A guide to Al Bateen's brewing cafe culture
Maybe we’re latte to the game, but things seem to be perking up in Al Bateen…
Abu Dhabi has established itself as a rare single provenance when it comes to cafe culture. Ours is a city that prizes the well-poured, served by a network of designer coffee outlets; indie, arty, crafty cafes and chic breakfast institutions.
Whilst this trait is emirate-wide, there are epi-spresso-centres where density and destiny have conspired to create entire cafe communities. And one of our favourite hot spots for the spilling of beans is good old Al Bateen.
View this post on Instagram
If you’ve ever held up the line at Starbucks to ask what side of a shaded valley a particular bean variety was grown on, % Arabica is probably the coffee chain for you. It’s minimalist to the core, except when it comes to the percolated concoctions, these guys really do care about creating the perfect, tailored-to-taste cup of coffee. In addition to the bean blend menu (complete with tasting notes), there are several in-cup delivery methods to choose from including the Chemex drip. They also do a pretty phenomenal job on fresh pastries.
Al Bateen, 7am to midnight. Tel: (02) 634 1333. @arabica.uae
Full disclosure, Alba is more of a restaurant (helmed by a Michelin Star-winning chef) than a cafe but it does have multiple caffeinated credentials for appearing on this list aside from being big in Al Bateen. Located on the grounds of the gorgeous Abu Dhabi Edition overlooking the Marina, the venue’s limitless morning meal is a veritable breakfast feast. Enjoy two hours of morning gourmet for just Dhs95, anytime between 7am and midday, every day of the week, where highlights include the French toast with blueberry compote; and smashed avo and poached egg on seeded bread. Coffee quaffers should note that the flat white here is Aussie-level good and the golden Assam tea is proper pucka little cuppa.
The Abu Dhabi Edition, Al Bateen, 7am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 208 0000, editionhotels.com
Art House Cafe
Art on the walls, art on the plates, art in their heart. This cafe is all about providing a passionate experience, and the dining element is at the core of that. They’ve got a massive menu but their famous shakshoka is probably our pick of the brunch. Every inch feels, and smells like the inspirational, creative space it truly is, surrounded by botanical greens and abstract painted scenes.
Al Huwelat St, Bateen Area, Opp Al Bateen Villa No 15, 10am to midnight. Tel: (02) 666 0175. @arthousecafead
Brunch and Cake
The latest chapter in this Barcelona-born brand’s UAE story, saw a waterfront opening on Marsa Al Bateen Marina earlier this year, their biggest in the region so far. Brunch and Cake’s ‘Gram-famous gastronomy is a perfect fit for this cafe-district within a cafe-district, complete with aspirational yachty views, off-white hues and door-step-size croque madames too yummers to refuse.
Marsa Al Bateen Marina, Shop 9, Abu Dhabi. Sun to Wed 8am to 10pm, Thursdays and Saturdays 8am to 10.30pm. @brunchandcakeuae
View this post on Instagram
We see you Joud Cafe, three outlets deep in Abu Dhabi. We see you with your green leather sofas and wholesome latte art. We see the time you put into picking out your art and decor, the care you put into every cup of coffee and the roast behind it, we see the presentation and the quality of your food. We see you repping Middle Eastern flavours and plant-based options alongside more traditional cafe bites. That’s right. We see you Joud Cafe, and we want you to know, we appreciate you.
Al Bateen Park Plaza, breakfast served 8am to noon. Tel: (056) 525 8235. @joudcafe
Medi Terra opened up back in April of this year not long after, and just a couple of doors down from, Brunch and Cake. Like their marina-side neighbours, there’s an easy European feel to the location, beautiful yacht-spotting opportunities and a menu blend of light and more substantial restaurant-portioned dining. Reasons to visit include the big collection of antioxidant-flexing mixed fruit juices, and the current unlimited pizza deal (including soft beverage) for Dhs99 (or Dhs49 for kids).
Marsa Al Bateen Marina, midday to 11pm on weekdays, 10am to midnight on weekends. Tel: (02) 633 6366, @mediterra_ad
Montauk Boutique Cafe & Restaurant is a self-described ‘Hamptons-inspired’ experience. The concept was developed by Emirati founder, Chef Mariam Almansoori, and aims to provide the capital’s cafe connoisseurs with a new place to choose their favourite brews in uncontrived luxury. It’s breakfast where this charming venue is really setting up its challenge to the Abu Dhabi dining scene. Items on the most important meal of the day menu include avocado, beetroot and cheese toasties; Turkish eggs with herb labneh; scrambled egg shakshuka; custard-soaked French toast; homemade granola with honey & berries; and cream cheese sesame bagels.
When open the cafe will be based in Al Bateen, open 10am to 10pm daily, @montaukabudhabi
No. Fifty-Seven boutique Café
View this post on Instagram
This cafe is not shy about shaking your favourite foods out of the breakfast tree and giving them a gangster little glow-up. We’re talking truffle scrambled egg, burrata and zaatar scrambled egg, activated charcoal pancakes, hashbrown benedict and the epic mini croissant and marshmallow cereal. No. FiftySeven Boutique is cooking for the year 3021, and we are absolutely down for it.
Building Two, Al Marasy, Al Bateen Harbour, 9am to 10.45pm. Tel: (02) 441 6100. @no57cafe
Tashas is another Al Bateen cafe with ferociously strong Insta-feed energy. The concept originated in South Africa, but already feels like part of the local fabric here. Sublime interiors and a kitchen team with a fastidious eye for gastronomic detail helped make this eatery an essential pin-drop for those that enjoy crafty cuisine with their coffee.
Unit B02 Cafe, Marsa, Al Bateen, 8am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 445 0890, @tashascafe