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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for Street Food That You Must Try in Abu Dhabi - Sample these Arabian delicacies
Joanna James Joanna James
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Street Food That You Must Try in Abu Dhabi - Sample these Arabian delicacies

Street food culture can be vibrant in the Emirati, with all kinds of treats inspired by regional and numerous local recipes. All of these will appease your tastebuds for sure!


Cheese and zaatar manakish

This is a favourite option when it comes to street food in the region. Also called man'oushe, the snack has Lebanese roots. In the Middle East, it is known as Arabic pizza! This tasty roadside delicacy is generally a big, rounded flatbread, topped with cheese, a medley of veggies and meats. It then gets baked in the oven. Cheese and zaatar is a favourite pairing (which is a spice blend with sumac, oregano, thyme, and sesame). Pour olive oil over the manakish, and you have a tasty and satisfying meal or snack.



The dish is prepared from various kinds of fish, primarily cured, and salted, dubbed "maleh". All of these get combined and boiled in a motley of spices and sauces. Nourishing and enjoyable, Madrooba is common during Ramadan and festivals. The technique when preparing the dish is very strenuous and takes a long time. This satisfying meal is usually accompanied by raqaq, a kind of flatbread.



The Emirati take on the famous Samosa is the Samboosa. The triangular shapes of dough are loaded with all kinds of fragrant spices, meats, vegetables, and potatoes. These then get fried until crispy and golden brown. The meat variation of samboosa is either chicken or lamb. The vegetable one gets filled with potatoes, carrots, peas, and spices. Samboosa is a widespread snack that is popular at any time of the day!



Also known as Al Harees, this is a classic dish loved by many. This dish is quite like porridge and cooked with humble ingredients like wheat flour, salt, and meat. It is a favourite during Ramadan, social gatherings, and religious festivals. The ground wheat gets boiled with salt while the meat gets added later. Then the blend is slow cooked for hours on end. The pot with the harees gets buried with the clay jar in a pit loaded with superheated coals. The dish is mixed periodically before serving to guests. It gets topped with plenty of ghee. It is not just street food, even some of Abu Dhabi best restaurants have this dish. You will also find them at restaurants offered by the likes of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.



Shawarma is street food royalty and the ultimate comfort food for people living in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Emirati states. Shawarma contains doner meat, either lamb, or chicken with veggies, fries, hummus, or yoghurt sauce, which gets neatly packed into a piece of soft bread that is unleavened. Shawarmas are the typical late evening on-the-go snack. Vendors will begin to prepare typically in the evenings from 6 pm onwards.


Chips Oman roll

The main component here is Oman Chips, which is a regional favourite chip and the childhood favourite of many emiratis. The bread bun is flaky and soft and gets doused in cheese, Tabasco sauce, and olive oil, not forgetting plenty of Oman Chips that get stuffed pile high.