Ciao Down: The Haute 5 Italian Restaurants in Dubai

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The experience of eating Italian food in Dubai at one of the restaurants listed below is practically equivalent to actually traveling to Italy. These menus are seemingly whisked straight from your everyday delicious Italian trattoria, except combined with the glamour and extravagance that goes with everything in Dubai.

Ossigeno, which means “a breath of fresh air” in Italian, is without a doubt one of the best Italian restaurants in town. It is stylish, elegant, and yet down to earth, creating an atmosphere that is at once alluring and comfortable. Attention to detail is found everywhere, from the menus to the elegant cutlery and silver candlesticks on each table. Seafood dishes are an ultimate treat. Try a main course of pan-fried prawns with sweet chili, garlic, borlotti beans, and parsley pesto. For dessert, don’t miss the Amaretto crème brulee. Full of elegant and happy diners, at Ossigeno, you will savor every moment.

Ossigeno is located at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina., 04 399 5555.


This highly commended Italian restaurant was given a double reward at the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards in 2009. Certo is well known as a trendy restaurant that serves a great selection of antipastis, homemade pastas, and a unique selection of pizzas made from a traditional wood-fired oven. Try the Cannellini bean soup with rosemary, garlic, and basil oil. Jumbo prawns are wrapped in ‘lardo’ (pork) on top of a pile of lentils. Desserts are innovative. For example, try the simple bowl of strawberries in balsamic vinegar and thick-ground pepper. It’s a perfect joint for business lunches or for a romantic evening.

Certo is located at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City., 04 366 9111.

This classy Italian restaurant is the latest addition to the Milanese chain. Quintessentially Italian in every sense, this new location particularly specializes in fish. Try the salmon tartare for starters, which is served with little wedges of orange that gives it a delectable balance between sweet and sour. For main dishes, the monkfish ossobuco is adventurous, but worth it. Ossobuco is traditionally made with veal shank, but the chef of BICE has recreated the old recipe by using monkfish instead. Desserts are very much in line with the traditional Italian fare: a creamy tiramisu, apple tortino, and of course, gelato.

BICE Mare is located at Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Burj Dubai, 04 423 0982.

Known as a superb Italian eatery, this restaurant is definitely low key on the décor and ambiance, but very big on the food. Pizza is an ultimate specialty at Prego’s. Try the fresh Piedmontese pizza with Fontina cheese and three types of mushrooms, or the veal ravioli with Portobello mushrooms. The dessert is the real treat, with an array of Italian favorites to choose from including tiramisu, pannacotta, vanilla pudding, and chocolate mousse. Prego’s is now serving a Friday brunch from 12:00 P.M.-3:00 P.M.

Prego’s is located at Media Rotana, TECOM, 04 435 0000.

Located on the mezzanine level of the Hyatt Regency, this authentic Italian restaurant serves the real deal when it comes to Italian meals made by Milanese chefs. The décor is simple, and there is a beautiful view over Dubai with a nearby promenade. Focaccia is now offering a series of various brunch specials: Pasta buffet for 99 AED, including dessert and half a bottle of Italian wine from 7:00 P.M.-11:30 P.M. every Thursday; a three-course lunch special for 75 AED per person; a Friday brunch for 189 AED per person, and a 210 AED special with selected beverages and the Hotel’s resident band performing live during brunch hours (12:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.) You can be sure this is a great laidback Italian eatery with delicious food and great service.

Focaccia is located at the Hyatt Regency Dubai, Deira, 04 317 2222.

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