MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants winners 2023 revealed

MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants winners 2023 revealed

See the full list here

Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 was revealed in Abu Dhabi on 30 January. 

Orfali Bros Bistro in Dubai, UAE, was named Best Restaurant in Middle East & North Africa 2023 and, by default, Best Restaurant in the UAE.

The list included winners from 14 different cities across the MENA region, from Marrakech and Tunis to Riyadh and Kuwait City. While Qatar and Oman failed make the list, the UAE topped it with 18 restaurants featured. Israel followed with six establishments, one of which is in the top 10, George & John, sixth on the list and winner of The Best Restaurant in Israel. Following close behind are Egypt and Jordan with five restaurants each, with Fakhreldin (number eight) named Best Restaurant in Jordan, and Zooba on Zamalek Island (number nine) was named Best Restaurant in Egypt.

The Orfali Bros team on stage

In addition to placing on the MENA'a 50 Best list, OCD Restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Award. Em Sherif in Beirut, Lebanon, won the Art of Hospitality Award. Chef Moustafa Elrefaey was voted by his peers as the winner of the Chefs' Choice Award. Karim Bourgi took home the MENA’s Best Pastry Chef Award. Fusions by Tala in Manama, Bahrain won the Highest Climber Award, rising 36 spots to number three. Ossiano in Dubai won the Highest New Entry Award after landing at number four.

The number one winner, Orfali Bros Bistro – an unlicensed gastronomic bistro in Dubai’s Wasl 51 neighbourhood – was founded in 2021 by three brothers originally from Syria, Mohammad, Wassim and Omar Orfali (pictured). The menu features dishes with a core Middle Eastern theme paying homage to the brothers’ Aleppian roots, while capturing the multiculturalism spirit of Dubai. 

Dishes include croquettes, shish barak à la gyoza and the corn bomb and the kitchen is led by charismatic head chef Mohammad Orfali. Brothers Wassim and Omar, both pastry chefs, work from an elevated pastry kitchen overlooking the main dining room. 

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The fine dining Indian restaurant Trèsind Studio on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah, headed by chef Himanshu Saini, claimed the second spot. Fusions by Tala in Manama came in third place, as well as being named The Best Restaurant in Bahrain and the Highest Climber Award 2023.

 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 the 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 an Academy Chair to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded gourmets. Each MENA Academy member voted for seven restaurants, with at least one of these located outside the country where they're based. 

MENA’S 50 Best Restaurants 2023:

  1. Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, UAE

  2. Tresind Studio, Dubai, UAE

  3. Fusions by Tala, Manama, Bahrain 

  4. Ossiano, Dubai, UAE 

  5. 3 Fils, Dubai, UAE

  6. George & John, Tel Aviv, Israel 

  7. Kinoya, Dubai, UAE

  8. Fakhreldin, Amman, Jordan 

  9. Zooba, Cairo, Egypt 

  10. Moonrise, Dubai, UAE

  11. Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, UAE

  12. Kazoku, Cairo, Egypt

  13. Zuma, Dubai, UAE

  14. OCD, Tel Aviv, Israel 

  15. Lowe, Dubai, UAE

  16. Baron, Beirut, Lebanon 

  17. Gaia, Dubai, UAE

  18. Myazu, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

  19. Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon

  20. Em Sherif, Beirut, Lebanon 

  21. LPM, Dubai, UAE

  22. Sachi, Giza, Egypt

  23. Marble, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  24. A by Yuval Ben Neriah, Tel Aviv, Israel

  25. CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Manama, Bahrain

  26. Hoseki, Dubai, UAE

  27. La Grande Table Marocain, Marrakech, Morocco 

  28. Coya, Dubai, UAE

  29. Shams El Balad, Amman, Jordan

  30. Sachi, Cairo, Egypt

  31. Masso, Manama, Bahrain

  32. Animar, Tel Aviv, Israel

  33. Coya, Abu Dhabi, UAE

  34. La Closerie, Tunis, Tunisia 

  35. 11 Woodfire, Dubai, UAE

  36. Sufra, Amman, Jordan

  37. Iloli, Casablanca, Morocco

  38. LPM, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  39. Sesamo, Marrakech, Morocco

  40. Milgo Milbar, Tel Aviv, Israel

  41. Alee, Amman, Jordan

  42. White Robata, Kuwait City, Kuwait 

  43. Zuma, Abu Dhabi, UAE

  44. Jun's, Dubai, UAE

  45. Reif Kushiyaki, Cairo, Egypt

  46. +61, Marrakech, Morocco

  47. 13C Bar in the Back, Amman, Jordan

  48. HaBasta, Tel Aviv, Israel

  49. Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE

  50. Bonjiri, Salmiya, Kuwait

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