From the comforting embrace of a classic cheeseburger to New York-style pizza slices as big as your face, American cuisine has arrived in Ras Al Khaimah, and it’s as big and bold as you’d expect.
Whether it’s fine-dining establishments where American gastronomy is given a five-star treatment or cosy, casual joints serving loaded nachos that promise to keep you full all week, the northern Emirates are your Route 66 of the Middle East, catering to all palates and appetites.
So, if you’ve been struck by the American dream (or hunger pang), check out these top five spots in Ras Al Khaimah to satisfy your cravings for an epic culinary road trip.
The lively energy at Noho Bar and Grill in the InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa is reminiscent of a New York street block, with a menu that feels like a culinary tour through the Big Apple. The kitchen excels in turning gastro-pub offerings into edible art – take the Tortilla Tower, for instance, a beautiful combination of black bean salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and smoked cheddar cheese. You’re in for a culinary joyride that cruises straight through America’s deep-seated love for Mexican cuisine. Each bite at this spot is a flavourful nod to the lively Tex-Mex joints sprinkled around the North of Houston Street neighbourhood (the very place that inspired the restaurant’s name). Another highlight, the Tuna Ceviche Tostada, offers a glimpse of the country’s coastal culinary traditions – a delicious postcard from the sunny beaches of California.
Where to go: Noho Bar and Grill, InterContinental Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, Mina Al Arab, Ras Al Khaimah (+971 7 202 6666).
Family-owned Thunder Road blends American heartiness with Italian flair. Walking into the restaurant, you feel as if you’ve been welcomed into a family gathering in an Italian-American neighborhood, albeit one that is rather brightly lit. Their Parmigiana Starter, a combination of organic eggplant, fresh tomatoes, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese, takes you straight to the kitchen of an Italian Nonna in the heart of Brooklyn. Yet Thunder Road’s ode to America shines brightest in its Cowboy Pizza, a culinary creation that encapsulates the spirit of the Wild West with tomato salsa, mozzarella cheese, beef pepperoni, ground beef, black olives and mushroom. Just make sure to leave your ten-gallon hat at the door.
When to go: Open daily 11am-11pm.
Where to go: Thunder Road, Mina Al Arab, Ras Al Khaimah (+971 52 994 9056).
Located at the all-inclusive Rixos Bab Al Bahr hotel, Toast ‘n Burger embodies the quintessential American diner spirit – a staple of small-town America. This restaurant is exclusively for in-house guests, so make sure you book a stay at the hotel before visiting. Here, you’ll find generous portions that are a true testament to America’s love for hearty food. The all-day breakfast options bring classics to the table like the steak sandwich and beef hot dog, served with a side of all-American hospitality. But the true star of the Toast ‘n Burger menu is the cheesecake, a creamy, velvety delight that tastes like it was plucked right out of a bakery in New York.
When to go: Open daily 11am-5.30pm and 11pm-6am (in-house guests only).
Where to go: Toast ‘n Burger, Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Jazeerat Al Marjan, Bab Al Bahr, Ras al Khaimah (+971 7 244 4400).
Area 51 BBQ and Grill
Taking its name from the famously secretive US military base, Area 51 BBQ and Grill serves up an array of American classics with an extraterrestrial twist. The menu is fun and creative, with dishes like ‘Alien Hand Grenades,’ their version of loaded baked potatoes, sure to spark your curiosity and your palate. The lively vibe at Area 51 is infectious, making the restaurant an out-of-this-world destination for food lovers.
Although not strictly from the US itself, Canadian Pizza has earned its spot on this list by bringing a slice of continentalNorth American flavour to Ras Al Khaimah. Serving delicious pizzas and the classic Canadian Poutine (that’s fries with cheese curds and gravy) into the small hours, Canadian Pizza caters to night owls craving a taste of North America’s shared culinary legacy. Its generous portions are a fitting conclusion to your American culinary exploration in Ras Al Khaimah. This is a truly hearty slice of Americana (or perhaps that should be Canadiana), right here in the UAE.