Abd El Wahab
Souq Al Bahar, Downtown
Although Abd El Wahab is technically located inside shopping mall Souk Al Bahar, don’t expect it to be a typical mall-dining experience—with a large terrace and views of the surrounding city and man-made lake, having a meal there is actually quite relaxed. They serve excellent iterations of the classics in a wide-ranging menu: think perfect tabbouleh, hummus, grilled meats, and vegetables served in myriad ways with ample fresh, warm bread.
Dubai Mall, Downtown
Founded by the same owners of the successful café Salt on Kite Beach, Parker's began as a social media-fueled pop-up concept that quickly gained traction around town. Here's the quirk: to eat at Parker's you need a special key, which are hidden across Dubai (by "Mr. Parker"). Fans who buy into the hype follow clues posted on Parker's Instagram/Snapchat handles to track one down. Once you're in, the menu really caters to a sweet tooth; particular attention is paid to inventive desserts while other menu specials include things like a crispy chicken potato sandwich with fries inside.