Get your morning off to a flying start with our pick of Dubai’s top breakfast cafes.
TOM & SERG
IN A NUTSHELL: The original outpost of one of Dubai’s most original café companies
THE LOWDOWN: You’d have to be living under a rock not to be familiar with Tom & Serge’s work, but somehow, despite their epic rate of expansion, the foodie pair’s kitchens are still right on the money and their original Al Quoz outpost continues to draw a crowd every weekend. Get there early, throw caution to the wind and order the salted caramel French toast, served with poached plums and vanilla anglaise. Perfect with the brand’s signature coffee, roasted to make the perfect flat white, it’s a truly weekend-worthy treat.
BEST FOR: Inventive food and seriously good coffee
Al Quoz, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 5pm. Tel: (056) 4746812. Taxi: next to Al-Futtaim Ace. tomandserg.com
IN A NUTSHELL: Croissants in the clouds
THE LOWDOWN: Well known for its sky high views and elegant afternoon tea, the city’s highest eatery is now branching out onto the breakfast scene. There’s an a la carte selection, but with a minimum spend of Dhs200 a head, the Decadence Menu is well worth splashing out on. Priced at Dhs211 with resident’s discount, it includes an exotic fruit platter, a French pastry selection, Greek yoghurt parfait, hot and cold drinks and a choice of main courses, ranging from crêpes to organic eggs. There’s a 50 per cent discount for under-tens, and free food for under-sixes too…
BEST FOR: Watching the city emerge from beneath the clouds in spectacular fashion
122nd floor, Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily 7am to 11am. Tel: (04) 8883828. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. atmosphereburjkhalifa.com
IN A NUTSHELL: Seaside patisserie with prime people-watching
THE LOWDOWN: The first Dubai spot from celeb chef Thomas Keller, of California’s The French Laundry fame, this new spot on The Beach Boulevard has a distinctly upmarket feel. It goes without saying that the baked goods are spot on, and Bouchon’s avo’ toast is one of the best priced in town, at Dhs35 for a generous portion of green flesh over pain de campagne bread with chutney, feta and pickled red onion. The floor to ceiling windows make this a great spot to while away a few hours simply watching the world go by.
BEST FOR: Catching up with friends over coffee and croissants
Bouchon Bakery, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4190772. Tram: JBR. thomaskeller.com
Bistro des Arts
IN A NUTSHELL: Parisian indulgence in Dubai Marina
THE LOWDOWN: Say bonjour to the bountiful breakfast spread at this chic French bistro, overlooking the promenade near Dubai Marina Mall. Not one for those with an aversion to carbs, the morning menu at Bistro des Arts boasts crepes drizzled with Nutella or salted caramel, an indulgent crab omelette with hollandaise sauce and sauteed potatoes, and the Riviera breakfast, which includes a freshly baked baguette, flaky croissant, condiments, coffee and juice for just Dhs59.
BEST FOR: Carb loading for the day ahead
The Address Hotel (enter via The Promenade), Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily, 7am to 11pm, (04) 55 11 576, bistrodesarts.ae
IN A NUTSHELL: Internationally-themed morning menus
THE LOWDOWN: This chic new café isn’t cheap and yet it often runs a queue, which gives a good indication of the standard of ingredients on offer. Breakfast is an internationally-themed affair, with regional plates priced at Dhs75 and serving up sustenance as well as style – The Italian is a beautiful mess of burrata, eggs and oyster mushrooms, The Arabic does good things with red pepper, eggplant and halloumi, while The Californian takes inspiration from the state’s Tex Mex cuisine with corn tortillas, fried eggs, guac’ and queso fresco. Our recommendation? Draw that breakfast out over a few hours so you can justify a second order from the impeccable cake selection.
BEST FOR: Foodies who value fine ingredients as much as stylish surroundings
L’Eto Café, City Walk (main mall), Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 9.30am to midnight. Tel: (04) 5674910. Taxi: City Walk. letocaffe.ae
IN A NUTSHELL: An arty taste of Melbourne in Dubai
THE LOWDOWN: Few places prize coffee more than Melbourne, so it goes without saying that this little slice of the city’s lane culture, situated in the Insta-cool Collective, serves up a serious cup of joe. But it’s the comfort food which is bringing in the morning-after crowd each weekend. Specialising in toasties, Boston Lane uses old-school sandwich presses to create pockets of delightful gooey goodness, with fillings including cheese, garlic and tomato, Bolognese sauce and even mac ’n’ cheese. There are salads, pies and pasta specials on rotation too, and kids will love the milkshakes and marshmallows.
BEST FOR: Bringing your favourite guilty pleasures out into the open
The Collective at The Courtyard, 4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, daily from 8am. Tel: (054) 4449306. Taxi: Al Quoz. instagram.com/bostonlane.dubai
IN A NUTSHELL: Brilliant bakery options in the heart of d3
THE LOWDOWN: Famed for his work at La Serre and La Petite Maison, Chef Izu Ani’s stylish kitchen-cum-concept store in d3 has been making waves amongst the city’s foodies, and with good reason. The french bakery options are second to none, from brilliant breads to juicy apple and olive oil muffins. Get a taste of his Mediterranean-meets-Middle East menu with arguably the best shakshouka in the city – the perfectly cooked eggs, tomato and roasted red pepper are taken to a new level with the addition of fresh herbs, pine nuts and veal bacon. Yum.
BEST FOR: Starting the weekend off well, with a side of interiors shopping
Dubai Design District, Dubai, Sun to Wed 8am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 8am to midnight, Sat 8am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 4226024. Taxi: d3, Building 6. facebook.com/thelighthouseAE
IN A NUTSHELL: A cult American eatery credited with creating the New York brunch
THE LOWDOWN: Everyone from Kanyé West to Taylor Swift has been spotted in Sarabeth’s original New York outpost and with good reason. What started as a gourmet jam-making company – the preserves remain second to none – has become one of the city’s standout morning spots, serving up fluffy buttermilk pancakes, waffles and French toast and every imaginable egg iteration. Expect a stylish crowd.
BEST FOR: Gourmet breakfast options fit for the whole family
City Walk Phase 2, Al Safa, Dubai, daily 8.30am to midnight. Tel: (052) 3976750. Taxi: City Walk. sarabeth.ae
IN A NUTSHELL: An ethically-minded eatery serving up delicious all-day options
THE LOWDOWN: While 1762’s delis draw crowds across town, this huge café is the first to boast its own kitchen and bakery, and the options it adds to the menu are well worth the trip. The summer pea, avo and mint bruschetta is a seriously amped-up incarnation of the omnipresent avo’ toast, packed with flavour thanks to the addition of salsa verde and feta, while the brûlléed French toast is as good as a standalone brekkie treat as it is as a dessert later in the day. Try the new single origin coffee, sourced directly from an admirably community-minded South American cooperative.
BEST FOR: A laidback breakfast with friends, family or simply your laptop for company
JLT One, JLT, Dubai, daily 8am to 4pm. Tel: (800) 1762. Taxi: JLT One. 1762.ae
IN A NUTSHELL: The perfect pitstop for a laidback pre-beach brekkie
THE LOWDOWN: If you’ve been in the UAE for more than, ooh, a week, it’s pretty likely you’re familiar with Salt’s burger offering – but did you know the food truck serves up breakfast too? The menu is simple, with just two slider offerings, each priced to include a choice of Grind coffee or cold pressed OJ and a hash brown side. The sunny slider features turkey bacon and cheese topped with a sunny side up egg, while the egg-based scrambled slider comes topped with turkey bacon, honey mustard and cheese sauce – and while you’ll need two hands and plenty of napkins, both are perfect for eating on the sand.
BEST FOR: Starting your weekend before hitting the surf
Kite Beach, 2C Street, Umm Suqeim, Dubai, daily 9am to 2am. Tel: (055) 7258377. Taxi: Kite Beach. find-salt.com