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Trending dishes in GCC

17 July 2021 - By Elie Merhy

According to some compiled statistics, GCC residents have lately been following certain trends when it comes down to the dishes they order. Maybe you’re heading to work on an early morning and all you can think of is the smell of thyme and sizzling olive oil emanating from a man’ouche. Or maybe, it’s been a long day and your imagination is fixated on the stuffed crust Hawaiian pizza (Let’s not get into the pineapple on pizza debate now) waiting to get comfortable in your tummy. Or hummus. Hummus needs no introduction that’s for sure. If you related to any of the last three sentences, this article is for you! It’s time for an overview of trending dishes in the GCC.

All the way from Connecticut, USA

The crowned king of 2020s most demanded food in the GCC is credited to a certain gentleman that goes by the name of Louis Lassen. Of Danish descent, he immigrated to Connecticut in 1900 where he had the revolutionary idea to compile a ground meat patty between two slices of bread, more commonly known today as… the hamburger. According to Deliveroo’s compiled statistics of the most trending dishes of 2020, Cheeseburgers from Five Guys, Dubai, took the victory home with flying colors. It shouldn’t be surprising if you ever had the chance to sink your teeth in the juicy patty and melting cheese you are graciously served at Five Guys.

Image by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron

Through the shores of Hawaii

Crushed candlenut, raw reef fish, and some sea salt and seaweed. Mix them all together, and you get the famous dish known as poke. Poke &Co, we’re looking at you! Not really a shocker that Poke was one of the top contenders on the most ordered food list in GCC. What isn’t there to like about it? It’s like a sandbox but with fresh food. We’re sold.

To Turin and Venice

No, it’s not pizza. Had you read all of our previous articles (here’s the link to it; do check it out.) you would have known that pizza saw the light in the city of Naples. The first runner-up in Deliveroo’s compilation saw the light in beautiful Turin and Venice. Add an espresso shot, hot milk, and white chocolate syrup, and voila! It’s none other than… White Mocha. From Starbucks to be more specific. Coincidentally enough (honestly, we don’t think it’s a coincidence; it’s just great quality), in third place, the Signature Espresso from Starbucks Abu Dhabi takes the medal home.

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Back to burgers

In a joint effort, Deliveroo and Talabat partnered up and came up with somehow foreseeable results: The most ordered cuisine in UAE for 2021 is, as the subheading suggests, the father of all comfort foods: Burgers. We’re talking cheeseburgers from Five Guys, Spicy McChicken from McDonald’s, and the Shack burger from Shake Shack. Furthermore, throughout the lockdown, out of the 20 most ordered dishes during the lockdown, 10 out of them were from McDonald’s.

Local comfort food

Once again, it wouldn’t be fair for us to go through an entire article without giving a few local businesses a shoutout. As universally agreed, there is no place like home. Being away from home instills in us an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia every once in a while, and what better way of tending to it than pampering yourself with some comfort food that reminds you of home. Enter Mashrou3 Tabkha, where the authenticity of the food nearly matches that of your grandma’s cooking back home. Dawood Basha, Kibbeh Labaniye, Moghrabiye or Mouloukhiye, Mashrou3 Tabkha has you covered! And if by any chance, you still feel homesick, but the aforementioned dishes didn’t hit the spot, there’s always the apex of comfort food: street food. This one is a shoutout to our buddies at Allo Beirut. Kaaek, Shawarma, don’t get us started.


One thing’s for sure, last year wasn’t the smoothest ride ever. With everything that’s happened, the least you could do is treat yourself to some comfort food. Grab a white mocha to get your day started, indulge in a burger for lunch, and dig into some Dawood Basha to take a trip back down memory lane.

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