The foodie scene in Dubai is one of the best in the world. You can literally get any type of cuisine that you wish and the service is second to none. However, my favourite places to head to in Dubai are the cute cafes that seem to be in abundance wherever you go. Most are open morning till night and serve a range of food options. These cafes are some of my favourites in the city, not just because their food and drink is good but because their interior is gorgeous and quirky.
Cute cafes to eat at in Dubai
Arrows and Sparrows | Wesbite
I stumbled across this cafe by accident when I was staying in the Greens. Keen to get out for the day but not wanting to walk too far in the insane summer heat. I searched for any cafes within walking distance and came up trumps with this place. The decor is cute, the staff are friendly and it’s possibly one of the most hipster cafes in a mostly residential area. What’s more this cafe has an extensive range of gluten and dairy free options. They serve your typical cafe treats of coffee, tea, juices and sweet snacks but they also have gorgeous meals which when served look like the most glorious plate of colour and seem inspired from all over Asia.
Seriously one of my favourite spots in the city.
Tom and Serg | Website
I’d spotted this cafe in Lonely Planet and from the description knew I had to visit. Again the location is kind of odd, not centrally located, not near any huge tourist attractions yet it seemed to have a continuous stream of lunch goers while I was there. The building is like an old warehouse and of course the high ceiling has been made full use of with a grand entrance and additional upstairs seating. They even have a camper van parked downstairs. This place is seriously cool.
The food was also delicious. The menu wasn’t quite as good for gluten and dairy free, however, my salad was way better than many bland dishes I’ve been lumbered with in other places. There was definitely a slight Asian (think Thai) inspiration coming through in the food. That being said others were eating yummy looking burgers and such.
The Brass | Website
This cafe has a few branches in Dubai and I’ve only been to their small hub by JBR The Walk. Despite this, their little cafe there left a huge impression on me. It was the interior design more than anything, all the geometric shapes and gold detailing. Oh and the massive tree in the middle of the cafe. It had a totally different vibe to the other two cafes but it’s level of cool was just as high.
I only had a coffee here as it was their smaller branch and the sweet treats didn’t really cater for gluten and dairy free. However, I’ve spotted from their Instagram that they have bigger branches with a more substantial menu.
Arabian Tea House | Website
I can’t write a list of cute cafes without mentioning this middle eastern tea house. It’s obviously not like any of the western hipster cafes listed above but it is super cute. This cafe which has an air conditioned garden (I don’t even know how that works) reminds me of being in Turkey or Greece with white and blue themed decor. The food is very much middle eastern and wow what a treat!
You can choose from many different sharing platters as is the custom with this kind of food, however, as a solo traveller this seemed to much so I just opted for a little side of vine leaves. Oh and the most amazing iced mint tea I have ever tasted. JP has been back since and sampled the sharing menu and can confirm it is as excellent as I thought.
The Surf Cafe | Website
I found this cafe in the Time Out listings and thought it sounded like my kinda place. After a quick Google of the menu to check there was something I could eat we headed down for brunch (not the Dubai style brunch, just you know that meal between breakfast and lunch). The cafe is a short walk from Kite Beach so is perfect to head to after a little lounge on the beach or swim in the sea.
There menu is extensive with so many options and ‘make your own’ choices. We chose from the breakfast menu, however, they also had a lunch and dinner menu. The cafe was buzzing with people the whole time we were there and the interior was super cool with surfboards everywhere. We’ll certainly be going back here to try the other 2374 things on the menu!
Park House | Website
This place reminds me of an Australia or similar cafe. It’s located right on the beach (or at least the branch I went to is) and just has the perfect lazy ‘Sunday’ morning feel to it. There was a steady stream of people coming and going all morning; some couples, some families and some people who had just come from the water. We were the latter having rented paddle boards from the cafe we’d spend an hour out on the water.
The service and food here is great, they have plenty of options despite just being a little kiosk with two members of staff. I went for the avocado on toast gluten free, this meant it came with sweet potato and it was literally the best thing I have ever tasted. Go there for that if nothing else.
Walter Coffee | Website
This coffee house is located in Dubai Mall and I just had to include it despite only being a coffee shop. At Walter Coffee they believe the process of making coffee is scientific and as such they have a lab on site and made our coffee using dry ice! The whole process of ordering coffee and getting it made did take about 15 minutes so I probably wouldn’t suggest it if you’re looking for a coffee on the go. Still I was blown away with the whole process, the decor was amazing and of course the coffee tasted great!
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Have you visited any of these cafes? Or do you have another to add to this list?
This is so interesting to me, I would never have imagined Dubai to have a good cafe scene. Lavish brunches and 5-course meals, sure, but not regular cute cafes! That probably sounds really silly but it’s definitely a side to Dubai I never knew existed before.
I never thought the Dubai cafe scene would be like this, it looks like there’s some seriously cool places to go!