Abu Dhabi, the city of incredible culinary diversity, hosted the second edition of MENA 50 Best Restaurants. This event was sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna to shine the spotlight on MENA’s diverse cuisines and culinary culture and to promote the finest restaurants and most talented chefs in the region. The event included so much more than food; from thought-provoking discussions to unforgettable dining experiences and exquisite signature dishes.
MENA’s 50 Best Winners
The announcement of the MENA’s 50 Best restaurants 2023 winners took place on Monday the 30th of January 2023. 50 restaurants across the region were presented with special awards to acknowledge their uniqueness and excellence in different areas of the industry. The UAE dominated the list with 18 nods and Orfali Bros Bistro claiming the #1 spot.
Best Restaurant in The Middle East and North Africa 2023: Orfali Bros Bistro
Located in Dubai’s Wasl 51 neighborhood, the restaurant was established by three immigrant chef brothers from Aleppo, Syria who created a genuinely unique dining experience. Mohamed Orfali – a seasoned chef in the Middle East – runs the main kitchen while his brothers Wassim Orfali and Omar Orfali – trained classic pâtissiers – lead the stellar selection of pastries. The brothers combine tradition with influences from across the world to create a truly unique spin on Arabic cuisine.
Notable Awards Went to The Following:
- MENA’s Best Pastry Chef 2023: Karim Bourgi
- MENA’s Chef’s Choice Award 2023: Moustafa Elrefaey
- MENA’s Best Female Chef 2023: Salam Dakkak
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Egypt 2023: Zooba
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Saudi Arabia 2023: Myazu
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Jordan 2023: Fakhreldin
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Kuwait 2023: White Robata
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Lebanon 2023: Baron
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Morocco 2023: La Grande Table Marocaine
- MENA’s Best Restaurant in Tunisia 2023: La Closerie
Foodics Icon Award 2023 – Anissa Helou
The Foodics Icon Award went to the well-deserving winner Anissa Helou, a brilliant international chef with 10 books to her name, as part of the regional talent recognition. Anissa won the Foodics Icon award 20234 for carrying out invaluable work in preserving culinary traditions for the region as well as introducing the world to the rich gastronomic cultures of the Middle East.