From Tokyo’s Streets To A Palestinian Kitchen: Taste The World Without Leaving Home With MENA’s Top 50 Restaurants

Are you a foodie who constantly gets pangs of FOMO while scrolling through TikTok or Instagram and having to watch influencers heading to must-try bakeries across Paris or London’s best dessert spots?

We have the perfect remedy for your social media suffering: our own selection of international restaurants right here in the region that made it on MENA’s Top 50 restaurants list. Get ready to get a taste of the globe through our hand-picked selection:

French-Inspired Indulgence

LPM Abu Dhabi

Imagine yourself getting teleported into a picturesque re-creation of the French Riviera. We’re talking bougainvilleas on the terrace, elegant shutters, olive trees, and the perfect view overlooking the lapping waters of Al Maryah Island. That’s LPM Abu Dhabi, a French-inspired restaurant that brings a taste of the Riviera to each plate.

Each dish plucks out the ingredients of the Riviera, whether it’s their Yellowtail Carpaccio with zesty citrus dressing and creamy guacamole or their Gnocchi À La Tomate Fraîche.⁠ Colorful, Mediterranean dishes rich with flavor are what you’ll get by dining at LPM Abu Dhabi.

Unconventional Japanese

Reif Kushiyaki

Lovers of Japan, of the narrow streets of Tokyo and Osaka packed with food vendors, there’s a place for you to satiate that love you have for Japanese cuisine. Known as Reif Kushiyaki, Number 40 on the 2024 list, the eatery is all about simple, slick Japanese bites made by Singaporean chef and founder Reif Othman.

Dining at Reif means you’ll get to indulge in their 18-hour slow-cooked silky beef ramen, their softshell crab sando, and their black pepper teriyaki Angus beef Kushiyaki with bonito flakes. You’ll definitely not encounter these out-of-the-box whimsical dishes anywhere other than Kushiyaki.

Get A Taste Of Italy

Alba by Enrico Crippa

Bringing the flavors of Italy’s Northwestern town of Piedmont all the way to Qatar’s Doha, Alba by Enrico Crippa is the interactive Italian restaurant that’ll take diners on a journey to Northern Italy. With it nabbing the 46th spot on the MENA Top 50 list, it deserves the hype.

Celebrating Italian cuisine with its own special modern twist, when you arrive at Alba, you’ll get to indulge in exquisite dishes, including their Barolo Braised Veal Cheek with Barolo jus and stewed red cabbage, as well as their Vitello Tonnato and Maccheroni alla Genovese (veal with tuna sauce served in Genoese macaroni). Each dish truly bids adieu to the Italian town of Piedmont.


Bait Maryam

Taking over Instagram with her adorable Arab mum persona is Salam Daqqaq, the owner of Bait Maryam, a passionately run ‘home’ restaurant serving up home-style Levantine dishes cooked with love. Get a taste of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan across many generations at this 28th spot on the MENA Top 50 list.

Heading to Bait Maryam, you won’t just get to try out classic regional dishes in their original form, you’ll also try re-inventions of traditional dishes.

There is their renowned Fattet Musakhan, a dish of chicken, sumac, and onions bathed in a yogurt infused with garlic topped with crispy shards of Arabic bread, and Maryam Fukhara, made with quenelles of spiced ground meat, onions, bulgur wheat, and pine nuts.

Nikkei (Japanese & Peruvian Matrimony)


If you’ve ever heard of Nikkei cuisine, then you’re probably a proper foodie. Not many know of this unique cuisine that blends together Japanese and Peruvian influences.

To get a taste of this unexpected gastronomic matrimony, Jeddah’s Kuuru is the place to hit up. Stealing the #50 spot, this eatery has won the hearts of many locals and visitors alike.

The coastal city and its proximity to the Red Sea means Kuuru offers diners an authentic taste of the sea. To indulge in the unique cuisine, you need to try their starters, which range from their Rococo Scallops (a scallop gratin dish with red chili) to their Black Cod Criollo.

Hitting up each of these restaurants will give you a taste of the globe, a journey that’ll have you embarking on some of the most unique cuisines right within our bustling region.

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