This casual Mexican doesn’t rely on stylish décor or fancy gimmicks to attract its customers, not when it produces some of the finest burritos that the capital has to offer. You could be forgiven for walking past this Al Khalidiya outlet without realising it’s there, but that’s part of the charm. Our go-to order is a 12-inch pulled beef burrito with zesty black beans, coriander lime rice, medium hot salsa, guacamole and aged white cheddar, but whatever you go for, it will be brilliant. Plus, even though we know we’ve raved about them before, there are few things better in the world than the avocado fritas, featuring silky green fruit encased in a light batter and served with a variety of spicy salsa dips.
Zayed the First Street, Al Khalidiya (02 309 3911).
This unassuming Ethiopian eatery is a wonderful introduction to this very tasty cuisine. The portions are huge, with most dishes based around stews and curries served on top of injera, a traditional sourdough bread. Order a Bonna Annee special and you’ll be treated to a sample of each house signature dish, or the staff will happily explain what everything is on the rest of the menu and help you decide what to go for. The gomen be sega is another winner, consisting of delicious beef cubes with sautéed collards, onions, garlic and ginger. You’ll be coming back here time and time again, which is why it won our Best Budget Restaurant award in 2018.
Al Salam Street, Al Zahiya (02 491 2128).
Panda Bao Bao
We’re obsessed with the cute panda theme of this Chinese restaurant. Everything from the bowls to the spoons are covered in images of the cuddly creatures, and it’s a great spot for families and kids of all ages. The dishes are truly authentic, too, with traditional favourites like dim sum boasting a variety of fillings, noodles, congee and desserts such as Sichuan ice jelly. It’s great fun.
Hazza Bin Zayed The First Street, Al Dhafra (055 512 7461).
Egg Shack Café
You might guess from the name but this cosy restaurant is a master when it comes to eggs serving them up ways you had never even considered. The casual and bright dining room is great place to catch with a friend and feast on all the egg dishes you know and love plus a few you’ve never tried before all for a great prices.
Daily 7.30am-5.30pm. Egg Shack Café, Al Mushrif (02 666 4141).
Authentic Korean restaurants can be hard to find but Hankook could easily slot into the street of Seoul. With private rooms where you can eat traditionally by sitting over floor and a host of cook-it-yourself barbecue, noodles, soup. Kim bap and kimchi, all at reasonable prices, it’s a foodies dream.
Daily 11am-2.30pm, 5pm-11pm. Hankook Korean, Hazza Bin Zayed the First Street, Al Nayhan (02 642 3399).
Don’t be fooled by the slightly dated décor, this is a top notch spot for great Indian food and the options are endless with a massive menu. Once you decide what to have you’re in for a treat with some of the best and most affordable Indian food in the city that will have you leaving with a full stomach and a happy bank balance.
Sat-Thu noon-midnight, Fri 1pm-12.30am. Lazeez, next to National Cinema, Al Markaziyah (02 677 7070).
It’s one of the most popular chains in the capital and with so many convenient locations and affordable prices there’s little surprise there. The food is great for some grab-and-go Lebanese, the shawarma among the best in the city and there’s plenty of space for a sit down meal too if you’re in no rush.
Daily 8am-2pm. Lebanese Flower, Al Muroor Road (02 448 8130).
Pizza Di Rocco
There’s a lot to love about Pizza Di Rocco and its cosy location in Al Zahiya. The décor is charming and not your usual clichéd Italian venue and you can watch as fresh pies are lovingly put together and cooked to perfection in the busy pizza oven. Arriving at the table piping hot, with a thin and perfect crust, it doesn’t get better than this.
Daily 11am-midnight. Pizza Di Rocco, Al Dhafra (02 885 3222).
There’s an argument to be made that the very best Indian dishes are vegetarian and at Salam Bombay you’ll understand why. The vegetarian restaurant serves up some of the most authentic Indian food in the city and with a wealth of vegetables, spices and variations you’ll be well fed and it won’t cost you a fortune for the pleasure.
Daily 8am-11,30pm. Salam Bombay, Al Muroor Road (02 677 7076).
It may not look all that much from the outside but this unassuming restaurant is a staple for foodies in Abu Dhabi. With some of the greatest karak in the city, this petite café is also a great spot for a breakfast with loads of great egg dishes and a brilliant shakshuka that you need to add to your must-try list.
Sun-Wed 7am-10pm, Thu-Fri 8am-10pm. Dihan Street, Al Muroor (02 621 7323).