5 Popular Beef Dishes to Enjoy in Abu Dhabi


The UAE boasts a vast selection of restaurants that specialize in particular cuisines. Many of these restaurants are world-renowned and they are mainly the reason why cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai have become popular gastronomic destinations for foodie globetrotters.

If you are a meat-lover, Abu Dhabi can surely deliver. It actually has some of the best steakhouses in the world. In fact, one of the favorite steakhouses of Hollywood celebrities in Los Angeles actually has a branch in the capital. It serves the finest beef for steaks, along with other meats and seafood.

So, if you have a hankering for beef while you are in Abu Dhabi, you can satisfy your cravings here. And, it’s not just steak that you can enjoy because different restaurants have their own delicious beef specialties to offer.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular beef dishes gastronomes recommend you should try in the city:

  1. Shawarma

Shaurma or shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern meat preparation that often features beef. The original recipe requires lamb or mutton, but beef has risen to become the highly preferred meat for the dish because of its enticing aroma and the rich flavor it creates.

If you want a complete beef meal on-the-go, this is the treat for you. Shawarma wraps the sliced beef in lafah or pita and it often comes with tahini sauce, or mango sauce, and even garlic mayo (which a lot of Asians love). This dish also features a lovely mix of hot and cold vegetables (paprika, onions, cucumbers, greens, carrots, and others) to complement the meat’s flavor.

  1. Sukiyaki

Japanese food is popular in Abu Dhabi and you can bet the selection is not limited to sushi. If you want beef prepared the Japanese way, you have to give sukiyaki a go.

Sukiyaki is a dish made of thin slices of beef cooked perfectly with some soy sauce, butter, and light seasoning. If you go to the best Japanese cuisine restaurant in the city, you will get to enjoy sukiyaki with high-quality raw egg, which is the preferred partner for the meat.

Also, the beef will most likely be Japanese Black wagyu, which many consider the best beef in the world. It is intricately laced with subcutaneous fat for that gorgeous marbling that creates a fantastic flavor and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

  1. Beef Caldereta

This Spanish-inspired Filipino stew is popular among the large population of Filipinos in the capital as well as other expats. It has tenderized bite-sized chunks of beef, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, olives, and green peas. It is a gorgeous dish you eat with rice and is best shared with family and friends.

Some restaurants like to add cheese to the recipe to further intensify the flavor of the stew and also to thicken the sauce. Wherever you may be from, you will enjoy this East meets West dish.

  1. Gourmet Burger

Burger joints are numerous in the capital but you should hit up dining establishments that specialize in gourmet burgers. One such place in the capital is known for its gourmet burgers that are made with high-quality wagyu beef and loaded with expensive truffle, a couple of varieties of mushrooms, beef bacon, carefully selected herbs and spices, and fruity melted Gruyere cheese.

This gourmet burger made it to the prestigious list of “must eats in Abu Dhabi” in 2015 and it has managed to sustain its popularity over the years.

  1. Steak

Filet mignon, New York strip, Porterhouse, ribeye, and T-bone – take your pick. Whichever you choose, there is no doubt that you will enjoy the best quality of these at BOA Steakhouse.

This steak restaurant in Abu Dhabi only uses USDA prime cuts and it always cooks steaks the right way. You will get meat that is tender and you are sure to savor the goodness of your succulent steak — just absolute enjoyment with the meal.

Beef-lovers who are visiting Abu Dhabi will not be disappointed with their foodie adventure here. These are just five of the most popular beef dishes to try and are great starters, but there are many other options you should definitely leave room in your tummy for.


Jenene Bronwin Batts is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tourism Development & Investment Company or TDIC. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ inquiries for the company’s destinations, including KOI Restaurant & Lounge and Boa Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi.

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