Best coffee shops in Dubai
Time Out celebrates coffee culture and the options for caffeine fans. So where are the best coffee shops in Dubai? These cafes will be a good start
Get to know your single-origin from your syphon, your macchiato from your mocha, and find out where to drink them all.
This custom motorcycle workshop/hipster coffee spot is a brilliant place to hang out.
It has a loyal following of fans, but it doesn’t have a Tom&Serg-style queue for seats come the weekend.
It’s a very cool venue. Just off the junction of Umm Suqeim Road and First Al Khail in Al Quoz, it’s an industrial-style space, with leather couches and benches dotted around the workshop. The gleaming custom-built machines, biker jackets for sale and unique helmets hanging up, are enough to make anyone think about pulling on the leathers and listening to the roar of a motorbike engine.
Coffee here is brilliant. It now has a roaster in-house and is one of the venues at the forefront of the third-wave coffee culture in Dubai. You can get everything from plain old black to some inventive cold brews.
Food now comes from Ghaf Kitchen, the food truck specialising in nostalgic tastes of Britain, which has been in place since Ramadan. We love the fish finger sandwich with minty mushy peas, a wonderfully soft bun and tartar sauce.
The juicy cheeseburger is a winner, too.
The bottom line
Does great coffee and nostalgic food.
This café seems to be perpetually busy, and never more so than mid-morning on a Friday when there is always a queue for tables. The space is simple, sleek and industrial, and the whole room is arranged around a square display case filled with pretty little cakes and enormous sandwiches. It can get a little loud, but really this is our only gripe. Neither food nor service suffer for the business of the place, and the staff don’t miss a beat. Unflappable, they take orders promptly and food arrives swiftly. Salads are vibrant and taste beautifully fresh. The chargrill hangar steak, pomelo and mango salad is large and a particularly standout, served with snow peas, cashews, soy dressing and pickled ginger. Mains include fish and pasta dishes, plus burgers and sandwiches. The breakfast menu is worth checking out, too, featuring a good split of healthy (quinoa and bulgur wheat porridge) and indulgent (syrupy French toast and eggs Benedict) options. Coffee lovers will enjoy choosing from the long list of special brews and cold drips, alongside a range of flavoured concoctions. This café is equally good for a quick lunch, a leisurely breakfast, a full meal or simply a coffee and a cake.
Although this beachside venue prides itself on having an incredible selection of teas with varying degrees of randomness, you should definitely not overlook it as a great venue for a relaxing evening dinner. The attentive staff offer you a warm welcome and you can choose to either sit within the impressively designed restaurant itself, dine on the upper balcony or the terrace as the sea breeze wafts gently over you. Appetisers include the LOL antipasti, which is a well thought-out selection of beef bresaola, smoked salmon, grilled artichokes, marinated courgette, olives and tomatoes. Then there’s the home-made garlic flatbread with some of the nicest hummus you would ever wish to taste. From that entrée you are ushered gently on to the mains, the standout being the harissa grilled chicken. The three tender pieces of breast are perfectly cooked and spiced, working in wonderful harmony with the nuttiness of the couscous and the sharpness of the pomegranate seeds. Smear some of the lovely harissa mayonnaise on to your chicken to complete the perfect mouthful. The sumac-rubbed salmon fillet is also a winner, again perfectly cooked, while the accompanying fennel, radish, mint and feta salad complements it very nicely.
The first thing you need to know about The Sum of Us is that it was opened by the same chef-restaurateur duo behind Tom&Serg. The second thing you need to know, is that this is not Tom&Serg – even if the two cafés are mightily similar. Located around the back of Sheikh Zayed Road’s furthest stretch of hotels, this spot is not exceptionally scenic. However, it has something Tom&Serg is missing: a little outdoor seating. Inside, there’s a “same-same but different” vibe in its industrial modernism and chic, bleak look – as if an old factory warehouse has been ripped out and refitted with kitchens. The menu is short and sweet. A home-made pie of the day, a burger, plenty of salads and lots of globally-inspired dishes, such as a chicken katsu bowl. The savoury dishes certainly impress here. In our experience, it’s definitely worth exploring the pie of the day, while the crispy skin salmon is an excellent and flavoursome piece of fish. You’ll get exemplary service throughout your dining experience here, with the staff knowledgeable and friendly. For a light bite to eat, and a perfect cup of coffee, this is your place.