Who doesn’t love a good buffet? We are indecisive creatures after all, and welcome the promise of seemingly endless choice when it comes to food. Dubai has more than its fair share of great buffets, primarily due to the sheer number of hotels in the city and the love of its residents for a good old Friday brunch in Dubai, which are nearly always in buffet format. Thankfully, it’s pretty rare for these restaurants to be guest-only, so you can feast without having to fork out on a room for the night. Due to the sheer amount of choice, narrowing down the best buffets in Dubai wasn’t easy. But it’s our duty, and so we powered through to create this shortlist.
As we said, the best thing about buffets is, of course, the choice. Some of the entries in this list have a truly jaw-dropping selection of food. Many restaurants have such a global selection that you can almost enjoy a dish from every continent - all on one plate. The less global options meanwhile, instead choose to narrow the scope to, say, specifically Middle Eastern food. But, they still offer a massive range of dishes, including hot and cold mezze, charcoal grilled skewers, salads, breads and dips. Others specialise in a type of dish rather than country of origin, such as seafood.
Part of the fun of a buffet is seeing the cooking happen live. This mainly applies to grilled dishes or bread-based dishes such as pizza. You might also get to see sushi being rolled if you’re lucky, or tiny pastries and cakes being decorated by hand. Speaking of desserts, a couple of entries have the ultimate addition to any buffet: a chocolate fountain. Be sure to check those out if you’re into that sort of thing. So have a browse, book a table, and dive into a delicious world of help-yourself eating. Just remember to pace yourself!
Absolute Barbecues, or AB’s to regulars, is a casual DIY barbecue restaurant where diners can grill their food at the table. Aside from the meat and fish skewers, the buffet element offers a huge selection of global dishes, including starters, salads, curries and more. Start with the likes of tandoori crab or Thai corn cakes, before moving on to mains like chicken dum biryani or spaghetti in basil sauce. Desserts include similarly global options such as gulab jamun, pecan and maple chocolate tart or carrot and cream cheesecake.
Where: Ground Floor, Sidra Tower, Exit No. 36 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
Book now: Absolute Barbecues
Texas De Brazil
Based on the churrasco feasts typically served by Brazilian cowboys known as gauchos, Texas De Brazil aims to emulate this meaty hedonism. Here there are tons of grilled cuts to choose from, including pork loin, lamb leg, picanha, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, ribs, filet mignon and various sausages. To balance this out, you’ll find a great selection of seafood, salad and cold cuts, including smoked salmon, prosciutto, mozzarella, pickled vegetables and even sushi.
Where: Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha, Dubai
Book now: Texas De Brazil
Naturally, hotels are prime real estate for buffets. Kitchen6 is located on the first floor of the luxurious JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel and offers a pretty spectacular spread. The award-winning buffet serves up dishes from all over the world, employing woks, Middle Eastern grills and Indian tandoors. The dessert buffet is not to be missed here, featuring beautiful cakes, treats and even a chocolate fountain.
Where: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Business Bay, Dubai
Book now: Kitchen6
In Dubai’s glamorous Festival City, you’ll find a true feast at Anise. Settle into the cool marble-floored interiors or pop out onto the terrace to take in the view, before tucking into delicious global food. Start off with freshly baked bread, before sampling the equally fresh sushi. Then, move to the hotter dishes which include whole roasted salmon, stuffed quail with freekeh and tandoori lamb chops. Finish with a selection of various tarts and cakes, or dip some goodies in the chocolate fountain.
Where: InterContinental Dubai, Lobby Level, Festival City, Dubai
Book now: Anise
Famous for its live cooking stations, Horizon serves up a vast range of international cuisine, including everything from dim sum to kebabs. Be sure to head to the ‘Emirati Corner’ for more local, traditional dishes. There is also table service for dishes such as soup, sandwiches and burgers. Dessert is once again a buffet, showcasing puddings, parfaits, fresh fruit, jelly and ice cream.
Where: Horizon Restaurant Amwaj Rotana Hotel The Walk, Al Sayorah Street, Dubai
Book now: Horizon Restaurant
Given Al Iwan is located in what many would call the best hotel in the world, the quality of food at the restaurant won’t be surprising. Despite its luxurious surroundings, the Al Iwan still feels pleasingly casual and welcoming. At your buffet lunch here, you can enjoy dishes like chicken shawarma, arayes, lamb chops and aubergine kofta, as well as hot and cold mezze dishes like spinach fatayer and hummus.
Where: First floor, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
Book now: Al Iwan
Boasting a glass atrium for soaking up the sun and a plethora of global cuisine, C.Taste is a great place for indecisive diners. Whether it’s Italian, Indian, Mexican, Chinese or Middle Eastern you fancy, you can rest assured you’ll find something to your liking here. There is also an a la carte menu, with options like biryani, steak, noodles and salmon with mash. In the hotel, you’ll also find C.Deli, where you can grab food to take back to your room.
Where: C.Taste Restaurant Road 329, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Book now: C.Taste
The main reason for the Burj Khalifa’s fame is its height, but the buffet at Mediterraneo isn’t far behind. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant serves up Mediterranean delights from Italy, Spain and further east, as well as a seafood buffet on Thursdays. The terrace here offers views of the mesmerising Dubai fountains, so be sure to book a table outside to avoid disappointment.
Where: Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Book now: Mediterraneo
At the stylish golf resort Address Montgomerie (designed by renowned Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie), you’ll find Nineteen’s excellent buffet. Not only this, but children under five eat for free and children under 12 enjoy 50% off. Be transported to the Mediterranean by dishes like octopus with potatoes and paprika or handmade crab ravioli. For a fun table activity, order the fondue, which features Parmesan, brie, cheddar, emmental or French blue cheese. A la carte options are also available, such as miso black cod or Canadian lobster.
Where: Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills, Dubai
Book now: Nineteen
Ewaan is a restaurant that has it all: ornate arches, plant-covered trellises, a palm-surrounded terrace, beautiful interiors and a killer buffet. Once you’re settled in, enjoy a mezze platter to share, with freshly baked bread before diving into the luxurious seafood and meat buffet. You’ll find lobsters piled high, lamb melting off the bone and plenty of different salads and dips for good measure.
Where: Palace Downtown, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, Dubai
Book now: Ewaan
Does wondering around a buffet trying to find the right dish sound like too much work? Then you might want to try one of the best food deliveries in Dubai instead.