16 Jul 2019 AT 11:23 AM

The best pub brunches in Dubai 2019

Pool cues and dart boards, chilled beverages and hearty grub – the pub brunch scene in Dubai is thriving. We would know, as we picked out the best of them, but first we have something to figure out…
16 Jul 2019 AT 11:23 AM
The best pub brunches in Dubai 2019

Let’s set this straight before we spark a debate – there is a difference between ‘pubs’ and ‘bars’, even though the line separating them has been blurred over the years. As a general rule of thumb, if you leave a venue satisfied after a hearty feed with a few house beverages to go along with it, you’ve just left a pub. That’s because they all (should) serve up full-on dishes to appease your appetite, from a wealth of starters to mains filled to the brim with chunky chips, battered fish and all manner of comfort food.

We can already hear the questions coming in: But what about restaurants that serve up drinks with its food? Or bars in Dubai that serve up mains as well? Let’s not get into the logistics of it all, because when it comes down to it, if a venue feels like a pub, then it is. To put you out of this terminology turmoil, we’ve scoured the city to not only find some of the best pubs around, but for you to enjoy them to their fullest, pub grub and all, with their wholesome brunches.

And you know what? That’s a great debate (and fantastic ice-breaker) best left to be had at any of these superb pub brunches. Just try not to roll your eyes too far back when someone blurts out “but a bar is technically just a counter”. Ignore and get back to stuffing your face.

‘Ol Reliables
The Eloquent Elephant

If you’ve been to any hipster place in the UK, let’s say Manchester’s Northern Quarter or London’s Shoreditch (or anywhere with a lot of bricks), then you’ll know exactly what this English pub is all about. It’s a little classier-looking that most, but that doesn’t mean there’s no cosy pub vibes there, which can certainly be felt at its ‘Crunch Brunch’. While chilled drinks are plentiful, it’s the food that’s the shining star. From the chunkiest chips seen on a plate with a beautifully battered fish, along to a cracking elephant curry (calm down, there’s no actual elephant in it), you’ll get as many plates as you want of the stuff. Oh, and its wagyu burger topped with gooey cheese? An absolute must.
Price: From AED199
When: Friday 12.30pm-4pm
Where: Taj Dubai, Business Bay
Contact: +971 4 438 3100

The Lion by Nick & Scott
If you’re one for a spotless and refined kind of pub, welcome to The Lion by Nick & Scott. Putting a touch of class in nearly every aspect, from comforting pub grub to its stylish and cosy interiors, The Lion is a favourite because it feels like it gets everything right. And yes, that definitely applies to its brunch, which can be enjoyed any time between 2pm and midnight on Thursday and Friday. You make up what kind of brunch this will be, but definitely make it a foodie one. There’s veal sausage rolls and pâté, curried coconut chicken with cardamom rice (a real winner), fish and chips with those essential crushed peas and apple crumble with custard. A right delight. You’ll only get to choose one starter, main and dessert, but the pub more than makes up for it with some of the best live musical acts around, and plenty of beverages to wash it all down with. Can’t go wrong.

Price: AED350
When: Friday 2pm-midnight (three-hour package)
Where: The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 359 2366

Fibber Magee’s
Ah, Fibber Magee’s. If you’ve been, you’ll know what we mean, as this Dubai institution is full of lovable pub traits. Mismatched furniture, loud carpets, exposed brick, stained glass windows, low ceilings, sports jerseys, fireplaces, the black stuff on tap – see where we’re going with this?

When it comes to brunch, the glaring thing that makes it stand-out from the rest is, well, it’s on a Monday night. We’re not complaining, as everyone should break up the early part of the week with over three hours of unlimited Irish grub and properly pulled beverages. Here’s a tip: think ahead and take the Tuesday off, as Fibber Magee’s will make you stay well past its brunch’s (random) 11.20pm cut-off time.
Price: AED220
When: Monday, 8pm-11.20pm
Where: Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road
Contact: +971 4 332 2400

Belgian Café Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Bottles of Belgian hops for three hours. What, you need more convincing? One of the nicest pubs around thanks to it being situated right in the beautiful Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Belgian Café is the pub with a view. It’s also the pub with a brunch serving buckets of mussels, four kinds of Belgian hops along with a cold sharing plate of cheese and salami. It’s the chilled, European-style pub brunch you’ve been after that’s not covered with Irish bites or British treats. When temperatures start to cool down, nab yourself a spot on the second floor outdoor terrace – it’s begging for photo opportunities. You’ll want to stay afterwards anyway, not just to watch a stunning sunset with Belgian hops in hand, but also because of its happy hour offering a 30 percent discount on selected beverages. And yes, we know it says café, but it’s a pub, trust us.
Price: From AED195
When: Friday 2pm-5pm
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Contact: +971 4 447 0227


Has that summer heat been bringing you down lately? Well, Downtown Dubai’s recently-opened speakeasy-style hipster pub has just the brunch to cheer you up. To kick off your weekend in style, the new spot at Souk Al Manzil has a ‘Moon Shine” brunch, and we’ll give you one guess what time of day is starts. Priced at AED185 for soft drinks and AED295 for house beverages, the brunch features moreish eats and offbeat concoctions. Expect roasted bone marrow to duck toast, piri piri meatballs and veal baby back ribs, while sipping the weekend away with forest-flavoured mixed drinks. Think elderflower, golden honey, and lingonberry shrub.

Price: From AED185
When: Friday 8pm-midnight
Where: Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai
Contact: +971 4 329 8899

Double Decker
There are plenty of English watering-holes for expats to get a taste of home, and while some may feel tacky, the long-standing Double Decker still delivers its promise on being a reliable spot for that classic English atmosphere. However, its brunch is a different story. It used to be ‘the usual’ a few years back, but with a slew of new brunches readily available in the city, it had to up its game. And it did with its relatively new Funch deal on Fridays. It’s more or less the same as it once was, except this time with the added bonus of live entertainment, hops pong, an incredibly fun drinking competition and heaps of food from great British classics to a live Mexican fajita station. It’s a cosy pub, but it’s sizeable too. For more of a private kind of brunch, we recommend heading to its second floor and placing yourselves on one of its many large couches. For those up for all the banter and cheering during  each game, downstairs you go.

Price: AED199
When: Friday noon-4pm
Where: Roda Al Murooj Hotel, Downtown Dubai
Contact: +971 4 321 1111

For the night owls
Copper Dog

We all need an easy night out where food is comforting, drinks are flowing and the atmosphere is buzzing. With the slight potential for the night to get lively, of course. Copper Dog’s brand-new Bottoms Up night brunch captures that vibe exactly, and thanks to its before-and-after-brunch deals, it’s as if the Scottish pub never wants you to leave. The brunch kicks off at 8pm, but the cosy, old-style joint boasts quite the lively crowd well before the brunch even begins thanks to its happy hour from 5pm until 8pm, with discounted prices on a selection of beverages. It’s buzzing with that end-of-the-working-week spark. You won’t just be sitting around and chatting shop, as there are plenty of eight-balls to sink at the pool table as well as playing hops pong. Food-wise, plates piled with ribs, nachos, chunky chips and chicken wings will surely fill you up. Always a nice touch.

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR
When: Thursday, 8pm-11pm
Price: From AED149
Contact: +971 52 917 5512

McGettigan’s JLT
We all know Dubai’s favourite Irish spot in JLT throws a cracking Friday brunch, but its Thursday “#TGIT” night brunch is pouring with folks looking for a grand time – and that’s exactly what they get. In fact, even better when the evenings are cooler so everyone can fully enjoy the sprawling pub garden. It may not be the big brunch food spread you’d expect, like its Friday counterpart, but we all know the Irish spot shines with its à la carte food. The evening brunch offers a three-course menu which features McGettigan’s signature burgers, fish and chips, baked salmon, roast chicken, beautiful sticky toffee pudding and plenty more. Throw in a dancefloor, a lively crowd and a bar brimming with the black stuff and you’ve found a pot of gold.

Price: AED230
When: Thursday 8.30pm-11.30pm
Where: Cluster J, JLT
Contact: +971 4 378 0800

garden on 8
Anyone up for a pub garden? That’s essentially what garden on 8 boasts – a spacious outdoor terrace lined with long benches with a perfect view of its massive screen showcasing the latest footie, cricket, you name it. It’s pretty much always heaving towards the weekend, but its Friday Smoke N’ Mirrors night brunch takes the cake, or barbecue, in this case. Its sizeable buffet offers a selection of three different styles of meat, meaning you can have your meat and seafood dishes prepared either in a barbecue, rotisserie or smoker-type fashion. Don’t be too surprised seeing people hop on the benches and start grooving to ‘70s and ‘80s pop music. Oh wait, that’s us. Along with a few PlayStations dotted around the place, plus a tent over the terrace to keep things cool over the summer, this one is clearly more for the party-types.
Price: AED395
When: Friday 7.30pm-11pm
Where: Media One, Dubai Media City
Contact: +971 4 427 1000

Neat and Cheap
Biggle’s Pub

Brunching on a budget? Biggle’s Pub is a no brainer. For just AED99 you’ll get food, soft drinks and two beverages, with complimentary pool access thrown in there as well. There’s a breakfast corner full of fry-up foods and pancakes, as well as plenty of mains from meaty steaks and baked chicken to veggie enchiladas and puddings. As you’d expect from a brunch at this price, it’s not the fanciest or liveliest around, but does it really need to be? If you’re looking for something chilled-out and don’t fancy having to loosen your belt as you struggle to get your money’s worth, Biggles is exactly what you’re after.
Price: AED99
When: Friday noon-4pm
Where: Millennium Airport Hotel, Garhoud
Contact: +971 4 702 8888

The Dubliner’s
The city turns emerald green every Friday over towards The Dubliner’s, and no, we’re not talking about all that green money flying out of your pocket. In fact, quite the opposite, as this brunch will only set you back AED109 and offers unlimited treats from the Emerald Isle buffet.

Although, we all know its AED189 package with five drinks is the more enticing offer. Expect a frosty array of house beverages, a carousel of Irish foodie delights along with live entertainment. It has that long-standing ‘Irish pub’ vibe to it, all with a bit of sunshine.
Price: AED109 (two house beverages), AED189 (five house beverages).
Where: Friday 1pm-4pm.
Where: Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud
Contact: +971 4 702 2508

Crown & Lion
When we think of a British pub, we think snug and smoky booths, a darkly lit indoors, typical comforting pub grub and one too many pint glasses. As soon as you step inside Byblos Hotel’s still-buzzing bar, that’s exactly what you get. Why? Because its Friday brunch deal is a right steal. Although not your typical brunch, Crown & Lion offers five house beverages along with any dish from the menu for AED173, and the best part is you can have it at any time between 11am and 6pm. Looking for an early start? Sure. Maybe a pre-game before a night out? Why not.

Either way, this pub is a classic in Dubai. It may not be the most glitzy but that’s why we like it. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we like that dog just the way it is.

Price: AED173
When: Friday 11am-6pm.
Where: Byblos Hotel Dubai, Barsha Heights
Contact: +971 4 448 8000