YouTuber Trevor James Shares His Favourite Foodie Spots in Dubai


Trevor James, a.k.a. The Food Ranger, relied on his 5.25–million YouTube subscribers for restaurant suggestions in his new city of Dubai – here are the top picks.

Vancouver–born YouTube star Trevor James, better known as the Food Ranger to the 5.25 million subscribers of his upbeat street food and travel vlogs, wanted a new place to call home. After living overseas for years – first in China, then Malaysia – Trevor and his wife, Ting Ting, a familiar face to fans, were searching for a destination with a high vaccination rate, as well as a range of dining options. Dubai delivered. “I love how international it is, and you can get almost anywhere in Europe or Asia within a few hours.” Since arriving in June, Trevor has relied on his Dubai–based followers for restaurant suggestions, pinning them on a custom online map. “I got thousands of recommendations,” he says. “Starting with the most–pinned places, I’ve tried quite a few, but I’ve still got lots to go. It’s a never–ending adventure of food from around the world.”

Related: Grocery Shopping the Planet with 7 Hungry Photographers

November 24, 2021
illustrated map of Dubai

Trevor's 5 Spots

chef in Bait Maryam
   Photo: Bait Maryam
  1. Bait Maryam — 

    You feel chef Salam Dakkak’s hospitality the minute you walk in; she invites every customer to make themselves at home. Dakkak prepares fresh hummus and fattoush salad – all the classic Middle Eastern dishes – from scratch every day. 

plates of food
   Photo: Mark Anthony Monzon @she_can_eat
  1. Bu Qtair Restaurant — 

    This was the number–one recommended spot for me to visit – it’s always busy and has some of the best seafood in Dubai. The fried prawns are a hit every time.

regag on plate
   Photo: Azin Rahmani
  1. Al Labeeb Grocery & Bakery — 

    There’s a flat circular grill in the front of this convenience store where they make regag. It’s like a crepe, with cheese, Oman chips and fish sauce inside. They wrap it up and it’s a nice little handheld street snack. 

plates with kebab, rice and other food
   Photo: Rashida Badlawala @rashidablogs3
  1. Al Ustad Special Kabab — 

    This Iranian kebab house has achieved a cult–like status for its excellent Persian food, and its walls are lined with photos of celebrities who have eaten there, from the Dubai Crown Prince to Bollywood star Salman Khan. Their most famous dish is the marinated yogurt kebab, and they also have Iranian–style rice with dried barberries on top. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city. 

plates of Indian food
   Photo: Trevor James
  1. Jaffer Bhai’s Restaurant — 

    This Indian restaurant, which has been family–run for generations, is most famous for biryani, but we had the lamb covered in their signature secret masala sauce that’s based on a cashew gravy – it was smooth, delicious and a little spicy, and the meat was so tender.  I’ll definitely take visiting friends and family there because it’s some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. 

Getting Surreal in the Emirates

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