Dubai Fountain

Dubai Food and Drink

Café Style

As a family we've tried and tested many of Dubai's cafés.  Don't be misled by the word café, these are all places where you'll get anything from just a cup of coffee to a delicious meal. They tend to be places that are slightly more laid back and relaxed than the traditional restaurant so don't be surprised to find half the clientelle engrossed in their computers as many have free wi-fi access.

All we aim to do here is suggest around a dozen cafés or café chains that we've used and like that will give you a head start when needing a mid-morning caffein and criossant infusion. As many of these café chains are opening new branches seemingly all over the city we don't (for most) give details as to where you'll find them. Just be assured that when you spot and use one of those named below you're unlikely to be disappointed.

You'll find others mentioned in Time Out Dubai magazine, which can be purchased in any newsagents and there's a much greater list on, which we recommend you treat as your guide to all things Dubai.

The expat communities, not least the ladies that lunch, the young mums, the Jumeirah Janes as they're sometimes known, use cafés on a regular basis, especially for a cheaper version of Dubai's traditional Friday Brunch which has become an expat Dubai tradition for all the family. 

Like the restaurant scene, cafés are increasing in variety and number as the Dubai Food industry spreads to new areas of the city as they are developed. 

Baker & Spice - very popular and uses fresh, local produce in delicious salads and sandwiches. Also sells a wonderful range of jams and cakes. 

Coeliacs - for tips, ideas, guidance and support for gluten-free living in Dubai see or search 'Gluten Free UAE' on Facebook.

Café Ceramique - choose your ceramic pot or plate and be engrossed for the next couple of hours as you paint it. As you have to leave it for firing and pick it up later we suggest you do this early in your holiday and check when it can be collected. This concept café presents a wealth of entertainment for all ages. Their are some pleasant surprises on the menu and arty touches are balanced with common café staples, including all-day breakfasts, pastas and salads followed by some pretty good deserts. Find the original branch on the first floor at Town Centre on the beach road in Jumeira. Tel: 344 7331. 

Caribou Café - For a great selection of non-alcoholic drinks: cold or hot, coffee or not, plus breakfast and oven-toasted sandwiches, and plenty of bakes and cakes.

Costa Coffee - Dubai is not immune from the spread of international coffee shops. You'll find plenty of Costas in Dubai with an extended range of foody treats.

Jones The Grocer - on Sheikh Zayed Road opposite Time Square Centre you'll find this Aussie-born café cum store with its unique and vibrant ambience. Here you'll find plenty of healthy eating options along with specialist bakery, grocery and fromagerie products and a selection of gifts from hampers to homeware.

Le Pain Quotidien - Time Out says ''Wholesome sandwiches, scrummy soups and delicious coffees and pastries make this shopping centre patisserie a cut above other coffee shops'. We'd agree!

Whilst eating out at cafés and restaurants will be a highlight of your holiday in Dubai, don't forget there's a whole host of other Things to Do in Dubai. Check out our recommendations in Places to Visit and Things to Do in Dubai for a doubly fantastic Dubai holiday.

Lime Tree Café - Very popular and usually full of Western expats, especially on Fridays. Café staples such as lovely and unusual sandwiches, wraps, frittatas, quiches, salads and deserts. It's just the place for hearty breakfasts and healthy lunches. A Dubai institution and a favourite of the Jumeirah crowd. 

More & More Café- a family and expat favourite. Quality, hearty food at a good price. There's an increasing number of branches in Dubai, but try the one on the outer edge of Dubai Mall overlooking the lake, Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa. 

Before you set off for your holidays in Dubai why not learn a little about Dubai's background and style of Government by visiting our pages giving a Brief History of Dubai and details of the Power and Politics in Dubai.

Paul Café - for croissants (and lots more decent food), coffee (or tea) and a French setting (in what is said to be the most 'French' café in the city), this could be the one for you. Find one at the small but perfectly formed Italianate-styled Mercato Mall on Jumeirah (Beach) Road. The mall is smaller than most you'll go to during your holiday in Dubai and, although it's a little off the beaten track with not much of interest around it, it's one of our favourites - try it if you're in the area.

Pavillion Downtown Dubai Café - based in this contemporary arts pavillion the café, open from 10am to 10pm serves contemporary Arabic cuisine, fresh juices and fine coffee and tea beverages at their indoor and outdoor dining areas. The perfect place for a casual coffee!

Because of the widespread nature of Dubai it's easy to feel marooned in your holiday hotel. Don't despair. Don't let it ruin your Dubai holiday. Have a look at our pages on the Best Ways to See Dubai and Getting Around Dubai, they should prove helpful!

Select the best hotel for your needs - we recommend Hotels Combined.

Shakespeare & Co. - You'll find these long-time popular cafés at various locations around Dubai Time Out rightly says 'Chintzy and cheerful, Shakespeare & Co. is a recommended spot for a quick cup of tea and a slice of cake'. Plus a light meal in a most relaxed environment - one of my favourites!

Starbucks - there's no escape! They're everywhere.

Tim Hortons - Perhaps a fraction less plush than others, but equally a fraction cheaper than others Tim Hortons has a delightful range of cakes and bakes. Family friendly and a family favourite.

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