Dubai’s no stranger to trailblazing architecture. From show-stopping hotels built by luminaries like Zaha Hadid to museums that defy gravity, our city is a treasure trove of drop-dead gorgeous spaces. Even our restaurants are top of the class when it comes to looking like a million bucks (sometimes with a price tag to match). If it’s what’s on the inside that counts, then these beautiful restaurants in Dubai are the ultimate culinary catches. With dreamy interior designs matched by marvellous menus, all so achingly aesthetic that the line ‘what’s cookin’ good lookin’ is perfectly acceptable.
1 . Papa Dubai
Don’t just take our word for it. This Business Bay spot at the V Hotel is so sumptuously designed, its 9-different-themed-bars-under-one-roof concept won hearts and accolades at the 2022 World Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. Officially one of the most beautiful restaurants in the Middle East, each of this 12,000 ft eatery’s 9 different spaces are inspired by iconic drinks and the countries/regions they originate from. You’ll saunter through sugar skull-bedecked Tequila Road and Sake Allery featuring Japan’s wood art and ink-wash paintings all in one breath. A delectable menu of good-looking Peruvian dishes unites them all.
Say ‘yellow’ to this citrussy explosion of an Italian restaurant on The Pointe before the destination shuts down. This trattoria steals the limelight with thousands of faux lemons hanging from the ceilings to recreate Amalfi Coast’s famed lemon groves. Its over-the-top archways and cobalt blue mirrors and accents are created solely for selfies. Mura’s zesty energy is also reflected in the live tarantella dancers and the food – gorgeously plated langoustine, veal ragu pappardelle, handmade pizzas and a hyperreal lemon-shaped sorbet will have you blowing chef’s kisses. Provided your hands are ever free from clicking pictures.
This Beirut-born underground restaurant and lounge’s Dubai iteration is a steampunk rockstar that grabbed eyeballs with half a biplane hanging over the bar. Edgy industrial details are married to modern opulence here. LED archways resembling brass tacks, compass-like clocks, chandeliers that look like candelabras and velvet upholstery blend seamlessly to create retro-futuristic vibes. Sci-fi precision finds its way into gloriously engineered cocktails poured into metal buckets and topped by ice cubes embossed with Amelia’s logo. The Peruvian-Nikkei dishes like hamachi and black cod are too pretty to eat but too delicious to not devour.
4. Gallery 7/40
This Spanish-Greek restaurant on Palm West Beach puts the art in culinary arts. There’s a stunning mosaic-tiled bar you’ll want to pose against for multiple pictures. Plus, a stairway bannister resembling intertwined tree branches, curvy ceilings and flowy furniture inspired by Antoni Gaudi’s architectural style. These features make this art gallery-themed eatery a shoo-in for the beautiful restaurants in Dubai list. Besides, creative cocktails here combine the artistry of mixology with fine arts. Drinks such as ‘Refresca de Frida’, ‘Camille’ and ‘The Kiss’ lets you literally drink in the beauty of paintings by Frida Kahlo, Camille Pissarro and Gustav Klimt.
5. Vibe Cafe
Millennial pink on steroids sprinkled with a generous dose of Miami’s neon-cool vibes would be one way to describe this cafe and restaurant. Another would be it’s Drake’s – yes, rapper Drizzy of Hotline Bling and One Dance – favourite restaurants in Dubai. You’d never think this unapologetically rose, fuschia (*insert synonym of pink*) eatery would be Champagnepapi’s cup of tea, eh? But it is. And it’s also the toast of the town on Dubai foodies’ Instagram feeds. Thanks to delicious, plant-based dishes with borderline risque tongue-in-cheek names such as ‘Taco Dirty To Me’.
6. En Fuego
Like its name hints, this Latin American restaurant in Atlantis The Palm is straight-up fire. The carnival-themed decor is a circus of colours. Acid oranges, bold blues and leafy greens are backgrounds for sugar-skull patterns, carousel-style signage and a classic car on the ceiling! There is a poetic order to the chaos and what could be clutter is flamboyantly atmospheric. The ambience is a party for the sense just like the restaurant’s samba parties with dancers and musicians and fire performers. Beautifully presented tacos, desserts served in skull dishes and cocktails poured out of a fighting bull keep the eclectic elegance going.
7. Sushi Samba
This international hotspot has tongues wagging since its opening in 2021. Not just because of the thrilling trifecta of cuisines it serves – Brazilian-Japanese-Peruvian, but also for the spectacular design. Dizzying 360-degree vistas of Palm Jumeirah await diners at this 51st-floor restaurant’s tilted windows. However, you’d be forgiven for not looking outside. The 3D-printed ceiling installation of woodwork, the living wall of plants, central open kitchen with a robata grill and sushi bar and fiery decor in splashes of red and orange are simply mesmerising. Equally captivating are the artfully composed sushi and dessert platters and vividly garnished cocktails.