Dubai's 10 hottest coffee shops for a cup of Joy
Whether you want to get in the zone working from home or catch up with a friend, here are some of the city’s best spots for fresh brew.
Dubai might as well already be titled as one of the world’s coffee capitals. With specialty coffee shops around every block and corner, there’s no lack of places to deliver a resounding caffeine kick. But if you’re looking for a place with the ultimate blend of coffee connaissance, a memorable atmosphere and that Dubai-only touch, we’ve got you covered. From work-from-home favourites to hangout hubs, discover Dubai’s 10 top coffee stops:
DRVN – Bluewaters
DRVN opened its doors right next to Madam Tussauds Dubai this past October, making an instant impression on foodies, coffee aficionados and car enthusiasts alike. The two-story café overlooks the main street of Bluewaters, abuzz with pedestrian activity and boutiques, and links into the newly unveiled The Wharf, the island destination’s indoor shopping quarter. Perfect for early bird catchups over coffee and breakfast or a well-caffeinated work-from-home escape, DRVN offers a laidback environment at all hours.
Tall ceilings and stylish custom-made interiors, US$100 million vintage Porches in glass containers and an easy-going vibe permeate the premises, but it's not all about looks here. The owner’s hands-on coffee curation process has resulted in a truly signature selection of Ethiopian, Costa Rican and Panamanian beans blended into varying form and brewed with the trendiest techniques, from V60s to AeroPress.
Starbucks – Al Seef
For all the Starbucks you’ve seen in the world, you’ve never seen one like this. The Al Seef outpost of this ever-multiplying coffee chain takes a break from its typical aesthetics to pay homage to the scene and setting of its surrounding historical destination. Textured sandstone walls, thatched awnings and a quaint, old-world charm echo Dubai’s rich Emirati heritage. Within, you’ll find all the standard traits that make Starbucks the well-loved and reliable coffee house it is. Your classic roasts and decadent frappes are all on the menu, as well as plush green couches and wooden tables. The patio is the best place to settle in when the weather allows for it, awarding you and your company front row views of Dubai Creek.
Saddle – Boxpark
When the sun sets, Saddle switches on its hanging lights and lanterns to create a mood that attracts visitors like moths to a flame. This homegrown concept serves up fresh coffee and innovative foods that will tantalize your taste buds – and they look picture-perfect, too! Saddle boasts a mouthwatering score of hot specialty coffee, sweetened blends as well as wholesome milkshakes suited for slurping. Its backyard vibe makes for the ultimate hangout spot with outdoor park bench seating. It’s nestled right next to Boxpark, an upbeat urban destination with retail and dining concepts, so you can take your cup to go and stroll down the eccentric strip of restaurants and boutiques.
Qenwan Café – Al Khawaneej Walk
Nestled alongside Al Khawaneej Walk’s glittering lake and lush gardens, Qenwan Café nods to the city’s deep rooted coffee heritage. It serves up locally roasted specialty coffee fresh from Saudi Arabia and UAE alongside chewy dates and sweet viscous honey. Every cup of coffee reflects the care and consideration that went into making it, from the selection of the beans to the finesse of the café's masterful baristas. Like the Goldilocks of cafes, it’s the right kind of casual if you’re looking to catch up with old friends and the perfect kind of peaceful if you’re looking to get some work done.
L’Eto – Bluewaters
It’s always classy at L’Eto. The international café is best known for fresh pastries, a delicate ambience and a menu with so many mouthwatering favourites you won’t know where to start. Its address at Bluewaters is the latest in the city, part of the ultra-modern indoor shopping and dining precinct of The Wharf. Here, you can drink and dine beneath a lush hanging garden and classic European interiors. It’s best known for its plethora of desserts, from crispy pastries and spongey cakes to tangy tarts and more, but it delivers with as much zest on coffee. L’Eto has special coffee blends of its own – which you can (and should) buy a pouch to-go – which complement the rich desserts just right.
Forever Rose Cafe – Boxpark
This stylistic cafe has never delivered a photo Instagram didn’t like. A Boxpark favourite, Forever Rose Café’s 3D monochrome interiors put visitors in the midst of a glamorous black and white pop-up book occasionally interrupted by colourful food and vibrant red roses. It’s a novel experience all the way through, right down to the coffee. Have your camera ready for their signature Rose Latte, as the coffee streaks through the pastel pink of the rich rose milk, or cool down with vanilla ice cream topped with bitter espresso for a bittersweet affogato treat. There are also other flower inspired blends – think lavender and orchid – but if you’re more of a tea drinker, the selection is just as floral and flavorful.
Haleeb W Heil – Al Seef
Well at home at Al Seef with simple, rustic décor, Haleeb W Heil is a charming little eatery known amongst locals for its home-style Kuwaiti cuisine. Here, Arabic-style coffee and tea win first prize for flavour, served with a side of Emirati or Saudi dates and served up in a traditional dallah. Arabic coffee is brewed and prepared in its own variety of manner which gives its rich taste, and infused with cardamom as is customary. Guide your tastebuds on a journey northwest – and a major caffeine kick – by opting for the fresh Turkish coffee prepared in a cezve.
CAIA Café – Boxpark
Sleek white interiors, warm earthy tones, an eye-catching stone surfaces, and a touch of greenery – CAIA Café’s interiors are a nod to the mountainous vistas of the UAE. CAIA – which means “pure” in ancient Greek – is a tranquil escape from the city centre and one of the newest additions to Boxpark’s roster of original concepts. The restaurant’s mouthwatering breakfast picks make it the ultimate morning spot. Sink your teeth into wholesome French classics like a croque monsieur and Quiche Lorraine or their signature “Big Boy” which wraps scramble egg, fresh cherry tomato, gratin cheese and garlic sauce in pillowy brioche. Their coffee isn’t like your regular ol’ brew either – they've whipped together whimsical concoctions like the Rosaline Latte, Sassy Julianne and Icy Leigh for a wakeup call you’ll dream of in your sleep.
OLAB – JBR
OLAB claims to be roasted with passion, and each sip of joe corroborates that. Filled with subtle notes, their coffee will make aficionados sing praises – especially when you discover the true feel-good aspects of the café. OLAB harvests its own premium coffee beans from different farms around the world to promote ethical sourcing and agriculture practices.
La Brioche – Bay Avenue
Inspired by the rustic French countryside, this local favourite has a menu of savoury quiches and flaky puffs as well as classic and local-style viennoiserie. La Brioche brews Danesi Coffee, with beans sourced from Latin America, Africa and Indonesia that contribute to its smooth and rich texture. They’ve put their own spin on coffee classics – you can sip on espresso sweetened with natural honey, cortado with a dash of caramel or a smores latte if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. The ultimate La Brioche location is at Bay Avenue, amidst the iconic skyline of downtown Dubai and enlivened by the buzz of the city.