The Top 10 Places To Get A Guilt Free Lunch In Dubai
And no...they're not all salads
Another day and another half an hour (at least) spent pondering what to order for lunch. Oh, hang on you're actually meeting a mate out of the office for a bite to eat, but where to go? There's so much choice in Dubai...add the fact you're being super healthy into the equation...and your brain is ready to explode.
Well, hold onto your head for a minute there, because we might just have the answers you're after. And no, we're not talking about those lazy excuses for salads, the ones full of spiky leaves and a few bits of chicken thrown in to make the box feel a bit heavier. We're after proper hearty lunches that tick both the health and taste boxes.
Look no further...here's our top ten healthy options to munch at lunch...
Often mistaken as just a place for 'diet food' Kcal is actually a great option when it comes to a healthy and tasty lunch. With the brand's bestsellers including the Chipotle Chicken Salad, the Vietnamese Chicken Spring Rolls and the Carrot, Coriander And Chicken Soup. Don't worry, they do veggie options and other meats too, try the Quinoa, Avocado And Sweet Potato Salad or the Red Beef Curry. Want a treat? Go for the super healthy burgers and don't miss out on the Chocolate Banana Squares, a bargain at AED 10 each. Prices in general are reasonable, around the AED 28 to AED 50 mark.
Kcal promise that "Each dish is calorie-controlled with the perfect combination of energising carbs, complete proteins, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals."
They deliver all over or visit one of their eateries for a sit in meal. Try Gourmet by Kcal which has recently opened in Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, the menu is posher than your normal Kcal, try the Veggie Lasagna or the Thai crab cakes for size...wash it down with a glass of wine if your health streak is being tested!
Homegrown Soullfull is a health food concept that started life in Abu Dhabi but now has four restaurants spread across the capital and Dubai (DIFC). All the dishes are made from locally sourced food, their packaging is environmentally friendly and they give away unsold food to charity at the end of each day...all this makes you feel good before you've even tried the food.
But try the food you must. We would suggest the Salmon Nicoise salad, the Quinoa Biryani or the Yakisoba noddles with a choice of chicken or veal. In fact...pretty much everything on the menu will get your mouthwatering, wash down with a healthy mango strawberry cocktail.
Prices vary at around AED 25 to AED 59, and the menu has a points system, so you can see how healthy your meal is in comparison to other dishes.
8. 77 Veggie Boutique
If you fancy being super healthy and don't mind vegan food (why would you?) then 77 Veggie is for you. Their mantra is "no freezers and fryers used" which makes us want to use the thumbs up emoji every time we read it. Like Kcal, they offer a monthly food plan, but you can side step that and just get yourself some lunch, by either popping into the JLT eatery or ordering online. Give the Petit Paneer Platter or the Spinach Jacket Wrap a whirl, and whatever happens...don't miss out on the Vegan Chocolate Cake!
Prices are around AED 40 for a main dish, with desserts around AED 14...and they come highly recommended!
7. The Salad Jar
If like us, your lunch needs to be as Insta friendly as it is healthy...look no further than The Salad Jar, with its ridiculously pretty presentation. The concept is pretty simple really: Cool plastic jar filled with healthy ingredients piled on top of each other...but done in a way that makes the jar look incredible and the food taste equally amazing.
Prices start at AED 35 for a regular jar and you can pop onto the website to get the nutritional breakdown of each jar. The honest truth is we can't fault any of them, but have a particular soft spot for the 100% gluten free 'Mango Tango' with its edamame, snow pea, chickpea, raisins, red pepper, carrot, cucumber and cabbage combo, (we add our own tuna for a added protein boost).
note: they don't deliver on Friday or Saturday.
6. Chez Sushi
Not into salads, soups and wraps...this one is for you. Chez Sushi...already masters at what they do, have jumped onto the health bandwagon by introducing a number of items that make you feel good about calling them for your lunch.
Choose from rice-less sushi, prepared with salmon or tuna, brown rice sushi, a variety of salads and add in a portion of superfood edamame instead of your usual snack.
Finish off with a delicious traditional Japanese moshi ice cream, flavours include green tea, chocolate, mango, strawberry and vanilla..one scoop will set you back about 56 calories.
Pop into the Al Wasl Road, Dubai Marina or Arabian Ranches eateries or order on line, expect to spend around AED 60.
Heat is all about good food that's healthy but feels naughty, it's situated on Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 2 and even the name is an acronym for Healthy Eats and Treats.
They sell themselves as serving up "classic southern California inspired dishes with a conscious approach to reducing calories, sugars and fats as much as possible while retaining full flavours". Well, they've achieved exactly what they set out to. Don't believe us? Order in the avocado skewers (with steak or chicken) and weep tears of joy. There's burgers, salads, pasta and best of all, there's pizza...you heard right! Choose off the menu or design you own.
Prices are around AED 40 for a main. Healthy will never sound boring again.
If you love a salad and you haven't been to Sophie's, get yourself on The Palm immediately and head to this deli style restaurant under Riva Beach Club. We're yet to walk past this place without dropping in to stare (and sniff) at the amazing array of salads, pastas and sweet treats on offer. They have over 20 salads on rotation, so it's pot luck what's available on the day. Every ingredient imaginable from quinoa, mushrooms and beetroot to apples and brussel sprouts make an appearance. Our particlaur fave is the 'Lots O Vege Salad' with barley, carrot, green peas, roasted sweet potato, saute spinach and pumpkin seeds. They don't deliver but it's worth a visit to sit and dine opposite one of the best florists in Dubai or just to grab a salad to go. Expect to pay around AED 40 but bring some spare cash for the carrot cake...not to be missed!
Hidden away in Cluster P of JLT is this gem, pop in and sit in the sun while you tuck into a healthy salad or order to enjoy at home. The beauty of Mantoushe is that the ingredients are incredible but if you don't fancy anything on the menu (you'd be hard pushed not to), there's a create your own option...so you can eat as clean as you want.
Shout out goes to the 'Steakmouse' wrap, with Steak, Hummos, Spicy Potato, Roasted Pine Nuts, Tomato Slices and Roasted Garlic Sauce, AED 34 for the whole thing or AED 17 for the 'mini' half portion, and the 'Tuna Up' with Tuna, Corn, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Salsa, Parsley, Squeezed Lemon costing AED 24 or AED 12 for mini. Less healthy but impossible to avoid are the sweet pepper fries, they're fried but totally delicious!
Anyone who has tried Richy's will know that this place is the king of salads. Why? Because you can make your own exactly as you want it, if you don't like it...it's your own fault! Pick two bases, six fillers, a protein and then a sauce of your choice. They don't bulk out with leaves and the portions are huge, even for the regular size, expect to pay around AED 45.
If you're not sure what to put in your salad there are some readymade options to choose from but personally, we recommend our 'Lovin special' of quinoa, pasta, avocado, cherry toms, artichoke hearts, black beans, peppers, with tuna steak and pesto sauce (on the side).
There's branches in Al Barsha and JLT but they deliver all over...we highly recommended it, order online for the easy 'make your own salad' option.
1. The Fit Food Kitchen
This list is full of the places we use for lunch day in, day out, so, to get the number one spot is quite the accolade. But there was no contest about the winner. We've been raving about The Fit Food Kitchen since we accidentally stumbled across it, hidden away in cluster J in JLT (which seems to be the home of healthy lunches).
Choose from salads, omelettes, burgers, wraps, pasta and main courses like grilled shrimps and grilled beef and veggies.
So, why is it so good? Firstly, because it really is healthy, each dish has the exact grams of protein, fat and carb indicated under it...so you can make an informed decision. There's the option to upgrade to protein wraps or bread, and to add low-fat cheeses if that's your thing.
It's a lovely little place to have a seat and enjoy your lunch or order in if you don't want to make the journey.
Our favourites include the Smoked Salmon Wrap, the Fit Food Chicken Burger and the Grilled Halloumi Salad. Prices start from around AED 30 for a wrap or burger and add ons include healthy juices, sweet potato fries and milkshakes.
Give it a try...you won't be disappointed!