With Dubai’s burgeoning health scene giving birth to a new wellness concept almost every month, it’s become impossible to stick to your pre-conceived notions about healthy food. Even if you were once skeptical about vegan dishes, likening them more to rabbit food than anything else, the city’s new crop of animal product-free restaurants has forced us all to accept this one simple fact: vegan food can be just as delicious.
With everything on the menu from bowls bursting with goodness to burgers, lasagnas, and even ice cream, Dubai’s top vegan restaurants, and restaurants who accommodate their vegan guests, deserve a spot at the top of your must-try list.
Where do we go for gluten-free, sugar-free, and completely vegan deliciousness with a hit of coffee? Soul Santé. The cutest little vegan place you’ve ever seen serves up some of our favorite dishes and treats in a small corner of Dubai’s Marina. Where else can you work on a laptop, enjoy your coffee and cake, while cycling on a stationary bike at the bar? Bonus: It’s not just a cafe. The owner, health and fitness expert Manisha Advani, also offers meal plans to help anyone willing to make the switch to a plant-based diet easy, affordable, and so tasty that they’ll never go back.
Opt for the eggless omelettes, the protein bites, the salads and quinoa, and the donuts – oh, the donuts. They’re so delicious they should be sinful. Except they’re not. Because they’re void of all the bad stuff, meaning you can indulge and not feel guilty afterwards.
Wild & The Moon
We are wild for Wild & The Moon. This cool café tucked away on the trendy streets of Alserkal Avenue is all high ceilings, hanging plants, and white walls with wooden accents. Here, every healthy creation is 100 percent vegan, with a strong focus on locally sourced, ethically produced, and organic-whenever-possible ingredients. The team is incredibly eco-conscious, not only by using recycled materials and promoting healthy agriculture and biodiversity, but by doing little things like using leftover pulp from juices and nut milks to make raw crackers. Clever.
The breakfast menu is bursting with bright, beautiful bowls, like the famous açai bowl with homemade granola, the pretty pink dragon-fruit bowl, and the hearty ‘Moon Porridge’ made with activated buckwheat, millet, and sprouted almond milk. For lunch, there’s everything from soups of the day and lentil salads to cauliflower tabbouleh and loaded rice noodles, perfectly accompanied by wild guac and a vegan cream cheese of dreams. Sweeten the deal with chocolate pudding or a raw apple tart, and wash it all down with a lavender latte, a matcha milk, or any one of the dozens of fresh juices stocked in the fridge.
Not only is Menagarie one of the chicest casual eateries in town (the light and bright interiors are seriously on point), but it also serves up vegan food good enough to hook even the most committed meat-eater. Once sat at your sleek table, you’ll be treated to a vegan feast of dreams. The menu is brimming with mouth-watering creations that aren’t only artfully presented but also bursting with fresh, wholesome flavors so tasty it’s hard to believe they’re free from animal products or processed sugars.
Some of our favorites include matcha and vanilla pancakes with cashew dip, figs, and maple syrup, raw falafel on dehydrated crisp bread drizzled with tahini, raw pad thai, ‘Mac No Cheese’, and spiced lentils on toast with smashed avo, crispy kale, and homemade macadamia-nut cheese. One dish that is definitely not to be missed is the vegan chili tacos. Or the bread pudding with vegan ice cream. Or the raw salted-caramel brownies. We could go on…
Dubai’s first organic, plant-based café, Comptoir 102 has been one of our top healthy hangouts since it opened its doors in 2012. Bringing together the best of fashion, homeware, jewelry, and natural beauty, it’s a seriously chic concept store and healthy food heaven.
Not only are the interiors here seriously dreamy (you’ll want to move in within minutes), but the food is simply phenomenal. Comptoir 102 has just launched a new menu that includes the likes of homemade bread topped with house-made cashew cream cheese, vegan bowls bursting with crunchy veg and protein-packed quinoa, and a vegan nut-cheese plate that will blow your mind. It’s also the only place to serve homemade vegan ice cream that’s not only guilt-free (it’s made sans sugar) but also packed with superfoods like matcha, curcuma, and black sesame. Ben & Jerry’s, eat your heart out.
For a fine dining experience with no animal by-products in sight, book a spot at Folia at the Four Seasons Jumeirah. Drawing from the Latin word folia, meaning “from the leaves”, it follows the success of similar plant-based menus at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and Bahrain and was brought to Dubai in partnership with Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal and American chef Matthew Kenney, who is known for his creative, gourmet vegan dishes.
Nestled in its own lush garden oasis, you can enjoy 12 fresh and healthy but seriously tasty plant-based dishes that range from light gazpacho soups and heart of palm niçoise salads to king oyster ‘scallops’, tacos filled with roasted squash, and sweet coconut cream pies with macadamia crust. The only problem is your plate will look so pretty (think edible flowers and vivid, natural colors), that you almost won’t want to ruin it. Almost…
This hippy hotspot in the heart of Jumeirah oozes ‘omm’. Focusing on the spiritual side of wellbeing, Seva – formerly known as Life’n One – is all about holistic living, from the amazing array of yoga and meditation classes on offer to the chakra reading sessions and holistic life coaching. There’s a gorgeous garden, a chill-out area, and a sunny rooftop you can relax on – and, to top it all off (rather deliciously), there’s the One Café.
This eatery is known for its vegan, raw delights that include everything from juicy vegan veggie burgers, loaded baked sweet potatoes, and chickpea omelets to pecan-and-cinnamon cookies, raw donuts (yes, really), and turmeric smoothies. The raw Snickers pie is to die for, and the almond-milk chai latte is one of the best around. After just one hour here, you’ll feel like a better, calmer, healthier version of yourself.
The Raw Place
You can have your cake and eat it too thanks to this raw-vegan eatery. If images of bowls filled with rabbit food come to mind, think again: at The Raw Place, you can expect delicious and wholesome dishes that range from savory meals and sweet treats to organic cold-pressed juices, chocolate almond milks, and everything in between.
The light and bright café is home to some of our favorite lunchtime go-tos, like the creamy-pesto kelp noodles, the brown rice and mushroom arancini balls with marinara dipping sauce, and the ‘Balila Salad’ with chickpeas and tahini dressing. Don’t forget to save room for dessert because the coconut parfait and raw chocolate truffles are heaven. Oh, and so is the ‘Lemonerry Cheesecake’. And the gluten-free banana bread. And the almond fudge.
A handy tip: Get there early to get your hands on the ‘Avo-Qua Bowl’. It sells out fast!
Single Fin Cafe
Situated in the cool Surf House Dubai just a stone’s throw away from the beach is the Single Fin Café. Step off the sand and into this cool hangout to dine on a vegan feast of delights, including dishes like avo toast, vegan Buddha bowls (complete with cauliflower rice and edible flowers), waffles with berries, vegan tacos, and creamy smoothies loaded with superfoods and vegan protein. Don’t miss the best vegan grilled-cheese sandwich you’ll ever try.
While you’re there, book a surfboard, sign up for a yoga class, or catch some waves with a surf or SUP lesson.
Little Erth by Nabz&G
There’s now a bustling health-food scene in JLT, with options popping up left, right, and center to satisfy all your healthy cravings. When it comes to Savoir Flair’s favorite ones, Little Erth by Nabz&G definitely tops our list. With a holistic approach to eating and a focus on vegetarian, vegan, and raw cuisine, the menu is bursting with healthy, wholesome food that nourishes from the inside out.
From quinoa date salads and lemongrass Penang curries with brown rice to Buddha burgers with sweet-potato fries and yoga bowls brimming with beet hummus, quinoa, sauerkraut, and greens, there’s an impressive array of options to choose from. Not to mention the delicious desserts, which include the must-have raw chocolate chia mousse cake.
Little Erth by Nabz&G also offers daily meal plans and at-home catering if you want to treat your guests to some good-for-you grub.
The new plant-based menu introduced by Bounty Beets is just as creative, fun, and vibrant as the Instagram hotspot’s dining room. Even the avid foodie will want to flirt with veganism after trying some of these delicious new menu items.
Anyone who can find a way to create taco shells from zucchinis, and fill it with spiced vegan meat, slaw, and guacamole, has our undying devotion. Even the vegan burger with the BBQ mayo, vegan cheddar, and sweet potato fries is enough to start dreaming of food. If you happen to be there with venturesome omnivores, start them off slowly with Love & Chickpeas, the bagel with smear of marinated chickpeas and avocado, drizzled with vegan mayo and all the trimmings, and then bring them to the ‘dark side’ with the Loaded Cakes – savory cakes of yummy goodness with marinated tomatoes served with arugula and dukkah.
Right, so this trendy restaurant is not a fully vegan restaurant. But perhaps what we do appreciate about one of Dubai’s new favorite food hubs in the heart of DIFC that serves food for sharing are their expansive and delicious options for your vegan friends. When we need to have a menu that accommodates all of the dietary requirements of our crew, we go to BB Social.
Not only do we love the vibe and style of the place, but the food literally pleases every palate. For vegans, our favorites include the tofu ramen and chestnut bao, but the mushroom barley risotto can turn even the most staunch carnivore. Other tantalizing options are the cauliflower popcorn, the padron peppers, lentil salad, chopped kale tabouleh, superfood salad, and the dreamy truffled gems.
There are a few things we love about the French-Mediterranean inspired Parlour Boutique. We love the specialty coffee, laid-back lounge area, and the all-day breakfast options for one. With their new lineup of vegan (and vegetarian) offerings, we might just have to join our omnivorous friends in Parlour Boutique’s beautiful library for some shared eats at the long communal table.
Try the vegan tacos breakfast — a vegan “tortilla” full of juicy black eyed beans, a playful tomato salsa, vegan mozzarella cheese, a crispy corn salad, and topped off with a smooth avocado cream. Or for the sweet tooth, try the local favorite, L’açai, which features mouth-watering berries, banana, crunchy granola, and freshly grated coconut.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll want to sample the vegetarian menu. L’Italien is heaven itself with homemade burrata, pesto, olives, and fresh-from-the-farm cherry tomatoes atop toasted ciabatta. Le Levantine, with its perfect amalgamation of umami flavors, mashed avo, beetroot hummus, halloumi, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios, sits prettily on a slice of rye and will leave you saying, “Mais oui, merci.”
Because of the intricacy of flavors and textures used in Thai cuisine, vegans can usually find themselves delicious thoroughfare at any Thai restaurant. Enter Sukhothai, one of Dubai’s longest standing Thai restaurants. The atmosphere and ambience, inspired by an emperor’s palace, give it an authentic feel when you walk in, and the traditional thai dishes served up, including the several vegan options, give it just that little edge.
Our go-to favorites would have to be the Phad Thai Je – traditionally wok fried rice noodles with mixed vegetables, tofu, and peanuts – or the Geang Dand Pak – a yummy red curry filled tofu, veggies, and basil. They also offer vegan vegetable tempura with broccoli, baby corn, and carrots with plum sauce as well as a green papaya salad with nuts, carrots, long beans and tossed in a lime dressing that is positively to die for.