We’ve tracked them down, so you don’t have to…

If you’re tired of the usual hotspots and are looking for somewhere new to grab a coffee or tuck into authentic  street food, there are so many secret spots just waiting to be discovered. Feast your eyes on these unique cafes and restaurants and we guarantee you’ll thank us later.

Here are 20 hidden gems you’ll find in Dubai: 

Alma 560 Café

Are you on the hunt for authentic Pastel de Nata? Thankfully, your search can successfully end here. Alma 560 located in the Gold and Diamond Park is your one-stop shop for all things Portuguese tarts and baked goods. Rooted in Portuguese traditions, you are guaranteed a delicious tart paired with a tasty coffee. And you can window shop after your sweet treat.

Alma 560 Cafe, Building 5, Shop 7, Gold and Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed road, open daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (0)4 340 5060 alma560.com

Al Jawareh

al jawareh

For authentic Emirati food in a traditional setting, Al Jawareh is located in Al Qusais, Old Dubai. Guests can choose to sit in the restaurant area with tables, private family dining areas, or in the majlis for a truly authentic and memorable Emirati experience. A must-try is their huge Emirati breakfast complete with eggs and tomato, chebab (Emirati pancakes) with cheese and date syrup, balaleet (sweet noodles served with an omelette), and chickpeas, washed down with one of the freshly made fruit juices.

Al Jawareh, Al Qusais Industrial Area, Dubai. Daily 7am to 10pm. Tel:(0)4 2679559. @aljawarehrest 

Birch Bakery


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This hole-in-the-wall bakery located in Al Quoz produces some of Dubai’s tastiest sourdough, pastries, and the infamous roast beef sando. Birch Bakery delivers across Dubai but we recommend heading to the bakery to order and grab a coffee while you wait at the Bakery Door.

Birch Bakery, Al Quoz, Dubai. open Sun to Fri 7am to 4pm and Sat 7am to 3pm. Tel: (0)4 397 0996, birchcafe.com@birch.bakery

Boston Lane

This quirky coffee shop in Al Quoz was designed with Melbourne’s coffee culture in mind (it’s owned by Australians too, naturally). It’s got an awesome Aussie-inspired menu, but we definitely recommend trying one of the ingredient-packed toasties for that warm fuzzy tummy feeling. There’s an opportunity to shop too, as the cafe doubles up as a boutique.

Boston Lane Cafe, 25 4 B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, 8am to 7pm. Tel: (0)54 449 2131. bostonlane.com

Café Isan

cafe isan

Hidden in JLT’s bustling dining scene, this chef-founded licensed Thai restaurant offers genuine dishes from the Isan region and lively rustic vibes until late. Oh and it’s super affordable. Order the Thai green curry (Dhs43), papaya salad (Dhs37), and jumbo spring rolls (Dhs34).

Level 1, Armada Avenue Hotel, Cluster P, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. Sunday to Thursday 12pm to 12am, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 2am. Tel:(0)58-5291003. cafeisan.co

Comptoir 102


Perfect your boho aesthetic at Comptoir 102, the edgy concept store and cafe in Jumeirah 1. Not only is it home to some of Dubai’s most covetable homewares, jewellery items, and clothes, it also boasts a hip cafe dishing out virtuous salads, plant-based desserts, and the cult-status vegan cheese platter.

Comptoir 102, 102 Beach Rd, Jumeirah 1, daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (0)56 564 6576. comptoir102.com

Dukkan El Baba


Open for just a few months, this cosy Lebanese eatery serves delicious homemade food (try their fattet hummus), breakfast, coffee, and deli items such as salads and sandwiches. Dukkan El Baba is an affordable, family-run concept located in The Greens and open from 9am to 11pm daily. See you at the deli counter?

Dukkan El Baba, Thuraya Telecom Building, The Greens, Barsha Heights, Dubai. Daily 9am to 11pm. Tel:(0)43440140, @dukkan_el_baba

Fusion Ceviche

Chef-owned, homegrown, and authentically Peruvian – this hole-in-the-wall ceviche bar is a must-visit. The space is not large, seating around 20 or so inside and a further six outside. Sit at the bar for front-row seats to watch Chef Penelope prepare the renowned ceviches and share her fascinating stories. What to order? Try the clasico ceviche to start followed by the pulpo anticuchero.

Fusion Ceviche, Cluster Q (opposite The Park), JLT, Dubai. @fusioncevichedxb


On the hunt for Japanese food? Look no further than Itadaku. Located inside Wasl Vita Mall, Itadaku is a (new-ish) family-run authentic Japanese restaurant. Fun fact: Itadaku means “grateful for receiving”. For real Japanese foodies, this is as close as you’ll get to Japan in Dubai. What to try? Order the Hamachi sashimi and kushiyaki shiitake.

Itadaku, Wasl Vita Mall, 32c Al Wasl Rd, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, 12pm to 1.30pm and 6.30pm to 9.30pm, @itaduku_dubai



This intimate neighbourhood escape is located in a local Emirati lady’s home in Al Mizhar. A space for the community, Juntas is influenced by the undisturbed Portuguese countryside combined with Emirati culture.  On the menu, guests can enjoy homemade sandwiches, coffee, afternoon tea, pizza, and freshly baked goods including the San Sebastián, in a cosy, homely atmosphere. You won’t want to leave.

Juntas, Al Mizhar, Dubai. Tuesday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm. Closed Mondays. @livejuntas 

La Nena

Looking for somewhere to get your caffeine fix this weekend? You may have already seen this stunning café on your Instagram feed… Tucked away in Al Quoz, La Nena is a Spanish café and concept store, with coffee, delectable snacks, and gorgeous homeware pieces to buy such as cups, plates, and candles. What’s more? It’s dog-friendly so bring along your four-legged friends!

La Nena, Al Marabea St, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1, Dubai. Tuesday to Sunday, 7am to 6pm. @lenenacoffee

New Earth Café

Spend your days surrounded by palm trees and sunshine at this stunning hidden gem. From smoothie bowls to avo toast, superfood lattes to affirmation juices, New Earth Café is a conscious eatery located in the green heart of Dubai, Al Barari, serving simple, honest food that nurtures and nourishes.

New Earth Café, Al Barari, Dubai. Daily, 7am to 6pm. @newearth.cafe


This teahouse and Asian bakery serves freshly made sourdough, coffee, and specialises in all kinds of tea from cold brew tea to loose leaf, matcha to iced tea. Ask for a Maritozzi and thank us later.

Pekoe, Warehouse 59, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. Daily 9am to 7pm. @mypekoe

Oath at Wud Flowers


This speciality coffee shop is located inside a quaint Jumeirah villa-turned-flower shop. From refreshing smoothies to matcha lattes and sweet treats to colourful bouquets, it is truly a one-of-a-kind Dubai experience.

Oath, Wud Flowers, Al Wasl Road, Dubai. Saturday to Thursday 10am to 9pm, Friday 4pm to 10pm. @oath.ae

Sallet Al Sayad

Located in Karama, this Palestinian hidden gem from the heart of Gaza is most famous for its seafood dishes. Order the Gazawi spicy salad, the grilled shrimp and sea bass in their secret Gazan sauce, and don’t miss out on their moreish bread.

Sallet Al Sayad, Karama, Dubai. Tel:(0)4 3355722. Daily 12pm to 12am, @salletalsayad_dubai

Seven Seeds

Jumeirah is full of hidden cafés waiting to be found and this is one of them. The beautiful Seven Seeds is surrounded by a green garden, water features, a conservatory for when summer comes along, and a trendy indoor space. On the menu, guests can tuck into healthy bites like sandwiches and smoothie bowls, sweet treats, burgers, and delicious coffee.

Seven Seeds, Villa 15 51st St, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Daily, 8am to 11pm. 7seeds.ae

Seva Table


With its pretty rugs, tree stumps for tables, and colourful plants, all hidden behind high walls, entering the garden of Seva Table feels a bit like Alice In Wonderland meets a zen garden. The wellness destination has everything you need for a healthy life, from holistic workshops to an extensive vegan menu and a concept store selling skincare, crystals, sage, books, and more.

Villa 5/1b, 27b Street, Jumeirah Beach Road, daily 8am to 10pm Tel: (0)56 534 2899 . sevaexperience.com

Ivy’s Secret Garden

ivy's secret garden

A surprising addition to the industrial warehouses of Al Quoz is Ivy’s Secret Garden. Part plant shop, part cafe, this instantly relaxing space is named after its owner, who combined her love of coffee and plants into one one-stop shop where guests can enjoy a hidden green gem in the urban jungle. The menu is limited to all-day acai bowls and small bites, plus an array of beverages that prove very popular, as do their green-themed workshops like skincare making and plant pot painting.

Ivy’s Secret Garden, Warehouse 3, Al Asayel St, Al Quoz 4, 9am to 9pm daily. Tel: (055) 8896982, secretgardenivy.com

Vanilla Sukkar

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This mother-and-daughter-owned gem in Jumeirah is a quaint coffee shop and bakery. Located on Al Wasl Road, the small space is filled with plants, books, cute collectibles, and the smell of freshly baked goods. Don’t miss their melt-in-the-mouth sourdough pastries, the turmeric country loaf, and their signature white chocolate matcha latte, and join in one of their fun and informative monthly matcha or baking workshops.

Vanilla Sukkar, Umm al Sheif, Jumeirah, Dubai. 8am to 8pm. Tel:(0)4 422 8843@vanillasukkar


Spice up your life with authentic Ethiopian food at this family-run hidden gem in Karama. Zagol may be small is size but it serves up some seriously big flavours that will wake up your palate. The menu is written in Ethiopian so go with the staff recommendations or order the Zagol Special platter to try a bit of everything.

Zagol, Karama, Dubai. Daily 10am to 11.30pm. Tel:(0)4 357 7740.  

Images: Social