MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 have been revealed

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro tops the list, followed by Trèsind Studio and Fusions By Tala.

The culinary stars of the restaurant world descended on the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi for the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 awards. Restaurants from the Middle East and North Africa were announced as the top 50 places to eat in the region at an event held in Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

This was the second edition of the event, and it culminated with the announcement of the region’s No.1 restaurant, Orfali Bros Bistro, whose team took to the stage to receive the award.

Orfali Bros Bistro is a charming homegrown success story. The restaurant opened in March 2021, and quickly developed a cult following. The concept was created by three brothers from Syria, Mohamad, Omar and Waseem Orfali. The dining experience takes place in a two-storey open test kitchen, which leaves nothing to the imagination.

Dubai’s Trèsind Studio claimed the No 2 spot, followed by Bahrain’s Fusions By Tala at No 3. The highest new entry award was given to Dubai’s Ossiano, which came in at an impressive No 4.

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates dominates the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 awards. In the host city Abu Dhabi, the restaurants include Coya Abu Dhabi at No 33, Zuma Abu Dhabi at No 43, and Hakkasan Abu Dhabi at Number 49.

In Dubai, the restaurants include Orfali Bros Bistro at No 1, Trèsind Studio at No 2, Ossiano at No 4, 3 Fils at No 5, a new entry for Kinoya at No 7, a new entry for Moonrise at No 10, Reif Kushiyaki at No 11, Zuma Dubai at No 13, Lowe at No 15, Gaia at No 17, LPM Dubai at No 21, Hoseki at No 26, Coya Dubai at No 28, a new entry for 11 Woodfire Dubai at No 35, and Jun’s at Number 44.

In Saudi Arabia, the highest ranked restaurant is Myazu at No 18. Plus, restaurants include Marble at No 23, and LPM Riyadh at No 38.

The rest of the Middle East & North Africa

In Bahrain, the highest ranked restaurant is Fusions By Tala at No 3, Cut by Wolfgang Puck was a new entry at 25, and Masso was a new entry at No 31.

In Kuwait, the anime-inspired Japanese eatery White Robata came in at No 42, making it the highest ranked restaurant in Kuwait. Plus, Bonjiri from Kuwait was a new entry at No 50.

In Jordan, the highest ranked restaurant is Fakhreldin at No 8. Plus, the list includes a new entry for Shams El Balad at No 29, Sufra in Amman at No 36, a new entry for Alee at No 41, and 13C Bar in the Back at No 47.

In Lebanon, the highest ranked restaurant for the second year in a row is Baron at No 16. In Tunisia, the highest ranked restaurant is La Closerie at No 34. In Morocco, the highest ranked restaurant is La Grande Table Marocaine at No 27. In Israel, the highest ranked restaurant is George & John at No 6.

In Egypt, the highest ranked restaurant is Zooba. Plus, Dubai chef Reif Othman’s expansion to Egypt, Reif Kushiyaki Cairo, entered the list for first time at No 45.

Special awards

The Food Icon Award was presented to Anissa Helou. The One to Watch Award is given to a rising star in the culinary world, and was presented to Shirel Berger, chef and owner of Opa in Tel Aviv, Israel. Plus, the Best Pastry Chef Award was given to Karim Bougri.

The Best Female Chef Award was presented to Salam Dakkak from Bait Maryam in Dubai. The Chef’s Choice Award was presented to Moustafa Elrefaey. Plus, the Art of Hospitality Award was presented to Em Dherif in Beirut.

The Sustainable Restaurant Award honours an establishment with the highest sustainability rating. The award is given to a restaurant that has set a new standard for exquisite food that goes hand-in-hand with sustainability. The accolade was given to OCD Restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, which features at No 14 on the list.

The second edition of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants was sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The awards span 19 countries in the Middle East and Africa, and celebrate the region’s greatest restaurants.

The World’s 50 Best has been compiled by 250 judges who have eaten their way around the region. The judges are made up of industry leaders including chefs, restauranteurs, food writers and well-travelled gourmets. 

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