If you’re planning a trip to Dubai and wondering what’s on the menu, we’ve got you covered from breakfast to dessert. And you’re in for a mouthwatering extravaganza. Meat, fish, and rice are the backbone Emirati cuisine, particularly lamb and chicken. But they’re also very generous with the herbs and spices, which should be very pleasing to the palate of those looking for deep flavor. Even if you’re not a foodie, you’re probably going to have a fave dish by the end of your vacation. Looking for the best local food in Dubai? Here are eight options.

1. Manousheh


Craving pizza for breakfast? Say less. Manousheh is a flatbread topped with minced lamb, cheese, zaatar herbs, and olive oil. It’s the ultimate street food in Dubai that doubles as a delectable morning meal.

2. Al Harees


It doesn’t get more traditional in Dubai than Al Harees. The savory porridge starts by boiling wheat in lightly salted water for a few hours before adding chicken or lamb and cooking for at least four more hours—minimum.

The meal is more than worth the wait. You will find it at moments of celebration like family gatherings or national and religious holidays, especially the Holy Month of Ramadan

3. Luqaimat


During the month of Ramadan, the most popular dessert is a bowl of small deep-fried dumplings called luqaimat. The sweet treat is made from flour, butter, milk, sugar, saffron, and cardamom. And much like Pringles, once you pop one of these into your mouth, you won’t be able to stop.

4. Al Machboos


Al Machboos is a rice-based dish also known as kabsa. It’s made with basmati rice and meat cooked in a mélange of spices. Chicken and lamb are both popular options for protein, and it’s best enjoyed with salad and yogurt raita.

5. Madrouba


Rice is a popular grain in Dubai cuisine, but it doesn’t always appear as a fluffy bowl of fragrant jasmine or basmati. In the case of Madrouba, it is chicken, rice, and various seasonings reduced to a porridge consistency.

6. Ghuzi


Ghuzi (Oozie, Khuzi, Ouzi) is a celebratory Emirati meal that is especially important during Ramadan. After a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, the rice and meat dish can typically be found at the table as Muslims prepare to break the fast.

7. Balaleet


This sweet and savory dish is a popular breakfast option. Balaleet consists of vermicelli pasta sweetened with sugar, cardamom, rose water and saffron. It’s served with an egg omelette and occasionally sautéed onions or potatoes.

8. Tharid


Tharid is a hearty meat and vegetable stew ladled over flatbread. It’s sometimes referred to as the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite dish and is usually consumed during the holy month of Ramadan.