Top 5 family friendly restaurants in Dubai

Dubai is one of THE most family friendly destinations on the planet and is fast becoming a gastronomical paradise. Muslim tourists often go to the fast food restaurants first (we did) as they’re halal and we just want our burger fix! But we can’t eat badly every day as the guilt creeps in as a parent! But there are so many restaurants and cafes to choose from that it can be a little bit overwhelming at times. The malls and areas like Jumeirah are flooded with restaurants and in a short trip to Dubai we can’t possible try them all. I’ve chosen my top five family friendly restaurants in Dubai where I really enjoyed the food and my kids ate something other than chicken nuggets.

One thing about Dubai, much like America is that soft drink refills are the norm so if you order a Sprite for the kids they will end up having three times the amount they do usually.

Butchers Shop & Grill — Jumeirah Beach Residence

This is a South African steakhouse who really know how to cook a steak. As well as the steak I was very impressed with the Kid’s Menu. Junior Steak (120g) was on offer here as well as some other more typical kiddie options. My girls ordered one each and my son went for an adult portion as that’s what happens when they get older — they don’t want a kid’s meal anymore! I went for the very sexist ‘Ladies Fillet’ (180g) which I was dissing but ended up ordering as I didn’t want a huge steak. The location of this Butchers Shop & Grill is really lovely as there is a little play area in front which was entertaining a lot of children. As we visited in October we sat outside and really had a fab evening. The amount of different steaks on the menu is pretty vast, and my ‘ladies fillet’ steak was beautifully cooked and delicious. Service was spot on here with the waiter knowing what he was talking about which is important in a steak restaurant.

Ladies Fillet
Junior Steak

Russos, New York Pizzeria — The Spring Souk & Silicon Oasis

Now Russos is a real hidden gem in the UAE. There are only three branches in Dubai and they’re not in the touristy areas. But fear not as they do delivery too. My brother introduced us to Russos and had been going on about it for ages. And now I understand why! One special thing about Russos is that the pizza base is not deep pan or thin crust, it’s in between so it’s light on the stomach, which means you end up eating more than you probably should. What also makes it great is that they use really high quality meats. The pepperoni and turkey ham is the best I’ve ever had, none of that processed rubbish we get here in the UK. I know it’s only pizza but I’ve been dreaming of Russos since I’ve come home. I recommend the Hawaiian – pineapple and turkey ham and Italian Farmhouse which is ricotta, red pepper and pepperoni. The kitchen is also at the front so it’s always entertaining (and educational) for the kids to watch the chefs sling their pizzas in the air!

The best Hawaiian pizza
New Yorker

Texas Roadhouse — Multiple locations

The best thing about Texas Roadhouse is the complimentary hot baked buns with cinnamon butter you get as soon as sit down at your table. These beauties are so good that the kids (and adults) can fill up on these alone, as well as the complimentary monkey nuts. The service is a bit slow here so these goodies are essential for hungry children. The kids meals are HUGE here, big enough for older kids too. The best thing here is the country fried chicken (boneless) which comes in adult and kids size. It’s a butterflied boneless chicken with breadcrumbs smothered in a really creamy sauce. Their combos are pretty nice too, and again serving sizes are humongous.

Texas Roadhouse Buns
Texas Roadhouse Buns

Tony Romas — Ibn Batutta Mall & Sheikh Zayed Rd

Another American diner, but I was won over by the super friendly and quick service along with a varied menu. Burgers, ribs and pasta are on the menu as well as wraps and fish dishes. My girls had different pasta dishes, seafood pasta and chicken alfredo which you don’t get here much in the UK. Colouring/puzzle sheets are also given which is always a bonus for me! I wouldn’t go for the burger here but there are lots of other lovely dishes to choose from. The onion loaf and other starters went down a treat. The brownie dessert is phenomenal!

Tony Roma’s Brownie
Onion loaf at Tony Romas

Eataly — Dubai Mall & Dubai Festival City

This place is like foodie heaven. If you’re in Dubai Mall, you MUST to go in to Eataly. It is a massive Italian food hall with a cafe/restaurant/pizzeria/grocery shop and some. You don’t even have to go and eat anything, you can go in for a stroll and look around! Everything is in separate sections, the Nutella crepes counter, illy’s coffee bar, patisserie, bakery, pizzeria, pasta section, cold meats, cheese counter, the list goes on…you name it it’s there. The restaurant area is generic but the different types of dishes have their own kitchens. It’s just a beauty that you can’t miss. The menu options (breakfast/snacks/dinner) are immense depending on what you feel like so you will find something hearty and delicious to eat for the adults and children. But I would recommend a specialty coffee here as a proper Italian coffee is just the best! They have kids colouring/puzzles sheet which I give them an extra brownie point for.

Have you been to Dubai? What is your favourite place to eat in Dubai?

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