The desert is the heart and soul of Arabian life in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE. It’s the birthplace…
Some of the UAE’s best Italian restaurants can be found in Ras Al Khaimah, spoiling diners for choice with hearty and authentic dishes that are sure to satisfy.
From pasta al dente to the finest pizzas with every topping imaginable, you can get live La Dolce Vita during your trip.
La Burrata Italian Restaurant
Highly recommended on TripAdvisor and frequented by Italians living in or visiting the UAE, La Burrata is the real deal, with diners talking up the fresh ingredients and homemade dishes.
All the classic pasta dishes are on the menu and the pizzas, which come in three sizes, are loaded with delectable toppings, with squid and shrimp a popular option.
There’s something for everyone – meat-lovers, vegetarians and vegans – and every tastebud, from simple to super spicy. And don’t forget the sides, with homemade potato croquettesa a top choice.
Location: Al Riffa near Mina Al Arab; Opening times: 11.30 am to 11.30 pm daily; Ph: +971 7 243 2500; #laburratauae
A family favourite, this casual restaurant located at Marjan Island Resort & Spa, serves up a menu of spectacular Italian dishes, just like Nona used to make.
Tuck into freshly prepared pizzas, pastas and paninis while the little ones make the most of the special entertainment area complete with pool tables, PlayStations and arcade games.
The pasta selection is considerable, with a huge emphasis on spaghetti, penne, ravioli and tortellini variations, as well as three different lasagnes, one with Norwegian smoked salmon. Seafood pizzas are a specialty too, rounded off nicely with an espresso-soaked Tiramisu or one of three different cheesecakes.
Location: Marjan Island Blvd; Opening times: 12.30 pm to 10.30 pm; +971 7 203 6666; www.marjanislandresort.com
Savour fresh and flavoursome Mediterranean-inspired dishes with an emphasis on Italian cuisine at Basilico, the casual fine-dining restaurant with stunning Arabian Gulf views located at Cove Rotana Resort.
Specialties include a seafood-packed Calamarata Al Astice, a succulent pasta dish with lobster and scallops, and an irresistible range of hand-stretched pizzas with gourmet toppings.
With brown-brick arched ceilings and rich wooden furnishings creating a warm and inviting atmosphere and a vibrant open kitchen with live cooking stations adding theatre to the dining experience, this is an authentic family friendly venue worth a visit.
Location: Cove Rotana Resort; Opening times: 12 noon to 12 midnight daily; Ph: +971 7 206 6351; www.rotana.com
L’olivio, Rixos Bab Al Bahr
This Trattoria-style venue, located at Rixos Bab Al Bahr on Al Marjan Island, is authentic in every sense, from its tiled floors to the open kitchen where chefs spin pizza dough in a display of exuberant Italian theatre.
Must-try pastas include oven-baked lasagna, gnocchi pumpkin, and risotto with asparagus and quail, while the Pizza 4 Seasons is packed with many meaty toppings. Gluten-free options are available upon request, and there are many dishes to suit vegetarians too.
For young diners, there’s a kids menu, and of course, the ‘Dolci’ will finish off your meal nicely – try Panna Cotta with seasonal berries and strawberry foam, the signature Tiramisu, or the refreshing fruit minestrone.
Location: Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Al Marjan Island; Opening times: 6 pm to 10.30 pm daily; Ph: +971 7 244 4400; www.rixos.com
Thunder Road Pizza & Grill
With its roots in Chianti, Tuscany, inspired by a small family restaurant, Thunder Road Pizza & Grill offers the best of American Italian traditions on a plate and is known for its homemade pastas and sauces.
The pizza menu is immense, with tasty options including double-layered Portofino Pizza stuffed with homemade Pesto sauced; a calzone-style Vesuvio Pizza, which just like the volcano it is named after, erupts with mozzarella cheese and tomato; and for those who are really hungry, the extra-large ‘Big Wheel’ spanning 45cm with many topping variations available.
Lovers of meat and seafood, as well as vegetarians, are catered to. Recommended dishes include the Gnocchi Salmon, Spaghetti Meatballs and Ravioli Ricotta.
Location: Al Riffa; Opening times: 11 am to 11 pm daily; Ph: +971 52 994 9056; www.thunder-road.ae
A friendly, family-style Italian restaurant with pizza, antipasti and signature dishes that include specialty pastas, not to mention the tempting daily specials on the blackboard.
With an emphasis on fresh and seasonal ingredients, the venue is known for its seafood specials, including a pizza dripping with calamari, shrimps, mussels and fresh fish, and a seafood fettuccine.
Located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, you can also grab an authentic Sicilian Cannolo with ricotta and pistachio for dessert.
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Al Marjan Island; Opening times: 1pm to 3.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 10.30pm daily; Ph: +971 7 203 0104; doubletree3.hilton.com