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Food & Drink

Cafes that Dubai locals love

Mon, August 24, 2020

Dubai's cosmopolitan culture includes several hipster cafes that serve it all, in effortless style.

Dubai's cosmopolitan culture includes several hipster cafes that serve it all, in effortless style.

1

21 Grams

A neighbourhood bistro with soul, 21 Grams is a creative ode to the Balkans. Tucked away in the Park Regis Boutique Jumeirah hotel – right on the intersection between Jumeirah Street and Al Thanyah Road – the crossroads analogy lingers long after you step in. The cafe is a labour of love for creative partner Stasha, who set out and succeeded in creating a warm, welcoming space, complete with wooden tables, framed art, cool lighting and floral touches. The food is top-notch and made from family recipes using seasonal ingredients, while the coffee sings thanks to locally-roasted beans sourced from around the world. There’s a sense of community too, as the menu offers popular hot chocolate variations by homegrown chocolate factory, Mirzam.

2

Cassette

The Courtyard in Al Quoz is where the cool kids come to play, so it’s no surprise that Cassette is where you'll find them taking a well-deserved break. Expect nostalgic tunes mixed in with modern anthems, with a coveted display of vinyl at the back…but beyond the obvious music theme, there’s a freshness that's undeniable. Think plenty of natural greens, quirky art and an upbeat vibe – it’s all irresistible, with some of that magic spilling on to its menu. You’ll find crowd-pleasers done well like avocado on toast and vegan salads, alongside special lattes using matcha, beets and more with coffee beans from the nearby Dubai roastery, Seven Fortunes.

3

Comptoir 102

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A fine French concept store and organic cafe all in one, Comptoir 102 exudes style. Blending the best in curated fashion, interior design and bountiful bites, it's quickly become a go-to for Dubai's health conscious. The cafe offers plenty of raw, gluten-free and vegan dishes, plus organic juices and smoothies that promise a refreshing antidote for busy days. It's the perfect place to gather with friends, where you can laze away an afternoon sampling delicious fare, and browsing through the store's tasteful selection of apparel, accessories and home decor. We'll see you there.

4

L'ETO Caffe

Definitely one of the most chic cafes in City Walk, L'ETO Caffe is popular with both locals and expats. Originally from London, the chain has managed to introduce fresh vibes to its Dubai branch with a menu that celebrates popular ingredients – think spectacular salmon teriyaki, rosemary-roasted turkey or honey-roasted pumpkin and kale. You can't leave L'ETO without tasting its desserts. Serving some of the best treats in town, there's a wide selection to entice, with the pistachio rose and raspberry cake a hands-down bestseller. The outdoor area is always abuzz but even when dining inside, you'll notice that this place shines.

5

Nightjar

A hipster spot in the achingly cool Alserkal Avenue, Nightjar is part café, part roastery. One of the city’s most respected coffee suppliers, they source green coffee beans direct from single-origin farms around the world, and their commitment to empowering independent is not just for show. As expected, sipping a cup of brew here is an elevated experience – it’s all roasted on site, so you’ll taste the difference. The setting is fresh as well, with a DJ booth in the corner keeping afternoons buzzing. The Dubai-inspired menu, celebrating a medley of global flavours, is equally impressive with standouts like the wombok slaw salad with Chinese cabbage, pasture-fed New Zealand meatballs, and chicken frankie wraps with Indian spices.

6

SEVA

SEVA

This Jumeirah cafe and wellbeing haven is a gorgeous and serene spot to while away an leisurely day. Whether you're looking for an uplifting breakfast or a mid-day snack, this cafe is bursting with goodness thanks to all-vegan treats. The setting is nature-inspired, complete with tree stump chairs and a garden fresh theme. While all the dishes served are free from sugar, gluten and dairy, every creation bursts with flavour, so even the most hesitant of diners will leave feeling satisfied. Afterwards, join in one of SEVA's meditation or yoga classes, led by some of the most inspiring instructors in the city.

7

Tom & Serg

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A contender for the most-Instagrammed eatery in Dubai, Tom & Serg is a Melbourne-inspired, warehouse-style cafe set in the heart of Al Quoz. It is well known for injecting a trendy vibe to the district, fitting in well with the many art galleries, concept stores and coffee roasters dotted around the neighbourhood. The menu changes with the season but you can't go wrong with their rolling specials of jazzed up superfood salads, creative sandwiches and sweet-as-pie desserts – you'll be back for more soon enough. Everything from its urban decor to the friendly staff is undeniably cool, making this a homegrown hero of note.

 
8

Biker's Cafe

With a name like Biker’s Café, it may seem like there’s no real surprises in store, but you’d be wrong. Yes, the entrance is a veritable showroom for high-performance bikes, and there’s plenty of revving for thrills, but this is a place that celebrates life on the open road and the promise of journeys ahead – we can all relate. The 'Heritage Tray' with Emirati bites is a popular breakfast choice, while all-day specials like the beetroot falafel burger, harissa-charred chicken and hearty Bolognese are the perfect choice to refuel well into the evenings. Grab a table on the outdoor patio, decorated with fairy lights and foliage, and watch the world go by.

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