Many friends back home often ask me how it is living in Dubai and what I miss the most about Italy. Something that I inevitably miss the most about my home country is the food and, of course, the delicious coffee. Funny enough though, after living abroad for the past few years, I finally found in Dubai, my new home, a place where the Italian community, the food options and coffee places are unlimited. I still miss my local coffee shop’s cappuccino in Milan, but in just a few months I’ve found some unique coffee and breakfast spots in Dubai and I will share all of them with you here.
The Arabian Tea House is a popular Emirati restaurant located in the Al Fahidi historical area. They have a couple of branches in Dubai but the Al Fahidi one is definitely the one I always visit and that I would recommend when visiting Dubai. As soon as you enter the restaurant, you take a step back in time: the pictures on the walls are from xxx and represent xxx. The seating area is in a courtyard beautifully decorated with flowers and plants. They have comfortable couches you can sit on and literally spend hours enjoying the peaceful environment.
My recommendation is to get there before 1PM and order from their breakfast menu: my favourite is the Special Arabian Tea House breakfast which is a tray with a mix of delicious Middle Eastern dishes such as falafel, halloumi cheese, hummus, eggplant dip and more. It all comes with freshly baked bread that the waiters keep bringing to your table for free. If you want to try something a little different, I recommend to try some Karak chai, a tea made of spices (expand) typical of the Middle East region.
Extra tip: try to get there no later than noon time to avoid the long queues – the restaurant does not accept reservations and it is walk in only.
The Arabian Tea House: Open every day 7:30 AM – 12:00 AM http://arabianteahouse.net/
What to do near-by? Check out the Al Fahidi neighbourhood just behind the restaurant: the old traditional alleys with a few souvenirs shops and quirky art galleries will surprise you
The Hamptons is a restaurant-café inspired by the lifestyle of the Hamptons located in the state of New York. They have three branches in Dubai, my favourite is the Jumeirah one as I love going there before or after some relaxing beach time at the nearby Kite beach. They serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner so you can visit any time in the day. The Jumeirah branch is spread over 3 floors – the building itself is quite small and all dining areas feel quite cozy.
The menu is displayed on iPads with lots of colourful and beautiful pictures (you will literally want to order anything on there)! My favourite? Poached eggs with salmon and spinach and one of their green healthy boosters. The coffee here is an absolute must try: it is really good quality coffee and is served beautifully on a small wicker basket along with a macaron and a glass of water. To book you can either call the branch directly or visit their website below.
Extra tip: I definitely recommend to check out the covered veranda on the third floor: it has big windows, lots of natural light coming in and a few pots hanging from the ceiling which is a nice touch of nature.
The Hamptons: Sat – Wed 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM; Thu – Fri 8:00 AM – 01:00 AM. https://hamptonsdubai.com
What to do near-by? Walk around the corner and embark on a boat adventure with HERO OdySea self-drive boats – it is a super fun sightseeing tour where you get to drive your own boat and you don’t even need a license!
An experience you can’t miss trying while in Dubai is a traditional Emirati breakfast in an authentic Bedouin camp in the desert. As soon as I moved to Dubai, I had a ‘desert safari’ on my bucket list and found out that Platinum Heritage offers a wide range of options to choose from. I decided to try one of their morning tours, the Heritage Falconry and Wildlife drive tour as it combines a few elements such as a wildlife drive on vintage Land Rovers (so cool and colourful!), an in-depth falconry experience and an authentic Emirati breakfast. The entire experience is quite special and the breakfast is served in an authentic Heritage camp with cushions to relax on and surrounded by the peacefulness of the desert. The breakfast is delicious and my favourite dishes to try were Chebab (a sort of local pancake made of flour, eggs and oil) and Foul Medames (Fava Beans with lemon and olive oil and a few other toppings available). Something I really enjoyed is the Arabic coffee (along with a date) which I was greeted with when entering the camp as per the Emirati hospitality tradition. I would definitely recommend this experience if you are looking for a very special and authentic breakfast spot along with a few hours spent in the beautiful Dubai Desert learning about the local traditions.
To book visit their website below.
Extra tip: Book online in advance as during busy season this tour books out fast!
Platinum Heritage: open daily, morning and afternoon experiences available https://www.platinum-heritage.com/
What to do near-by? On the way back to the city, stop by Dubai Outlet Mall for some great bargains of your favourite sport brands
Another area that you will definitely want to check out when in Dubai is Dubai Marina. My recommendation there is to enjoy the view from one of the best points in the neighbourhood, Pier 7. Pier 7 is a building with plenty of dining options – I wouldn’t recommend all of them but the Scene and a couple of others are definitely worth a visit. If you are around Pier 7 in the morning I would recommend to stop by the Scene (on the 4thfloor of Pier 7) to enjoy the beautiful view from the terrace along with a delicious coffee and international breakfast. Book a table on their website or just call in.
Extra tip: Try the Short Rib Eggs Benedict too boost your energy for the day!
The Scene: open daily from 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM; https://www.thescenedubai.com/
What to do near-by? Cross the bridge that connects Dubai Marina with JBR and reach “The Walk” for some relaxing outdoor shopping by the beach or head over to the next-door Marina Mall for a full shopping experience.
If you are visiting Dubai and planning some relaxing beach time, Park House is the perfect breakfast spot to stop by for some great coffee and fairly priced breakfast. The coffee place is right by my favourite beach in Dubai – Kite Beach. I love spending time there during the weekends. The vibe and the scenery is just great with beautiful colourful kites spinning around on the windier days. The Park House serves food all day and also has some special menus and bakery items, but my favourites are definitely their avocado on toast and eggs Royale – absolutely delicious! Drinks wise I would recommend to try one of their healthy smoothies and one of the tasty flat whites with a layer of fluffy milk foam on top.
Extra tip: It is usually pretty busy on weekends so make sure to get there before 11AM.
The Park House: open daily from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM; http://parkhouse.ae/
What to do near-by? Definitely check out kite beach! A good book, sun screen and
towel in hand is all you need.