12 Of The BEST Filipino Restaurants In Dubai That Even Non-Pinoys Can't Help But Keep Going Back To
With nearly one million Filipino nationals living in the UAE, it's any wonder there's a thriving Pinoy culinary scene.
We're all already aware by now (whether you're Pinoy or not) that Filipinos are one of the kindest, most full-spirited and hard-working individuals.
Their work ethic, humility and consistent smiles are what make up the community of such optimistic people- we all can't help but want to be around that energy.
It's no wonder walking into a Filipino restaurant might make you surprised to see that there will be Emiratis, Indians and other nationalities enjoying their tapsilog or chicken adobo dishes. The food, much like the people, brings you comfort and joy.
Not to mention, it's all sorts of delicious.
So, whether you're someone looking to feel the nostalgia of being back in the Philippines or you want to try out a new cuisine, here are a couple of timeless Filipino restos you should check out around Dubai:
The name itself distincts this global franchise for what it indeed does to Filipinos, leaving them jolly. The happy bee franchise that's the Pinoy equivalent to a McDonald's decided to extend itself to the UAE in 2015, opening its first-ever branch at the Dubai Mall.
Jollibee's simple yet effective menu choices have remained a staple among Filipinos who come from all walks of life. Thankfully, the price ranges of it in the UAE has kept similar ease in our pockets as the local ones in the Philippines.
Consistency truly is key.
If you haven't tried this fast-food goodness, make sure you order yourself the Chickenjoy meal with the classic white rice and gravy sauce (the best part!).
You won't regret it.
Locations: Mall of the Emirates & The Dubai Mall
2. Tapa King
Everyone's staple breakfast, lunch or dinner dish (doesn't matter) is the Tapsilog.
The name Tapsilog is an abbreviated form of the words tapa (beef), sinangag (garlic fried rice) and itlog (egg) and guess what? That's pretty much the contents of the dish.
Don't let this seemingly peculiar mix of foods fool you though, adding in a little soy sauce or ketchup and strategically eating the egg, beef and rice altogether might change your life.
And Tapa King, whose specialities' lay within the realms of all types of tapa dishes has got your back.
Location(s): Ansar Gallery, Umm Hurair Intersection, Al Karama
3. Silog Express
Silog Express is the spot to go when you need your dose of Pinoy food quick-fix. Their dishes are simple but hearty and straight-to-the-point.
You can get tapsilog (or other silog options), the infamous pancit (pan-fried noodles) and even some halo-halo amongst other things.
Location: Al Wasl Building, Near Day To Day, Behind Fire Station, Al Karama
Although Chowking isn't the spot where you'll find your traditional savvoury Filipino dishes, it's become another staple part of the culture in its own right.
A combination of Western and Chinese dishes from this Philippine-based franchise have led to the incorporation of dimsums, crispy fried chicken, seafood and noodles in our own culture.
Try the chicken lauriat combo whenever you're around, it's a combo of everything gooooood!
5. Barrio Fiesta
Another franchise straight from the Philippines is Barrio Fiesta, and the food really is as festive as it sounds. This restaurant takes things up a notch, in terms of atmosphere and presentation of their dishes.
If you want to try some good kare-kare (oxtail stew), then this guaranteed to be the best spot to do so. Not to mention their sinigang (a staple Filipino stew must-try for any newbies)
Location: Al Mankhool Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Rd | 3rd Floor, BurJuman Centre
6. Kusina ni Nanay
The name of this restaurant is as comforting to a lot of the OFWs working here as it sounds. Kusina ni Nanay (or Momma's Kitchen) has the best nilagang baka (Filipino beef stew) in town, pefect for Dubai's cold winter nights with friends.
Location: International City
7. Goto King
Goto is a rice porridge dish that is not at all as awkward as it sounds. In fact, it's our usual go-to (haha get it) for a quick lunch or comfort food when you're sick.
And the best spot in Dubai to try it is at Goto King, fer sure.
Location: Al Satwa
8. Little Manila
One of their quotes will make this place one you'll never forget.
'A meal is not a meal unless there's rice.'
There has never been a more valid statement.
Dining at Little Manila will not only make you feel like you're in some corner resto at a beautiful area in Quezon City, but its interior like the jeepneys and bright colours will indeed remind you of home.
Locations: K6 Building, Al Muraqqabat Street, Deira or The Outlet Village
9. Gerry's Grill
Seafood haven. Calamares, crunchy squidheads, fish fingers and more.
Don't be daunted by their sound. The crisps and the sauces that go along with Gerry's Grills' dishes will have you craving for more.
We don't know about you but Max's is never the last resort when it comes to affordable yet deliciously filling chicken and rice dishes.
11. Carinderia Ni Tandang Sora
You can't not love this place. First of all, the theme of the entire restaurant is dedicated to honour the Filipinos who work so hard in today's generation. Bringing in the aspect of a 'carinderia' (eatery), the very word itself is associated with the foodie culture of the Pinoys and the resto does just that.
It reminds you of how it feels to be back home, authentic and truly serene.
Location: Deira City Centre Area, Shop 21, Centurion Star Tower, Al Etihad Road
12. Manila Grill
Located at the Asiana Hotel, wherein a lot of other Pinoy resto-bars lay, is Manila Grill.
The perfect spot to have some grilled, barbecued meat and to celebrate birthdays, dinners and whatever else you have to be appreciative towards.
Recommended dishes: The Filipino Street Food corner, a boodle fight (eating with your hands while dishes are on banana leafs, yum!).
Location: Asiana Hotel, near Reef Mall