Ever sat next to the climbing frame and wished a pop-up coffee shop would appear like a desert mirage? Your wish is our command, well, actually it’s thanks to the clever people behind The Archive, a library-style café situated inside Safa Park. Breakfast options are plenty, fresh and healthy with everything from fruit to eggs on the menu. There’s no kid’s menu as such but one thing to consider is portions are big so siblings or friends could happily share to save a few dirham’s if need be. Ample parking at gate five of Safa Park makes it quick, easy and accessible and there’s plenty of green space to burn off any excess energy when brekkie’s gone down. Loos are clean and baby change is practically-positioned.
Opening hours are from 8am-10pm daily. Call 04 349 4033 or visit www.thearchivedubai.tumblr.com.
25°55° Café Bistro
Breakfast on the water, valet parking and food options from all over the world, it’s not just boating enthusiasts who rave about the café at Dubai Marina Yacht Club. New York-style smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels are favourites with adults while scrambled eggs with stuffed mushrooms and hash browns usually tempt the kids. Most popular is the ‘Marina breakfast’, an English feast with the works. The buffet-style means kids can come and go as they please and friendly staff even judged a boat-drawing competition providing paper, pencils and advice on what to draw. Three breakfast teas later and I remembered I had children at all. Dhs85 includes juice and breakfast is served daily from 7am-12pm. The big bad Marina breakfast is available daily 7am-10.30pm. Call 04 362 7900.
IKEA, Dubai Festival City
Ok, so don’t expect much in the way of atmosphere but if it’s cheap and cheerful you’re after, this is your bag. A breakfast stop here is also a great way to kick off a grueling day of shopping, whether furniture of otherwise. Facilities are clean and ergonomic – this is Ikea after all – and showcase a few of the bits and pieces you could head to the till with for the nursery or playroom at home. The fully-staffed play centre is a great place to send them to let off some steam or just head upstairs and hand over less than Dh10 for beef sausage, eggs, hash browns and baked beans. Needless to say, it’s not worthy of a Michelin star, but at this price who’s complaining?
Breakfast is served daily from 9am-11am. Dubai Festival City. Call 04 203 7555.
Baker & Spice
If you can’t find something for even the fussiest eater behind the spotless glass cabinets of this Souk Al Bahar food heaven, you’re not looking hard enough. It’s a great option for parents on a mission to feed their clan ‘real’ food. It’s all homemade, fresh and organic for the most part. Breakfast is a real treat, lunch and dinner aren’t bad either – from fresh fruit pancakes to omelettes which leave you wanting more. The aroma of homemade bread fills the air and kids love the fact they can see what they are picking as most items are displayed around the restaurant. The croissants (plain, almond or chocolate) are all baked fresh each morning at 7am along with homemade jams. The location, next to the Dubai Fountain, makes it a great spot for running around in the cooler months, and the fountains make for fab entertainment every half hour. Prices are reasonable given the quality of food although are slightly more pricey than other popular Dubai outlets.
Breakfast served Sun-Thu 8am-12pm, Fri-Sat 8am-2pm. Souk Al Bahar (04 425 2240).
It’s such a cliché but simply could not be missed from the list. Fast becoming a Dubai institution, the ever-growing More chain is a favourite with parents across the emirate. Serving breakfast all day makes it the perfect location for late risers, or a lazy Saturday outing. Fresh pastries are baked on the premises and go down a storm with small people while the eggs and full English are the crowd-pullers for bigger folk. The healthy breakfast is great value but the best bit about More is the flexibility on menu items. Staff will bring you whatever you fancy with few questions asked. Life is simple at More and prices are some of the most reasonable around with egg on toast starting from just under Dh30. For something out of the ordinary, try the pancakes infused with aniseed and cardamom.
Breakfast served daily Sun-Thu 8am-11pm; Fri-Sat 9am midnight. Dubai Marina Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Gold & Diamond Park, Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre.
The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen
From one lime-coloured outlet on Jumeirah Beach Road to four Time Out award-winning Kiwi-run cafés across Dubai, the guys at The Lime Tree really know how to do breakfast. Kids love the fresh pastries, cereals and eggs, even the homemade baked beans are a hit with many older children. Pots of muesli, compote, granola and yogurt (Dh28) grab your attention through a glass cabinet on arrival and staff are well-equipped to deal with troublesome tykes. Colouring sheets, pencils and crayons came first with a few wooden games sent our way when things got a little fraught after food. The home-grown brand places huge emphasis on natural ingredients making it a great option for mums trying to feed the little ones with good, wholesome and fresh food. Parking can be a problem at the Al Quoz, Dubai Media City and Jumeirah Beach Road outlets (paid parking at the latter) but an all-new café on Sheikh Zayed Road, close to the Um Suqeim exit, has ample parking for even the biggest kiddy carrier.
Breakfast served Sun-Thu 7.30pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 7.30pm-1pm. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 8498).
There seems to be one on every corner which does make it an easy option for busy parents. An array of tasty toasted sandwiches, cakes, fresh juices and babyccinos, are also a big draw. Prices are good and children are often big fans of the crêpes. The little complimentary Madeleine cakes are doled out to tots who are waiting impatiently for their grub by happy-to-help staff clearly used to the madness following little people around like a shadow. However, watch out for the metal catches on the baby high chairs as older children can easily unlock setting babies free to fall (I speak from experience).
Deira City Centre (04 295 8404), Mercato, JBR, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall.
Le Pain Quotidien, Mall of the Emirates
Noisy tots are welcome here and due to the fact it’s usually pretty busy, are hard to hear above the friendly background chatter. Hard and soft-crust bread is in abundance for gumming babies or those just finding first teeth. The omelettes and eggs Benedict are done to perfection and staff are happy to bring just eggs on toast for fussy monsters. With a good supply of high chairs and great coffee, parents are most welcome. Its mall location means toilet, change facilities and parking are all easy and free.
Perfect for tired parents who need a morning pick-me-up. Call 04 341 0041.
Pack up the kids and head over to this oasis of flavour and tranquility, hidden in the desert in Dubailand’s Al Barari, just off the E311 (old Emirates Road). Food is good but be prepared to pay for it. The setting is idyllic although be prepared to simply look and not touch as there are few places for children to play. The breakfast options are great for kids with pancakes and waffles up there in the favourites list and staff are friendly to the younger audience. However, with a tag line of “where great food is eaten leisurely, not rushed” one can feel a little out of place with a riotous rabble in tow. Guess it all depends how much you care about that! It was an ambiance of peace and calm until we arrived with a one, four and six-year-old.
Breakfast is served Sun-Wed from 7.30am-11.45am and from 8.30am-11.45am from Thurs-Sat. Reservations only. Call 04 392 5660.