The (Absolute) Best Italian Restaurants in Dubai | Savoir Flair
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The (Absolute) Best Italian Restaurants in Dubai
article @ALICIDUBAI
by Savoir Flair 8-minute read December 1, 2023

Craving amore on a plate? Look no further than the finest Italian restaurants Dubai has to offer.

Exploring Dubai’s culinary scene can feel like wandering through an epicurean galaxy, and trust us, Italian cuisine is one of its stellar attractions. We’re sidestepping those run-of-the-mill pasta corners and bypassing those pizza joints from last Friday’s spontaneous outing. This guide is your key to the premier venues for Italian dining in Dubai. Imagine risottos as smooth as a Venetian serenade or a panna cotta that might just outshine your recent luxury purchase. When you’re in the mood for gastronomic brilliance or simply want to show off your fluency in ‘fettuccine finesse,’ this is your directory to the best Italian experiences in Dubai. 

Here’s to dining like the glitterati.

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Alici

Welcome to Alici, where stiletto heels and gelato dreams converge. Located on Bluewaters Island with a playful nod to the Amalfi coast, this restaurant feels like an Italian romance novel translated into a menu. If you’ve been looking for a place where ambiance meets authenticity, then you’ve found your next rendezvous. Alici, which means ‘anchovy’ in Italian, might sound humble, but it certainly steals the spotlight. Obviously, it’s not just about the anchovies; star dishes like ‘Spaghetti alla Chitarra’ and ‘Tagliolini al Tartufo’ are literal cinematic feasts on a plate. And when truffles are in season, consider upgrading that tagliolini dish to white-truffle heaven. Every inch of this two-storey venue is designed with intent. From artful touches by ‘The Anchovy Man’ (legend has it, he’s the Picasso of fish art) to an upstairs section that practically throws lively parties with views of Dubai Marina. While we’d say “Don’t get us started on the desserts”, we actually insist that you do because they are, without doubt, the grand finale. And as you indulge, remember: JBR’s beautiful coastline might be staring right back at you, but if you close your eyes and take a bite of the honey cake, you’re instantly on the sun-kissed cliffs of Amalfi.

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Bussola

Bussola is that swanky spot where the calmness of Mina Seyahi beach meets chic Italian flair. Downstairs, it’s all about that ritzy life – with waitstaff smoother than your favorite Sinatra song, serving plates that will have you humming, “That’s Amore.” Kick things off with the ‘Carpaccio di Manzo al Tartufo’ – trust us, it’s an entire vibe on a plate. And for those oceanic cravings, the ‘Risotto alla Pescatora’ is like the ocean threw a party and invited all its seafood friends. But if you’ve got more of an “I just want good pizza without the fuss” mood, head upstairs. The rooftop Pizzeria is where casual meets authentic. Imagine a margherita pizza so perfect, it could make your Nonna proud. And, because life is too short for regrets, treat yourself to the ‘Tiramisù’. It’s the kind of dessert that will leave you floating on a cloud of creamy, coffee-infused bliss. In a nutshell, Bussola is where the Italian dream meets Dubai glam – whether you’re there for the picture-perfect dishes or just some darn good pasta. And let’s be real, probably both.

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Fi’lia

Think authentic Italian, but elevate it – all the way to the 70th floor. Set your sights skyward to Fi’lia, located at SLS Dubai. As the first fully female-led Italian-Mediterranean restaurant in the city, Fi'lia, which draws its name from the Italian for “daughter,” springs from the innovative vision of award-winning Chef Celia Stoecklin. Step inside, and you’re immediately greeted with a leafy oasis, with panoramic views of Dubai’s skyline. As expected, the menu presents a delightful trinity echoing familial ties — ‘Nonna’ for those comforting dishes grandma perfected, ‘Mamma’ for a modern twist to classics, and ‘Figlia’ capturing the spirited freshness of the new generation. While the ‘Baked Feta’ might play it coy, it’s the cozy pot of ‘Cozze e Vongole,’ bathing mussels and clams in a rich tomato sauce, that’s the show-stealer. And if you think you’re well-versed in pizza, wait till Fi’lia’s version of the margherita, light and airy, wows you with its aromatic tomato-basil blend. Combine that with an ambiance suitable for both business lunches and grand family dinners, the venue stands as a distinctive and elevated dining experience.

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Il Borro

Ever found yourself in a setting where the palpable air of brilliance and confidence silently encouraged your mind to elevate its game? Now, imagine translating that vibe to a dining table. This is Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, the restaurant that is effortlessly more chic than your most “in the know” friend. Born from the Ferragamo family’s vision — yes, that Ferragamo — and infused with over a millennium of Tuscan gastronomy, Il Borro planted its roots in Dubai and, amidst the competition, stood out and flourished. Located beside Jumeirah Al Naseem’s turtle rehabilitation lagoon, the venue radiates tranquility — think sunken terraces, artful displays of fresh produce, and an ambiance that manages to be both sophisticated and cozy. The neutral hues create a welcoming atmosphere, complemented by the central bar that anchors the space. When shifting the spotlight to the food, the dishes promise to be unforgettable. Every bite is a trip to Tuscany, thanks to the freshest ingredients airlifted from Il Borro’s own estate. The burrata is a dreamlike experience on its own, while the truffle pizza is nothing short of transcendent. The ‘Pappardelle al Ragù’ is the kind of dish that will have you drifting into a delicious food coma, and the ‘Tagliolini allo Scoglio’ serves as a reminder that sometimes, pasta can be as light as a gentle Tuscan breeze. Meanwhile, the olive oil might just make you rethink your grocery list. When it comes to service, the staff here exude an aura of authentic Italian hospitality. They are knowledgeable, passionate, and have an interesting story for every plate. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic evening, toasting to an anniversary, or just luxuriating in some “me time,” Il Borro is the perfect spot. In a city teeming with dining joints, Il Borro is the serene haven that drowns out the noise.

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Il Ristorante - Niko Romito

Elegance meets authenticity at Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, located within the swanky Bulgari Resort Dubai. Designed with a nod to its Milanese counterpart, this culinary gem mirrors Italy’s rich heritage in every handpicked detail, from the atmospheric black ceiling that feels like dining under a starry sky to the breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf from raised banquettes. As for the food? Well, let’s just say, Michelin didn’t toss two stars its way for two consecutive years just because it fancied the romantic interiors. Chef Niko Romito, reigning from his three-starred domain in Italy, has masterfully curated a menu that’s the epitome of Italian sophistication. Think lasagne al forno with an ultra-rich veal ragu and the crispiest top layer you ever did see. Or, for those with adventurous palates, the smoked potato-stuffed ravioli crowned with an octopus ragu might just be your next obsession. Overseeing every detail, even from miles away, Romito ensures that Il Ristorante holds its weight as a crown jewel in Dubai’s dining scene. So, whether you're chilling on the terrace overlooking the marina or soaking up the posh vibes inside, this is Italian fine-dining at its peak, where every minute is a “Michelin moment.”

Luciano's

Luciano’s in Dubai Marina is a luxurious dining haven, where high-quality ingredients and impeccable service take precedence over Dubai's typical flashiness. Here, the essence of Italian cuisine comes alive in dishes like the standout Wild Mushroom Arancini and the comforting Zuppa Di Funghi. The Spezzatino Di Manzo, with its tender beef cheek and creamy polenta, epitomizes culinary craftsmanship. Desserts such as the Limoncello Tart and Tiramisu make each meal a delightful fork-fight for the last bite. Adding to the experience is the option to dine al fresco, overlooking lush greenery and the beach – a serene retreat amidst Dubai’s urban landscape. Luciano’s, with its authentic Italian flair and proximity to nature, offers a rare and enchanting dining experience.

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article MONNO

Monno

Located in the upscale and quiet neighborhood of Jumeirah 1, Monno isn’t the predictable glitz-and-glam spot you often find in Dubai. Instead, it represents a refreshing glimpse into the world of luxury expressed through rustic simplicity. Stepping into Monno is like taking a breezy stroll down an Italian alley, only to chance upon a classic trattoria. The ambiance evokes a tranquil Italian setting, complete with olive trees and the gentle tracks of soothing melodies. Inside, you'll find wooden furnishings adorned with jade-green accents. Checkered floors evoke memories of Nonna’s kitchen, complemented by the unmistakable aroma of a wood-fired pizza oven imported straight from Italy. And speaking of genuine, Chef Federico Bartoli serves up Italian memories on plates. His dishes, rich in tradition, feel as if they’re cherished family recipes passed down through the ages. Savor the ‘Polpetta’, and find yourself transported to a lively Italian kitchen, each meatball dripping with homemade tomato sauce. The ‘Truffle Bomb’ croquette is an explosion of opulence, a testament to the Italian mastery over this rare delicacy. ‘La Tana del Polpo’ narrates maritime adventures through its succulent roasted octopus paired with silky potato cream. The ‘Ravioli al Tartufo’, filled with velvety buffalo ricotta, delivers a flavor medley of parmesan, veal, and truffle. For those in the mood for some divine pasta, the ‘Spaghetti Caviar’ seamlessly blends homemade Chitarra spaghetti with sumptuous Oscietra caviar, all drizzled with aromatic Beurre Blanc. Don’t leave without indulging in ‘Rocher’, a decadent mélange of Gianduja mousse, hazelnut cream, and a crunchy glaze. Each bite, a trip to chocolate paradise. This weekend, if you’re craving authenticity with a chic undertone, grab your loved ones and make a date with Monno. True luxury, after all, is often found in the subtle details that resonate with authenticity and highlight the genuine craftsmanship behind them.

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Roberto’s

In the highly competitive world of Dubai’s dining scene, where “out with the old, in with the new” might as well be its unofficial tagline, Roberto’s is a bit like that enduring icon that remains unflinchingly fabulous year after year. With over a decade since it opened, this restaurant has not just survived; it has dominated. Located in the lively DIFC area, Roberto’s has seen guests from celebrities and royalty alike, making it the not-so-secret favorite spot for the elite and discerning diners. Stepping inside feels like entering a swanky Milanese penthouse, with every corner exuding opulence. From the terrace, you’re treated to panoramic views, with the majestic Burj Khalifa standing tall. But it’s the food that truly stands out here. Every dish tells a story, each bite rich with tradition and innovation. The house signature ‘Fettuccine’ is pure poetry. As for the desserts, they leave you reminiscing about sun-soaked Italian summers. And while Dubai’s fads may come and go, Roberto’s keeps setting the gold standard, proving that consistency and excellence never go out of style.

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Scalini

Scalini is where tradition meets flair. Having anchored itself in Dubai’s restaurant scene for years, it has garnered quite the fan base — and for good reason. Located in the heart of the city, the restaurant exudes timeless elegance, seamlessly blended with a fresh modernity that feels distinctly Dubai. Its walls are adorned with vibrant art pieces, the dim mood lighting casts a gentle glow on pristine white tablecloths, and plush leather seats invite you to settle in. While the visuals are captivating, the real treat begins when the food graces your table. Dishes like the ‘Burrata con Datterini’ embody simplicity yet burst with flavor. For an extra layer of indulgence, you can add black truffles. Pasta lovers will swoon over the ‘Spaghetti all’Astice’; every forkful harmonizes lobster with a creamy tomato sauce. Beyond the food, Scalini’s service is impeccable, marked by elegant silver service and dramatic tableside displays, including pasta expertly twirled in a cheese wheel. In a city constantly chasing the new and novel, Scalini stands out by being unwaveringly spectacular.

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Signor Sassi

It might have been born in Knightsbridge in 1984, but 2023-era Signor Sassi is showing Dubai how La Dolce Vita is really done. Newly arrived in Dubai’s dining scene, this restaurant has already managed to slide its way into the top of the city’s “Best” lists. Beyond its reputable name, the team’s genuine Italian hospitality ensures every diner feels like they’re an honored guest. With its dazzling interiors, chandeliers, and design touches reminiscent of Lake Como’s lush gardens, this spot offers more than just aesthetics. Within its menu, you will discover real trattoria goodness. The ‘Famous Spaghettini with Lobster’ is pure amore, and the exceptional ‘Wagyu Tomahawk’ would make your inner chef inspired. The antipasti lineup is a medley of Italian memories, and the grape list feels like a curated trip through Italy’s vineyards. Every meal here is an invitation to a journey — one that begins in Italy’s heart and ends in culinary satisfaction. As for the desserts, they’re the kind of sweet endings that make you believe in love at first bite. Let’s not forget the burrata, rocket, and truffle pizza — because sometimes, all you need is that final touch of authentic Italian decadence.

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Venus Ristorante

Aptly named after the Roman goddess of beauty, Venus Ristorante is a celestial haven of Italian sophistication on Bluewaters Island. Inspired by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, this venue has recently unveiled a White Truffle Menu, which is only available for a limited time during the white truffle season, inviting guests to savor the decadence of signature truffle-infused delights. Picture yourself enjoying the panoramic views of endless sky and ocean blues, where sun-drenched days unfold amidst luxurious lounging and poolside retreats at the Venus Beach Club.

The dining experience at Venus Ristorante is a symphony of flavors, ranging from mouthwatering Mediterranean appetizers and wood-fired pizzas to homemade pasta and perfectly grilled meats and seafood. The menu effortlessly transports you to the sun-kissed coast, offering a tantalizing selection of regional classics such as focaccia sandwiches, burrata with sweet and sour tomatoes, and pan-seared sea bream garnished with fennel, orange, pine seeds, and herbs. 

While sharing a name, it's essential to note that the restaurant and beach club are distinct venues offering different dining experiences — explore both to immerse yourself in the allure of Venus fully.

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