in Downtown Dubai

The decor here hits the spot (along with the cuisine): warm parquet flooring, leather chairs, lofty ceilings and a huge mural of Italian actress Sophia Loren. The brainchild of celebrated Michelin chef David Myers, the menu ranges from trattoria-style pasta dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, to Neapolitan crispy-base pizzas and Florentine steaks. The lunch pasta/pizza/panini plus salad deal is good value.

The kitchen is open plan, and there is even a designated bar dedicated to coffee. Basta is also fully licensed and has an outside terrace with views of Dubai Canal.