads to vegan curries and loaded rice noodles, perfectly accompanied by wild guac and a vegan cream cheese of dreams. Sweeten the deal with a raw apple tart or one of the creamy new vegan ice creams, and wash it all down with a matcha milk or any one of the dozens of fresh juices stocked in the fridge.
Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz
Dubai’s first organic, plant-based café, Comptoir 102, has been one of our top healthy hangouts since it opened its doors in 2012. Bringing together the best of fashion, homeware, jewelry, and natural beauty, it’s a seriously chic concept store and healthy food heaven.
Not only are the interiors here seriously dreamy (you’ll want to move in within minutes), but the food is simply phenomenal. Comptoir 102’s menu includes the likes of homemade bread topped with house-made cashew cream cheese, vegan bowls bursting with crunchy veg and protein-packed quinoa, and a vegan nut-cheese plate that will blow your mind. It also serves homemade vegan ice cream that’s not only guilt-free (it’s made sans sugar) but also packed with superfoods like matcha, curcuma, and black sesame. Ben & Jerry’s, eat your heart out.
Beach Road, Jumeirah
(+971) 4 385 4555
Life'n One Café
This hippy hotspot in the heart of Jumeirah oozes ‘omm’. Focusing on the spiritual side of wellbeing, Life’n One is all about holistic living, from the amazing array of yoga and meditation classes on offer to the chakra reading sessions and holistic life coaching. There’s a gorgeous garden, a chill-out area, and a sunny rooftop you can relax on – and, to top it all off (rather deliciously), there’s the One Café.
This eatery is known for its vegan, raw delights that include everything from juicy vegan veggie burgers, loaded baked sweet potatoes, and chickpea omelets to pecan-and-cinnamon cookies, raw donuts (yes, really), and turmeric smoothies. The raw Snickers pie is to-die-for, and the almond-milk chai latte is one of the best around. After just one hour here, you’ll feel like a better, calmer, healthier version of yourself.
Beach Road, Jumeirah
(+971) 56 534 2899
The Raw Place
You can have your cake and eat it too thanks to this raw-vegan eatery. If images of bowls filled with rabbit food come to mind, think again; at The Raw Place, you can expect delicious and wholesome dishes that range from savory meals and sweet treats to organic cold-pressed juices, chocolate almond milks, and everything in between.
The light and bright café is home to some of our favorite lunchtime go-tos, like the creamy-pesto kelp noodles, the brown rice and mushroom arancini balls with marinara dipping sauce, and the ‘Balila Salad’ with chickpeas and tahini dressing. Don’t forget to save room for dessert because the coconut parfait and raw chocolate truffles are heaven. Oh, and so is the ‘Lemonerry Cheesecake’. And the gluten-free banana bread. And the almond fudge.
A handy tip: Get there early to get your hands on the ‘Avo-Qua Bowl’. It sells out fast!
(+971) 4 330 0277
Super Natural Kichen
Hidden away on the top floor of Galeries Lafayette, this is one secret gem too good not to share. Vegan, 100 percent raw, gluten-free, preservative-free, and sugar-free, the Super Natural Kitchen ticks all the healthy boxes, and then some. Chef Athena Matheou has fused her love of travel together with her passion for vegan food to create a menu that’s as diverse as it is mouthwateringly delicious.
There are Italian-inspired dishes like the raw lasagna made of spiralized beetroot and zucchini with homemade vegan cheese or the mushroom truffle pizza, Japanese-style sushi rolls made with cauliflower rice, North Indian cashew and veggie curries, Thai ‘Tom Kha’ coconut soups, and even crispy “not duck” rolls. The raw desserts don’t disappoint either, with delicious and nutritious treats like banoffee pie, chocolate brownies, and carrot cake satisfying that sweet tooth perfectly. Make sure you check out the daily specials board before you order, as it features an ever-changing menu that will leave you wondering what to order. Our recommendation? Everything.
Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall
(+971) 4 382 7333
URTH by Nabz&G
There’s now a bustling health-food scene in JLT, with options popping up left, right, and center to satisfy all of your healthy cravings. When it comes to our favorite ones, URTH by Nabz&G definitely tops the list. With a holistic approach to eating and a focus on vegetarian, vegan, and raw cuisine, the menu is bursting with healthy, wholesome food that nourishes from the inside out.
From quinoa date salads and lemongrass Penang curries with brown rice to Buddha burgers with sweet-potato fries and yoga bowls brimming with beet hummus, quinoa, sauerkraut, and greens, there’s an impressive array of options to choose from. Not to mention the delicious desserts, which include the must-have raw chocolate chia mousse cake.
URTH by Nabz&G also offers daily meal plans and at-home catering if you want to treat your guests to some good-for-you grub.
Cluster J, JLT
(+971) 4 276 7287
Single Fin Café
Situated in the cool Surf House Dubai just a stone’s throw away from the beach is the Single Fin Café. Step off the sand and into this cool hangout to dine on a vegan feast of delights, including dishes like avo toast, vegan Buddha bowls (complete with cauliflower rice and edible flowers), waffles with berries, vegan tacos, and creamy smoothies loaded with superfoods and vegan protein. Don’t miss the best vegan grilled-cheese sandwich you’ll ever try.
While you’re there, book a surfboard, sign up for a yoga class, or catch some waves with a surf or SUP lesson.
Jumeirah Beach Road
(+971) 50 504 3020
Local restaurant has just launched its new veggie and vegan menu, and we can safely say it’s been well worth the wait. Not only does the menu make it easy to see which dishes are suitable for veggies, vegans, or those just after a dairy-free or gluten-free bite, it also offers a variety of light bites, mains, and desserts to satisfy all your culinary cravings.
Start with a crisp and refreshing watermelon salad with cucumber, red onion, blueberries, and a mint coconut citrus dressing, or opt for the bulgar and lentil soup if you’re after something a bit more warming. Every single main on the menu is vegan-friendly, allowing you to indulge in a homemade vegan burger with corn and avo salsa, a grilled garden veggie sandwich with black olive tapenade, or even a creamy cauliflower mushroom risotto with sugar snap peas, green beans, and spinach. It’s safe to say, this will become your new local.
TRYP by Wyndham Dubai
(+971) 4 247 6666