See the full Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants list here
- Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants was revealed in Abu Dhabi last night
- 19 of the 50 restaurants are in the UAE; 16 of which are in Dubai, making Dubai the most popular destination on the list
- 3 Fils in Dubai, UAE, was named The Best Restaurant in Middle East & North Africa 2022 and The Best Restaurant in the UAE
- Lowe in Dubai was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Award
- Dubai’s Passion F&B group landed a triple win for Trèsind Studio (Nakheel Tower) at number four and Trèsind (Voco Dubai) at number 18, as well as Trèsind Studio winning the Art of Hospitality Award
- Reif Othman of Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, was voted by his peers as the winner of the Chefs’ Choice Award
- Emirati chef Sahar Parham Al Awadhi took home the MENA’s Best Pastry Chef Award
- Bahrain’s Tala Bashmi was presented with MENA’s Best Female Chef Award
- Kamal Mouzawak of Tawlet in Beirut, Lebanon was recognised with the Foodics Icon Award
The culinary stars of the restaurant world converged in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, on 7 February 2022, for the debut of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
Restaurants from 11 countries within Middle East and North Africa were announced as the top 50 places to eat in the region
Hosted in partnership with Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the event culminated in the announcement of the region’s first ever number one restaurant, 3 Fils.
A casual unlicensed restaurant located in Dubai’s Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, 3 Fils’ win stunned the audience. The menu features Asian fusion dishes such as sushi rolls and marinated lamb ribs.
“This hidden gem prides itself on elevating every dining experience with a sense of comfort, discovery and sharing in a laid-back harbourside setting,” said MENA’s 50 Best representatives.
SEE THE FULL LIST BELOW
Keeping with the Asian leaning that dominated the Middle Eastern listing, Japanese izakaya chain restaurant Zuma Dubai, founded by chef Rainer Becker, took the number two spot, followed by Raz Rahav’s OCD Restaurant in Tel Aviv at number three, which was also named The Best Restaurant in Israel.
William Drew, Director of Content for Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “It’s a great honour to announce that 3 Fils has made it to the top of the rankings at the inaugural Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. It is a brilliantly executed home-grown restaurant, loved by local residents and visitors alike. There is no doubt that it sets new standards in creativity, sourcing and food presentation, coupled with a personable service style.”
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The UAE tops the list with an impressive 19 restaurants, including three from host city Abu Dhabi
It’s often said that food brings people together. As testament to that, Israel was the second-most featured country with six restaurants on the list, two of which are in the top 10: OCD Restaurant (number three) and George & John (number nine). It was only in 2020 that Israel and the UAE signed an agreement mediated by US President Donald Trump to establish full diplomatic relations, with the UAE becoming the third Arab state, besides Egypt and Jordan, to fully recognise Israel.
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Following close behind were Lebanon and Saudi Arabia with five restaurants each. Leading the way for Beirut was Baron (number 12), named The Best Restaurant in Lebanon, while Riyadh’s Myazu (number 15) was the winner of The Best Restaurant in Saudi Arabia title.
Egypt was also well-represented with four restaurants featured in the ranking including Sachi (number five), making it The Best Restaurant in Egypt. Jordan was also a player in the top 10 with Fakhreldin (number seven) in Amman named The Best Restaurant in Jordan.
The anime-inspired Japanese eatery White Robata in Kuwait City came in at number 43, making it The Best Restaurant in Kuwait.
Steakhouse Cut by Wolfgang Puck in Doha (number 36) bagged The Best Restaurant in Qatar award
At number 31, Mirai won The Best Restaurant in Bahrain, while Tunis restaurant La Closerie (number 46) claimed the title of The Best Restaurant in Tunisia. Three Moroccan restaurants also featured, with Marrakech’s La Grande Table Marocaine (number 26) being voted The Best Restaurant in Morocco, alongside Iloli (number 32) in Casablanca and +61 (number 49), also in Marrakech.
Reif Othman and family
MENA’s 50 Best Chefs’ Choice Award
Popular Singapore-born chef Reif Othman was honoured with the Chefs’ Choice Award. Designed to give recognition to a chef who has had a positive impact on the regional culinary community, the award was peer-voted by chefs of the restaurants on the MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Othman has worked in many of the leading restaurants throughout the region, including Zuma Dubai, and recently opened a new restaurant under his own name, Reif Kushiyaki, which features on the ranking at number 16.
MENA’s 50 Best Sustainable Restaurant Award
The Sustainable Restaurant Award honours the establishment in the list with the highest sustainability rating. This award was presented to Lowe (number 23) in Dubai. MENA’s 50 Best representatives said: “Chef-owners Jesse Blake and Kate Christou focus on reducing waste through nose-to-tail cooking while also supporting their team and the wider community.”
MENA’s 50 Best Art of Hospitality Award
As a recognition of excellence in restaurant service and dining experiences, the Art of Hospitality Award was presented to Dubai’s Trèsind Studio, which also took the number 4 slot. The restaurant is commended for its theatrical gastronomic experience incorporating multiple changes of pace and scenarios. Chef Himanshu Saini’s brand of advanced Indian food is matched by the perfectly choreographed service led by acclaimed maitre d’ Vipin Panwar.
SEE THE FULL LIST BELOW
MENA’s 50 Best Pastry Chef Award
Sahar Parham Al Awadhi, formerly Head Pastry Chef at the esteemed Burj Al Arab in UAE, took home the MENA’s Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Valrhona. Sahar began her culinary career in 2014 and has worked at La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie in Dubai with Izu Ani and Le Saint Georges in Paris. As an Emirati, she believes in showcasing the origins of her ingredients and supporting local producers.
MENA’s 50 Best Female Chef Award & One to Watch
Other pre-announced award winners accepting their trophies on stage include Tala Bashmi, often referred to as the voice of modern Bahraini cuisine, winner of the first Middle East & North Africa’s Best Female Chef Award; Kamal Mouzawak, one of Lebanon’s most prominent food activists, winner of the Foodics Icon Award for elevating the slow food movement in the country and his outstanding contributions to the restaurant industry; and innovative izakaya restaurant Kinoya, which picked up the One To Watch Award.
The Voting Process
The list was compiled by the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of 250 key leaders in the restaurant industry across the region, each selected for their expert opinion of Middle East and North Africa’s restaurant scenes.
The Academy is divided into six regions: the Gulf; Saudi Arabia; Levant-plus; Israel, North Africa (East) and North Africa (West). Each region has its own panel of members including a chairperson, called the Academy Chair, to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded gourmets. For the 2022 list, each MENA Academy member voted for seven restaurants, with at least one of these located outside the country where they are based. None of the event’s sponsors has any influence over the voting process.
MENA’S 50 Best Restaurants 2022:
1 3 Fils, Dubai, UAE
2 Zuma Dubai, UAE
3 OCD Restaurant, Tel Aviv, Israel
4 Trèsind Studio, Dubai, UAE
5 Sachi, Cairo, Egypt
6 Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, UAE
7 Fakhreldin, Amman, Jordan
8 LPM Dubai, UAE
9 George & John, Tel Aviv, UAE
10 Gaia, Dubai, UAE
11 Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, Dubai, UAE
12 Baron, Beirut, Lebanon
13 Coya Dubai, UAE
14 HaBasta, Tel Aviv, Israel
15 Myazu, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
16 Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, UAE
17 Animar, Tel Aviv, Israel
18 Trèsind, Dubai, UAE
19 Kazoku, Cairo, Egypt
20 Mimi Kakushi, Dubai, UAE
21 Liza, Beirut, Lebanon
22 Em Sherif, Beirut, Lebanon
23 Lowe, Dubai, UAE
24 Pescado, Ashdod, Israel
25 Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, UAE
26 La Grande Table, Marrakech, Morocco
27 13C Bar in the Back, Amman, Jordan
28 Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon
29 Amazonico, Dubai, UAE
30 Marble, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
31 Mirai, Manama, Bahrain
32 Iloli, Casablanca, Morocco
33 BB Social Dining, Dubai, UAE
34 Coya Abu Dhabi, UAE
35 Indochine, Dubai, UAE
36 Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Doha, Qatar
37 Porterhouse, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
38 Zooba (Zamalek), Cairo, Egypt
39 Fusions by Tala, Manama, Bahrain
40 Milgo & Milbar, Tel Aviv, Israel
41 Sufra, Amman, Jordan
42 LPM Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
43 White Robata, Kuwait City
44 Hoseki, Dubai, UAE
45 Izakaya, Cairo, Egypt
46 La Closerie, Tunis, Tunisia
47 Clap, Beirut, Lebanon
48 Butcher & Still, Abu Dhabi, UAE
49 +61, Marrakech, Morocco
50 Tokyo, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia