10 Best Salads You Should Try in the UAE

If you are looking for the best salad in Dubai, you may find it hard to choose. Healthy salads come in a range of flavour profiles with a variety of ingredients, making it hard for many to settle on just one as their preferred healthy salad in the city. Before you settle on a favourite, here are 10 of the best salads you should try while in the UAE.

1. Caesar Salad

The Caesar salad is one of the best-known options available. Most restaurants feature at least one version of this classic, ranging in size from traditional appetiser or side to full-scale entrée.

Most Caesar salads start with a healthy base of romaine lettuce, providing a strong foundation and a satisfying crunch. Croutons and Parmesan are also quintessential ingredients, as well as the distinct dressing and a healthy dose of fresh pepper.

To take this salad out of the starter category and into the entrée arena often involves the addition of protein. Some healthy salad options include grilled chicken or turkey bacon in some versions that come with higher fat and calorie counts.

2. Goat Cheese Salad

A goat cheese salad showcases the distinct flavour of a hard goat cheese across a bed of mixed greens. Healthy salads in this category traditional use dark leafy greens as they offer more vitamins and minerals than options like an iceberg.

Cherry tomatoes can add a sense of brightness along with balsamic vinegar featured either as part of a vinaigrette or reduction. Walnuts are also a wonderful addition, providing an additional flavour, a sense of slight sweetness, protein, and healthy fats.

3. Spicy Thai Beef Salad

Thai spices such as basil, coriander, and chilli can be used to elevate a healthy salad into a flavourful dining experience. Lightly grilled beef cut into thin slices is placed over a bed of mixed greens, adding protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Cherry tomatoes add a light sweetness while lime provides a hint of acidity to balance the dish. Sesame seeds add a layer of flavour, and an Asian dressing brings the full profile together.

4. Moroccan Lentil Salad

For those interested in a healthy salad with a Moroccan flair, a Moroccan lentil salad can be an ideal option. Healthy lentils create the base of the salad and are cooked with regional spices to create the full flavour profile. Often, these salads also include grilled and roasted vegetables like zucchini and red pepper, helping to bring the flavours forward with a subtle sweetness. Cherry tomatoes add a level of brightness when combined with citronette dressing, a form of citrus vinaigrette. A bit of feta cheese adds some creaminess and mint helps highlight the other Moroccan spices.

If you are interested in adding more protein, grilled chicken works well with the other flavours involved. You can also select vegetarian options like almonds or walnuts.

5. Cobb Salad

Cobb salads come in a variety of flavour profiles, some of which create fairly healthy salads for those interested in something beyond a simple vegetable salad. Most begin with a bed of romaine lettuce and a range of toppings based on the style. Some classic additions include hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and avocado. For those looking to make a healthier version, egg whites may be used instead of whole hard-boiled eggs.

Healthy salads made in Cobb salad style also include skinless chicken breast or roasted turkey and may use turkey bacon. Most Cobb salads also feature cheese, with blue cheese being the traditional option. However, it can be removed if you want to make sure your healthy salad version doesn’t have the added fat associated with a cheese topping or you can choose a lighter option like white cheddar.

6. Mexican Style Salad

Whether you lean towards a traditional taco salad or prefer to Mexican flavours in a healthier variant, Mexican style salads combine ingredients like avocado, sour cream and salsa with other classics like sweet corn and black beans.

Some Mexican style salads are served over a bed of greens while others choose options like rice or a version of a tortilla chip. Grilled chicken can be a healthy addition and also serves as a way to add additional spice to the overall experience.

7. Couscous Salad

A couscous salad is often based on a classic garden vegetable salad. To up the flavour profile, the restaurant adds couscous spiced with an Arabian flair. This provides a satisfying meal full of healthy vegetables and high-quality whole grains. When the spices in the couscous are used properly, the need for additional dressing is limited, helping to create a healthy salad that tastes like so much more.

8. Watermelon Salad

A watermelon salad traditionally combines sweet and savoury aspects, creating a well-rounded flavour and a refreshing overall experience. Watermelon provides sweetness without a lot of calories since it is primarily made of water. Add some feta for a creamy texture and added depth of flavour and some greens for crunch. Then, you have a full culinary experience that still remains on the healthy side.

9. Crunchy Noodle Chicken Salad

For those who enjoy a distinct crunch in their salad, a crunchy noodle chicken salad can create a healthy option when properly made. Grilled chicken is placed over a bed of red and green cabbage, providing classic Asian flavours to serve as a foundation. With the addition of sesame and sunflower seeds along with toasted almonds, the flavour profile is expanded. The experience is finished with a honey soy dressing to add a combination of sweet and salty flavours, rounding out what can be a highly satisfying meal.

10. Garden Salad

A garden salad is the ultimate incarnation of a vegetable salad, featuring a range of greens and other popular vegetables to create a classic salad experience. Items like tomatoes, carrots, onions, radishes, and avocado can all be used to create a flavour profile that is sure to please. Then, if your goal is to create a healthy salad, add some light salad dressing and some seeds or nuts for crunch.

As you can see, there are numerous healthy salad options available, making it hard for many to choose on as the best salad in Dubai. However, you can do your best to decide by trying many of the healthy salad options listed above or more. If you are interested in exploring some of the flavour profiles included in the list, the Circle Café offers healthy versions of many of those included above. Come in and explore everything the Circle Café has to offer and then choose a favourite for yourself.

Bagels in Dubai: What are They and Where to Find Them?

Bagels are a breakfast food traditional associated with America. Often seen as a staple in New York City delicatessens and a popular item in the Jewish community, the broad exposure to those from other cities and countries led the bagel has taken its rightful place on breakfast tables worldwide. But what exactly is a bagel, and can you find bagels in Dubai? To help you get answers to both of those questions, here is an introduction to bagels and where to go to get one for yourself.

What is a Bagel?

The simplest description of a bagel is that it is a round yeast roll that is shaped into a ring. The dough doesn’t traditionally include egg and often uses malt instead of sugar. The cooking process starts by placing it in water to help hold in the flavour, though this step may be skipped outside of American bagel shops, and then baking it to create the crust. The inside of the bagel is typically described as doughy or chewy, with the crust providing a different texture.

Why Should I Consider a Bagel for Breakfast?

Since bagels are a bread product, they aren’t ideal for individuals interested in maintaining a low-carb diet. Additionally, they can have a notable amount of salt depending on how they are made. However, bagels do offer a range of benefits when compared to some other breakfast options.

First, bagels can be much healthier than certain breakfast pastries as they are traditionally lower in sugar. Second, they aren’t especially high in calories, allowing them to fit into a lower calorie diet plan with relative ease.

Bagels also serve as an excellent foundation for other healthy items. For example, you can pair them with lean meats or eggs to create a breakfast sandwich full of healthy protein. You can also use cheese for additional flavour. For those who appreciate a sweeter flavour, consider pairing a bagel with fruit jams instead of more savoury options, or try peanut butter, Nutella, or traditional cream cheese for something a bit more decadent.

Is There More Than One Kind of Bagel?

While the original bagel was plain, made without any additional seasonings aside from those required to make the dough, numerous variations of the classic recipe have gained popularity throughout the world. Here is an overview of some of the more popular options available today.

Whole Wheat

Many people prefer whole grain options to traditional white bread due to their increased nutritional value, such as the additional fibre and higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it provides a different flavour profile that many people enjoy.

The whole wheat bagel is the most common whole grain form available. It also pairs well with many of the traditional toppings, making it an excellent choice for a breakfast sandwich when combined with other healthy eating options like eggs, lean proteins, and even certain vegetables or fruits.


Sesame bagels feature sesame seeds and oil, adding a higher dose of certain vitamins like copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese. They also contain protein, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to ensure they consume enough protein throughout their day.

Sesame bagels work well when paired with savoury breakfast items, like lean turkey, eggs, and cheese, though can also be an interesting twist when combined with fruit jams or other sweet flavours.


Onion bagels have chopped onion baked into the dough, making them a flavorful option when eaten plain or when combined with savoury foods. Since the onion is cooked, it provides a subtle sweetness along with the traditional strong flavour.

The added onion also provides various health benefits including the protection of nerves and the cardiovascular system. They can also improve immune function and may help in the prevention of certain forms of cancer. Additionally, onions have a positive impact on blood sugar, limiting fluctuations over the long-term.


For those who prefer their breakfast on the sweeter side, the addition of cinnamon can be a welcomed treat. It goes particularly well with certain fruits and can be an interesting option when combined with peanut butter or Nutella.

Along with the pleasant flavour and aroma, cinnamon can also play a role in healthy eating. First, it is high in antioxidants, which are critical for fighting free radicals in the body. Second, it has antimicrobial properties that can promote digestive health. It may also reduce triglycerides in the blood after eating an otherwise fatty meal, and can help keep blood sugar steady while slowing stomach emptying to help curb one’s appetite.


An everything bagel is a unique creation that can vary slightly from one restaurant to the next. Often, they feature a combination of flavours and spices designed to work in harmony. For example, many everything bagels include onion, garlic, and various seeds. These often have a flavour profile more suited for savoury meals, though the distinct combinations also make this bagel an excellent choice when consumed plain or with simple toppings like cream cheese.

Since there is no requirement regarding what must or must not be in an everything bagel, each seller can choose a unique combination of additions and spices to create a truly flavorful experience.

Choosing the Right Bagel for You

If you have never had the opportunity to enjoy a bagel, many would recommend starting with a traditional, plain variety. This will let you experience what an original New York City bagel is like regardless of where you are.

If you are looking for a great bagel in Dubai, the Circle Café has a selection of some of the most popular flavours available. You can try them plain, with various toppings, or combined with other breakfast items like lean turkey, eggs, and cheese. Take your time to explore the different options, and you are sure to find a few that fit your idea of a truly satisfying and healthy breakfast.