A food crawl refers to the fun, exciting activity of visiting multiple restaurants in one night to enjoy a great meal. It entails getting only one menu item from each of the different dining establishments and eating it within the premises or at another place.
Going on a food crawl is a great way to try the most sought-after and tastiest offerings of the best restaurants in Dubai Festival City and across the emirate.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Dubai, so if you are in this city for a short holiday or business trip or you always have a busy schedule, doing a food crawl is the best way to explore the city’s food scene in a short amount of time.
And since you will do this at night, you are free to go about your regular activities or schedule in the morning.
Getting the Most From Your First Food Crawl in the City of Gold
If you are planning your first food crawl in Dubai, below are six tips that will ensure you enjoy great eats and have a fantastic time as you dine your way around the city:
1. Go out with a friend or a group.
Although there is nothing wrong with dining alone, you would do well to ask a friend or colleague, or a bigger group, to go on a food crawl.
After all, sampling one delicious dish after the other is more fun and satisfying when you share it with other people.
Going on a food crawl with several people also has other benefits. For one, your group can order more dishes and beverages, which means you can sample more menu items while avoiding paying an expensive bill since you will split it with your companions.
Additionally, since you are dining with several people, there will be fewer leftovers. This means you won’t have to carry boxes or containers of uneaten food as you hop from one restaurant to another.
Moreover, going on a food crawl with your friends or workmates is also an excellent way to catch up and bond with them.
2. Pick a theme.
In a city with hundreds of restaurants offering different cuisines and dining experiences, you may find it hard to narrow down your list of establishments to visit while planning your food crawl.
You can limit your options and still have fun hopping from one restaurant to another by choosing a theme.
Prepare a list of cuisines or popular foods and speak with your group about which ones they prefer to sample during your food crawl. Make sure the cuisine or theme your group ultimately picks is the one everyone agrees on.
For instance, if you are planning a food crawl in Dubai Festival City, you can pick American or Italian fare as your theme. You can then limit your choices to the restaurants that serve these cuisines.
If you opted for American, you could add California Pizza Kitchen, Chili’s, Texas Roadhouse, Hard Rock Café, TGI Fridays, and Sugar Factory to your list. These are popular restaurants found in Dubai Festival City Mall.
Deciding on a theme beforehand can also help you choose strategically located restaurants that your group can visit without difficulties.
3. Be realistic about the number of restaurants to visit.
A satisfactory food crawl experience entails going to at least three restaurants. But if you want to sample several dishes, plan on visiting more.
However, try to limit your itinerary to eight restaurants. If you go beyond this number, you and your companions may become overwhelmed with the whole activity.
Keep in mind that a food crawl with at least three destinations can stretch to three hours or more, especially if you choose casual dining restaurants and dishes that take a long time to be prepared.
If you want to go to at least five restaurants, choose ones located near each other and plan a route that can take you from one spot to another in the fastest time possible.
Additionally, if you can book a table and order your preferred dishes in advance, do so to reduce your waiting period and spend more time eating and conversing and bonding with your fellow foodies.
Following this tip can also give you more time to drop by nearby well-known attractions.
4. Plan on walking.
Part of the appeal of a food crawl is walking from one restaurant to another. It is a great way to see more of Dubai and discover its hidden gems, especially if it’s your first time here.
As such, plan on walking from one spot to another instead of driving or taking a cab or bus. However, select restaurants that are within walking distance to avoid getting tired quickly.
If the restaurants you choose are found in different areas or neighborhoods, use Google maps or any app to plan your route beforehand.
Also, make sure you wear comfortable shoes and find out beforehand what time the restaurants close.
5. Be prepared to answer some questions from the restaurant staff.
Since a food crawl involves ordering only one item from a part of the menu, such as an appetizer or entree, you may get some curious questions from the waitstaff.
If you find yourself in this situation, try to remain respectful and understand the restaurant’s needs.
If you get a question regarding your order, be honest. Let them know that you are there to savor only an appetizer or entree and a drink, and not a full meal.
Also, finish your food and drink as quickly as possible and try not to linger unless you or a companion have the urge to order more.
If your group is sticking to a tight schedule, consider asking to close out the tab once the food is delivered. Don’t forget to leave a generous tip and, if you enjoyed the food, make a reservation for a full meal with the host on your way out.
6. Be flexible.
No matter how well you planned your food crawl, there is still a chance that something unexpected could happen. A restaurant may be packed with diners, which means you have to wait for hours to be seated, or it has to close early because of a problem in the kitchen.
In such events, there is nothing else to do but accept it and adjust.
Be open to going to the restaurant next door or the one across the street. Whether they specialize in the cuisine or theme you are going for or not, be open to trying them.
Whatever happens, be open-minded, avoid getting stressed out, and enjoy the experience.
Dubai is a great place for a food crawl. Keep these tips in mind when planning your first one and you will have an enjoyable, unforgettable, and satisfying time.