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Abu Dhabi’s best new restaurant openings in 2023

Enjoy culinary adventures across the capital with these new restaurants – if you can get a reservation…

Keeping track of all the new restaurants in Abu Dhabi is a full-time job. But if you love finding the latest hotspots for dinner and drinks before anyone else, these are the restaurants to see (and to be seen at) this month.

BB Social Dining

Having already established itself as one to watch in Dubai and Riyadh, BB Social Dining is ready to open its doors in the capital. Tucked away inside Rosewood Abu Dhabi, the newest outpost for the homegrown brand includes indoor and outdoor seating with views of the Al Maryah waterfront. The restaurant may be casual, but the food is spectacular. Dig into modern Asian cuisine, which features bowls, baos and barbecue. Not sure what to order? The Insta-worthy habibti, a soft-shell crab poking out of a bao bun, is one of the most popular dishes.

GO: Follow @bbabudhabi on Instagram for more information.

Love Vibe

The popular pink cafe that originated in Dubai has opened in Khalifa City, on the outskirts of the capital. Love Vibe boasts sleek and sophisticated interiors with a playful touch. Instagram enthusiasts will be drawn to the neon ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ sign. The restaurant’s signature dishes include the I Love You Shawarm’ch! (purple rice with sliced beef and creamy shawarma sauce), Balaleet Eggs (a flat chebab pancake with cheese omelette and sweet balaleet), Baby Don’t Herd Me (slow-cooked lamb shoulder served with pepper and feta hummus), Braise Yourself (slow-braised Wagyu beef with mushroom and pepper jus), and Grilled Chicken Tikka.

GO: Follow @lovevibecafe on Instagram for more information.

Sticky Rice Abu Dhabi

Sticky Rice is officially open on the first floor of Yas Mall. The restaurant is characterised by its industrial design. However, the space also has a playful side, with features like a plushy stuffed claw machine and artwork showcasing the beloved Kew character. Drawing inspiration from the Dubai location, Sticky Rice Abu Dhabi’s menu offers popular dishes such as sticky tamarind chicken tenders, Thai papaya salad, Thai Green Curry and an array of seafood platters. Diners at the Abu Dhabi location can tuck into Thai roti stuffed with banana or Nutella and drizzled with condensed milk.

GO: Follow @stickyriceae on Instagram for more information.

José by Pizarro 

Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers is set to transport diners straight to the colourful streets of Seville with the opening of José by Pizarro. The new tapas bar is the brainchild of chef, restaurateur and author José Pizarro, fondly known as the “godfather of Spanish cuisine.” The restaurant serves spicy chicken croquetas, prawn fritters, red tuna tartare, traditional lamb meatballs and free-range chicken paella, all designed to be shared. And if you have room for more, chocolate pots with salt and olive oil, homemade Spanish almond tart with figs and custard and a spectacular cheese selection served with fruits and chutneys are available for dessert. Diners can also expect an array of paired wines and Spanish beer on tap.

GO: Visit https://josepizarro.com for reservations and more information.


Natural beauty meets urban luxury at Eastern Mangroves, a retail and lifestyle hub that’s now home to Amano. The Italian fine dining restaurant serves an array of classics made with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients in a setting that’s inviting in every direction — bright and cheery colours inside, rustic seating outside. In true Italian fashion, traditional recipes rule at Amano, with a menu that features the likes of Sicilian Arancini, Bresaola Rucola, Rigatoni Alla Nerano, Filetto Di Manzo and Passion Fruit Panna Cotta. A selection of pizzas is also on offer. The restaurant also serves a wide variety of wines from across Italy.

GO: Visit www.amanorestaurant.me for reservations and more information.

Ba:TE by Wawa Dining

Ba:TE by Wawa Dining brings a touch of Japan to Abu Dhabi. Located in Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel, the new restaurant prides itself on creating food inspired by nature, which is served in a stylish, sophisticated setting. At the heart of Ba:TE’s menu are Far Eastern traditions that underline natural ingredients and authentic Japanese cuisine touched by Peruvian and Korean inspiration. The restaurant is also home to JUMAK Bar, a speakeasy hidden inside an antique wardrobe inspired by traditional Yangban social clubs.

GO: Visit https://bate.ae for reservations and more information.

Episodes Café

There are many reasons to visit Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi, from its MICHELIN Starred venues to its golden cappuccino. Now, there’s one more reason to experience the grandeur of its golden halls, as it has opened a new luxurious café, Episodes. The venue oozes opulence, thanks to the gold pillars and marble floor. Plus, there are pink blossom trees, which make it an Insta-worthy spot. Episodes at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental serves the finest teas from around the world, pretty pastries and artisanal savoury sandwiches. The menus cover afternoon tea, tea apothecary, deli, breakfast and gelato. 

GO: Follow @episodes.uae on Instagram for more information.

La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie 

La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie is aiming big, as it plans to open four new restaurants across Dubai, London, New York and Riyadh. If you want a sneak peek of what you can expect, head to its newly-opened restaurant in Yas Mall. Here you can enjoy French cuisine and Parisian chic all day long across a menu that ranges from crêpes and healthy salads to French onion soup, Rossini, French toast, pastries and viennoiseries. If you need a break from retail therapy, La Serre offers the perfect solution inside the biggest mall in the capital

GO: Visit www.laserre.com for reservations and more information.


Dedicated to carrying forward the vibrant and generous spirit of Emirati hospitality, Erth is aptly located between Qasr Al Hosn (the oldest standing structure in Abu Dhabi) and the Cultural Foundation. Here, a warm and cosy space is intricately carved out of the raised floor, inspired by the look and feel of a traditional majlis to make diners feel more welcome. Proudly showcasing the region’s culinary diversity, Erth’s chefs expertly prepare everything from fresh salads to local specialties like deconstructed date cake and sweet luqaimat. International delicacies with an Emirati touch – such as Bzar-marinated beef short ribs, juicy Wagyu beef striploin, and fresh torched salmon crudo – also await.

GO: Follow @erth.alhosn on Instagram for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA.

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