Dubai families love breakfast! The only meal of the day that doesn’t involve naptime logistics or finding a babysitter. We’ve picked out some fantastic venues across the city.
Star-spangled breakfasts served in whopping portions and with plenty of syrupy side sauces is standard fare at this family-friendly American import. Half a dozen varieties of pancake stacks – including a gut-busting New York Cheesecake flavour – are the signature dishes. We found them, like our French toast, which also lacked a distinctive eggyness, to be a little dry. So the four varieties of syrup come in handy. A big steak omelette with a salsa side is enough to fill you for the day and we like the option of a breakfast sampler, which has a combo of eggs and beef bacon as well as pancakes and a hash brown.
Daily 6am-midnight. The Walk, JBR, Dubai Marina, www.ihop.ae (04 361 2410).
Focusing on all-American recipes with a twist, Mo’s is popular with families and offers a relaxed dining environment. Choose from a variety of pancakes, French toast dishes and bagels or go for the Ultimate Breakfast – not for the faint-hearted – featuring three pancakes, two eggs cooked to your preference, tater tots and a choice of veal bacon or beef or turkey sausage. The pancakes are fluffy and served warm with a creamy whipped butter and maple syrup. The breakfast is substantially portioned for the price and will keep you going for the rest of the day.
Sun-Thu 8am-noon, Fri-Sat 8am-1pm. Citywalk, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1 (04 344 3305).
Despite the ongoing construction in Safa Park, The Archive feels calm and peaceful with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking still-lush grass and palms. Classic breakfasts are jazzed up here: caramelised banana and fudgy date ‘granola’ tops the yoghurt and fluffy coconut flour pancakes are served with a tropical melon compote. An integrated library space is dotted with people working on laptops, so solo diners won’t feel out of place, and you could easily spend hours eating, sipping coffee and browsing the fascinating books on art and design in the Arab world. Perhaps when the kids are at nursery!
Daily 8am-8pm. Gate 1, Safa Park, www.thearchivedubai.tumblr.com (04 349 4033).
Displays of tempting fruit and veg and interesting bread and cakes give Baker&Spice a farmer’s market feel, but this café offers more than a few homemade pastries. The spinach and feta omelette is generous and tasty, while blueberry pancakes are light and fluffy with a moreish side of mascarpone and plum compote. Our highlight is the green shakshouka, which comes with four just-soft eggs sizzling in a tangy, fragrant soup of spinach, onions, cumin and coriander. Smiling staff couldn’t be more helpful and they know the menu, too.
Daily 8am to 11pm. Souk Al Bahar (04 425 2240). Other location: Marina Promenade (04 362 4686).
The Lime Tree Café
Taking a seat on a sunlit bench in the back at the Jumeirah branch of this popular chain is a delightful way to start the weekend. Try the eggs Florentine – soft poached eggs perched on lightly-done spinach and nutty, chewy bread, topped with a generous heaping of hollandaise. The ‘big breakfast’, with grilled tomato, mushrooms and egg is a success, except perhaps for its name – maybe another egg or two would justify its ‘big’ title. Service is swift, although you order and pay at the tills at the front before your food is brought, so there shouldn’t be too many hold-ups. The stacks of magazines and newspapers, free wi-fi and children’s play area at the back, all make it easy to while away a few hours.
Daily 8am- 6pm. Jumeirah Beach Road, next to Spinney’s (04 325 6325). Other locations: Next to The Courtyard Gallery, Al Quoz; Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road.
Bystro Restaurant & Pastry House
This light, fresh, family-friendly café with excellent staff offers a great selection of coffee, and waiters will recommend some for you, based on what you like. There’s also a very chiller in the centre of the restaurant filled with cakes, pastries and desserts. Breakfasts are varied – try the huevos rancheros for a Mexican-style meal, or smoked salmon rarebit, served on rye bread with scrambled eggs and truffle oil.
Daily 8am-4pm. Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Manara, www.bystrodubai.com (04 336 8056).