Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023

Revealed: Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023 Winners

Read on to see who took the top spot.

The verdict is out – the inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi shortlisted 42 restaurants for stars covering 16 types of cuisines, featuring the best the capital has to offer. Three restaurants received one Michelin star and four restaurants were awarded the Bib Gourmand, which is given to those who offer good food at moderate prices. In addition, three special awards were also given out. 

The Michelin Guide’s Abu Dhabi edition comes just months after the Dubai guide was released earlier this year, which saw 69 restaurants serving 21 cuisines. Two restaurants received two Michelin stars, nine restaurants received one Michelin star, and 14 eateries were named Bib Gourmand restaurants.

“The wonderful diversity of the cuisine proposed by these three restaurants [in the Abu Dhabi guide] perfectly illustrate the curiosity of local gourmets, as well as how Abu Dhabi welcomes international cultures to make them shine at their best level,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide.

“This first Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi selection is the beginning of a long journey for a city with unlimited gastronomic potential,” he added. “Our inspectors discovered a rich variety of cuisines offered in Abu Dhabi, from creative dishes conceived by some of the world’s most renowned chefs, to traditional cuisines of the region: Middle Eastern, Lebanese and, of course, Emirati.”

“This is the first step,” said H.E. Saleh Mohammed Algeziry, Director General of the tourism sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, who emphasised to restaurateurs that not achieving a star, or even not being shortlisted for the Michelin Guide, does not mean a restaurant doesn’t have the potential to do so in the future. One star each was awarded to Talea by Antonio Guida for its family-style Italian food, Hakkasan for traditional Cantonese fare, and 99 Sushi Bar for a contemporary take on Japanese cuisine. 

The four restaurants awarded the Bib Gourmand are Almayass, Beirut Sur Mer, Otoro, and Tazal. In a vibrant black-tie event held at Emirates Palace last night, the award ceremony was followed by a five-course dinner with a menu curated by international Michelin-starred chefs, Bjorn Frantzen of Frantzen in Sweden and Cheryl Koh of Les Amis in Singapore included. Read on for the full list of winners – many have been featured in Gaggler in the past.

All Michelin Guide winners on stage

The Complete Winners List

One Michelin Star:

  • 99 Sushi Bar
  • Hakkasan
  • Talea by Antonio Guida

Bib Gourmand:

  • Almayass
  • Beirut Sur Mer
  • Otoro
  • Tazal


  • Al Mrzab
  • Butcher & Still
  • Byblos Sur Mer
  • Cafe James
  • Café Milano
  • Catch by St. Regis
  • Cipriani
  • Coya
  • Dai Pai Dong
  • Finz
  • Fishmarket
  • Fouquet’s
  • Grand Beirut
  • Hoi An
  • Li Beirut
  • Li Jiang
  • LPM
  • Market Kitchen
  • Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi
  • Mazi
  • Meylas
  • Mijana
  • Moksh
  • Namak
  • NIRI
  • Oak Room
  • Oii
  • Paradiso
  • Punjab Grill
  • Shang Palace
  • Silk & Spice
  • Tean
  • VaKaVa Pan Latin Grill and Lounge by Richard Sandoval
  • Villa Toscana
  • Zuma

Service Award:

  • Rawad Hamdan and team, Li Beirut

Sommelier Award:

  • Marlon Nuque, Zuma

Young Chef Award:

  • Luigi Stinga, Talea by Antonio Guida
Photo: Tazal

What Is the Michelin Food Guide?

Published since the 1900s, the Michelin Guide is one of the oldest and most prestigious food guides in existence, focusing its criteria squarely on the quality of cooking and ingredients as well as the presentation rather than the ambiance or decor of an eatery. The guide rates restaurants anonymously using an in-house team of inspectors and food critics employed directly by Michelin.

Using the same criteria and methodology to evaluate candidates for each category, the guide rates restaurants from one to three stars, as well as curates the Bib Gourmand list of restaurants that offer quality cooking at reasonable prices. Currently, the Michelin guide covers over 30 destinations around the world.

How Is a Michelin Star Awarded?

Inspectors anonymously visit eateries for evaluation and rely on the following:

  1. quality of the ingredients
  2. mastery of cooking
  3. harmony of the flavours
  4. expression of the chef’s personality in the cuisine
  5. consistency, both over time and across the entire menu

What Are the Different Types of Michelin Distinctions?

One Michelin star denotes a restaurant with high-quality cooking that’s worth stopping by for. Two Michelin stars are for restaurants with excellent cooking that’s not only worth a detour, but also reflects the personality and talent of the chef and team.

Three Michelin stars indicate exceptional cuisine that’s worth planning a journey for. In this category, the award is given for the superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession. The ingredients are exemplary, the cooking is elevated to an art form, and their dishes are often destined to become classics. This is the most difficult award to achieve and maintain.

Michelin Guide-selected restaurants are those that have the potential to gain a star or feature on the Bib Gourmand list in the future. Restaurants on the Bib Gourmand list are those where inspectors consider they found good-quality cooking for good value.


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7 Must-Try Cafes and Restaurants in Bahrain

Eat your way around the island.

Manama, the capital city of Bahrain, is known for its vibrant culture and diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the city offers an array of dining options that cater to every taste and preference. From traditional Bahraini cuisine to international flavours, Manama’s cafes and restaurants are a food lover’s paradise for every budget and occasion. It’s easily accessible (about an hour flight from Dubai, or a nine-hour road trip), and it isn’t your typical island getaway. Plus, it’s home to some of the best and innovative creatives in the region, and holds rich significance in the history of the Gulf region since the dawn of civilisation.

In this list are some of some of Manama’s popular and best-loved classics that are sure to delight your taste buds and leave you with an unforgettable dining experience.

Photo credit: Monsoon


Monsoon is an institution that has only gotten better with time; for nearly two decades, it has held its place as one of Bahrain’s top restaurants. From its idyllic and serene atmosphere to authentic Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese dishes and adventurous drinks, Monsoon is perfect for date night, lunch with the girls, or a large gathering with friends and family. The menu has something for everyone, including a set menu, sharing platters, sushi plates, and mains geared towards the adventurous and conventional foodie alike. The drinks menu is innovative and tightly curated with changing specials, and the excellent service elevates the entire experience. 

Monsoon, Adliya, Manama. +973 1774 9222, @monsoonbahrain

Photo credit: Lumee Street

Lumee Street

Lumee refers to dried limes, called loomi, which are a key ingredient used in Gulf cooking to season everything from soups, stews, fish, meat, barbecues to tea and desserts. In its powdered form, it’s also a component of baharat, adding a sour and sweet note to dishes. At Lumee Street, this spice is the star in a fast-casual street food concept and though ubiquitously incorporated throughout the menu, it always manages to surprise in a wonderful way without being repetitive. Speaking of which, Lumee’s menu brings together a mixture of Middle Eastern staples interspersed with regional flavours, like the Lumee Achar Hummus, Tikka Lumee, and Chicken Tah Chin.

P.S.: Make sure to leave room for dessert – the Rahash Chocolate Chip ice cream is not to be missed. 

Lumee Street, The Avenues at Sea Front, Manama. +973 1743 4300, lumeestreet.com/

Photo credit: Mahnoor Bari

The Orangery

Head down to The Orangery for some amazing coffee and decadent cakes made fresh daily (I loved the San Sebastian cheesecake, signature blueberry and lemon tea cakes, as well as the chocolate cake with creme brulee filling). Whether you want to take in a view of the water at Bahrain Bay or soak up the chill Mediterranean street vibes of Adliya, The Orangery comes through with the dessert fix. If it’s late in the day or coffee isn’t your thing, take the plunge and sample from the wide selection of exotic teas – there are 17 types to choose from. There are also plenty of goodies – macarons, homemade jams, cookies, and specialty coffee – to take home that can also make for great gifts. 

The Orangery Tearoom & Patisserie, Adliya and The Avenues Mall, Manama. +973 1736 9696, @orangeryme

Photo credit: Darseen Cafe

Darseen Cafe

Located inside the Bahrain National Museum, Darseen Cafe is great for a bite to eat after touring the museum, but I did it the other way around based on a solid recommendation: arrive early at the museum to have the breakfast platter at Darseen first and then leisurely explore the exhibits. I’m so glad I did it. 

The breakfast platter – good for two, but can be done solo if you’re ambitious – consists of an eclectic mix of traditional local breakfast staples: hearty, filling yet light and deeply aromatic foul medammes, qeema, eggs your way, a spiced scrambled egg and tomato, and Bahraini kebabs, served with a side of light, crispy bread and a great iced Spanish latte. The flavours were well-balanced and complementary rather than repetitive; overall, familiar foods done well. 

P.S.: If you’re still thinking about the heavenly samboosa at the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Bahrain pavilion (and why wouldn’t you?), you can get your fix at Darseen.

Darseen Cafe, 2209 Block 322 Building 455, Manama. +973 7733 6600, darseencafebahrain.com  

Photo credit: Mahnoor Bari

English Rose Tea Room 

This bright, floral cafe is the perfect cosy spot for those long-overdue catch up sessions, to get some work done on a quiet afternoon, or if you’re looking for a change of pace on a night out in Adliya.

The honey cake is superb, as are the teas, and the breakfast comes highly recommended. Plus, there’s outdoor patio seating if you want to drink in the vibe with your afternoon tea while you people-watch. The eatery is owned by a friendly Bahraini and British couple passionate about food, who have made sure to include authentic English staples like fish and chips and a full English breakfast, along with some delicious fusion fare. 

English Rose Tea Room, Unit 200, Road 3806, Adliya, Al Qudhaibiya, Manama. +973 3311 1193. @theenglishrosebh

Photo credit: Mahnoor Bari

Café Lilou

Don’t be intimidated by the menu in French; once you get your bearings (and with Café Lilou’s helpful staff) you’ll be well on your way to enjoying one of Bahrain’s most reliable and well-loved Parisian-style cafes. Start off with the apple and peach iced tea and the Bouchées Vagabondes, which is essentially arancini, consisting of perfectly fried breaded white risotto balls filled with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, pesto and parsley in tomato sauce. Follow with a main or head straight to dessert with the collection of patisserie.

Café Lilou, Building 108, Road 3803, Block 338, Adliya, Manama. +973 1771 4440, @cafelilou

Photo credit: Iskenderun Grills

Iskenderun Grills

For some of the best grills with a Turkish flair, head to Iskenderun Grills, a lowkey affair opposite the Marina Beach Garden Park that’s been around since the 1980s. The mixed grill is a star for the high quality of meats, and the hummus is top-notch. Don’t miss the lamb chops, sandwiches, and shawarmas. The starters are great and Iskenderun offers great value for money overall for a budget-friendly meal.

Iskenderun Grills Restaurant, Tarafa Avenue, Manama. +973 1729 3334, @skandroonbh


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