22 amazing cafes to visit in Abu Dhabi for International Coffee Day
Fancy a good cup of joe?
It’s no secret that Abu Dhabi loves a caffeine fix, and to help you celebrate International Coffee Day on October 3, here are some great cafes in the capital to visit.
% Arabica now has four locations in Abu Dhabi, including a cool concept store in Marina Mall, with futuristic-looking spaces where top coffee, pastries and a range of caffeine-related products are served. Featuring a flexible and expandable pod for brewing and serving pots of their acclaimed Joe, a retail wall giving coffee connoisseurs access to % merch such as backpacks, beans and brewing gadgets and typewriter key style seating, which presumably performs that Scandinavian furniture miracle of looking uncomfortable but ending up actually being super snug.
% Arabica, Ground floor Marina Mall, daily 8am to midnight. Tel: (0)2 546 0015. arabicacoffee.ae
Be inspired by the stunning architecture of the Louvre Abu Dhabi when you dine at this recently renovated café. Located on Saadiyat Island, Aptitude Café offers a gorgeous outdoor space and regularly hosts community activities, including Picnic in the Park, workshops, dinner events, and themed nights. The menu features breakfast dishes, salads, sandwiches and a selection of main courses.
Aptitude Café, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 10pm. louvreabudhabi.ae
Art House Café
Art on the walls, art on the plates, art in their heart. Abu Dhabi’s Art House Café is all about providing a passionate experience, and the dining element is at the core of that. There’s a massive menu but their famous shakshuka is probably our pick of the brunch. Every inch feels and smells like a truly inspirational, creative space, surrounded by botanical greens and abstract scenes. And because it’s a place that celebrates the creative spark, you can go full Picasso on a plate for Dhs20. There’s the option to paint masks for Dhs30 or make a miniature brick painting (Dhs10).
Art House Café, Al Huwelat St, Bateen Area, Opp Al Bateen Villa No 15, 10am to midnight. Tel: (0)2 666 0175. @arthousecafead
Boomah in Abu Dhabi casually refers to itself as ‘the region’s first owl café’. Admittedly the connection between the celebration of Hedwig and primo frothy frappuccinos is a tenuous one but in the grand tradition of pioneering spirit, so what? The adorable set of hooters at Boomah comprises of 10 different species, each with those deep soulful eyes, possibly rendering them the ultimate therapy animal. The café takes care of their beaked baristas with a team of qualified specialists, the owls are free to fly at night, and because the café only opens at 2pm, they get a proper lie-in during the day. Importantly, you can also get pretty good coffee there as well as croissants, acai bowls and cookies.
Boomah, Next to Al Seef Village Mall, open daily 2pm to 10pm, Dhs70 entry fee. @boomah.ae
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 café-district within a café-district, complete with aspirational yachty views, off-white hues and door-step-sized croque madames too yummy to refuse.
Marsa Al Bateen Marina, Shop 9, Abu Dhabi. Sun to Wed 8am to 10pm, Thur and Sat 8am to 10.30pm. @brunchandcake
Cartel Coffee Roasters
Since 2019, Cartel Coffee Roasters has been serving locally roasted premium coffee sourced from around the world. Delivering your caffeine fix is a team of dedicated baristas in its Al Bateen, Al Qana and Khalifa City locations. The small batch roastery believes that fresh is best, and asks guests to savour the flavour of each cup.
Cartel Coffee Roasters, Al Bateen, Al Qana and Khalifa City, daily 8am to 11pm.
Cipriani Dolci is now open within Marina Mall, inviting diners to enjoy a ‘great selection of Cipriani classics.’ A luxurious take on the Italian pasticceria, guests can expect decadent favourites like the torta di cioccolato, ice cream freshly whipped to order, lemon tart, tiramisu and more. A must-try at all Cipriani’s is the vanilla meringue cake, so we can’t wait to dig our spoons into this capital dessert.
Cipriani Dolci, Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm. @ciprianidolci
Originally from Dubai, Drop uses top quality imported coffee beans, roasted daily and brewed using nine different brewing techniques to deliver its cups of Joe. The Abu Dhabi branch opened at Yas Bay Waterfront in March and has been serving its speciality brews daily alongside pastries and signature main dishes.
Drop, Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 550 4683. @wearedropcoffee
Design and Art Home
This Al Bateen café holds a series of themed rooms, each with its own heavily stylised decor and design vignettes. There’s a ‘Royal Room’, decked out in majestic baroque trim for an appropriately regal way to enjoy high tea. The ‘Garden’ is overflowing with botanical excess, water features and a faux manicured lawn underfoot. The ‘LP room’ is awash with petals and floral highlights and the ice cream bar provides a perfect perch to enjoy luxurious spoonfuls of craft dessert.
Design and Art Home, Bateen Street, (next to Republic of Ireland embassy), 8am to 11pm. @design_and_art_home
Dmitriy Grekhov spent time at the handsome Café Rider in Dubai before branching out to Abu Dhabi. His stylish two-storey café in Al Rawdah combines his love for coffee and cars with both an in-house roaster and a collection of rare classic cars encased in glass. The baristas roast their own beans, sourcing from the best farms from around the world. Food options run the gamut from shakshuka to açai bowls, but we suggest you take full advantage of the in-house pizza oven and order something doughy.
DRVN, Al Rawdah and Hudayriyat. Tel: (0)2 441 7774. @drvn.ae
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Part-cafe, part-florist, this uniquely designed space has a cool cave-like effect with low, curved ceilings and terracotta walls. With a focus on coffee, iced tea, pastries and breakfast dishes, Fil is the ideal spot to relax with a good brew and stop and smell the roses.
Fil, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Thur 8am to 12am, Fri to Sun 8am to 1am. Tel: (0)52 513 1546. @fil.uae
We see you Joud Café, 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 décor, the care you put into every cup of coffee and the roast behind it, and 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 Café, and we want you to know, we appreciate you.
Joud Café, Al Bateen Park Plaza, breakfast served 8am to noon. Tel: (0)56 525 8235. @joudcafe
Cool community-focused café Reach combines retro interiors with a skater aesthetic to create a vibrant hangout spot at Mayan Yas Island. Offering coffees, juices, sandwiches and more, Reach also has a ‘secret menu’ which you’ll have to visit its Instagram page to discover.
Reach, Mayan Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 7.30am to 10pm. @reach.ae
Local isn’t just your casual neighbourhood coffee shop. It offers fresh fades and fresh kicks along with its freshly ground coffee. It’s a community. This super-trendy chop shop wears its street style all over the walls – find skate paraphernalia, limited-edition urban fashion pieces and arty little knick-knacks dotted all over the place. Haircuts start at around Dhs110 for a basic back and sides, and beard trims begin at Dhs60. Like the speciality coffee (from Dhs15) that is served in-house, the products used in the styling are all top-quality brands. Local has a second capital location at Mamsha Al Saadiyat, also serving elite cuts, cappuccinos and crepes.
Local, Al Raha Beach, Sun to Thur 11am to 9pm (closed Mon), Fri to Sat 8am to 10pm, Mamsha Al Saadiyat 8am to 11pm. Tel: (02) 5553339.
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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 za’atar scrambled egg, activated charcoal pancakes, hashbrown benedict and the epic mini croissant and marshmallow cereal. No 57 Boutique blossoming and we are absolutely down for it.
Building Two, Al Marasy, Al Bateen Harbour, 9am to 10.45pm. Tel: (0)2 441 6100. @no57cafe
Meow Café is Abu Dhabi’s first cat café and that makes it litter-ly the purrrfect coffee shop for animal lovers. Located in the Al Muneera district of Abu Dhabi, it’s open daily from 10am to 10pm and we have a ‘feline’ it might just be the cat’s pyjamas. Meow is home to some very photogenic, pedigree-class animals — visitors will get the chance to meet a cast that includes Kiwi, Luna, Caramel, Candle, Ola, Yuki and Yuri, Cloud, Cora and others. One thing that is worth mentioning, a small claw in the access contract as it were, there is a cover charge for entering — Dhs45 per hour for adults, and Dhs35 per hour for kids under 10. Really not that expensive and presumably all to help keep the fur babies in the manner they’ve become accustomed to.
Meow Cafe, Al Muneera, 10am to 10pm. @meowcafe.ad
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Notorious Café is a retro-styled brand inspired by New York City in the 1960s. It was essential for them to create a unique and unforgettable experience for their customers, to inspire them with their coffee brewers and live roasters, all of which are sourced directly from farmers and roasted in-house.
Notorious Café, Al Qana, Abu Dhabi, daily 7am to 12am. notorious.ae
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Chic conservatory restaurant Saddle can be found in Marsa Al Bateen. The space serves a wide range of dishes from under its attic-shaped glass roof, giving guests a bright, open venue to enjoy good food with great friends. Expect dishes such as grilled Mediterranean sea bass, beef tagliata and baby chicken from this Emirati-owned café.
Saddle, Marsa Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to 12am. Tel: (0)50 394 4802. @saddle
Streetwear fanatics flock to this cool sneaker store, sipping on fresh Origin33 coffee as they browse the latest footwear drops from the world’s top brands. Sneaker District is a huge 35,000-square-foot space spread over three floors, found in World Trade Center Mall. Shoppers can find the most coveted collections across shoes, clothing and accessories.
Sneaker District, Word Trade Center Mall, Mon to Fri 10am to 10pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 12am. @sneakerdistrictad
Find your ‘Space’ at Al Qana. This chic, minimalist café serves speciality coffee from its neutrally toned venue. The cafe has large, slanted windows, large palm-leafed plants and woven decorations hung on the lime-washed walls. Guests are invited to get comfortable and enjoy good coffee as well as a menu of exciting breakfast dishes and refreshing desserts.
Space, Al Qana, Abu Dhabi, daily 8am to midnight. @spaceae
tashas Al Bateen
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.
Tashas, Unit B02 Cafe, Marsa, Al Bateen, 8am to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 445 0890. @tashascafe
Following a recent expansion, popular café and concept store, The Lighthouse, opened its doors in Yas Bay Waterfront. The café serves a selection of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as pastries, coffees and drinks. On the store side, you can shop a range of local and international brands, and browse products from home and kitchenware to gifts and quirky finds.
The Lighthouse, Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island. Tel: (0)2 236 7831. @thelighthouse_ae