Want to keep the bank balance down without compromising on great food? We hear you.
You don't have to break the bank to enjoy an excellent meal in the city.
If you don't believe us, here are ten outstanding restaurants from the Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Awards 2018 to try at pocket-friendly prices.
Hidden among a maze of side streets in Al Zahiyah (surely one of the very best parts of town for top quality budget food) is this this unassuming Ethiopian eatery. If you’ve never been before we guarantee you of three things: an introduction to a totally different cuisine than you’re used to; a wonderfully warm welcome and some incredibly tasty food. The portions here will leave even the biggest appetites satisfied. Stews and curries rule the roost, with each meal served on a plate of injera, a traditional sourdough bread that has a slightly fuzzy feeling in your mouth. Order a Bonna Annee special and you’ll be treated to a sample of each house signature dish, all mopped up with chunk after chunk of the extremely moreish bread. The staff will happily explain what everything is and help you decide on what to go for. The gomen be sega is another winner, consisting of delicious beef cubes with sautéed collards, onions garlic and ginger; it’s a truly delicious dish. It’s perhaps not food for everyone’s palate, but those who do get it will come back time and again.
Al Salam Street, Al Zahiya (02 491 2128).
A previous winner of our Best Budget award, this place doesn’t let its standards slip. With an outlet in Masdar City, one in Mushrif Mall and a truck at A’l Bahar you’re never far from a branch of this brilliant Mexican joint. Choose from tacos, burritos, quesadillas or bowls and add meat, veggies, black beans and other condiments. The home-made corn chips, served with salsa and guacamole are as good a snack as you can get. The guac is immense as well, the mashed, seasoned avocado joined by chunks of onions and tomatoes. There’s lots to like here.
Masdar City (02 639 4226).
Pizza Di Rocco
While many more famous pizza outlets can charge what they like to their band of loyal (and frankly deluded) followers, this place offers the best value pizzas in the city without having to cut corners when it comes to quality ingredients. It’s this type of entrepreneurial character we should all stand up and applaud, which is why it has made it onto the Best Budget podium again.While there are starters and salads on the menu, and they’re all good, it’s really the inventive pizzas where the magic lies. Don’t just take our word for it, though, check it out for yourself.
Al Salam Street, Al Dhafrah (02 885 3222).
Egg Shack Cafe
Considering the complexity of and craft put into some of the dishes, we still can’t quite get our heads round how cheap the Egg Shack is. We mean, where else in Abu Dhabi can you get a quality wagyu beef burger for Dhs45? Eggs obviously rule the roost here, with the create-your-own option always fun, while the coddled eggs are a revelation. Or you could keep it simple and go for the egg and Puck paratha.
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 666 4141).
Korean food still seems to be playing catch-up when it comes to matching its Asian neighbours’ cuisines in the popularity stakes. However, this little gem proves why it should be right up there given the flavour combinations it conjures up. Arguably the best value at Hankook can be found in the Dosirak meal box – a fine introduction to the cuisine for Dh70.
Off Hazza Bin Zayed Street (02 642 3399).
If you have a big family occasion coming up but are on a tight budget, you could do far worse than book a table at this cosy, kid-friendly venue. This place is massively popular with Indian food fans for two main reasons – the flavours and the price. Yes, some of the dishes can be a bit hit and miss but we’ll keep going back for the mahi tikka achari – a snip at Dhs46.
Hamdan bin Mohammed Street (02 677 7070).
We’ve been frequenting this place for more than a decade now and while styles and flavours might come and go, one constant remains: Lebanese Flower does brilliant Beirut-inspired food at knockdown prices. Always buzzing, this Muroor Road eatery knocks up some great grills and super shawarmas. Oh, and the red mullet is pretty spot on as well.
Off Sultan bin Zayed The First Street (02 448 8130).
Love pandas? Love bargains? Well you’ll adore this cutesy Al Karamah joint. Good enough to be considered for the Best Chinese title but cheap enough to appear in this category, we can’t thank this fine purveyor of brilliant buns enough for coming to our city. Along with the bao, the noodle dishes are pretty delicious, too.
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street (055 512 7461).
When you’re handed a menu at Salam Bombay you’d be forgiven for asking which currency the prices are in, as cheap as they are. Whether you’re here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the variety of delightful dishes that practically cost peanuts is amazing. The smells from the kitchen and the bums on seats tell you you’re on to a good thing. Try some of the paneer dishes, they won’t disappoint.
Off Sultan bin Zayed The First Street (02 446 3040).
Plenty of folk come here mostly for the tea (which at Dhs4 a pop is hardly surprising). However, we’ve long been admirers of the kitchen craftsmanship on display here. Yes, the karak chai is a fantastic thirst-quencher but when the most expensive thing on a food menu that includes some truly lovely dishes cost Dhs35, how could you possibly go wrong?
Off Sultan bin Zayed The First Street (02 621 7323).