best filipino restaurants dubai

The 13 Best Filipino Restaurants In Dubai (Real Pinoy Cuisine)

With its vibrant Filipino expat community, Dubai is a hub of excellent Pinoy cuisine. Whether you’re on a budget, homesick for sinigangi, planning a boodle fight with the family, or want to party through the night, there is a Filipino restaurant for you.

Mostly clustered around the Filipino community in Al Karama and Deira, here are the top lucky 13 Filipino restaurants in Dubai.

1. Dampa Seafood Restaurant

With their famous Dump-A-Seafest meal, Dampa is a fun, communal eating experience – the authentic Pinoy boodle fight. This family-friendly and delightfully affordable restaurant serves delicious Filipino seafood dishes straight onto the paper tablecloths and dispenses with cutlery: you eat with your hands, Pinoy-style.

Your seafood can be steamed, grilled, baked, or fried, and you can sample squid, calamari, crab, shrimp, mussels, and clams, along with unlimited rice. Or order a la carte and try Filipino and other specialties like the tasty Seafood Laksa soup or grilled bangus (milkfish, the national fish of the Philippines).

Bond over a shared meal, but be prepared to queue as this popular hangout gets busy.

2. Lamesa

The best Filipino buffet in Dubai is at Lamesa, an upscale contemporary restaurant on the fifth floor of the Asiana Hotel. One of the few Filipino restaurants that serve authentic pork dishes, Lamesa offers comfort food to cure your homesickness, like lechong kawali (deep-fried pork belly) and crispy pata (pork leg). There’s also a tremendous variety of seafood, beef, chicken, and vegetarian dishes.

Apart from their Filipino offering, you’ll also find Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese dishes, as well as a salad bar. There’s a delectable dessert buffet, which features biko, those addictive sticky rice cakes, and buko padan (an acquired taste – you’ll either love or hate the creamy, coconutty concoction with a jelly-like texture).

With its open kitchens and friendly, upbeat atmosphere, Lamesa makes for an engaging, enjoyable, and hunger-satisfying experience. You’ll walk away stuffed and smiling.

3. Hot Palayok

Thes brightly colored murals in Hot Palayok welcome you warmly, like the traditional clay pots the restaurant is named after.

Hot Palayok offers authentic Filipino cuisine with the freshest of ingredients. Their seafood, in particular, is some of the best in Dubai, and you should try their tender pinaputok (steamed tilapia) and the grilled tuna. You can choose your seafood, street food style and have it cooked in front of you. You’ll also find chicken, beef, vegetable, and rice dishes, with their sinigang stew, deserving of widespread praise.

After your meal, strut your stuff at the karaoke hall, with its excellent sound system. Hot Palayok is a perfect choice for a party or family gathering.

4. Carinderia Ni Tandang Sora

Taking inspiration from a typical carinderia (cafeteria), this humble eatery/bakery is named after Tandang Sora, a Filipina revolutionary. In this spirit, the restaurant aims to provide affordable and wholesome homecooked meals to the many Pinoy ex-pat workers in Deira.

Portions are generous, and the atmosphere is vibrant and busy. Offering Filipino staples like daing na bangus (pan-fried milkfish) and kare-karang baka (stew), this carinderia also has a boodle-fight special at an excellent price. Try the camaron rebusado (deep-fried shrimp) – you won’t be disappointed.

5. Paluto

The name of this seafood-themed restaurant translates from Tagalog as “please cook,” and that’s precisely what happens here. With a stunning location next to the Fish Market at Deira’s Waterfront, Paluto will clean, prepare and cook fresh seafood you choose from the market.

Once your seafood has been weighed, your choices include whether you want it steamed, fried, grilled, or made into a soup or stew, how spicy you’d like it, and what sauce you’d like. Apart from the usual lemon butter and garlic sauces, there’s a delicious creamy coconut concoction that’s truly amazing.

If you don’t fancy wandering through the seafood market, there’s also a fantastic menu. You can still enjoy a mixed seafood feast or choose one of the many Filipino specials like sinigang na hipon, delicious shrimp in a sour tamarind sauce. The milkshakes are a revelation, so save space for one of them for dessert.

Because your fresh seafood is cooked from scratch, be prepared to wait 30 to 45 minutes for your meal. The time passes quickly, though, as you enjoy the magnificent view of the Waterfront and the bottomless sodas.

  • Opening times: Sunday-Thursday 2 pm-12 am, Friday-Saturday 10 am-12 am
  • Contact: +971 54 581 2130
  • Address: Waterfront Market, Al Khaleej Street, Corniche, Deira, Dubai
  • Website:

6. Max’s Restaurant

A beloved fried chicken chain in the Philippines, Max’s has been open in Dubai since 2011 and serves up tender, juicy, crispy fried chicken to its fans.

Started in 1945 and still family-run, Max’s Restaurant offers you your Pinoy food fix – apart from their legendary chicken, they offer favorites like beef sisig, marinated and grilled chicken inasal, and rich bulalo soup with bone marrow.

Max’s is called the “House That Fried Chicken Built” for a good reason. Apart from their tasty and well-priced fried chicken, you can expect consistently high quality, prompt service, and authentic flavors.

  • Opening times:  11 am-10 pm
  • Contact: +971 4 351 1269
  • Address: Ground Floor, Spinneys Building, Trade Centre Road, Karama, Dubai

7. Dagat Dagatan

The name gives it away: this gourmet seafood restaurant pays homage to the famous fish market in Malabon in the Phillippines. Known for its fresh seafood and spice-loving Filipino chefs, Dagat Dagatan offers a seafood extravaganza at surprisingly affordable prices.

Advertising itself as being a home away from home for Dubai’s Pinoy ex-pats, this eatery offers traditional Filipino cuisine, including an all-you-can-eat buffet and a boodle-fight experience.

Dagat Dagatan is a popular venue for birthday parties (they’ll even make the cake), hosting a karaoke hall as well. The restaurant gets busy, so make a reservation or go early.

  • Opening times:  12.30 pm-10 pm
  • Contact: +971 4 274 0910
  • Address: Landmark Summit Hotel Al Rigga (1st Floor), behind CBI Bank, Al Jazira Street, Al Rigga, Deira, Dubai
  • Website:

8. Jollibee

Another famous Filipino fried chicken franchise, Jollibee, is the Pinoy version of KFC. You’ll go there for their crispy fried chicken – chickenjoy, naturally –  but take time to try their burgerjoy and Jolly Spaghetti, a traditional side with chicken. It’s also worth trying their milkshakes, especially the chocolate sundae.

You’ll find branches of Jollibee all over Dubai, so you’ve got no excuse to ignore your craving for crunchy chicken. And they’re quick, cheap and cheerful.  

Each store has slightly different opening times, so check the store locator before going to avoid disappointment.

  • Opening times: 8 am-12 am
  • Contact: 600 587000
  • Address: Level 1, Persia Court, near Metro Link, Ibn Battuta Mall, Jebel Ali Village, Dubai
  • Website:

9. Talk Hang

With its crazy graffiti interior and friendly name, Talk Hang grabs your attention immediately. This funky eatery in Deira offers well-priced Filipino cuisine specializing in seafood.

You can sit inside or enjoy your meal al fresco. Either way, enjoy the silog breakfast specials with garlic rice and eggs. Try the unique Filipino spring rolls called lumpia, or bring your friends for a boodle fight. You can choose your seafood with Cajun and Mexican flavors if you prefer.

The staff is friendly and approachable, and they always have budget-friendly offers, so make this hole-in-the-wall next on your list.

10. Tapa King

Tapa King is a much-loved Filipino chain with stores throughout the UAE. They’ve been serving outstanding Filipino cuisine for over 30 years and still serve homestyle comfort food to meat lovers today.

If you’re a fan of the Pinoy dish tapa, you have to get to Tapa King. For those who aren’t in the know, tapa is a fried beef dish, often served for breakfast as tapsilog, with fried rice and eggs. Choose from the royal family of tapa: Tapa King, Tap Queen, Tapa Prince, and a budget version as well.

Tapa King also serves other favorites like bangus (fried milkfish), bulalo (beef marrow soup), and kangkong (spinach with garlic). Take the chance to taste Pinoy foods like fast food instead of your usual burger or pizza.

  • Opening times: 9 am-11 pm
  • Contact: +971 4  356 6700
  • Address:  Block B, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Burjuman Mall, Bur Dubai, Dubai
  • Website:

11. Bulwagan/Eat Showtime Restaurant and Café

The home away from home for homesick Filipinos, Bulwagan, now under a new name, Eat Showtime, has been cooking up comfort in the UAE for nearly 40 years. Run by Filipinos for Filipinos, the homey eatery is patronized by plenty of people looking for a taste of home.

Described by its fans as “just like mom’s cooking,” so if you’re looking for lutong-bahay (homecooked meals), head down to Eat Showtime. Try the authentic pesang lapu lapu (fish), karekare (peanut sauce with oxtail or tripe), or the delicious coconutty sapin-sapin.

If you’re new to Pinoy food, you have to sample the gulaman sago, a sugary iced drink with miniature tapioca pearls – an unusual combination of teeth-aching sweetness and gelatinous texture.

If you’re craving some comfort food, head down to this old favorite.

12. Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin’ Steak

This popular Filipino franchise serves pan-Asian cuisine, which crosses over from Japanese to Korean to Filipino, with a dash of the US and Mexico thrown in. For instance, you can get a sizzling beef tapa.

The menu is broad, including typical Japanese fare like gyoza, sushi, sashimi, ramen, and donburi bowls, which are expertly done. The steaks (choose from ribeye, tenderloin, and sirloin) are their best dish, served sizzling hot, and marbled with fat. Choose a combo platter to get a taste of all the meat dishes.

There are several branches of this eatery across the UAE, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and they often have well-priced specials on Wednesday evenings. Also, look out for their brunches. Drop in for an oriental steakhouse meal, Pinoy style – just check the branch’s opening hours you’re going to.

13. Club Seven

Strictly speaking, Club Seven is a bar and nightclub with a menu rather than a restaurant – but it’s impossible to leave it off any list of Best Filipino nightspots in Dubai.  

With live music, a hip dance crew, a crowded dance floor, fantastic lighting, and modern luxury décor, this high-energy club is where you’ll want to end up on Friday night. There are happy hour specials and a fabulous cocktail menu.

The menu isn’t authentically Pinoy, straying into Mexican and bar food territory (nachos and chicken wings), but there are some traditional foods on the menu. The sontanghon guisado is a lip-smacking fried noodle dish with chicken and plenty of garlic. If you’re adventurous, try the dinakdakan, which contains both pork ears and belly.

More expensive than the usual Pinoy offerings in Dubai, you’re paying hotel prices for drinks and entertainment. But Club Seven promises a fantastic evening out.


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