Best Festival City Mall Restaurants Dubai

The 13 Best Festival City Mall Restaurants You Don’t Want to Miss

Though it is still relatively new, the Festival City Mall in Dubai is one of the most famous and well-known malls, with more than 400 shops and plenty of places to eat. However, if you’ve been exploring the mall or went to Dubai’s only IKEA and got hungry, it’s nice to know the best places to eat before you take a seat.

There’s quite a selection with a wide range of restaurants, from international chains to authentic Emirati food. With that in mind, if you’re looking for the finest restaurants in the Festival City Mall, you don’t want to miss these.

1. Hard Rock Café

If you’re looking for a meal and the opportunity to see some live music, the Hard Rock Café is one of the best places you can visit. With a well-established global presence, you’d expect the food and service to be good, and I am glad to say that this one doesn’t disappoint.

With a wide variety of trinkets from world-famous bands and musical artists, live music, and excellent food, it’s hard not to enjoy eating here. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds that form when the evening gets near, you can come here for lunch and will usually have your choice of where to sit.

In addition to the excellent and friendly service, if you like going to Hard Rock Cafes, you will be able to find your usual meal on the menu since it is essentially the same everywhere. However, if you are looking for something different and haven’t tried it, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Double-Decker Double Cheese Burger, which will keep you full and happy for a long time.

  • Location: Mall Zone 8A, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 232 8900
  • Website: Hard Rock Café

2. Al Fanar

Whether you were born in Dubai or want to experience some of the authentic food and culture, Al Fanar can help you. With a specialty in Emirati foods and excellent ambiance, Al Fanar allows you to feel like you are sitting the Dubai in its early days before it became such a hub of activity and tourism.

Walking through and sitting at this restaurant allows you to travel back to Dubai in the 1960s while also allowing you to experience the fantastic food of the time. The walls and ceilings of Al Fanar hold lanterns, old equipment, and tools, all of which help to create a wonderful atmosphere in which you can enjoy the cuisine.

If you and a few others would like to experience this restaurant and enjoy the Emirati food, I highly recommend ordering the Machboos Rice, which can get shared with up to five people. If you are in Dubai to experience the culture, this is one restaurant you will never forget.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 232 9966
  • Website: Al Fanar

3. Nando’s


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In the mood for something a bit spicy? With a funky-looking interior, excellent service by most of the servers, and the option for great peri-peri chicken, Nando’s is one of the best. Though some of Nando’s branches aren’t that great, the food and service at this branch were terrific and left nothing of the meal experience up to chance by taking excellent care of the customers.

Though you may expect a restaurant with a heavily Portuguese-inspired aesthetic, the attractive decoration isn’t overbearing, allowing for a great atmosphere to enjoy some spicy chicken. Though Nando’s has plenty of delicious meals, I recommend ordering the Nandocas Choice Burger if you haven’t yet; the toasted garlic roll is one of my favorites from Nando’s.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 60 054 2525
  • Website: Nandos

4. IKEA Restaurant


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Though the food may not be the initial thing you think of when thinking of the international brand IKEA, the IKEA restaurant can be the perfect place for you and your whole family to take a break from shopping. With a wide range of dishes to choose from, both local and Swedish, there is something for everyone on the menu, and it’s available for any meal.

The IKEA restaurant in the Festival City Mall has little decoration but allows you to use the buffet feature, which is a big part of the aesthetic. With friendly staff, big tables, reasonable prices, and lots of food to choose from, this is the perfect place to have a quick snack with the whole family after shopping.

Knowing that IKEA restaurants only use responsibly sourced food is also an added benefit, and if you want to make a stop here, I highly recommend trying the famous meatballs and a hashbrown.

  • Location: Level 2, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 814 4203
  • Website: IKEA

5. PF Chang’s

Simply walking past PF Chang’s in the Festival City Mall is enough to draw you in for a Chinese and Asian food experience you are not likely to forget. With old-looking statues of Chinese warriors in their armor and giant horse statues to welcome you at the entrance, the aesthetic will be the first thing to make you want to experience this fabulous restaurant.

However, once the friendly and efficient staff supply you with a menu, you may be even more amazed by the fantastic Asian-inspired, wok-cooked food choices. Though the restaurant is often quite full, there is enough space and comfortable seating for a decent amount of people.

If you’re looking for something to try, Mongolian beef is a brilliant dish made with caramelized beef and green onions, brought together with a non-overpowering sauce. I recommend not missing out on PF Chang’s next time you’re at the mall, though I suggest waiting until the lunch rush is over to have a few more seating choices.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 419 0850
  • Website: PF Chang’s

6. California Pizza Kitchen

With one of the most incredible views of the light show at the mall, California Pizza Kitchen is one of the most popular restaurants you can find here. However, the light show will be rather forgettable once you experience the food and service of this restaurant, which, if you’re anything like me, will keep you coming back for more.

The inside of the restaurant holds a lovely arrangement of booths big enough to seat a family, and with the plants and some hanging lights, the atmosphere is light and relaxed. In addition to the decor’s aesthetic, this restaurant gives you the perfect view of the light show if you are there at the time.

Despite what the name would suggest, the meal I enjoyed the most was not a pizza; instead, I opted for the cheeseburger on one of my visits, which is divine. However, I should mention that the pizza is also great, and the staff is willing to assist you with any special dietary requirements or restrictions.

7. Eataly


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Not expecting to find an authentic Italian restaurant in Dubai, I was surprised to see the food Eataly had to offer, and the quality did not leave anything desired. Though at first, the restaurant looked more like a typical shop, only featuring Italian ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised with the friendly staff and the excellent quality of the food they had on offer.

In addition to the food and good service, you can see the light show from this restaurant if you are seated near a window. If you want to visit this restaurant, I can recommend most of their delicious homemade pasta dishes or the Salmone E Burrata pizza if you want to experiment with authentic Italian pizza and fresh salmon.

  • Location: First Floor, Festival Square, Waterfront View
  • Contact: +971 4 224 1083
  • Website: Eataly

8. Famous Dave’s

If you’re an American in Dubai and feeling somewhat homesick, Famous Dave’s can help you feel whole again. Famous Dave’s is almost exactly what you would think of when you think of barbeque, and it serves some meaty options, including steaks and burgers that will make your mouth water when you see the menu.

The restaurant’s aesthetic is between a diner and a butcher shop, with lots of writing and images on the walls and some booths or stand-alone tables. On my visit, the service staff members were delightfully friendly, though you may want to choose a time when the restaurant isn’t too busy to relax while eating your food.

My favorite meal from Famous Dave’s is The Minnetonka Monster, a burger made with beef brisket, wagyu patties, bacon, and other less critical veggies and salad ingredients. If you’re looking for something less meaty, I recommend the Famous Fish & Chips, Famous Dave’s take on a classic fish meal.

  • Location: Level 1, Water Front, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 287 6161
  • Website: Famous Dave’s

9. Café Bateel


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No matter what you feel like eating, if you want to feel like you are fine dining in the Festival City Mall, Café Bateel is the place to go. With refined cuisine and many different dishes that get stylishly served, anyone would understand if you took a photo of your meal before even taking the first bite.

With Café Bateel being in a relatively central area, there isn’t too much decoration, but the chairs are soft, and the servers help you with a smile. Even in the middle of the floor, Café Bateel allows you to relax while eating something that looks like you should be in a Michelin-star restaurant. In addition, if you have a cup of coffee or tea, you get complimentary dates, which is somewhat of a specialty.

I recommend trying the Smoked Salmon & Avocado appetizer to start, a dish that is both delicious and looks like art on a plate. If you take your children, there is also a kids menu, with more “child-friendly” choices such as a chicken toasted sandwich.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 232 8856
  • Website: Café Bateel

10. Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse stays true to its name with everything from the horns on the wall, the branded jukebox, the primarily wooden interior, and the occasional line dancing. If you’re looking to experience a small piece of Texas through the food, and some of the cultural traditions, without needing to buy an expensive plane ticket, this is the next best option.

The staff at this restaurant are friendly and willing to help you with a smile, even if you want to ask for more of the peanuts they put on the table. In addition, you can sit inside or out, and both give you a great view of the waterfront.

Since Texas is one of the biggest beef producers in the US, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I recommend getting one of their burgers, specifically their Smokehouse Burger. If you’re looking for something else, the wings are also great, and you can choose the sauce heat, mild or hot.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 452 9971
  • Website: Texas Roadhouse

11. Galito’s


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If you’re looking for a little piece of Africa, look no further than Galito’s, where the walls at covered in tribal patterns, and even the lights have African-inspired light shades. It’s good to know that Galito’s can keep up their desire to serve well-cooked flame-grilled chicken worldwide, and if you’re wondering how the chicken has so much flavor, it’s the 24-hour marinade they do before cooking.

With friendly staff and a relaxed African-inspired aesthetic, this is the perfect place to have your next meal. Though Galitos’ specialty is chicken, I can also highly recommend the Mozambique shrimp wrap, which comes with shredded iceberg lettuce, grilled shrimp, a wonderful sweet sauce, and a side of fries.

If you want to go for drinks, there is also a list of mocktails you can try, though I usually stick with the mojito, from which you have a few flavor choices. The mint in the mojito goes well with the spicier dishes and helps cool your mouth if you need it.

  • Location: Skywalk Food Court, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 288 2613
  • Website: Galito’s

12. Five Guys Restaurant

In 1986, Janie and Jerry Murrell told the four Murrell boys, “Start a company or go to college.” Since then, Five Guys has become a local staple in the Washington, DC, region. The Murrell family ultimately went entrepreneurial, opening a burger takeaway shop in Arlington, Virginia.

The Murrell family, led by Jerry and Janie, provided only burgers they had hand-formed and grilled to perfection, along with fries cut from fresh potatoes and fried in 100% peanut oil. The Murrell family refined their straightforward method through trial and error in the 1980s and 1990s.

Five Guys was the spot to get a tasty burger with all the fixings and freshly baked buns made especially for their customers. Today, thirty years after its inception, Five Guys has around 1700 outlets around the globe, and another 1500 are in the works. Five Guys has amassed a loyal worldwide following and continues to garner extensive media coverage.

  • Location: Ground Floor, Main Atrium, Festival City Mall
  • Contact: +971 4 584 4719
  • Website: Five Guys

13. Joe’s Crab Shack (Temporarily closed)

Joe’s Crab Shack serves a range of dishes from different regions of the ocean and coastline. Customers may pick from seasonal seafood buckets, fish meals, and fried shrimp platters on its large menu. They also serve steak, chicken, and sandwich alternatives from the mainland.

Guests may indulge in innovative and oversized drinks, like the “Shark Bite,” which is topped with a plastic toy shark. Since its start, Joe’s prominence has been attributable to its food and retail location.


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