Taking into consideration how international Dubai is, one wouldn’t be surprised with the versatility of its cuisine scene.
From French to Indian to Chinese and Japanese, your options are endless.
But local fast-food restaurants are also on the rise. And chai karaks (sweet tea with milk and cardamom) and rigags (the Oriental version of crepes) – delicacies that were virtually unknown outside the sphere of Emirati homes – are now being widely offered in various restaurants.
Here are a few good options if you’d like an introduction to Emirati snacks:
- Logma restaurant at BoxPark
Located in BoxPark opposite Al Safa Park in Al Wasel road, Logma is one of those outlets that combines traditional Emirati food with flavors of contemporary Dubai.
Logma offers rigag served with eggs, cheese, and zaatar (22 dhs/$6,) in addition to other Emirati food like the baked khameer bread and chebab pancakes within the same price range.
You will also find a selection of lugaimat – fried dough balls with date syrup and sesame, and they’ll only set you back around 35 dhs/$9.50. Wash them down with some chai karak for just 12 dhs/$3.27 afterward.
- Al Fanar Restaurant and Café at Canal Walk
Al Fanar was among the first restaurants to dedicate its entire menu to local food. Its location near the Canal Walk at Dubai Festival City Mall makes it closer to the older parts of the city and the airport area.
The menu includes several choices of rigag, ranging from plain-flavored (20 dhs/$5.45,) to ones with additional flavors like cheese (27 dhs/$7.35,) cheese and honey (29 dhs/$7.90,) and fried eggs (32 dhs/$8.71.)
Lugaimat is also offered (24 dhs/$6.53) along with chai karak (12 dhs/$3.27.)
- Sikka Café at City Walk
Sikka Café offers more than just Emirati food. The setting with its wooden furniture and beautiful tiles takes you back to simpler times.
Located in the fancy area of City Walk, the café serves traditional breakfast with rigag and your choice of a side dish (24 dhs/$6.53). Lugaimat (20 dhs/$5.45) and chai karak (12 dhs/$3.27) are also on the menu.
- Karak and Rigag at Umm Suqeim
Previously known as ‘The Tea Cup,’ Karak and Rigag probably offers the widest selection of rigag in Dubai.
From the conventional plain-flavored, cheese, and zaatar rigags (7 dhs/$2) to the more experimental meshawi, vegetable, Oman chips, lotus, and hot-dog (10-15 dhs/$2.72-$4).
The wide selection extends to the chai karak, which may be plain (4 dhs/$1) or with ginger and zaatar (10 dhs/$2.72).
- HumYum at Umm Suqeim
HumYum is located on the Umm Suqeim area of Jumeirah Beach road and offers a wide selection of rigags for as cheap as 2dhs ($0.54) for a plain one, all the way to 22 dhs ($6) for more complex ones like the ‘Dynamite Rigag’.
Karak chai, karak saffron, and karak ginger cost around 3-5 dhs ($0.82-$1.36) and fresh juices some 20 dhs ($5.45.)
- Al Jalboot at Umm Suqeim
Located near the beach, Al Jalboot offers rigag-based breakfast meals including eggs, cheese, tomatoes as well as chai karak (30dhs/$8.17) and lugaimat dessert (20 dhs/$5.45.)
- Tent Jumeirah Restaurant
The soft sands of Jumeirah Beach are home to Tent Jumeriah Restaurant. Designed like a boat, with a steering wheel, fish nets, and everything in between, the beach restaurant offers a unique, relaxing experience.
Here, you can enjoy your chai karak (5 dhs.$1.35) and rRigag (8dhs/$2.18) while watching the sunset and the calm Gulf waters over the horizon.
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