Until recently, traveling while vegan was an activity fraught with slapstick potential, and if you don’t believe that, try explaining to a bemused Japanese waiter why draining the pork broth from your noodles won’t cut it. However, I’m happy to report, times are changing.
Today, any international destination worth the name offers a plethora of options for those with plant-based diets.
1. Wild & the Moon
One of the very first 100% vegan restaurants to open in Dubai, Wild & the Moon is a true Emirati success story. Today, they are present in four countries, with ten locations up and running and more on the way. They operate three elegant restaurants in Dubai, located at Al Serkal Avenue, Emaar Boulevard, and Gate Avenue, DIFC.
Co-founder Emma Sawko started Wild & the Moon to cater to the lack of healthy eating options in Dubai. But she also wanted healthy eating to be fun. Keeping with this philosophy, Wild & the Moon is all about enjoying great food in a pleasant atmosphere surrounded by good company.
The menu offers a range of tasty salads, soups, and bowls prepared from the freshest organic, local, and seasonal ingredients. Although, judging by reviews, their tacos seem to be a fan favorite. Wild & the Moon also serves cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and a variety of healthy desserts.
Expanding on this wellness theme, the restaurant sells a popular range of detox products. Like everything else Wild & the Moon, they are tasty, colorful, and packed with vitamins and antioxidants. So, if healthy eating and ethically sourced food is a priority for you, Wild & the Moon ticks all the right boxes.
Phone: +971 8009453
Address: Alserkal Avenue Street 8, H77, Al Quoz, Dubai
Hours: Sun-Sat: 9 AM-8 PM
2. Super Natural Kitchen
Along with Wild & the Moon, Super Natural Kitchen is one of the earlier pioneers of vegan eating in Dubai. It advertises itself as Dubai’s first 100% raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free restaurant.
Tucked away in a tiny cafe on the second floor of the colossal Dubai Mall, Super Natural Kitchen can be a little hard to locate. But it is well worth the effort, especially if you happen to be in the mall, where most visitors to Dubai find themselves at some point.
Chef Athena Matheou brings all the sophistication of the London restaurant scene to Super Natural Kitchen, personally developing each recipe before it makes its way onto the menu.
The Truffle Pizza, Portobello Burger, and the Cheese Plate are particularly popular. They also have some great healthy dessert options on the menu.
Phone: +971 502429408
Address: 2nd Floor, Galeries Lafayette, The Dubai Mall, Dubai
Hours: 11 AM-9 PM Daily
3. Little Erth by Nabz & G
Little Erth is one of a clutch of newer restaurants catering to plant-based lifestyles in Dubai that have sprung up in recent years. Having opened its doors as recently as 2017, it has already been winning accolades and legions of fans.
Name-checked showrunners Nabih and Ghalia have put together a fun and vibrant aesthetic. Everything from the decor to the menu is creative and inviting. It’s no wonder the restaurant was judged the Best Vegan Restaurant in Dubai at the 2018 Zomato Users Choice Awards.
Little Erth specializes in precisely the kind of cuisine that non-vegans love to spit on so much: vegan alternatives to much-loved non-vegan favorites. Their excellent versions of meat and dairy-rich middle-eastern favorites, such as shawarma and kunafa, will win many a skeptic’s hearts.
Phone: +971 42767287
Address: Shop 34, Building J2, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai
Hours: Sat-Wed: 12 PM-10 PM, Thu-Fri: 12 PM-11 PM
Gypsy started out at the Dubai Marina but now has a second location at the Dubai Mall. The second location opened only in 2019 and is the second entry on our list inside the Dubai Mall. That’s pretty good for a mall food court, I’d say!
Like Little Erth, Gypsy serves a wide selection of meaty comfort food assembled from plant-based alternatives. In their case, the menu covers classic American and continental favorites like burgers, pies, and finger foods.
They serve vegan versions of traditional fare like fish and chips, wings, and even a vegan shepherd’s pie. But, for the more adventurous, the menu has a lot more to offer. Date palm calamari or cauliflower ceviche, anyone?
Phone: +971 527748121
Address: Galeries Lafayette, Level 2, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai
5. Seva Table
The more upscale Seva Table advertises itself as not just a restaurant but as a holistic experience that includes meditation classes, workshops, healing treatments, and family and relationship coaching.
Of course, their holistic focus doesn’t mean that they don’t put forth a first-class menu. It just means that you can enjoy your meal in a calm oasis amid the bustling city. If you have the time, you can also indulge in a range of holistic healing practices to unwind.
Quiet and canopied, Seva Table is done up in woody, natural tones and has great outdoor seating with tatami-style seating. It’s hard to imagine that you’re sitting just a stone’s throw from La Mer beach.
The menu is dominated by eclectic cafe fare, making Seva Table a fantastic brunch spot. There are lots of gluten-free options, as well as probiotic and ayurvedic ingredients in the mix. Reviews of their food are so uniformly approving that it’s hard to recommend any specific dish.
Phone: +971 565342899
Address: Villa 5 1/B, Street 27B, Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Hours: 9:30 AM-7:30 PM Daily
6. Just Vegan
Another recent entry on the Emirati vegan scene, Just Vegan is part of an American headquartered chain of vegan restaurants with a global presence. They opened their first Emirati location at the Dubai Marina in 2017, and the franchise has grown in leaps and bounds since.
I recommend the flagship private dining restaurant at Jumeirah, which offers fabulous views. It is also pet-friendly and beautifully appointed, with its hanging garden of lush foliage adding a remarkably serene touch to the ambiance.
Just Vegan was named Best Plant-Based Restaurant in the 2022 Deliveroo Restaurant Awards and Best Sustainable Restaurant in the 2022 Lux Awards.
Their menu covers a mix of continental and Arabic dishes with great vegan versions of popular meat dishes like eggs benedict, chicken tenders, moussaka, and shish taouk. They also have great brunch and breakfast deals and a very affordable four-course set menu that is worth checking out.
Phone: +971 045269020
Address: Opposite ENOC Petrol Station, Beside Dubai Islamic Bank, Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqeim, Dubai
Hours: Mon-Thu: 10 AM-11 PM, Fri-Sat: 10 AM-12 AM
7. Soul Sante
Started by health and fitness expert Manisha Advani, Soul Sante touts a calorie-counted and ethically sourced menu as its USP. While the food is fantastic, it is also firmly focused on health and wellness.
Soul Sante serves salads, bowls, juices, and sumptuous desserts. But they don’t just offer a healthy option for dining out. They also have a range of targeted meal and juice plans for those trying to build a healthier lifestyle over the long term.
The restaurant offers specific plans for weight loss, muscle gain, and holistic wellness goals. You can also consult one of their dieticians on staff to build a meal plan tailored to your individual needs.
Phone: +971 507837685
Address: Shop #6, Jannah Place, Nasaq Street, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Hours: 7 AM-9:30 PM Daily
If you’re looking for the most sophisticated, purely plant-based culinary experience in Dubai, nothing tops Foila Restaurant located in the upscale Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah beach. You can enjoy your meal in a plush setting surrounded by palm trees and luxuriant lawns.
Folia’s menu was created by chef Matthew Kenney and comes with the approval of the kingdom’s famously vegan prince, Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud. Meals are served in a tranquil garden oasis created especially for the Folia opening.
The fare can sound dull on paper, but don’t let that fool you. Their roasted squash and herb tacos, king oyster barbacoa, and kelp noodles with cashew pepper sauce come highly recommended.
Phone: +971 42707777
Address: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai
Hours: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM Daily
Though not strictly vegan, Menagerie makes this list for a number of reasons. Targeted at customers looking for a wholesome food experience, their menu is heavy on protein-rich dishes, raw and superfoods, and dairy and gluten-free alternatives. It is also clearly labeled, making it easy to pick properly vegan fare.
Open nearly all day, Menagerie has an extensive, power-packed breakfast menu, making it a great way to start your day. Their tasty cold-pressed juices are also superfood cocktails. They cater to building immunity, boosting metabolism and gut health, building immunity, and brain, heart, or skin health.
Menagerie’s fare is eclectic and takes inspiration from a range of local and global cuisines. Note, for instance, the beet falafel sliders and the Sri Lankan dal and green bean curry. They are especially well known for their delightful vegan takes on the wide variety of flatbreads that the region is famous for.
All the desserts at Menagerie are dairy and gluten-free and do not have any added preservatives or refined sugars.
Tucked away on the ground floor of a suburban mall, the interiors are elegant and comfortable. The design won Project of the Year for Best Interior Design in the Food & Beverage Category at the 2017 Middle East Commercial Interior Design Awards.
Phone: +971 42885004
Address: Mirdif 35 Mall, Ground Level, Al Khawaneej, Dubai
Hours: Weekdays: 8.00 AM-11.00 PM, Weekends: 8.00 AM-12.00 AM
10. Tania’s Tea House
Like Menagerie, Tania’s Tea House is not strictly vegan. Located in an elegant two-story villa on Jumeirah Beach Road, it makes the list for its ‘mindful menu’ and the lengths staff will go to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies.
Started by tea enthusiast Tania Lodi, the tea house is an all-day cafe with a focus on gut-healing and anti-inflammatory dishes. The owner handpicks each of the teas that go into the blends on the menu. The range of teas and coffees offered are aimed at specific health and mood-related needs.
Tania’s Tea House also stands out for the picture-perfect interiors that make it one of the most Instagrammed cafes in the world. Done up in minimalist marble and pastel pink with rose gold accents, it will have you whipping your phone out for sure.
The photogenic decor also makes it a trendy venue for weekend brunches and special occasions. Call in and check what’s going on ahead of your visit if you treasure your peace and quiet.
Phone: +971 043240021
Address: Villa 779a on Jumeirah Beach Road, Next to EPPCO petrol station, Dubai
Hours: 8 AM-6 PM Daily
11. Indego by Vineet
Owing to strong regional ties, Dubai has some of the best Indian restaurants in the world, and Indego by Vineet is among the best of the best. Another not-purely-vegan restaurant, it rounds off our list of fabulous vegan eateries in Dubai.
Located in Grosvenor House, Indego by Vineet serves authentic Indian food with a contemporary twist. The menu, crafted by the Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia of London’s Rasoi fame, has made it a highlight of the Dubai food scene.
Indian cuisine, in general, has some fantastic vegetarian fare that is very vegan-friendly, and Indego by Vineet certainly fulfills that promise. The menu thoughtfully labels every dish with dairy, gluten, nuts, alcohol, or shellfish ingredients.
They serve Indian street food favorites like chaats and popular tandoori and Mughlai dishes that you’d get in every Indian restaurant you’ve ever been to. The difference is that this is authentic fine dining, sophisticated fare that would hold its own on a menu in any world capital.
Phone: +971 43176000
Address: Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Al Emreef Street, Dubai Marina, Dubai
Hours: 7 PM-11.30 PM Daily