Bodega: Your Filipino Street Style Eatery in Dubai

Sometimes, a wrong turn can bring you to the right place.

When we couldn't get a table one humid night at Carinderia ni Tandang Sora in Deira sometime ago for dinner, we had no choice but to move on to the next restaurant nearby because the kids were hungry.

But you know what; we never really regret it because we discovered this dope place that every Dubai resident is talking about.

We found Bodega Street Food.


Have you tried? How was it?
Bodega is the Tagalog word for storeroom or warehouse. But this Bodega (well not literally a warehouse but a big unit with a high ceiling located in a building in Port Saeed in Deira) was turned into a fancy American/Asian fusion street food haven for Filipinos living in Dubai. I said for Filipinos because 99% of diners are Filipinos.

It has an modern industrial interior. Inside, a container van was fitted to become the restaurants kitchen and cashier




A spiral staircase will lead you to meet Popeye and Betty Boop



I mean to more tables upstairs


The whole place was lit by maybe hundreds of festoon string lights giving it a festive look


There's this Coca-Cola dispenser from where you can dispense your unlimited fizzy drinks


while you listen to enjoy OR dance to the upbeat music playing in the background. Prince can't really say no to Dessert and danced as we wait for our server.


The table that was given to us inside is next to this huge graffiti on the wall and it immediately transports me back to home. Who else spells this basketball legend's name like this anyway? No offenses but you know what I mean, only in the Philippines, and now in Dubai (**,)


The menu is huge (literally) see? They have many BBQ sets and dishes to choose from. It has everything we've been missing about street foods in the Philippines except for one, street foods number one partner, ice-cold beer. They also have those American inspired dishes but that would have to wait, we wanted the real thing.


When we gave our order, we were told that the Grill-Your-Own can only be served in the outside tables because we have to literally grill our own food so we had to giveaway our table to the next group in the queue and waited for another table outside to be seated. A little disappointing but the waiting didn't take long anyway, before we know it, we're already smoking our portable butane grill with different meats and chicken skewers. These were served on a tray including a cup of basting sauce.


It includes some well-marinated chicken hearts, booty, chicken gizzards, chicken bbq and Korean beef with unlimited drinks and rice.


We found it a really cool idea to grill your own food but if you are already starving, you'd better order a different set like the Street Eats because that is served ready to eat unlike this one that you need at least 20 minutes to cook.

We started grilling the meat and chicken and the kids were so giddy they wanted to do it themselves. We let them once in a while watching them attentively so they don't burn their fingers.

Grilling Tip No 1: Don't overdo the basting sauce because it can set the portable butane grill into fire. Take my advice seriously if you don't want a half charred food for dinner.

Actually basting the skewers just a little is good enough because the chicken and meat are well marinated and already very flavorful. Caution: Calls for extra rice

Grilling Tip No 2: The bbq sticks are made of bamboo so make sure to keep the exposed part of it away from the flame. Check out the photo above, the bbq stick got charred and it will definitely break if you lift it up leaving you with just the meat in the skewer.

Tip no 3: Bring lots of patience and excitement with you. Waiting time to get a table on a Friday evening is 30 minutes or more. They are really very busy and might not be able to attend as quickly as possible to your request, learn how to keep yourself busy while waiting. You can people watch, it's really amazing to see one place/restaurant flocked by Kabayans, it feels like I'm just back in the streets of Manila.

Bodega Street Food
Centurion Star Tower, Deira City Centre AreaNear Copthorne Hotel in Deira behind Day to Day.
Open daily 1pm-11pm
04 457 3717

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