The inaugural and highly anticipated Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was unveiled at a live awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 7th February. The brand-new ranking, which celebrates gastronomy, heritage and cutting-edge culinary techniques from across the region, features restaurants from 11 different countries. Grab a seat at the table and read about the restaurants ranked from No.50 to No.1
No.50 Tokyo, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Tokyo’s culinary brigade curates a menu of bestsellers that stand the test of time, such as the bento, consisting of their signature sashimi, tempura, seaweed salad, tamago, teriyaki collection and korokke.
No.49 +61, Marrakech, Morocco
+61 is all about simple, precisely executed pleasures. Chef Andrew Cibej turns simple food into something wonderful: take the zingy sardine escabeche or the roast vegetables with sunflower seeds and salsa verde. Perfection.
No.48 Butcher & Still, Abu Dhabi, UAE
As expected of a steakhouse, there are prime cuts of American beef that will make your mouth water. It’s time to get transported to 1920s Chicago, where you’ll forget that you’re actually on Al Maryah Island.
No.47 Clap, Beirut, Lebanon
Precision is the cornerstone of chef Renald Epie’s Japanese dishes. The omakase-style menu offers delicately plated bites like grilled umami chicken wings, and mains straight from the Josper oven.
No.46 La Closerie, Tunis, Tunisia
From the zucchini noodles lavished with pesto for the no carb brigade, to the crunchy breaded squid with house-cut tartar sauce to share around, there’s lots to love at Tunis’ top restaurant destination.
No.45 Izakaya, Cairo, Egypt
Located in the heart of Egypt’s capital city, Izakaya is Cairo’s first Nikkei restaurant; a fusion of Japanese precision with Peruvian flair. Using fresh ingredients and exotic flavors, Izakaya's dishes showcase a unique blend of Japanese Peruvian culinary culture, taking you on an inspiring, authentic journey of the sensation that is Nikkei cuisine.
No.44 Hoseki, Dubai, UAE
Chef Masahiro Sugiyama, a sixth-generation sushi master, serves up a set omakase – or chef’s choice – menu, picking the freshest ingredients that are imported direct from his home country.
No.43 White Robata, Kuwait City, Kuwait
White Robata is a Japanese concept inspired by international flavours. Chef Mateus Coelho’s varied menu consists of several sections with an array of larger dishes meant for sharing, including a six-hour braised short rib finished on the grill.
No.42 LPM, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Come for the name, stay for the food and linger for the vibrant atmosphere that transports you to the French riviera. Seasoned chef Durga Misra serves up Mediterranean- and French-inspired dishes with simple, fresh, quality ingredients, crafted well.
No.41 Sufra, Amman, Jordan
Sufra specialises in clay pot cooking, which is said to impart a very distinct flavour. The family-style menu offers a selection of Bedouin dishes such as mansaf and saijiyeh. The menu also features Levantine classics that are perfect for sharing.
No.40 Milgo & Milbar, Tel Aviv, Israel
Chef Moti Titman’s courses are based on fresh seasonal vegetables, fish, seafood and meat. It’s fine-dining, but not quiet: with music, the buzz of chatter and the bell alerting the arrival of another course, there’s always excitement inside.
No.39 Fusions by Tala, Manama, Bahrain
Middle East & North Africa’s Best Female Chef, Tala Bashmi, serves up fare inspired by classic Bahraini food. Her open kitchen produces a five-course menu of super-contemporary dishes that upend tradition and pack a punch of flavour.
No.38 Zooba (Zamalek), Cairo , Egypt
Fried, made to order and stuffed into baladi bread, chef Moustafa El Refaey’s falafels are lauded as some of the best in the world. Adhering to the traditional Egyptian recipe, Zooba favours the fava bean paired with roumy cheese, fiery harissa or tangy pickled lemon.
No.37 Porterhouse, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Porterhouse has become known for its cuts – all dry aged in-house – and wagyu steaks grilled over wood and charcoal. With signature sides, sauces and toppings to choose from, guests can configure their plate to their liking and experiment with pairings.
No.36 Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Doha, Qatar
Arguably the world’s first ‘celebrity chef’, Wolfgang Puck has made a name for himself across the world by rolling out simply excellent steakhouses. To get a true taste of Cut’s wood-fired approach, opt for a tasting flight.
No.35 Indochine, Dubai, UAE
Helmed by executive chef Steve Nguyen, Indochine has firmly established itself as a chic and trendy dining spot in Dubai serving up bold French-Vietnamese dishes, in a setting that feels cosy and intimate.
No.34 Coya, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Peruvian paradise is the order of the day. Inspired by the sumptuous offerings of Incan cuisine, chef Pang Longchin serves up contemporary dishes from Latin America, entwined by Japanese and Chinese techniques and flavours.
No.33 BB Social Dining, Dubai, UAE
An ode to Eastern cuisine created by co-founder and executive chef Alex Stumpf, BB Social Dining is set in a quiet corner of Dubai’s bustling financial district in a space formerly occupied by an art gallery.
No.32 Iloli, Casablanca, Morocco
Iloli combines Morocco’s abundance of excellent produce with the ancestral skills of Japanese cooking. Chef Yusuke Furukawa’s food tells the story of migration, integration and evolution in dishes like Dakhla oyster with pesto and wakame seaweed.
No.31 Mirai, Manama, Bahrain
Open in Manama since 2002, Mirai is largely considered the go-to sushi spot on the island. Perfect for people-watching, this buzzing and contemporary concept serves up a mix of authentic and inventive Japanese-inspired dishes.
No.30 Marble, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Marble keeps the culinary enthusiasm high by creating seasonal dishes, from exclusive prime rib dinners to Saudi lamb specialty rice plates, only on limited offer. The Marble burger, which is juicy, smoky and well-seasoned, is happiness tucked in a bun.
No.29 Amazonico, Dubai, UAE
A Latin American restaurant that’s sprawled over three floors and includes a dining area, a bar and lounge, a sushi area and a rooftop, Amazonico is designed to make you feel like you’re smack in the middle of a rainforest.
No.28 Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon
Run by MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants' Foodics Icon Award winner, Kamal Mouzawak, Tawlet is a space that encourages conversation – about the origins of the Lebanese dishes, the significance of the food and the traditions from local communities.
No.27 13C Bar in the Back, Amman, Jordan
Inspired by the Mediterranean with hints of the Levant, the menu offers small “Izakaya-style” plates. Standout dishes include grape molasses eggplant, blade steak with Za’atar bearnaise and risotto al vino, in a menu design to be paired with the venue's impressive wine list.
No.26 La Grande Table Marocaine, Marrakech, Morocco
Chef Karim Ben Baba offers up a sumptuous gastronomic adventure that takes you from the Mediterranean coast to the sands of the desert, across the Atlas Mountains and deep into the heart of Morocco.
No.25 Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Malaysian-born head chef Lee Kok Hua, who has headed the kitchen since 2010, creates consistently excellent modern Cantonese-inspired dishes. Distinctive design and an ever-present whiff of glamour make for a potent and seemingly timeless mix.
No.24 Pescado, Ashdod, Israel
In 2009 chef Yehi Zino – along with Eran Jano, a third-generation fisherman – opened this kosher establishment, located next to Ashdod’s beach. A signature dish is a red drum's fried crispy gill – enjoying a crispy outside and soft, tender inside.
No.23 Lowe, Dubai, UAE
Winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award 2022, Lowe has become known as one of the best breakfast spots in the city. Applying an experimental approach to the main menu, the dishes pack a culinary punch. Don’t miss the salt beef fried rice with eggs and nuoc cham.
No.22 Em Sherif, Beirut, Lebanon
Em Sherif offers a quintessentially Lebanese dining experience, serving up to 30 courses of mezze platters that are designed for the table to share. A top choice is the mountain tomatoes with basil oil and shanklish – a popular Levantine cheese.
No.21 Liza, Beirut, Lebanon
Liza’s kitchen dishes out classic Lebanese fare with a modern spin. The food is simple yet just as stunning as the setting. The menu includes a selection of classic hot and cold mezzes, served in a spectacular 19th-century palace in eastern Beirut.
No.20 Mimi Kakushi, Dubai, UAE
Mimi Kakushi’s kitchen, led by Kim Vladimir, puts its own creative stamp on each dish, serving up innovative Japanese accented cuisine. They’ve punched up flavours, adding citrus and spice and elevating well-known recipes with unique ingredients.
No.19 Kazoku, Cairo, Egypt
Kazoku, meaning family, serves up authentic dishes inspired by the Japanese culinary heritage. Founded by acclaimed entrepreneur, Ayman Baky, the restaurant was created to resemble ‘the people’. True to its name, the decor is warm and the team welcoming.
No.18 Trèsind, Dubai, UAE
Think of any signature Indian dish and you’ll find it here. What is different is how the culinary team makes use of techniques such as dry ice, foams, gels and other theatrical preparations not just to add flavour but also a sense of drama and standout presentation.
No.17 Animar, Tel Aviv, Israel
Like many Israeli restaurants, Animar is best experienced when the food is shared by all guests at the table. Chef Hillel Tavakuli, who grew up in a Jewish Persian-Libyan household, combines the flavours of his home, mixed with Mediterranean and Turkish inspiration.
No.16 Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, UAE
Chef Reif Othman, winner of the Chefs' Choice Award, puts a spotlight on the Japanese snack-like street food skewers cooked over the robata grill, with crispy chicken skin featuring alongside teriyaki-slathered chicken thighs and Angus beef strip-loin with truffle mayo.
No.15 Myazu, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
At the heart of Myazu is a narrative of harmony. The menu is cleverly curated, consisting of Japanese fan favourites that clearly understand its locale but also dare to push the envelope of gastronomic craftsmanship using only the finest ingredients.
No.14 HaBasta, Tel Aviv, Israel
In chef Elon Amir’s restaurant, dishes change daily depending on the market produce. They always include some preparations based on fresh vegetables, like masabbaha or cooked mangold and labne chess mezes.
No.13 Coya, Dubai, UAE
Coya Dubai’s menu, packed with Peruvian-inspired small plates, caters to both purists and those who aren’t too bothered about authenticity. The Lubina Clásica and the Pez Limón tiradito are vibrant firm favourites.
No.12 Baron, Beirut, Lebanon
Baron is a celebration of local Lebanese produce. Eclectic small plates characterise the seasonal sharing-style menu that changes every few days. Heavy on the vegetables, the food is modern and innovative with Mediterranean and Japanese influences.
No.11 Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, Dubai, UAE
From olive oil to fresh vegetables, Il Borro’s focus is firmly on organic, seasonal and ethically sourced fare, often straight from its Tuscan estate, and authentic Italian recipes that don’t leave any room for mistakes.
No.10 Gaia, Dubai, UAE
Launched by well-known Dubai-based chef Izu Ani in 2018, Gaia hosts a buzzing atmosphere every day of the week. The seafood selection packs a punch, but so does the rest of the menu, from starters all the way to desserts.
No.9 George & John, Tel Aviv, Israel
In his restaurant, chef Tomer Tal combines flavours and recipes from his Jewish-Moroccan heritage with seasonal raw products from Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market and fresh seafood from adjacent Jaffa Port.
No.8 LPM, Dubai, UAE
LPM is a grande dame of the Dubai culinary scene, having first opened its doors over a decade ago. You’re guaranteed quality ingredients, tried-and-tested recipes and staff that make you feel like a regular even if you’re not.
No.7 Fakhreldin, Amman, Jordan
Established in 1997, Fakhreldin is housed in the former family home of Prime Minister Fawzi Al Mulki. Chef Rafic Nakle serves up traditional and elegant fresh mezzes and signature grilled meats, such as the standout kibbeh nayeh.
No.6 Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, UAE
Orfali Bros Bistro was founded by three food-loving brothers, Mohamad, Wassim and Omar from Syria. The intimate dining room is dominated by a two-storey open test kitchen that leaves nothing to the imagination.
No.5 Sachi, Cairo, Egypt
Sachi offers an escape from the noise of the city with its serene decor and elegant dining room. Small bites and appetisers such as tuna tartare with avocado and orange ponzu or octopus carpaccio head up the menu, sampling flavours from the Mediterranean coast.
No.4 Trèsind Studio, Dubai, UAE
The restaurant, headed up by chef Himanshu Saini, opened in 2018 and has been considered the epitome of Indian dining in Dubai ever since, even winning the Art of Hospitality Award this year. Look out for the lamb and black pepper: a tandoor-cooked chop marinated in spiced yoghurt and served in a masala gravy.
No.3 OCD Restaurant, Tel Aviv, Israel
Each course is prepared and meticulously plated in front of the guests by chef Raz Rahav and his team. Rahav combines Israeli-inspired dishes and raw materials in OCD’s menu, giving them an unexpected interpretation.
No.2 Zuma, Dubai, UAE
Zuma has ostensibly created its own canon in Japanese cuisine. Ingredients are of unimpeachable quality across the board and are mastered by chef Pawel Kazanowski and his team. The standout dish on the menu is undoubtedly the rib eye with wafu sauce and garlic chips.
No.1 3 Fils, Dubai, UAE
3 Fils dismantles any preconceptions you might have about quality Dubai restaurants. It’s an independently owned, unflashy, unlicensed, super-casual, no-reservations joint that also happens to serve delicious food. Chef Freddy Kazadi’s offering includes premium Asian fare heavily influenced by Japan. Try the signature kampachi tataki or Fremantle octopus with gremolata. 3 Fils is named The Best Restaurants in Middle East & North Africa 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Now watch the video and recap the list:
The list of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 was announced on Tuesday, 7th February at a live awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi. To stay up to date with all news and announcements, browse the website and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.