The 10 very best restaurants in Dubai Airport

With food this good, flying doesn't have to be a chore

Updated on • Written By Lawrence Calman-Grimsdale

The 10 very best restaurants in Dubai Airport

If you’re looking for where to eat at Dubai International Airport, this is the guide for you. It’s not always easy finding a good restaurant when flying, especially if you haven’t been to the airport in question before. Thankfully, DXB’s three terminals have a great selection, although of course some options are better than others. Which is where we come in. We've narrowed things down to help make sure you get a meal to remember, instead of one you'd rather forget. 

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Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected, meaning you can move freely between them once you’ve been through security. Terminal 2, however, sits alone on the opposite side of the airport. While 1 and 3 serve tens of millions of passengers a year each, Terminal 2 is more private, catering to executive flights and premium passengers. The food offering at each terminal reflects this: 1 and 3 serve a more global selection, while 2 has very few restaurants (most likely due to VIPs being shuttled away to restaurants outside the airport).

While there are plenty of chain restaurants like Burger King and Baskin-Robbins dotted around the airport, we’ve decided not to include these. The main reason for this is that most travellers already know about these brands and whether they like them or not. Instead, we’ve focused on the restaurants you might not know about, along with a couple of more mainstream ones that guarantee a good time.

So read on to peruse the selection. It’s got everything from sports bars where you can drink away your layover to child-friendly restaurants where there are vegetables hidden in the pasta. Most of the restaurants on this list are 24-hour, so you don’t need to worry about whether they will be open. Hit book now if you want to find out more about a restaurant you like the look of, including how to book, FAQs and menus. Just make sure you don’t enjoy the food too much and miss your flight!

SKIP TO YOUR TERMINAL

Terminal 1

Serving over 60 airlines, over 20 million passengers pass through Terminal 1. Across its three levels, you’ll find all kinds of restaurants, as well as other concessions.

The Draft House

Boasting an alcohol licence, runway views and 31 screens showing various sports channels, The Draft House is ideal for long waits. The time will fly by while you sip on draught beer, cocktails or wine and watch the game. If you’re on a morning flight, you can enjoy eggs Benedict and the like, while later in the day you’ll find huge burgers .
Where: Terminal 1
Book now: The Draft House

The Noodle House

When you’ve got time to kill at the airport, it can be hard to decide what to eat. That’s why The Noodle House is ideal - there is absolutely tons of choice. Settle into the pared-back, Japanese-style restaurant and your tastebuds can travel all over Asia, sampling gyoza, satay, hargao, char siu, nasi goreng, beef rendang, laksa, Thai curries and more. We recommend finishing with the yuzu and peanut cake, a rather unique and delicious creation. Don’t skip the sake cocktails either, perfect for soothing any pre-flight jitters.
Where: Terminal 1, 1st Floor
Book now: The Noodle House

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

World-famous chef Wolfgang Puck has built a pretty impressive international empire, boasting restaurants all over the world and an award-winning catering company. If you’re passing through Dubai International Airport, you can get a taste of the action. At The Kitchen, diners can enjoy Puck’s signature style in the form of varied modern European fare, including elegant starters, pizza, pasta, steaks, burgers and more. There’s a rather impressive wine list too (especially for an airport).
Where: Terminal 1, 1st Floor
Book now: The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Giraffe

Not sure which cuisine you want? Head to Giraffe. This all-day global eatery has delicacies from practically every country on the menu. Gasping for gyoza? Got a craving for calamari? Hungry for hummus? Giraffe has it all. Since the restaurant is 24-hour, there is also a global breakfast selection featuring everything from eggs Benedict to Mexican tostadas. There’s a proper kids’ menu too, ideal for those travelling with little ones, which even includes pasta with hidden veggies.
Where: Terminal 1
Book now: Giraffe

OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE:

Costa, Baskin Robbins, Krispy Kreme, Camden Food Co., Taste of India, Texas Chicken, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, KFC, Red Carpet, Green Tower Cafe.

Terminal 2

Much smaller than Terminal 1, Terminal 2 caters to scheduled, chartered and special interest flights during special occasions, as well as the budget airline Flydubai. Here the choice is a lot smaller, but one restaurant stands out from the crowd.

Bombay Chowpatty

If you’re looking for something a bit more exciting than a sandwich or burger, head to Bombay Chowpatty. This cosy joint serves up authentic Indian fare including chaat like dahi puri, dosa and pakoras, as well as larger plates like biryani, tandoori dishes and various kebabs. The dessert selection is pretty impressive too, with all the big hitters making appearances: lassi, kulfi, rasmalai, falooda and gulab jamun.
Where: Terminal 2
Book now: Bombay Chowpatty

OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE:

Paul Bakery and Restaurant, O’Briens, Costa, Krispy Kreme, KFC, McDonald's.

Terminal 3

Primarily serving Emirates Airlines, Terminal 3 is one of the largest in the world with over 60 million passengers passing through each year. It also has the most choice when it comes to restaurants, along with various lounges to relax in.

Hard Rock Cafe

We’ve all heard of Hard Rock Cafe, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick catchup. At every site of this global chain of restaurants, hotels and casinos, you’ll find iconic musical memorabilia galore. But, this is a restaurant guide after all, so here’s what you can tuck into before or after picking up a HRC T-shirt. The most famous starter has to be the jumbo combo, a hedonistic mix of wings, onion rings, chicken tenders, southwest spring rolls and tomato bruschetta, all topped with honey mustard, blue cheese and homemade BBQ sauce. But that’s just the beginning. From there, it’s onwards and upwards to giant burgers, racks of ribs, steaks and mac and cheese.
Where: Terminal 3, Concourse B
Book now: Hard Rock Cafe

Cho Gao

Another pan-Asian addition to the list, Cho Gao can be found in Concourse A on the west side. For morning flights, the restaurant offers a full English-style breakfast with tea or coffee and juice. For something a little more exciting, however, try the Thai fried egg salad or congee with boiled eggs and chicken. Later in the day, you’ll find practically any east Asian dish you can name, including dumplings, sushi, noodles, rice dishes and fiery curries. We recommend finishing with the green tea tiramisu.
Where: Terminal 3, Concourse A
Book now: Cho Gao

The Gallery

The Gallery is located in the international cuisine lounge of Terminal 3. What this means in practice is that if you book a table here you get complimentary food and drink, free high-speed WiFi, large TVs, massage chairs and comfy seating away from the crowds. The menu is short as there is a buffet selection which features pastries and fry-ups at breakfast, before switching to sandwiches and salads for lunch. If you would prefer to order a la carte, you can enjoy the likes of a hearty beef burger or club sandwich, as well as traditional curries and elegant desserts like tiramisu.
Where: Terminal 3, Concourse B
Book now: The Gallery

Jack’s Bar & Grill

Inspired by the values Jack Daniel himself held dear - tradition, integrity and independence - Jack’s Bar & Grill brings a taste of Tennessee to Terminal 3. Here, grilled treats and grain-based drinks will distract you from the hustle and bustle of long-haul flying. Choose from Jack’s various editions, including honey, single barrel, gold and Sinatra select, as well as other US whiskeys, whiskey-based cocktails, wine and beer. At breakfast, you’ll find hearty options like fry-ups and pancakes, while later in the day, the menu features ribs, burgers, steaks and desserts like New York cheesecake.
Where: Terminal 3, Concourse A
Book now: Jack’s Bar & Grill

Shake Shack

While there are other places to grab a burger at the airport, few are as reliable as Shake Shack. This global chain has a brilliant selection of burgers and shakes, as well as various fried sides and other drinks. We recommend the cheddar chicken, which includes crispy fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese sauce and veal bacon, paired with the peanut butter shake, but the choice is totally yours. Don’t forget to order a side of crinkle cut fries too, they’re seriously addictive.
Where: Terminal 3, Concourse A
Book now: Shake Shack

OTHER OPTIONS INCLUDE:

Cafe Nero, Subway, Burger King, Nutella Cafe, Haagen Dazs, Heineken Lounge, Paul Bakery and Restaurant.

If you want a taste of local food on your visit, here are the best Emirati restaurants in Dubai.