MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2023: A Race Toward Excellence

MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2023

Abu Dhabi, the city of incredible culinary diversity, will once again host MENA 50 Best Restaurants for its second edition. This event, sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, aims at shining the spotlight on MENA’s diverse cuisines and culinary culture and promoting the finest restaurants and most talented chefs in the region. The tournament will extend over the course of 6 days, from Friday the 27th of January till Wednesday the 1st of February during which a rich and exciting program will take place across notable venues around the city. 

MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2023

This event is so much more than food; from thought-provoking discussions to unforgettable dining experiences and exquisite signature dishes, it promotes the exchange of ideas, builds a bridge between different cultures and cuisines, and brings together the most brilliant chefs from around the world. So if you are visiting the UAE at the end of this month, the aroma of mouth-watering food will guide you to Abu Dhabi where all the magic is scheduled to happen.


The key events of the program include:

50 Best Signature Sessions

This series has evolved from last year’s Collaboration Dining Series to become an extensive program of gastronomic events, featuring the best global and regional chefs. Talents of the caliber of Massimiliano Alajmo, Tala Bashmi, and Hiroyasu Kawate among many others collaborate with local talent to create unique dining experiences.

50 Best Talks

Listen to culinary experts like Mauro Colagreco, Anissa Helou, Akmal Anuar, Qais Malhas and Maha Dahmash engage in rich and insightful discussions around the topic of luxury in hospitality and fine dining that has shifted drastically in recent years. This thought-leadership event will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island.

Flavours of 50 Best

An international brunch like no other – taking place at Graphos Social Kitchen in Hilton Yas Island on the evening of Saturday 28th January –  will include premium food stations filled with delicatessens from around the globe and signature dishes from world-class chefs like Mauro Colagreco, Santiago Lastra, and Maira Yeo.

Chef’s Day

Preceding the award ceremony, Chefs from across the MENA region will gather for an evening dedicated to delicious local cuisine scheduled on Sunday the 29th.

The Award Ceremony

The announcement of the MENA  50 Best restaurants 2023 will take place on Monday the 30th of January 2023. One restaurant will be the successor of the infamous 3 fils in Dubai that claimed the prestigious title in 2022. Besides the countdown of the 50 Best Restaurants list, individuals from the MENA region will be honored with special awards to acknowledge their uniqueness and excellence in different areas of the industry.

The Voting System

Restaurants from 19 countries are chosen by a panel of 250 anonymous voters from across the Middle East and North Africa who get to select seven restaurants each with at least two located outside the country where they are based. The panel includes chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics, and highly regarded ‘foodies’. 


The voting system is anonymous, confidential, and gender-balanced. Each voter must have visited each of the selected restaurants at least once in the last 18 months.

MENA 50 Best Winners

The winners of the MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2023 were announced and the UAE dominated the list with 18 nods and Orfali Bros Bistro claiming the #1 spot. 

At the ceremony, Karim Bourgi was named MENA’s Best Pastry Chef 2023, Moustafa Elrefaey received the Chef’s Choice Award, and Salam Dakkak was honored as MENA’s Best Female Chef 2023. Fakhreldin was named Best Restaurant in Jordan, Zooba won in Egypt, Baron in Lebanon, Myazu in Saudi Arabia, La Grande Table Marocaine in Morocco, La Closerie in Tunisia, and White Robata in Kuwait.

Foodics x 50 Best

In support of the regional F&B ecosystem, Foodics — the leading restaurant-tech company in MENA — partners up with 50 Best for the second consecutive year. This partnership constitutes a mutual advantage considering the indispensable role that Foodics plays in leveling-up restaurants’ management system and performance, and the outstanding efforts of 50 Best in celebrating the richness and diversity of the world’s culinary landscape.

As the exclusive Restaurant Management Technology Partner of the awards, Foodics will be a speaker at the #50BestTalks to raise awareness and share knowledge on the industry and will have a dedicated booth at the event. Moreover, Foodics will present the Foodics Icon Award to its well-deserving winner Anissa Helou, a brilliant international chef with 10 books to her name, as part of the regional talent recognition. 

Stay tuned and Keep an eye on our social media platforms (Instagram and LinkedIn) where we will be conducting interviews with the nominees and winners, and covering MENA 50 Best Restaurants 2023 event in real-time including the announcement of the 50Best list.

Rachel Maatouk Gebrayel

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