World’s 50 Best Unveils List of Mena’s Top 50 Restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Red carpet. Chiefs dressed in the usual scarlet scarves. An event considered more like a “party than a competition”. Welcome to the first-ever Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony.
On Monday, culinary stars from around the world traveled to Abu Dhabi for the gala hosted by the group of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which unveiled the top contenders from the Middle East and North Africa.
The evening, hosted by Samar Breitem, saw world-renowned chefs, restaurateurs, food critics and other culinary experts raise their glasses to the best in the business at a scintillating event that took place at the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.
After much speculation and anticipation, Dubai restaurant 3 Fils has been named the #1 restaurant in the Mena region.
Zuma (Dubai), OCD Restaurant (Israel), Tresind Studio (Dubai) and Sachi (Egypt) held the following four positions respectively.
Of the 50 restaurants, 19 are located in the United Arab Emirates, while six are in Israel, five in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, four in Egypt, three in Morocco and Jordan, two in Bahrain and one in Kuwait, Tunisia and in Qatar. .
See the full list below.
Elsewhere, Emirati Sahar Parham Al Awadi was named Mena’s Best Pastry Chef and Reif Othman (of Japanese fame Reif Kushiyaki) won the Chef’s Choice award.
The regional list is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, as the event was announced in August 2021. After all, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is an acclaimed ranking in the food industry and drinks.
Along with an annual global list, the organization compiles the names of the Top 50 Restaurants and Top 50 Asian Restaurants in Latin America. But, as World’s 50 Best content director William Drew said, the Middle East felt underrepresented.
“For some time we wanted to expand and shine a light on this part of the world because it was underrepresented. We think it has an amazing and diverse food scene, with global influence, but also local heritage and tradition. It has local players as well as those around the world. It’s an interesting mix – but it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
“We hope that by creating an annual list, we can bring attention to the region and also encourage foodie travelers from around the world to visit and better understand the cuisines.”
Abu Dhabi was chosen as the venue for the first event because it “is rapidly changing and growing, and also because the food scene is growing rapidly,” says Drew. “There has been an appetite within the government to develop food tourism with Abu Dhabi Culinary. The infrastructure and facilities are wonderful and the welcome has been very warm.
Abu Dhabi will continue to be the city that hosts the awards ceremony for the next few years as Mena’s Top 50 restaurants “establish themselves”, says Drew. Depending on the format of the event, the ceremony will then be held in other cities in the region.
How were the winners of Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants chosen?
The 50 restaurants that made the cut were chosen by a panel of 250 anonymous voters, each sharing seven of their top picks. These, in turn, were recruited by six presidents of the academy, who were appointed for their knowledge and connections in the restaurant world.
“We verify that there is no conflict of interest and that the voting system is confidential. About 25% of voters change every year, so there is a refresh. The list we create is as credible as the voting system and voters,” says Drew.
“There’s no score sheet or what they have to look forward to. Voters simply have to name their top seven dining experiences in order of preference. A certain number of applications must come from outside the country. At this year’s ceremony, that was reduced to just one in seven due to the current global scenario.
In addition to highlighting local cuisine and guiding foodie tourists to the best places to eat, the list also gives talented chefs and beloved restaurants the appreciation and attention they deserve.
Drew speaks for most of us when he says, “We can’t wait to learn more about the area from this list.”
Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022
1. 3 sons, Dubai, UAE
2. Zuma, Dubai, UAE
3. OCD Restaurant, Tel Aviv, Israel
4. Tresind Studio, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (also won the Art of Hospitality Award)
5. Sachi, Cairo, Egypt
6. Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
7. Fakhreldin, Amman, Jordan
8. LPM Restaurant and Bar, Dubai
9. George & John, Tel Aviv, Israel
10. Gaia, Dubai, UAE
11. Tuscan Bistro Il Borro, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
12. Baron, Beirut, Lebanon
13. Coya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
14. HaBasta, Tel Aviv, Israel
15. Myazu, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
16. Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
17. Animar, Tel Aviv, Israel
18. Tresind, Dubai, UAE
19. Kazoku, Cairo, Egypt
20. Mimi Kakushi, Dubai, UAE
21. Liza, Beirut, Lebanon
22. Em Sherif, Beirut, Lebanon
23. Lowe, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (also won the sustainable restaurant award)
24. Pescado, Ashdod, Israel
25. Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi, UAE
26. La Grande Table Marocaine, Marrakech, Morocco
27. 13C Bar in the Back, Amman, Jordan
28. Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut, Lebanon
29. Amazonico, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
30. Marble, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
31. Mirai, Manama, Bahrain
32. Iloli, Casablanca, Morocco
33. BB Social Dining, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
34. Coya, Abu Dhabi, UAE
35. Indochina, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
36. Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Qatar, Doha
37. Porterhouse, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
38. Zooba, Cairo, Egypt
39. Mergers of Tala, Manama, Bahrain
40. Milgo Milbar, Tel Aviv, Israel
41. Sufra, Amman, Jordan
42. LPM Restaurant & Cafe, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
43. White Robata, Kuwait, Kuwait
44. Hoseki, Dubai, UAE
45. Izakaya, Cairo, Egypt
46. La Closerie, La Marsa, Tunisia
47. Clap, Beirut, Lebanon
48. Butcher & Still, Abu Dhabi, UAE
49. Plus61, Marrakech, Morocco
50. Tokyo, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Updated: February 7, 2022, 6:10 p.m.