About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Flea & Street Markets
Flea & Street Markets
Gift & Speciality Shops
Bars & Clubs
The Dubai Fish Souk is a place to get your hands dirty and really delve into the local cuisine. With a fruit, vegetable, and meat market also attached, you can wander the stalls taking in the gorgeous array of watermelons, rambutans, and cut coconuts, admire the piles of fresh seasonings, and sample sweet dates. The fish market itself has a wide array of sea creatures, all caught fresh and local, from blue-shelled crabs to large tuna. Perfect for a bite or a look, and wonderful for budding chefs or a DIY meal.
The Dubai Spice Souk is a market in the traditional style, just a stone's throw from the Fish Souk. It's a must-see for the stacks of raw and shaved spices mounted in every stall in colorful buckets, baskets, and sacks. Every seasoning imaginable is at your fingertips, and their delicious aroma wafts around you as you shop. While you're there, feel free to check out some of the other goods on sale, including bags, shrugs, and shoes. This is a great place to pick up something to zest your cooking with when you return home.
The highlight of the Wafi City Mall, aside from its ancient Egyptian theme motif, is Wafi Gourmet. This is a deli known by locals for its traditional fare, as well as Lebanese delicacies. The deli itself stocks local cheeses, olives, and pickles, while the menu boasts mezze, fish, fresh fruit juices, and homemade ice cream. It is also nearby to the mall's underground souk and food court, if you'd like a look around at other dining options.
To enjoy Dubai's waterfront, a visit to Pierchic offers diners an epic combination of delicious seafood and great views. The restaurant, built out on a long pier, boasts a wonderful vantage point to watch Dubai's skyline from, while the menu features a wide selection of fresh fish and clams. The setting is formal and quiet, but a seat on the terrace adds charm to the meal.
Souk Al Bahar is a modernized take on the souk, offering a combination of old-world charm and contemporary comfort. Located on the water with a view of the prominent Dubai fountain, the Souk specializes in international cuisines, with restaurants across two levels offering everything from falafel and hummus to Thai curries, fish & chips, French fusion, and vegan options. A number of more relaxed cafes also dot the area, if you're there for a quick sit-down and re-fuel.
For traditional Arabian fare, visit Al Hadheerah, a restaurant surrounded by desert dunes where the food is as much a highlight as the entertainment. Choreographed sword fights, colorfully-attired belly dancers, and horse riders all come together to delight guests while they dine on dishes customized at the various cooking stations. Sit down with your chosen dish on torch-lit terraces, and finish with a cup of tea, a camel ride, some falconry, and a round of henna art.
Take a 'submarine' ride down into the depths for some aquatic dining. This kitschy restaurant, Al Mahara, combines elegance with showmanship in its dimly-lit aquarium enclave, offering a first-rate culinary experience while sharks and tropical fish whiz by your table. Indulge in a stunning menu of sea bass and steak, but be prepared for the bill at the end.
For dessert or afternoon tea, there's nothing like a trip to Sahn Eddar where Chantilly cream, salted caramel, and rich dark chocolate creations complement bold cups of coffee and subtle teas. Stopping by for a quick dessert and warm cup is suggested, but if you have the time and inclination towards an afternoon tea, it is served up here with dainty finger sandwiches and bubbly. The ambiance is relaxing and stylish, with views from the 27th floor of Burj Al Arab hotel, and a live harp player to set the tone.
The exploratory cuisine at Reflets exemplifies the reputation of Head Chef Pierre Gagnaire, whose international locations are famous for combining fresh ingredients to create impactful flavors. Sit among the fuchsia decor in a private space outside of the usual bustle of Dubai and eat at your own pace. Be sure to order more than one course as each plate is filled with contrasts and complements that delight and challenge the palette. Lobster dishes, delicate vegetable medleys, and soups are must-try options on a menu where the wow factor is high.
For something a little more down to earth, the Arabian Tea House Cafe offers a selection of fresh fruit juices and a long list of unique teas, alongside staple dishes like hummus and zesty chicken salad. Set outside in a garden oasis shaded by trees and strewn with petals, this is a great place to chat, read, and generally take your time while you eat. Prices are very reasonable, which makes testing out their selection of fresh cakes and stick baklava more than worth it. (Or, go purely for dessert.)
While alcohol has become a more common sight in Dubai in recent years, if you want a truer 'bar' experience, Neos is it. Located on the 63rd floor, the view from the windows is as spectacular as the psychedelic-chic interior design, with its galaxy-lighting and posh leather booths. Unwind with a cool and fruity house made cocktail in a tried-and-true Dubai hub.
This one is for the vegetarians. While Zengo does offer numerous and tasty omnivore options, its menu has a wonderful selection of over thirty vegetable dishes. Thoroughly modern, Zengo serves up French, Japanese, and Mexican fusion cuisines, utilizing top quality ingredients from farm-fresh vegetables to certified wagyu beef. You can take your meal inside or on one of their three wooden terraces, and enjoy a pre-dinner drink at their bar too.
Pars Iranian Kitchen is located on Al Dhiyafah Road, Dubai's go-to spot for street food and cheap-eats. While Indian and Lebanese food rule the day along the road here, Pars Iranian Kitchen is a strongly recommended stop, especially for its roasted lamb, fried eggplant, and kebab dishes. Fresh bread and palette-soothing mint is also a must when it comes to sides. The food is delivered fast and comes out tasty.
122 floors into the sky, At.Mosphere is well named, currently holding the record for highest restaurant. Part-bar and part-steakhouse, come for the view and stay for the hearty food. With an excellent all-around menu, from cocktails all the way to desserts, At.Mosphere's tall windows, contemporary cooking, and fine wine list make dining here a feast for the eyes as much as the stomach.