We’re sure you could rattle off all the international burger franchises that have set up shop here in Dubai and saturate the food scene, but where’s the fun in that? So, we’ve dug up the best homegrown burger places in Dubai. These indie joints strips the junk food of its bad rep and dresses it up in gourmet goodness.
Disclaimer: Impulse orders might be placed after reading this article and diets might get cheated on. Drool on with our guide to the best homegrown burger places in Dubai!
When Amal Al Marri and Deem Al Bassam launched Dubai’s first food truck, a vintage silver Airstream trailer on the sands of Kite Beach, little did Dubai’s foodies know that this would become a cult hit for burgers. Salt’s grilled-to-perfection wagyu beef sliders and uniquely local twist on mini chicken burgers are what put them on the city’s culinary map and long queues snaking down Kite Beach.
Succulent chicken patties slathered with cheese and a generous smattering of crunchy Cheetos skyrocketed the burger brand to viral success. In the UAE, we like chips in our food and Salt got that correct right off the bat. Today, they have sit-down restaurants across the country, including La Mer, and their pop-up camps are a gourmet delight of savoury and sugary bites and eclectic photobooths.
Location: Find Salt outlets across Dubai here
2. High Joint
The trick to being the talk of the town is this: be an unassuming teeny little cafeteria-style restaurant squeezed between other streetside eateries and the neighbourhood mosque on Al Manara road in Jumeirah that slings world-class burgers made of Angus beef and indulgent ingredients such as provolone cheese and truffle mayo.
This hidden gem started off as a tiny kitchen with just two cooks in 2018 flipping juicy beef patties doused in clever, original sauces. Soon, those burgers captured the imaginations of not just diners in Dubai, but across the world too (it won the Hellman’s Burger Award 2019). And all that through word of mouth!
On weekends, it’s hard to find a table in the curbside seating area, and wait times run into hours. But the classics like High Jamz, with dollops of delicious in-house jam of slow-cooked onions and bacon, and the Millionaire High (provolone cheese, tempura Portobello Mushroom) are worth the wait. Keep your eyes peeled for their secret menu that pops up on Instagram every 6-8 weeks and vanishes just as quickly.
Location: Find High Joint outlets at Al Manara and Khawaneej
You know how the very thought of briny pickles makes your mouth water? That’s pretty much the reaction every burger from this JLT-born brand elicits. Their menus are lean with just 10 burgers, but those 10 are loaded with deliciousness – think slabs of juicy patties smooshed between fluffy potato buns and the eponymous pickles. Generous lashings of the acidic, tangy green stuff, to cut through the juicy fattiness of the burger.
It’s their stacked chicken sando, however, that has the city’s foodies salivating for more. You’ll be biting into a crunchy chunk of chicken breast, slathered with a secret sauce called the ‘comeback sauce’ that’ll have you coming back for more and of course, pickles. Combined with their quirky celebrity obsession (their secret spice is named after Jeff Goldblum), innovative monthly specials, vegan Impossible Burgers, and uniquely UAE sides such as the Vimto Shake, it’s easy to see why Pickl outlets have been mushrooming across the UAE and neighbhouring countries, but also the metaverse.
PS: Pickl’s sandwiches and burgers are seriously stacked, so there’s a minor danger of unhinging your jaw while scarfing down one of these monster burgers. We say the risk is worth the payoff.
Locations: Find Pickl outlets across Dubai here
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4. Brd by Slab
Burgers are usually the dominion of beef patties, not at Brd by Slab. They’ve dropped the vowel ‘i’ but the vowels you’ll be dropping with every mouthful of their chicken burgers are ‘aaaaaa’ and ‘ooooo’. Now that we’ve established just how delicious these crispy fried chicken burgers are known to be, we’d like to draw your attention to the other reasons that make this homegrown burger joint one your tastebuds will thank you for.
The loaded Yard Fries are one; crispy cuts of fried potatoes soused in cheese and ranch sauce, shavings of chicken tenders and bacon bits, and a smattering of pickles and jalapenos.
The aahs and oohs could also be a reaction to their spiciness if you’re ordering the insanely hot Nashville sando or hot mayo-infused Insanity sando and are not one to chicken out when it comes to fiery food. Brd’s the brainchild of chef Omar Rodriguez, the man behind La Mer restaurant SLAB that’s known for its gimmick-free approach to gourmet food and true to that approach the humble bird takes a grand culinary flight at this casual chicken restaurant.
Location: Find Brd by Slab at Al Safa Park Complex, Building 11, Shop No. 1 – Al Safa 2, Dubai
5. Good Burger
Birthed in the kitchen of JLT-based Maiz Tacos, this Dubai-native burger restaurant is one of the good uns. The Original Good Burger, an All-American no-nonsense classic cheeseburger blend of delicious Angus patty, potato roll with butter, lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, cheese, and special sauce hit quickly had the tongues of Dubai gourmands wagging and paved the way for more.
The menu sticks to the simple recipe that worked but has now expanded to include additional beef burger options including a tongue-in-cheek truffle aioli one called ‘Boujie Burger’ and a custom burger option that allows you to build your own creation.
Like any good burger place worth its meat, they go beyond beef and have included vegan burgers on their menu as well as mastered the chicken sando trend. The buttermilk fried chicken is to-die-for but don’t kick the bucket before you’ve stuffed your gob with their array of gooey, loaded fries crammed with deadly good fixings.
Location: Find Good Burger at JLT Lakeshore Tower Cluster Y, Lower level Shop B10, inside Maiz Tacos
6. She Burger
Sheikha Eissa’s homegrown burger outlet’s delicious nosh has floored even H.H Sheikh Hamadan. The business that was a foodie’s secret and ran out of a home kitchen in Mirdiff is now has an ardent following on social media and long queues of hungry patrons waiting patiently for the burger brands monstrous fries, shakes and signature burgers. And to think it all started one evening when Sheikha Eissa flipped out a few burgers for her brother and his friends is now spread its wings internationally to Riyadh…!
Location: Dar Wasal Mall – Al Wasl – Dubai