The best food trucks in Dubai
Dubai’s fine dining scene may grab most of the headlines, but the most exciting culinary revolution isn’t taking place in the city’s glamorous restaurants, but on its beaches. You can’t swing a parasol on one of Dubai’s public beaches without hitting a food truck at the moment, and while the global trend is relatively new to the city, it’s picking up pace faster than developers can build skyscrapers. With so many restaurants on wheels offering myriad cuisines, as well as dedicated areas such as the brand new E11! Last Exit food truck park off Sheikh Zayed Road, finding something to tempt your taste buds is easy, if you know where to look. Take a backseat as we discover the best food trucks in Dubai.
Pakistani soul kitchen on wheels Moti Roti serves up home-cooked cuisine that’s tasty, filling and surprisingly healthy. Roti wraps are the truck’s specialty, made with guilt-free whole wheat rotis and filled with masala chicken, mutton or masala potato, and covered in a choice of yoghurt and homemade chutney. There are also daily specials such as chickpea, daal or kofta (meatballs) as well as salad and rice options for gluten-free diners. Wash your roti down with a ‘skinny’ mango lassi – a traditional summer drink made from skimmed yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Where: Fridays at Ripe Market, Zabeel Park, and major food and music festivals across the UAE.
Giving a twist to the traditional burger van, Salt serves gourmet Wagyu beef and chicken sliders. If you thought chicken burgers were a boring choice, think again – these come laden with Cheetos (a local trick, apparently). As well as burgers, diners can snack on fries and ‘softie’ gelato cups. A Kite Beach institution, the Salt truck is a local favourite and a bite here is guaranteed to refuel you after long day of surfing the ocean’s waves.
Where: Daily at Kite Beach and pop-up appearances at events across the city. Follow the van on Instagram @findsalt.
If the heat gets too much, head over to Melt. Reminiscent of childhood ice cream vans, this vintage-style truck is filled with myriad flavours of guilt-free frozen yoghurt, pure fruit ice lollies and cool refreshing drinks.
Where: Several permanent locations including just off Jumeirah Beach at JA Ocean View Hotel on The Walk, plus leading daytime events around town.
Taking gourmet dining to the beach, Ghaf Kitchen presents fine alternatives of favourites such as fancy fish finger sandwiches, gourmet hot dogs and posh burgers (available with spiced lamb, shrimp, black Angus or buttermilk chicken). If you’ve got room for dessert, don’t miss Ghaf Kitchen’s version of quintessential British pudding, Eton Mess.
Where: Every Friday at Ripe Market, Zabeel Park, and every Saturday at Al Barsha Pond Park.
If you find yourself craving Southern flavours, try Dubai’s leading Deep South food truck, The Spot. From buffalo chicken sandwiches to flame-grilled Wagyu beef burgers dripping in ‘secret sauce’, the van is a favourite of sunbathing carnivores.
Where: Daily at Al Mamzar Beach, plus various public events and festivals.
Just because you’re on the beach doesn’t mean you have to give up your caffeine habit. If the rays don’t give you the energy boost you need, Bio Bean serves up organic fair trade coffee made with locally roasted Arabica beans, alongside healthy gluten-free and vegan snacks.
Where: Various events and festivals throughout Dubai.
Dubai’s newest fast food fad – pizza in a cone is available now on a beach near you thanks to Kono Pizza. The Italian company has sent a food truck to Dubai, where pizza-loving sun seekers can enjoy the brand’s signature cones, made with crusts imported from Italy and filled with ingredients such as pepperoni, tandoori chicken, vegetables and lots and lots of cheese.
Where: Roaming the city’s beaches and public spaces.
If tacos, nachos, Burritos and quesadillas tickle your fancy, hunt out Calle Tacos (meaning street tacos in Spanish). The van, which was started by a husband and wife duo, serves cuisine inspired by LA’s Mexican street food scene – a new and welcome addition to Dubai’s food truck landscape.
Where: Dubai Media City, Dubai Downtown and major events across Dubai.
Southern food at The Spot
To sample local flavours, look no further than the Meylas truck. Launched to spread awareness of Emirati food, the van drives around the UAE serving up fresh local cuisine. Meylas, named after the local saying for ‘a place to gather’, is the first, but hopefully not the last, of its kind in the emirates.
Where: Roaming the city’s beaches and public spaces.
Just sometimes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a grilled cheese sandwich, or at least that’s what the owners of Toasted believe. The place to go when in need of a comfort snack, the van serves four types of grilled sandwiches, from the classic Three Cheese (cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack), to the Mexican sourdough sandwich, featuring pepperoni and jalapenos. For something a little different, try the vintage ciabatta stuffed with grilled chicken, pesto, mozzarella, provolone and tomato.
Where: Follow Toasted on Facebook or Instagram to find out which events and locations the truck is visiting next.
Written by Rachel Ingram