Catch up over coffees, cakes, breakfast, lunch and more
Time Out Dubai staff
Winner – Best Cafe Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2014
Baker & Spice, Souk Al Bahar If you’re seeking home-made cuisine comprising organic ingredients, then Baker & Spice is worth a visit. Ideally located at Souk Al Bahar, its decor is warm and homely, featuring wooden tables decorated with colourful fruit bowls that complement the terracotta and green painted walls. Convenient for takeaway, the bakery at the entrance showcases appetising salads alongside gluten free sweet treats. For something healthy, order the salads from the counter - you can pick four fresh salads made using organic ingredients sourced from local markets and farms. For something more filling, the grilled rib eye steak is a must-try, as is the delicious grilled fillet of kingfish accompanied with sweet potato. Open daily 8am-11pm. Souk Al Bahar, www.bakerandspiceme.com (04 425 2240).
Highly Commended – Best Cafe Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2014
The Farm Although slightly problematic to find, arriving at The Farm is like being transported to another world, with its lush greenery and small winding country-esque roads. Beautifully designed, the sympathetic architecture and surrounding botanical gardens make for a very peaceful breakfast spot. The menu is varied and impressive, with five different types of eggs on offer. The hash brown eggs and eggs Florentine are both simple yet delicious, while the sourdough bread makes an excellent side dish with the freshly squeezed orange juice a perfect way to wash it all down. The only negative element to The Farm is the no-walk in, reservation only policy. But this fails to detract significantly from what is a solid, good value for money option. Open daily 8am-11pm. Al Barari Villas, Emirates Road, www.thefarmdubai.com (04 392 5660).
Highly Commended – Best Cafe Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2014
Urban Bistro An urban hotspot if there ever was one, Urban Bistro is an impressive, buzzing cafe with a cool bookshop-meets-warehouse style interior. As one would expect from a Media City café, the clientele is predominantly made up of media types, and as a result the service is very fast, knowledgeable and efficient. The menu is small but perfectly formed, offering everything from gourmet salads - which you can mix and match - mini sandwiches and soup, to heartier courses like wagyu beef and lasagne. For something healthy, try the Asian chicken salad, which is a glorious concoction of lightly grilled chicken, crunchy salad and peanuts whipped together in a light dressing. Portion sizes are also generous, without being too much to clear. Open Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri & Sat 9am-6pm. CNN Building (Building 2), Media City, www.urbanbistro.ae (04 362 4330).
Crumbs Elysee Crumbs Elysee is a spacious and airy café-cum-bakery. You can choose to sit outside, but during the cooler months the doors are often open, meaning you’ll get to enjoy the al fresco experience wherever you sit. If you wind up here in the morning, then the breakfasts won’t disappoint. Both the Early Bird and The Big Breakfast hit the mark, and both are generous in portions. The Crumbs Bread Basket is another highlight – it basically gives you the chance to sample miniature versions of what’s on offer at the bakers. If you have kids in tow, then Crumbs Elysee provides the perfect setting. The kids’ menu doubles up as a colouring book, and their food will arrive first. Service is also speedy and efficient, with an obvious focus on patrons dining with kids; you’ll likely see many families in attendance. Your wallet will be happy with the experience, too. Open daily 6am-8pm. Al Thanya Street, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.crumbselysee.com (04 346 8899).
Jones the Grocer You’ll always be sure of a warm welcome and good meal any time of the day at Jones the Grocer, the Australian gourmet outlet. The breakfast menu is by no means extensive but well appointed, offering a full English breakfast, omelettes cooked to your liking as well as fresh fruit, granola and pastry options. The service is very friendly, fast and efficient, with a particular emphasis on making young couples with children feel comfortable. The full English breakfast and mushroom omelettes are delicious and well-presented, if a little large in the portion size, and nicely complemented by freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juice and a hot-out-of-the-oven bread basket. Open Sun-Thu 8am-11pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm. Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road, opposite Times Square Center, www.jonesthegrocer.com (04 346 6886).
Make Business Hub Make Business Hub is a modern, bustling café-cum-work space for freelancers, entrepreneurs and creative types. Spacious and bright, with a range of varied seating options, it’s a welcoming space with equally welcoming staff. The menu is quirky and varied, offering everything from gourmet burgers and salads to sandwiches and home-made desserts. The gourmet burger does not disappoint - a huge meaty serving with homemade dressing, accompanied by delicious truffle fries. For dessert, the home-made chocolate brownie is gooey, chewy and distinctly moreish. The menu is relatively wallet friendly and each item ordered comes with one hour of free Wi-Fi. The only gripe is the chairs, which are seriously uncomfortable - pretty surprising considering this is a venue that wants you to stay for hours on end. Open Sat-Thu 8am-8pm; Fri 10am-7pm. Al Fattan Tower, Dubai Marina, www.makebusinesshub.com (04 392 9216).
More Café More Café is a Dubai institution as renowned for its inventive mains as its healthy drinks. Amongst the five branches in the city it’s hard to pick a favourite, but this Dubai Mall spot offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Downtown. Open Sun-Thu 8am-11.30pm; Fri-Sat 8am-midnight. Dubai Mall (04 339 8934).
The Archive For a cafe-meets-bookstore experience, head to this friendly spot in Safa Park, which serves light bites, juices, tea and coffee. Make sure you try the spinach frittata and pancakes with roasted grapes, which is beautifully presented and very tasty. A good side option is the mouth-wateringly flaky butter croissants. Complementing the delicious food are the friendly staff, who are more than happy to offer recommendations if you’re feeling a bit indecisive. The relaxed atmosphere at The Archive makes it the perfect place to while away a few hours. You’ll notice many other diners taking a laidback break, partly because of the delicious coffee, but also because of the friendly staff and gorgeous surroundings. Open daily 8am-10pm. Safa Park, www.thearchivedubai.tumblr.com (04 349 4033).
Lime Tree Café A Kiwi concept café located in the heart of Jumeirah 1, Lime Tree is a busy, bustling spot popular with families, couples and large groups of friends. There is no set or physical menu to look at - all the food options are displayed in huge glass cabinets, and clearly labelled, beside the cashier desk. You queue to order, choosing from a range of salads, sandwiches, or heartier options, pay at the cashier and receive a number to display on your table where the staff then deliver it. Service is friendly, super quick and very efficient and the food equally impressive. The halloumi and couscous salad is a standout; the portion size is perfect and the ingredients fresh and tasty. Another great dish is the mouth-watering New Zealand beef ciabatta sandwich. The desserts are a bit hit-and-miss, though. If you go for the chocolate brownie, expect a taste explosion, but the chocolate sand dune cake is slightly bland. Open daily 7.30am-6pm. Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, www.thelimetreecafe.com (04 349 8498).