Biryani is one of the most well-liked Indian dishes in the world. Partially because it’s delicious and partially because statistically, any culture that has Indian food also has a culture of biryani.
With such a large number of restaurants serving it, finding good biryani can be a challenge. We’ve composed a list of the best biryani restaurants in Dubai that you can go to if you’re craving this delicious dish like I am right now.
1. Kulcha King
We were initially skeptical about visiting Kulcha King because we thought, what could a restaurant specializing in Kulchas (type of Indian flatbread) know about biryanis?
Well, were we ever surprised! They knocked the ball all the way out of the ballpark with their biryanis. Rich, flavorsome and fragrant do not even come close to how delectable the biryanis were.
Kulcha King certainly lives up to its name of being King. They have eight varieties of biryani on their menu. Of the lot, a must-try is the Lamb Rogan Josh biryani. With its blend of lamb rogan josh spices with aromatic basmati rice, we thought we had reached liberation already!
The vegetarian in our group went with the smoked wild mushroom biryani. There are not enough words to describe how deep with flavor this biryani was. The moment it landed at our table, the aromas wafted out. The smokiness combined with a special biryani gravy and a variety of mushrooms made this biryani beyond delightful.
There is no question Kulcha King why Kulcha King is so popular and does serve the title of best biryanis in Dubai.
- Location: Sheik Khalifa Bin Sayed Street, Al Karama
- Opening Time: 10:00 am – 02:00 am
- +971 4 376 5666
2. Jaffer Bhai’s Dubai
Jaffer Bhai’s was born in Mumbai, India, before making their way to Dubai. Since opening its doors in Dubai, this restaurant has gained credence and popularity amongst many, especially ex-pats from India.
Their biryanis are a unique blend of spices flavored with clarified butter, making them unique in flavor and taste.
That’s not surprising since the biryanis at Jaffer Bhai’s has a distinctive flavor of their own, and that is because they follow a recipe that is more than 50 years old but impeccable nonetheless.
We tried their Dum Chicken biryani, which was so rich and aromatic. The chicken was well cooked, immersed in spice, and marinated in yogurt.
From Mumbai to Dubai, Jaffer Bhai’s is the biryani restaurant to visit in Dubai when you’re craving that delectable mix of fragrant rice and spice.
- Location: Shop 3, Al Wasi Building, Al Karama
- Opening Time: Open
- +971 4 342 6467
3. Sthan Restaurant
What drew me to this restaurant nestled in the streets of Al Karama was the story behind its creation of it. The word, Sthan, derives its name from an amalgamation of sorts of the words Hindustan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
It pays tribute to a time passed when no borders, check posts, or visas were around to tell people where they were allowed to travel. As people traveled between the countries, the language and food flourished.
The interior of Sthan reflects those cultural influences, from the artwork on the walls to the floor tiles, which is a typical Moghul design that is white and blue. The owners of Sthan decided to retain the open kitchens, which brought to mind large families gathering together outdoors to cook on open fires. The aromas of freshly baked bread wafting through the air, combined with the spicy fragrance of meat cooking in the tandoor ovens.
A slice of that heaven is created in Sthan on the shores of Dubai.
An absolute must-try at Sthan is their Sindhi Biryani, a perfect combination of spice from the masalas used and the minty yogurt in which the animal protein is marinated. But what makes this biryani so different from any other is the dry plums added for that slightly tangy, slightly sweet taste.
- Location: Zabeel Road, Al Karama
- Opening Time: Open daily between 12:00 pm to 12:00 am
- +971 4 399 7775
4. Pak Liyari
Before delving into the outstanding biryanis Pak Liyari prepares, here are some fascinating facts about this unassuming restaurant in Dubai’s Meena Bazaar. Head Chef Ali Mohamed, originally from Pakistan, began his cooking career in a small village Liyari in Pakistan before joining the Lyari Hotel in Dubai.
Pak Liyari prepares on average between 100 to 150 kg of biryani a day and serves between 300 to 400 plates daily. On the weekend, approximately 200 kg of biryani is prepared, and more than that during a festival or holiday. Despite these large quantities, every bite remains tasteful and aromatic.
Only an experienced chef can get those proportions correct every time!
Pak Liyari’s infamous mutton and chicken biryanis are oozing with all the right flavors, colors, and fragrances.
When you are done with the biryani, please give their Zafrani Kheer a try. Rich, creamy, sweet, fragranced with cardamoms, and oh so irresistible. Heaven on a plate.
- Location: Behind Gulab building, Al Fahidi Street, Meena Bazaar
- Opening Time: Open daily between 11 am, and 1 am
- +971 4 363 5587
5. Biryani Pot
With a name like Biryani Pot, how can you not want to try their biryanis? So that is what we did. And we were very pleasantly surprised by the food and service.
Firstly the biryanis come to you steaming hot in an earthen clay pot. The biryani has that earthy, smoky flavor of the pot, which adds to the taste. The biryanis had the right balance of spice, chili, animal protein, and fragrant basmati rice.
They have a variety of biryanis that will suit any discerning palate. They don’t have just a chicken biryani but also a butter chicken biryani, and if that didn’t get your attention, perhaps their salmon or prawn biryanis will.
The Biryani Pot, like their biryanis, is a balance of flavor and everything tasteful. It is a combination of North and South Indian cuisine. Both have very different spices and methods of preparing biryanis, but somehow they all come together in one delectable dish.
- Location: Jumeirah Road
- Opening Time: Open daily between 11:00 am to 2:00 am
- +971 4 526 9047
6. MR Biryani Restaurant
Mr Biryani is an authentic Indian restaurant based on 24th Street. They opened in Dubai in 2009, serving South Indian meals prepared the traditional way. However, they gained popularity in serving the best biryanis in the city over the years.
And no doubt about it, their biryanis are definitely up on the list. They have a good selection and variations of this traditional Indian meal. The fish biryani is delicious, obviously, but MR Biryani also serves a prawn and a squid biryani. Now, I’ve had a prawn biryani and even attempted to prepare one myself with disastrous results! But Squid!
I gave that a pass for now. I enjoy trying out new foods, especially when traveling but not brave enough to try squid.
- Location: 24th Street Al Zafrana Building
- Opening Time: Open daily between 12:00 pm to 1:00 am
- +971 4 232 3551
7. Adaminte Chayakada
Adaminte Chayakada is a Malabar fusion restaurant with some of the best flavored Malabar biryanis around. The restaurant was created by Aneez Adam, who discovered the art of cooking from learning alongside his grandfather. From his grandfather, he learned there is no end to this cooking journey; there are always new ways to improve on the old or make something taste better.
Adaminte Chayakada is renowned for its fusing and blending tastes and flavors even in their biryanis. For example, a must-try is the Bruce Lee biryani, a tribute to the great martial arts master.
They have the traditional biryani wrapped in the banana leaf, but another firm favorite is their bamboo biryani. A delicious, wholesome biryani served in a hollowed-out bamboo. Each variant is distinctively different, an original variation but still authentic.
- Location: Nabooda Building, Damascus Street
- Opening Time: Open daily between 8:00 am to 3 am
- +971 4 548 6565
8. Behrouz Biryani
Another contender for the spot of best biryani in Dubai is Behrouz Biryani. It was a restaurant loved by Indian and Pakistani ex-pats alike because their Indo-Pakistan fusion food hit all the right spots, especially their biryanis.
What makes this restaurant so unique besides its unique and special blend of flavors are the portion sizes. The biryanis can be ordered in three sizes, Shahi biryani, which is a single serving; King size biryani, which is for two people; and finally, Kilo Biryani, which feeds between four to five people.
So, we tried their Kilo Biryani, and WOW! Do you know that feeling after indulging too much? You just have to release the belt on your trousers just a little. Yes, that’s the feeling after consuming biryanis at Behrouz Biryani.
So if you’re planning to visit this hidden gem, please make sure you haven’t eaten before then and wear looser clothing. You can thank me later!
- Location: Business bay, Al Karama
- Opening Time: Open daily between 10:00 am to 01:00 am
- +971 4 526 0651
9. Gazebo Restaurants
Gazebo Restaurants are one of those places that linger for quite a while after leaving. Any mention of the word “gazebo” and I salivate thinking of this gem that promises a “royal Indian journey,” and delivers in all facets.
I can confidently say the chefs of Gazebo have truly mastered the art of making a typical traditionally Indian biryani. Of course, they have added their twist to this time-loved classic, but the taste and flavor remain the same.
The biryanis are slow-cooked over a low heat that gives all the whole spices to release their precious oils and aromas that count for the fragrance emitting from the food. This slow cooking method is reminiscent of cooking in the Royal palaces in Lucknow and Awadh.
- Location: Oracle Building, No 6 Sheikh Zayed Road
- Opening Time: From Saturday to Thursday, 12:00 pm-9:30 pm, Friday 1:15 pm-9:30 pm
- +971 4 359 8555
10. Grub Shack Restaurant
Unlike other restaurants mentioned above, the Grub Shack offers patrons a unique fusion of Bombay with Goan tastes and flavor. When we traveled from North India down to the South, we noticed a distinct difference in the cooking method, ingredients used, and the taste of the food. Every region has its own variant of the traditional biryani.
I noticed the same with biryani restaurants in Dubai as well. Although they serve one dish, there are so many variations of that dish. Grub shack, for example, combines North Indian flavors with those found in a coastal town like Goa.
A must-try at the Grub Shack is their GS special biryani and Peri-Peri biryani. A variation of the original with a difference, but they’ve made a fantastic improvement!
The meat is cooked perfectly, with just the right balance of heat from the chili and flavorsome spices. And before you know it, the plate is clean, and you’re wondering where everything went! Exotic and alluring like a siren’s song, it captures you and draws you in for another bite.
I would advise you to wear pants with elastic when visiting Grub Shack. It’s definitely easier on the tummy!
- Location: Building 41, Close to mediclinic City Hospital
- Opening Time: Open Monday to Thursday between 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Friday between 12:00 pm to 12:30 am, Saturday and Sunday between 12:00 pm to 11 pm
- +971 4 427 1103
11. SS Bucket Biryani
On this journey to find the best biryani restaurants, we tried biryanis from all across India, from the Northern states down to Kerala and Goa. And while this journey has been informative but a delicious one, I can confidently say to you I packed on the calories!
But I loved every minute of the journey; I mean, who wouldn’t love tasting the best biryanis around.
Every region in South India has its own history, traditions, and food preparation. So one of the last ones we visited was a restaurant known for its South Indian cuisine. The South is known for very flavorful foods. They love foods a bit tangy so use tamarind for that. The abundance of coconuts found along these coastal towns is used to balance the heat and settle the stomach a bit.
So SS Biryani Bucket has taken these flavors from the Southern part of India, particularly Chennai, and infused them in their biryanis.
What makes this biryani restaurant stand out from others is that they use fresh mutton, which definitely adds to the biryani flavor. An aubergine curry and a spicy onion yogurt salad called raita accompany the biryani.
And when you think you cannot have more, they add my favorite Indian dessert, the humble Gulab jamun. Round dough balls are deep-fried and then added to a sticky sugar syrup flavored with cardamom, rose essence, and sometimes a hint of saffron.
If I had a final meal, it would be the biryani from SS Bucket Biryani and two extra servings of their Gulab Jamun.
- Location: 29 18A Street Shop Al Wasi Building
- Opening Time: Open daily between 11:00 am to 12 pm
- +971 4 398 5005