Looking for a new place to go for breakfast in Dubai?
Can’t decide between a belly-busting brekkie and a light bite? These hangouts deliver the best of both worlds…
The healthy option: Spinach and goats’ cheese omelette
Typically, the only time we’d have to eat an egg white omelette is if our PT is forcing us to. But thanks to a lovely splodge of goats’ cheese, a smattering of spinach and a pillowy exterior, Sarabeth’s healthy option (Dhs55) looks and tastes worthy.
The naughty one: Classic buttermilk pancakes
You’ll smell the pancakes (Dhs49) before they arrive to your table; the buttery aroma wafts through the entire room. Three perfectly plump, golden circles with a pot of berry butter and maple syrup are the makings of a fine breakfast. Don’t expect to share.
City Walk, Al Safa Road, Dubai, daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (052) 3976750. Taxi: City Walk. sarabeth.com
2. 1762 Stripped
The healthy option: Summer pea, avo’ and mint bruschetta
Move over avocados, it’s all about the peas at 1762 Stripped. Mixed with goats’ cheese and mint, the crushed peas on toast (Dhs52) tastes like summer on a breakfast board. And the bruschetta, lovingly baked every morning, is chewy and crusty in equal measure.
The naughty one: Bruleed French toast
This toasted brioche is one of our favourite cheat day breakfasts. It’s an indulgent mix of warm brioche served up with scoops of cream and jam
JLT One, Dubai, daily 7am to 6pm. Tel: (800) 1762. Taxi: JLT One. 1762.ae
3. Clinton St Baking Co
The healthy option: Huevos rancheros
For an ever-so-slightly healthier option, order a portion of sunny side up eggs with red beans, guacamole, jalapeño sour cream, jack cheese and house-made corn tortilla (Dhs58).
The naughty one: Fried chicken & waffles
We’ve got the Deep South to thank for this gut-busting breakfast. Soft but slightly crispy vanilla buttermilk waffles served with fried chicken and dusted with maple and Tabasco sauce (Dhs72) – a splodge of homemade maple butter makes it truly memorable.
Burj Views, Downtown, Dubai, Dubai, daily 8am to 4pm, 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4281331. clintonstreetbaking.ae
4. Café Rider
The healthy option: Crushed avocado on toast
The bread is fresh and toasted properly, the avocados are of the good quality Mexican variety and there’s a sprinkle of feta and cherry tomatoes. Order a portion of poached eggs on the side, and this avo on toast (Dhs32) becomes one of the best in town.
The naughty one: Rider breakfast wrap
The UAE’s most hipster motorcycle garage (think employees with strong beards, and freelancers sipping on 24-hour cold brew coffee) – has become coveted, and for good reason: the guys roast some of the city’s best coffee. And the breakfast wrap (Dhs36), stuffed with eggs, bacon, black beans, avocado and cheese, is the stuff of dreams.
Warehouse 7, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sat to Thur 8am to 8pm, Fri 8am to 5pm. Tel: (04) 3214411. Taxi: Nr Warehouse Gym. facebook.com/caferider
5. The Lighthouse
The healthy option: Shakshouka
The Lighthouse has the best shakshouka (Dhs45) in Dubai. There, we’ve said it. The eggs are perfectly cooked, complemented by the warming flavours of tomato, and roasted red pepper, and the sprinkling of charred pine nuts take it to another level. If you want to be virtuous, you could order it without the veal bacon, but we won’t tell if you don’t.
The naughty one: Apple and olive oil muffin
Normally muffins are a last resort when it comes to breakfast – a boring, blood-sugar spiking treat that we pick up on the way to work when we’ve overslept. But the apple and olive oil muffin (Dhs35) at The Lighthouse is another level of baked goods: juicy and moist, not dense or overly sweet and just fruity enough.
D3, Dubai, Sun to Wed 8am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 8am to midnight, Sat 8am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 4226024. thelighthouse.ae
6. Tom & Serg
The healthy option: Fried Free Range Eggs & Grains
It doesn’t get much healthier than this breakfast/salad hybrid. Underneath two eggs (Dhs61), you’ll find roasted pumpkin, pickled beetroot, goats’ cheese, basil, extra virgin olive oil, whole grain millet and amaranth. It’s almost a checklist of things to please your insides.
The naughty one: Salted caramel French toast
Forget everything you thought you knew about French toast; Tom & Serg has raised the eggy bread bar ten-fold. One pillowy slice of crisp dough (Dhs45) is slathered in salted caramel sauce, followed by a not-so-healthy dollop of vanilla anglaise and two pert, poached plums.
Al Quoz, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 5pm. Tel: (056) 4746812. Taxi: next to Ace Hardware. tomandserg.com
The healthy option: Acai smoothie bowl
Chival is seriously good for breakfast. Their acai bowl (Dhs45) has everything your body temple loves – granola, apple, banana, chia-vanilla pudding and heaps of berries.
The naughty one: Chival Ramen
Can you really have ramen for breakfast? The Chival Ramen (Dhs50) at La Ville proves that the essentials of a great breakfast food can absolutely transfer to great ramen. With its satiating taste and great umami flavours there’s no reason why it shouldn’t veer into egg and ham territory, too.
La Ville Hotel & Suites City Walk Dubai, Dubai, daily 6.30am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4033111. Taxi: La Ville Hotel. livelaville.com
8. Make Art Café
The healthy option: Acai bowl
It’s the health food the Brazilians have championed since the dawn of time, and it’s fast become part of the lexicon of fit foodies in Dubai. This take on the popular whipped acai and banana combo (Dhs30) is tart and full of nutrients, and topped with a sprinkling of granola and a handful of berries.
The naughty one: English breakfast
It’s hard to say no to a full English for just Dhs50 – even more so when the portion is big enough to feed two. This dish, complete with chicken sausage, two eggs as you like them, turkey bacon, baked beans, hash browns and English muffins, is ideal after a big night, or in preparation for one.
Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, Dubai, daily 9am to 7pm. Tel: (04) 3889134. Metro: Al Fahidi. makebusinesshub.com
9. Roseleaf Café
The healthy option: Turkey Bresaola Open Faced Omelette
There are many reasons to try the new Roseleaf and this is just one of them. The open faced omelette (Dhs40) is a light and fluffy sphere of eggy goodness, topped with greens, avocado and bresaola.
The naughty one: Braised Short Rib
There are few things more satisfying than short ribs, and that’s short ribs for breakfast. The rich slab of pulled beef (Dhs55) is doused in gravy-like juices, oozing over the sides of a slice of crusty fresh bread. Why we’ve never indulged like this for breakfast before, we’ll never know.
Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, daily 7am to 4pm. Tel: (04) 4179999. Metro: Nakheel. roseleafcafe.com
10. La Serre
The healthy option: Greek yoghurt with nuts
The combination of creamy Greek yoghurt and nuts (Dhs75) will set you up for the day, while the raw Persian honey adds some light sweetness (and is said to be a superfood, thanks to its health-giving properties).
The naughty one: Scrambled eggs with truffle oil
The scrambled eggs (Dhs125) are wonderfully rich (we don’t want to know how much cream they used), served on crisp, buttery toast, with a shaving of freshly grated truffle and a liberal drizzle of truffle oil. If you’re feeling really decadent, you could even order a side of pastries and a glass of champagne.
Vida Hotel, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily noon to 3pm. Tel: (04) 4286969. Taxi: Vida Downtown Hotel. laserre.ae
11. The Lime Tree Café
The healthy option: The Nourish Bowl
A colourful – not to mention very healthy – bowl of greens (Dhs38) includes broccoli
and cauliflower that’s punctuated with chargrilled corn, avocado and halloumi – and a sprinkling of pomegranate and chia seeds.
The naughty one: Banana Pancakes
Sure, it’s a fairly common menu item, but the execution is where Lime Tree shines. The fluffier-than-air American-style pancakes (Dhs30) are served in a heaped stack, with caramelised banana and generous pouring of maple syrup to have you licking the plate clean.
Al Quoz, Dubai, daily 7.30am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3256325. Taxi: Times Square Centre. thelimetreecafe.com
12. Demoiselle by Galvin
The healthy option: Multi-vitamin juice
Power up with an energy boost from Demoiselle’s dedicated juice bar. The Detox, with pineapple, coconut water, mint, green apple & chlorophyll water, is perfect for a morning boost.
The naughty one: Pain perdu
Ryan Harris, the executive pastry chef at Demoiselle is passionate about his version of French toast, but stresses that simplicity is key. We reckon it’s the touch of dusted baker’s sugar that makes his pain perdu so tasty.
City Walk, near the Roxy Cinemas, Dubai, daily 8am to midnight. Tel: (04) 5905076. Taxi: City Walk, near the cinema. demoiselledubai.com
The healthy option: Homemade granola
Revo is a lovely little spot for a quick bite after a stroll or bike ride along the Palm promenade. If you want to keep things healthy, order the homemade granola (Dhs40), which is made interesting thanks to the presence of soft, sweet, slow-cooked mango. The portion is on petite, so maybe order a smoothie on the side too.
The naughty one: Brioche French toast
Who doesn’t love a slab of caramelised fried bread covered in mascarpone (Dhs45)? It’s served with candied nuts and a warm, cooked banana. Side note: we ordered a flat white, and while the coffee we got wasn’t a flat white, it was a lovely, milky, not-at-all-bitter brew. So good we ordered a second.
Anantara, The Palm, Dubai, daily 8am to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 5678304. Taxi: Anantara. dubai-palm.anantara.com
14. Dhow & Anchor
The healthy option: Severn & Wye
For a lighter option, you can drop anchor at the D&A and order the Severn & Wye (Dhs75), a healthy scrambled egg on toast with Scottish smoked salmon.
The naughty one: The classic full English
If you haven’t had the Full English at D&A (Dhs95), you have yet to fully live. What could be better than a plate of sautéed potatoes and eggs than a plate of sautéed potatoes and eggs generously topped with baked beans, tomato, mushrooms and Dingly Dell’s finest sausages and bacon?
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Beach Road, Dubai, daily 9am to 2am. Tel: (04) 4068999.Taxi: Jumeirah Beach Hotel. jumeirah.com
The healthy option: Lebanese foul jar
For a protein-packed breakfast with a difference, order the foul jar (Dhs22). The broad beans and chickpeas dish is served in a traditional steel jar, and is mixed with tahini, olive oil, parsley, onions, and diced tomatoes.
The naughty one: Fateer with Kraft and honey
You’ll wish we had never talked about the fateer at Zaroob. Why? Because it’s a piping hot layered pastry of goodness that’s oozing with Kraft cheese and honey (Dhs34). It’s so perfect, so self-indulgent, and so outrageously calorific.
Jumeirah Tower Bld, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 5am. Tel: (04) 3276262. Metro: Emirates Towers. zaroob.com