14 New Restaurants to Try in Abu Dhabi | Best Bites

We've got a few new cafes to try (a couple are bougie, one is laid back), new South-East Asian eateries, a couple of fabulous new pubs, both aiming to disrupt the competition with their ability to play whilst drinking, a great new family fun venue for Yas Bay, a swanky new Italian at Emirates Palace and a new casual steakhouse that will breathe new life into the lower-island dining scene. It's all on!


Start planning for next week: there are loads of great new cafes and restaurants in Abu Dhabi to try... and they cover every budget and every area of town!

THE IRISH VICKER'S


This is a game-changer for anyone who wants to drink and play, the Irish way. The Irish Vicker's, the bigger brother-from-another-mother to Victor's, is Abu Dhabi's biggest Irish pub and perfect for the peeps at the top end of the island who want to eat, drink, play darts, bowl, play pool and snooker and generally vibe (great for a gents night. Janey Mac, there's also a golf simulator! Cleverly, they also have a wine bar where you can buy bottles of wine at truly reasonable prices - what's not to love? We think we'll be hearing a lot more from the IV!


Hours: 2PM-late

Location: 6th Floor, The Hub at WTC, Khalifa Street


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/the-irish-vickers-or-the-hub-wtc

SWISS BUTTER


This is a bit exciting! Swiss Butter has opened in the Novotel Al Bustan, filling a niche in the market for good, mid-range dining options and is fabulous news for the lower-island dwellers among us who need to add this to their 'where to dine in Abu Dhabi' list! What can you expect? This casual, almost diner-like steakhouse gives you three choices of mains served with the divine butter sauce with three sides and all for just AED78! This is good weeknights, weekends, lunches ... we're dying to hear what you think!


Hours: 12 noon-midnight

Location: Novotel Al Bustan

Phone: 02 622 0047


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/swiss-butter-i-novotel-al-bustan

CENTRAL


Central is officially the most fun venue in Yas Bay, good for kids of all ages ... including the over-21 variety! There are booming beats, a host of bowling lanes and loads of 'spacies' to keep everyone occupied for a decent stretch of time. The food menu is broad with the usual suspects: tacos, wings and a whole raft of funky burger flavours, but the desserts are where you'll find us. (Will we opt for the red velvet whoopie or the caramel sticky buns first?) At 1AM, doors open to Lock Stock and Barrel and it's game on for some adults-only fun. This is an excellent addition to the Yas Bay dining scene. Birthday party anyone?!


Hours: 12 noon-2AM

Location: Yas Bay, end of the pier

Phone: 058 587 1765


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/central-or-yas-bay

JAMES


James is going to be the new place for anyone who lives within a stone's throw of Shams Boutiq mall! This is a great coffee hangout but also a good place to while away a couple of hours or sit with your laptop in peace. It's very spacious, with a very funky revolving seating area in the middle - we've got to try this! - and a menu offering something from pretty much every cuisine at very reasonable prices, starting at breakfast and moving through to dinner, all house-made. The coffee options are broad and they do a good range of cold brews as well as teas and some interesting signature drinks - the espresso and tonic sounds intriguing!


Hours: 7AM-11PM

Location: Shams Boutiq Mall

Phone: 02 886 9949


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/cafe-james-or-shams-boutik

OTIS LOUNGE


Otis is big on coffee - the science, the preparation, the taste. Sit up at the coffee bar and watch the baristas do their thing, enjoy their extensive menu with all our breakfast, lunch and dinner favourites - top tip: the avocado toast is amazing, as is the burrata salad. Everything is superbly plated with excellent service and the coffee, naturally, is second to none. It's bougie and it's beautiful! Welcome to Khalifa City, Otis!


Hours: 8AM-10PM

Location: Al Mireef St, Khalifa City A (opposite Al Yasmina School)

Phone: 02 886 4989​


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/otis-lounge

BREWHOUSE


High up on the 18th floor (yes, there are some good views of Abu Dhabi!), Brewhouse describes itself as Abu Dhabi's newest gastro pub and specialises in craft beer, gin cocktails and good wine. Not sure what you'd like? Hit up their graze and wine nights for a cheesy platter and a drop of red, weekend drunch for the full experience or pink drinks ladies night, where, you guessed it, they serve some good-looking pink cocktails. This is another option for those looking to add to their list of Abu Dhabi pubs!


Hours: 2PM-3AM

Location: 18th floor, Cristal Hotel

Phone: 02 652 0111


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/the-brewhouse-gastropub-or-cristal-hotel

CHICKN CRUNCH


Back in the day, this strip of Airport Road between 19th and 15th used to be home to car yards. Now, there are a million great eateries and cafes, with loads of parking outside, ideal for the good old Abu Dhabi drive-through! Chickn Crunch, distinctive for its orangeness, is a kind of hidden gem because boy do they do chicken! Clearly aiming to be cross between Raising Canes and KFC, Chickn Crunch hits the chicken vibe hard and serves something akin to Texas toast. Boom! This is a must try if you really want to smash your calories for the day ... and by smash, we mean annihilate ;)


Hours: 2PM-late

Location: Airport Rd


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/chick-n-crunch

THE TURTLE COVE


This is a marvellous and much-awaited addition to al Hidd community in Saadiyat. Finally, there's an option for great coffee, in a sustainable environment - how much do you love the name?! We're heading out there to try for ourselves, so watch this space!


Hours: 10AM-7PM

Location: Hidd community

Phone: 02 886 4899


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/the-turtle-cove



KOPTIAM BY CHANDY'S


Found! A new authentic Malaysian restaurant in Abu Dhabi! This new cafeteria is making headlines for its amazing Malaysian food and quality service. If you need a good nasi lemak breakfast, this is your place. Looking for amazing Penang char kway teow and more roti than you can shake a stick at? - Kopitiam is your go-to. It's still in soft opening so only a limited number of dishes are available, but everything on offer is on point.

Thanks to Zeddy Iskander for the image of the kway teow and him and Judy Gooi for the good intel!


Hours: 11AM-9PM

Location: Al Falah Street

Phone: 050 565 7278


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/kopitiam

MR KIMCHI


Mr Kimchi, as you may have guessed by the name, is home to some bang-up Korean food and is the food court branch of its mothership, Bon Ga. Nestled inside the Yas Mall foodcourt and serving Korean faves like bi bim bap and of course some delectable K-Pop chicken, as well as oodles of noodles, soups and stews, it's going to be a favourite for many. If you're a fan of fairly healthy Korean food, head on down to Yas Mall and be sure to come back and give us your verdict.


Hours: 10AM-11PM

Location: Yas Mall Foodcourt, opposite Vox

Phone: 052 4490 031


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/mr-kimchi-or-yas-mall

TALEA BY ANTONIO GUIDA


This brand new restaurant at Emirates Palace is both modern and beautiful. Michelin starred Chef Antonio Guida has huge Italian food pedigree and has created a fabulous Italian menu in Talea, where Abu Dhabi meets Italy. The restaurant’s interiors scream Italian chic: columns, beautiful art depicting ports and palaces, lakes and cities amid Roman ruins, while the food is family sharing-style. Everything, as you would expect, is upscale and amazing. This could be your new fine-dining Italian go-to!


Hours: 12PM-10.30PM, Tuesday-Sunday

Location: Emirates Palace

Phone: 02 690 7999




THE CHIPPY


Making themselves more accessible than ever, The Chippy has moved across the road on Reem Island to Shams Boutiq mall. They're still serving great fish and chips, arguably the best fish and chips in Abu Dhabi, as well as a host of other baked goods, coffee and the odd ice-cream even. You can dine-in or takeaway and they deliver locally too. Friday night chips craving sorted Reemers!


Hours: 12 midday - 11PM

Location: Shams Boutiq mall

Phone: 02 444 7066




JOON PERSIAN


Thanks to Dyala Asad Raoufi, we have inside intel on this new Persian opening! It's only open for takeaway and delivery but the Iranian stews and rice dishes and kebabs were, according to her, melt-wateringly good! If you're looking for a new Persian restaurant to try, this is a good shout.


Hours: 12AM-12PM

Location: Al Nahyan

Phone: 056 690 1010


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/joon-persian



DROP


The newest outlet to open in Yas Bay, Drop is so much more than just coffee. Unlike their Dubai branch, the menu is varied and is the perfect place to go if you're craving a salad or a light bite. Of course the coffee is superb and it has water views to die for. What a place to kick back for an afternoon!


Hours: 8AM-11PM

Location: Pier 71, Yas Bay


https://www.bestbitesuae.com/dining/drop-or-yas-bay


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Rachael Partington

3/13/2022