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Life & Style

Top 7 easy-on-the-pocket eateries in Dubai

  • From Ravi Restaurant to Chin Chin, there's something for all tastes
Published September 20, 2022
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As tourism picks up pace again and Pakistanis flock to exciting locations abroad, many are making their way to Dubai. Among many things, the city is a foodie paradise. And it does not have to be expensive on the pocket to get the best food in the world.

Now if you’re a Pakistani in Dubai craving some seriously Pakistani food that you can savour with friends and family without straining your pocket, trust me it is thoroughly possible. Don’t go by myths about Dubai that say it’s unaffordable.

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There are karak chais available for AED1 and biryanis with hearty servings for under AED10, too. Check out this awesome list where you can enjoy a variety of tastes from around the world without worrying too much about what they cost:

1. Pak Liyari Restaurant – low cost

Photo: Pak Liyari Facebook page
Photo: Pak Liyari Facebook page

This restaurant is fast become one of the reasons why people from the US and Europe come to Dubai to experience its very own ‘Pakistani’ flavour. Pak Liyari Restaurant serves all the highlights of Pakistani food such as kofta, daal and haleem. You can get anda chana for AED7 and daal gosht for AED11. They’re most famous for their mutton biryani which is for AED17 and their chicken biryani is for AED15.

Approximate cost per head: AED25 (maximum)

2. Daily Restaurant – medium cost

Photo: Daily Restaurant Facebook page
Photo: Daily Restaurant Facebook page

Daily Restaurant serves the best nihari in town. That’s right. If your taste buds are craving authentic spicy, buttery Pakistani food, this is the place to go. They’ve got great breakfast options too (halwa poori, chai and parathas).

Approximate cost per head: AED60 (chicken peshawari is AED45, mutton biryani is AED41)

3. Ravi Restaurant – low cost

Photo: Ravi Facebook page
Photo: Ravi Facebook page

This is a true Dubai legend. I’ve seen people from all over the world wait in lines outside the humble Ravi Restaurant in Satwa and eat Haleem and bread in their plastic plates. No one cares about the ‘humble’ ambience, they all love the food. And why wouldn’t they? It’s delicious. Their daalmash? Spectacular. Mutton biryani just for AED20. Don’t forget to try out their mutton peshawari for AED29 too.

Approximate cost per head: AED35

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4. Students’ Biryani – medium cost

Photo: Students' Biryani Facebook page
Photo: Students' Biryani Facebook page

This Karachi biryani chain has the classic Students’ Biryani taste that will have you missing Karachi but also being super thankful that they have multiple chains across the city now.

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Students Biryani has an outlet in Jumeirah Village Circle and it also has one outlet in Al Barsha and a few others across Dubai (Baniyas, Karama and Dubai Silicon Oasis also have branches). The food is simple, flavourful and comforting.

Approximate average cost per head: AED50

5. Chin Chin – medium cost

Photo: Chin Chin Facebook page
Photo: Chin Chin Facebook page

Craving that spicy Chinese Schezuan fried rice and the comfort of chicken corn soup? All on a budget? Go for Chin Chin. This is my go-to place to order in when I want a filling meal. The portions are great and the taste is just as awesome. Their Schezuan fried rice is as hot and spicy as they come. Pair it up with their Chicken Dynamite (AED41) and Chicken Manchow Soup (AED20) and share with family and friends.

Approximate cost per head: AED65

6. Barbar – medium cost

Photo: Barbar Facebook page
Photo: Barbar Facebook page

How about that perfect shawarma? Maybe a platter is what you fancy? Something that doesn’t break the bank either? Barbar is the place to head to asap.

And mind you, go early because that place is always filled with customers. They’ve got a nice system in place – if you can wait, they can ring you up so you can collect your order. This Lebanese restaurant has been ruling hearts since 1979 and you don’t want to miss this.

The portions are huge as well, especially the platters.

Approximate cost per head: AED80

7. Afghan Khorasan – medium cost

Photo: Afghan Khorasan Facebook page
Photo: Afghan Khorasan Facebook page

If you’re craving an authentic chapli kebab which has all the right flavours to tickle your taste buds, head over to the Afghan Khorasan Kabab. Their ambience is super authentic and you can eat very comfortably in their special family or group sections. Their mutton tikkas and dal gosht are unmissable and if you’re in the mood to splurge, the mutton shinwari karahi has your name on it!

Approximate price per head: AED60

So there you have it. The list is endless of course and it wasn’t easy locking down just seven restaurants to pick but these restaurants are absolutely must visits in Dubai, whether you can afford them or are even looking out for finer places to eat. These budget haunts offer so much more than just a budget experience.

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