11 Of The BEST Salads You Can Eat In Dubai Right Now
Because it's January and that means pretending to be healthy...
We've done 10 days of being healthy...with the odd Twix here and there. Christmas day binge feels like a distant memory and the new daily gym routine is getting a little laborious.
BUT WAIT...Before you fall off the 'be good' bandwagon and give in to the beastly temptations of Mars bars and Monster Munch, we need to tell you about the damn good salad options out there.
These are (mostly) healthy, totally delicious and all right here in Dubai. Have we forgotten your favourite? Let us know in the comments.
11. Friends Avenue – Cluster T, JLT
This spot sits right next to the Lovin' office, so it's fair to say we spoil ourselves with treats from here a little too often. The lentil and bacon salad makes our list because as well as being delicious, it happens to be super filling too. If you have one for lunch you'll make it past the 4 o'clock slump without legging it to the nearest shop for a Snickers...winning! Along with the puy lentils, it's filled with beef bacon, red onion, yellow capsicum, baby rucola, roasted cherry tomatoes, and Portobello mushroom chips.
How much? AED 27
10. Cafe Bateel – Various locations
Love avocado? Then you'll love this seriously yummy avocado salad from this food spot in Media City. And with Cafe Bateel based in 12 different outlets around the city, you'll never be too far from your nearest avo fix. The salad is slightly heavy on the dressing so it's not the healthiest in the world (ask for it on the side) but it's truly delicious. It comes with mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing...Get it with chicken for a more substantial meal.
How much? AED 57
9. The Sum Of Us – Trade Centre Area
This spot still feels like a hidden gem in comparison to sister restaurants 'Tom & Serg' (Al Quoz) and 'Common Grounds' (MOE)...yet it still fills up on weekends; so go early and enjoy some of the city's best coffee while you choose your main course. Too lazy to pick? Go with our recommendation of the gluten free harissa chicken salad; roasted harissa marinated chicken legs, pulled off the bone, served with hummus, lettuce, cucumber, radish, tomato, coriander and parsley then topped with garlic yoghurt, pickled red cabbage and carrot. If you feel like a January treat, do not leave here without trying one of their cronuts.
How much? AED 52
8. Tashas – Al Wasl Road, Al Safa
We love this South African restaurant for it's huge menu and chic, modern decor...but mostly because their extensive and original salad menu will have you actually wanting to eat your greens. If you feel like playing it safe, go for their Caesar salad; the addition of cucumber and anchovies makes it that little bit extra special. Or, go for our particular favourite; the butternut squash salad; roasted butternut served on a bed of greens, with oven roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, avocado and a choice of feta or goat's cheese. These are so good; they probably would have ranked higher, but we think they're a little on the pricey side.
How much? Half portion AED 76. Full portion AED 100
7. Social House – Dubai Mall
With so many great restaurants in this relatively small area, you could be forgiven for passing Social House off as another average chain restaurant...if that is the case you would miss out on one very tasty salad dish. Definitely not the healthiest salad on this list, but it's mouth-wateringly good, so honestly, we really couldn't care less. The popcorn shrimp salad comes with mushrooms, mayo and apple dressing.
How much? AED 49
6. Vapiano – Dubai Media City and Dubai Mall
This Euro-chic restaurant offers up some great quality and custom-made (if you want) salads in minutes. We love the open-plan kitchen and fast-food style service, (when your lunch break is short you need your food fast right?) but this is also a great place to come on a Saturday and sit outside. Can't choose a custom salad? Go with the Greek salad; mixed leaves, aromatic feta cheese, black olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and red onion, and homemade Rocket-mustard dressing.
How much? AED 38
5. Mayrig – Mohamad Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown
It would be wrong to come here and only order one salad; so please, do the menu a service and, in traditional Armenian style (it's an authentic Armenian restaurant) order a couple of different dishes. These salads are simple, fresh ingredients put together nicely; choose the eggplant salad which comes with grilled aubergine with ripe tomatoes and go for the tabbouleh too. You'll probably go on to order more courses but for fresh, light starters, these are your best bet.
How much? AED 29 for each
4. Richy's – Cluster F, Jumeirah Lake Towers
If there was a prize for best salad bar in Dubai, it might well go to this place. The options to fill your salad with are (nearly) endless, but if choosing what goes into your salad is just too difficult, then go for one of their signature salads. We loved the crispy sombrero salad which is loaded with iceberg lettuce, black beans, avocado, cilantro, spring onions, sweetcorn, cheddar, tortilla crisps, chicken breast and chimichurri dressing. This is a great spot for lunch takeaways, particularly if you work in the JLT area.
How much? Half portion AED 36. Full portion AED 45
3. Urban Bistro – CNN Building, Dubai Media City
The best part about this spot is you don't feel hard-done-by when you leave the rest of the menu behind and order a salad at this hip, urban (sorry) food joint. Well you might do initially but as soon as your amazing salad arrives, all will be well with the world. We love the charred zucchini and burrata salad; red onion sweet peppers, arugula, candied seeds, pesto and Parmesan; it looks and tastes absolutely phenomenal.
How much? AED 62
2. Omnia Gourmet – Jumeirah Road
Too hot to eat outside? You feel like you're sitting in a secret indoor garden at this sweet spot; we love the decor and the cosy atmosphere here, but the food is the real winner. The produce is local and organic so it ticks all the right boxes if you're eating clean. We recommend the organic quinoa salad which comes with roasted red peppers, carmelised onion jams, edamame beans and lemon-cumin. Keep some room for dessert too; with raw, vegan, paleo, sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free options, you'll definitely find a suitable (sin-free) dessert to suit you.
How much? AED 49
1. Circle Cafe – Various locations
The best salad in Dubai? You would be hard pushed to find someone who isn't a fan of Circle Cafe in these parts. With seven outlets around the city, most people have been lucky enough to try their salads...the real issue was picking the ULTIMATE favourite. After extensive debate, the award goes to their pumpkin salad; mixed lettuce, roasted pumpkin, sundried tomatoes, goat's cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocca and pine nuts topped with some seriously addictive pesto dressing. Simple, healthy, delicious...Lovin' it.
How much? Pumpkin salad AED 46