If you’re looking for the best Italian restaurants in Dubai you won’t be disappointed, there are hundreds upon hundreds to choose from. If we had to take a guess, we’d say that across the world Italian food is the most favoured, with so many people citing pizza and pasta as their go-to meal of choice. In Dubai the preference is no different, with some of the city’s most popular spots being Italian restaurants showcasing amazingly fresh international produce served wonderfully simply.
Because there are so many to choose from, it wasn’t an easy job to come up with a list of the best Italian restaurants in Dubai – but being troopers, we gave it a good go. We’ve been careful to select our must-try spots, so that you know you’re booking a great meal out when you pick from the below restaurants. Whether you’re looking to impress a special someone or get the gang together for a big evening of food and family, these Italian restaurants in Dubai always deliver.
The beautiful thing about our pick of Dubai’s best Italian restaurants is that they cover a huge breadth. It’s not all about the pizza and pasta here (although there can be no denying that they’re pretty good), because the menus of the eateries below all vary so hugely. There are steak specialists and seafood aficionados, as well as low-key favourites serving up big garlic flatbreads, hearty salads and all kinds of cheese and meats platters. Below you’ll find our picks to help you navigate what is going to suit your needs best. From high end, fancy fine-dining fare to cheap and cheerful options. Finally, if you have a favourite Italian restaurant in Dubai then we’d love to know about it, send us a message – and you never know, we might just add it to the list!
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Passionate about hand-crafted cuisine, the team behind Il Borro Tuscan Bistro serves up some of the most authentic Italian food in Dubai. Having won numerous awards, this is a popular spot, so booking ahead is advised. On the menu you’ll find dishes made with organic, seasonal produce with a range of antipasti starters on offer alongside mains like a risotto with asparagus, butter, Parmesan and black truffle or grilled Dover sole with fresh herbs and a lemon butter sauce.
If you’re in Dubai to experience the life of the super-rich, Billionaire Mansion might just be the one for you. The club is set up to give guests a taste of a ‘billionaire lifestyle’ and the menu doesn’t disappoint with all kinds of high-end ingredients featuring: from Wagyu beef to lobster. All of this is served in plush surrounds that have a semi-clublike feel with plenty of other-worldly sound and lighting effects employed to create a party atmosphere. If you’re keen to take things into the night then you can easily move through to the club area after dinner.
For a safe bet you can’t beat hotel dining in Dubai and Ballaro is found in the Conrad Hotel, so a certain standard is near-guaranteed. With both indoor and outdoor dining available this is a great spot to enjoy a romantic sunset meal or a fun lunch with friends when the weather is a bit milder come the winter. Classics include risottos and an Italian twist on a hamburger, while from the butchery section you can expect top-class steaks, rotisserie chicken and grilled lobster tails.
Putting a modern spin on classic Italian recipes is the signature style of Roberto's Dubai. This high-end restaurant sources ingredients directly from Italy to ensure authentic flavours are found throughout the menu. With everything from brunch and lunch to dinner and dessert covered, there are various lists to suit the sitting you’re after. For plant-based lovers, there’s even a dedicated vegan menu. On the main line-up expect dishes like slow cooked roasted octopus with artichoke and a cacio e pepe sauce or risotto with langoustine, lemon zest and peas.
Does life get more luxe than sitting in the surrounds of the Armani hotel enjoying some top-class Italian food? We think it would be hard to find a more indulgent experience. The Armani Ristorante is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but when you’re going all out on a meal it’s best to go at dinner when you can relax and take your time over a few different courses. We’d start with the scallops, pumpkin cream, mushrooms and duck speck; before moving onto chestnut flour tagliatelle with a veal shank ragu and gremolata. Pudding always proves a problem (in that it’s hard to pick a favourite), but if we were forced to choose, we’d plump for the coffee parfait with a mascarpone foam, cocoa sponge and an espresso sabayon.
If you have limited time in Dubai and want to do some tourist list ticking off, why not combine your Italian restaurant wants with a visit to the Burj Khalifa at BiCE Mare. This Mediterranean spot is found within the iconic building and serves up a solid menu of Italian classics. The best spot is on the terrace where you can watch the famous fountain shows as the sun dips and the city lights come on in the evening. The food has a fine-dining focus, which changes with the seasons.
For those with a penchant for a side of Instagram content with their meal, BASTA! could be the one. This photo-friendly spot is all leather chairs and marble tables with huge glass windows for that all-important natural light. There’s a limited family-style menu that changes regularly in line with what ingredients are at their best in the moment. You might find wood fired four cheese pizzas or cacio e pepe pasta, while the grill might throw up dishes like roasted seabass or braised short ribs.
Il Ristorante – Niko Romito
With other outposts in Shanghai, Beijing and Milan, you know that this is a restaurant that means business. Headed up – as you might have guessed – by Executive Michelin starred chef Niko Romito, Il Ristorante is found in the Bulgari Hotel and serves precise, modern food. For special occasions we’d suggest the tasting menu which has been carefully curated to give you a taste of the kitchen’s signature style – from langoustine tortellini with asparagus to veal tenderloin with milk sauce, sage, lemon and dill.
Social by Heinz Beck
Another with international ties – this time Social by Heinz Beck arrived on the Italian restaurant scene in Dubai via the chef’s existing highly-acclaimed restaurant Le Pergola in Rome. You can expect high-end food given the chef’s three Michelin star credentials, served in his modern gastronomical style. While not a cheap restaurant, the quality is amazing and makes the experience feel worth the splurge. Favourites of ours include the white truffle asparagus on smoked potato foam and the modern interpretation of a classic lasagne.
With soft pink walls and gold accents, the beautiful interiors at Cinque are almost as much a draw to the restaurant as the food is. When it comes to the main event it’s definitely a mix of style and substance rather than a style over substance, thankfully. Think tuna tartare with Amalfi lemon; lobster linguine; or pan seared sea bass with potato and lemon puree and artichokes.
Ready to explore different cuisines? What about trying one of our top-picked steak restaurants in Dubai