Affordable Dining in Abu Dhabi
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Affordable Dining in Abu Dhabi

Where to eat cheap without sacrificing taste.

Affordable Dining in Abu Dhabi

Who doesn’t enjoy a night away from the kitchen, when the stress of cooking a healthy meal for the family is on someone else’s back? Unfortunately, restaurants can be very expensive and many people aren’t sure how to fit eating out or ordering take away into their household budget. But having a break from the everyday routine can be more important than it seems. Time to relax, have fun and take a break from the stresses of kids and home life can work wonders for families and strengthen couples’ relationships.

Luckily, when it comes to dinners out or takeout at home, there are options for every budget; even in cities like Abu Dhabi that can be notoriously expensive. Instead of taking a chance and hoping there are affordable dishes on the menu, do a little research beforehand to save money, time and stress. And just because the bill is lower doesn’t mean the quality of the food has to suffer. It is a common myth that healthy food is always expensive. While it’s true that many cheap options are also unhealthy, inexpensive meals don’t have to consist of greasy or processed foods. With a little planning and conscientiousness, it is more than possible to eat healthy and stay within budget. Check out these suggestions for dining on a budget in Abu Dhabi.

Ponderosa Steakhouse

When nothing but a steak will cut it, head to the Ponderosa Steakhouse, where good steak isn’t a drain on the budget. Ponderosa Steakhouse has a sirloin steak for Dhs64 and an even cheaper buffet, the ultimate bang for your buck for hungry bargain hunters. The restaurant is known for reasonably priced, good-tasting food, and offers a wide variety of it. This is also a good option for families or groups with varied tastes since there are so many different options, all served in a casual atmosphere.

Royal Rajasthan

Another restaurant suited for a variety of tastes, Royal Rajasthan specializes in Indian as well as Chinese cuisine. If the steaks at the Ponderosa aren’t your thing, the Royal Rajasthan is the place to go. They have many vegetarian options that are also available for delivery and take-out, adding to the convenience. Rice dishes, many traditional Chinese and Indian meals, soups, naan and breakfasts are just some of the dishes that can be delivered to your door for a very reasonable price.

Abela and Carrefour

Thinking outside the box is another great way to find cheap eats. Grocery stores and supermarkets often have delis and ready-to-eat food for much less than a typical restaurant. Substituting a meal from one of these places, like Abela or Carrefour, for an expensive restaurant lunch a few times a week will really add up quickly and enable you to save money. These supermarkets have many different offerings for people to pick and choose from: hot pies, chicken, fresh baked breads, sandwiches, croissants, salads and more. Supermarket delis are a great place to get a home-cooked, hot meal on the run, and healthy options such as salads and lean meats abound.

Shawarma Restaurants

Another quick option, shawarma restaurants, often noted by their cone-shaped spits of meat rotating in the front window, offer quick and tasty food on the go. The meats of choice are usually lamb or chicken, and falafel sandwiches are available too. These local favorites are usually served with tahini sauce, healthy and delicious hummus, and garlic on the side. Top the tasty roasted meat with tomatoes, onions and other vegetables to add to the healthiness and nutrition. The best news is that these meals are usually quite inexpensive and friendly to the family budget.

When in doubt, use best judgment to determine where a tasty and inexpensive meal can be found. In high-end parts of town at sit-down restaurants, meals will obviously be more expensive. In down-to-earth areas where more locals live and eat, and especially at grab-and-go places, meals will tend to be cheaper. And remember to think creatively. There are great meals to be found outside of standard restaurants. A farmer’s markets is a great place to get fresh, local food right from the source at a good price, and there are often prepared meals to choose from as well. Eat where the locals eat, get creative, do a bit of research and enjoy your newly discovered, inexpensive dinner time options.


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