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2-Day Culinary Tour

The international influence in Abu Dhabi is perhaps best reflected in the dizzying array of culinary options in this Middle Eastern metropolis. Visitors need not travel far for classic Italian fare, or sweets and treats from a French chef who perfected his pastry skills at multiple Michelin Star culinary properties. Meanwhile, hotel restaurants such as Li Jiang at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal offer visitors fantastic food, handcrafted beverages and stunning views.

Four tidy servings of noodles topped with colorful garnish and set on silver-gray plate with gleaming chopsticks

Day

1

MORNING
  • Queens of Clubs.

    After years of running a traveling dinner-event club, two Emirati girlfriends opened No.57 Boutique Café for their culinary fans who preferred to frequent one place for
    reliably inventive options (like activated charcoal pancakes). Go traditional for your first meal of the trip — shakshuka, eggs baked with chickpeas, peppers, chilies and onions — but be sure to save room for the signature dessert with a name lifted from a thoroughly American meme, the Ermahgerd (toffee crumble, cream and roasted marshmallows).

MIDDAY
  • Line Up Some Dates.

    Wander the Al Mina fruit and vegetable souk to find an array of imported exotic foods and locally grown produce. Sample the different dates — some shops sell 40 varieties — and roasted pistachios before buying your favorites to snack on or ship home as gifts.

  • Make a Mezze.

    The patio at Flooka, with its view of the gulf and mangroves, is made for a long, lazy lunch, so opt for a set menu and several dishes of seafood mezze for the table to sample and share, along with mint lemonade.

AFTERNOON
  • Feast Your Eyes, Too.

    The Louvre Abu Dhabi with loaned works including van Gogh’s self-portrait and Whistler’s painting of his mother, but the building by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel is its own work of art. Grab an iced coffee in the open-air café that sits under the museum’s huge, star-filled dome that weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower.

  • As the World Churns.

    Cool off in the delightfully breezy pool and beach restaurant Al Fresco, while enjoying a refreshing crafted beverage. Indulge in a healthy balanced afternoon snack in the chic interior of Dolce.

EVENING
  • Rush Menu.

    Speed demons flock to Yas Island, home of the world’s fastest roller coaster (from zero to 150 mph in less than five seconds at Ferrari World) and a Formula 1 auto racing school (at Yas Marina Circuit). Finish off your evening with gourmet pizza and tapas at Diablito. Try the Trufa-Blanca — a white pizza served with goat cheese, mushrooms and white truffle oil.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Café Couture.

    Join the locals and expats who frequent Café Arabia for a shakshouka breakfast. Befitting the villa-style coffeehouse’s multi-culti milieu, the dish is prepared either Emirati-style, scrambled with chili paste, or Palestinian style, baked with feta, olives and garlic mint yogurt.

MIDDAY
  • Sugar Rush.

    Don’t slow the shopping spree; grab one of the limited-edition cupcakes of the day at Magnolia Bakery, an outcropping from the bake shop in New York City’s West Village.

AFTERNOON
  • Gourmet Dining.

    Indulge in a fine dining experience in the sophisticated French brasserie, Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi. Discover an authentic and flavorful menu created in collaboration with a French Michelin star for an unforgettable experience.

  • ENJOY THE BEACH LIFE.

    ake a stroll on the white sands of Soul Beach, with infinite blue ocean views. Head to Mamsha Al Saadiyat to enjoy an al fresco meal at one of the charming restaurants.

EVENING
  • Go for a Wok.

    The medley of Southeast Asian dishes at Li Jiang includes several wok-fried options: vegetables, chicken, lamb, prawns, scallops or hamour fillet. Any would make a wonderful main course — and for dessert, don’t skip the sticky rice mango pudding, a classic that never disappoints.

  • Midnight Mezzeh.

    Wrap up your visit with a sampling of cold mezzeh at Mijana, which serves traditional Arabic cuisine with a contemporary Lebanese twist until 11 p.m. and shisha until 2 a.m.