Get to know your single-origin from your syphon, your macchiato from your mocha, and find out where to drink them all.
Top coffee shops Dubai
This third outpost from Tom & Serg is perfect for when you’re tired of a day’s wandering the shops at Mall of the Emirates. The industrial interiors have a similar feel to its sister cafés Tom&Serg and The Sum of Us, but the pastry cabinet really shines here. USP: Right in the heart of the shopping area, in takes ‘mall dining’ to a whole new level. Try the… We like to keep it simple here. The long black has just the right ratio of water to espresso. From Dhs12.
This is the café in Dubai Garden Centre, off Sheikh Zayed Road, so the chances are, plenty of people won’t have seen it. But whether you need to add some foliage to your balcony or not, this is a spot worth making the trip for. Great cakes and salads accompany
seasonal, singe-origin roasts, and it’s all very affordable. USP: The only café on this list that’s in a garden centre. Seriously, though, they use Nightjar Coffee roasters from Nebraska, the first people in Dubai to do so. Try the… Long black, with one of the speciality roasts. From Dhs12.
This is a new roastery in Al Quoz (where else?) that provides beans for cafés throughout the city. With cool branding and an independent spirit, this is one place we’re going to be hearing more and more about in Dubai. USP: The new kid on the block is using beans that others aren’t, and just oozes cool.
Try the… Ethiopian Aricha, which has a hint of jasmine. From Dhs70 (500g bag of beans).
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The Espresso Lab
Owned and run by Emirati entrepreneur Ibrahim Al Mallouhi, The Espresso Lab is as artisan as it gets. Everything in the café is done by hand, from the baking of the bread to the bagging of the beans. With passionate and knowledgeable staff, this is a place dedicated to the art of finely roasted, speciality coffee beans. USP: The passion shines through here and great care is put into creating great drinks for every customer. Try the… Gibraltar. A short, strong ristretto. From Dhs12.
Yet another venue on Jumeirah Beach Road serving excellent coffee, this is one cool customer, with a firm focus on healthy food and drinks. Among the chia seed smoothies and smashed avocado on toast is a great selection of speciality coffees. It’s all kept simple, with five styles of espresso-based coffee and four types of brewing. USP: A quirky, Instagrammable café – the emphasis on healthy, fresh eating sets this place apart. Try the… Aeropress. With beans from Dubai’s Gold Box Roastery, this is a super way to get the full flavour from the coffee. From Dhs15.
The coffee machines hum non-stop at this urban Al Quoz café, brewing cups of java for most of the clued-up Dubaians. The two-time (and current) holder of the Dubai Best Café award is arguably the venue that kicked all of the speciality brew hype off. It was the first place that Aussies Tom Arnel and Sergio Lopez opened, and as we’ve already read, the pair haven’t looked back since. USP: They really care about the coffee here. It’s the café’s raison d’etre. Try the… Almond milk piccolo for Dhs17, an espresso-size latte, but with enough caffeine to keep you going. From Dhs14.
Australian,Burgers,Cafés,Fusion,Dessert Café 056 474 6812 Al Quoz
Roasts from all over world are served at this independent coffee house on Jumeirah Beach Road. Expect excellent brews from as far and wide as San Francisco and Kenya. The baristas really know what they’re doing and can help those who aren’t clued up on their caffeine. USP: It really feels like you’re among friends here, and coupled with the quality of drinks on offer, visiting Brew Café is a no-brainer. Try the… Iced latte. You’re right next to the beach, so come here to cool down. From Dhs12.
Cafés 04 331 2333 Umm Suqeim
At this motorcycle shop-come-café, not everyone will be able to afford a custom-made bike, but an excellent brew is within everyone’s price range, and just sitting in the studio space is enough to bring out your inner Easy Rider. USP: The setting is like no other in Dubai. See the custom bikes being made while sipping on a coffee and chomping on hearty American fare. Try the… McQueen’s – a mix of cold coffee, apple juice and cinnamon. From Dhs17.
Cafés 04 321 4411 Al Quoz
This unassuming little café has plenty to offer. Firstly, the setting is stunning, overlooking Jumeirah Fishing Harbour. Secondly, the sweet treats they serve up are fantastic, especially the gelato (flavours include Twix, saffron and “energy”). And last, but certainly not least, the coffee is superb, with beans from local roastery Gold Box. USP: Sea, sunset views and a spot of latte art. Try the… Hot café latte for an Instagram-worthy experience. From Dhs12.
Cafés,Dessert Café 055 956 1353 Umm Suqeim
An independent, Italian-run café in the shadow of JLT’s Almas Tower, head down on a Friday or Saturday morning to join the masses over a strong Lavazzo espresso and freshly made pastry. USP: Great deals, including a coffee and house-made croissants for Dhs25. They also make their own gelato. Try the… Marocchino, espresso with dark chocolate and foam milk. The perfect afternoon pick-me-up. From Dhs10.
Cafés 04 443 4955 Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Intersect By Lexus
Everything about this venue is innovative, from the hook-up with car giant Lexus to the way they brew their coffee. It has a ready-made audience In DIFC, in those looking for a morning boost on the way to work. Using Raw Coffee, it serves hot drinks with milk at 65°C, which is the ideal temperature for it to keep its structure and sweetness. Who knew? USP: Baristas use a syphon – a filter coffee maker that dates back to 1860s Berlin. Try the… It has to be that syphon. Watching it brew is worth the Dhs22 alone. From Dhs15.
International 04 355 9524 DIFC
jones the grocer
Always a popular spot, serving great grub as well as top-notch coffee, jones takes its brewing pretty seriously. It has six of its own single origin coffees (including beans from Mexico, Burundi and Ethiopia) and serves them in a number of ways (including cold drip, the rather industrial sounding – but actually very good – chemex, and, well, hot). There are also regular workshops on brewing and latte art (next up on Friday May 13 and 27 respectively). These guys really know their beans. USP: This is serious coffee but in a very relaxed, family-oriented setting. No need to feel intimidated here. Try the… Short black. Keep it simple with a top-quality espresso. From Dhs13.
Cafés 04 346 6886 Sheikh Zayed Road
Leopold’s of London
Classic cappuccinos, lattes, long blacks and flat whites are all served up at this cool, beachside spot, but the “advanced brewing methods” of its coffee lab, which includes such offerings as the syphon – a spectacle prepared at your table – a clean and smooth chemex and an iced Kyoto – filtered for eight hours – makes this café stand out from the JBR crowd. Those who like to experiment with flavours are catered for, too, with a list of speciality coffees featuring ingredients as diverse as chocolate flakes, chilli and biscotti. USP: Its Aztec mocha, made up of espresso, dark chocolate and a firey mix of cinnamon and chilli. Try the… Terrapin, if you have more of a sweet tooth. It’s a dream of a cup featuring a lush blend of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate, hazelnut, caramel and whipped cream. From Dhs18.
They call their café “the heart of coffee” and pride themselves on using methods and beans that were available in the early days of coffee drinking. It’s a cute little place on Al Wasl Road that is dedicated to the brews they serve, more than anything else. Baristas recommend drinking the single origin coffees without milk or sugar. You can then choose how it’s brewed and served. Cold and milky coffees are available. USP: You can find out exactly where beans came from – this place looks after the coffee “from crop to cup”. Try the… World’s most expensive coffee – Jamaica Blue Mountain. Pure, smooth and not bitter at all. From Dhs15.
Cafés 971404 321 6455 Jumeirah
The Hutch Bistro
This new chicken restaurant at equally new The Mall on Jumeirah Beach Road may profess to be “all about the bird”, but having checked it out for breakfast recently, we know that just as much care goes into the coffee selection. This is also one of the few venues on this list that has all kinds of syrups and extras available. USP: This is more of a restaurant than a café, and as such, you can get quality main courses to go with your caffeine. Try the… Latte with sugar-free hazelnut syrup. Because, well, why not? From Dhs15.
Cafés 04 398 8598 Jumeirah
RAW Coffee Company
Hidden within the industrial estates of Al Quoz, Raw Coffee opened with the intention of establishing a market in Dubai for freshly roasted, premium speciality beans, sourced from all over the world and roasted on site. The experienced and friendly staff will help you find the perfect coffee for your palette, from the strong darker roasts to those with unusual fruity notes. Connoisseurs can also buy equipment and beans in bulk for home brewing. USP: The unpretentious atmosphere is the perfect place for beginner coffee enthusiasts to sample a wide variety. Try the… Cold drip coffee with ginger ale. It’s refreshing, zesty and unusual. From Dhs14.
Cafés 9714050 553 6808 Al Quoz
Spill The Bean Café
Another cute café, this time with an easily identifiable winged goat as its logo. Good for breakfasts and families, it has speciality coffees and offers decaf, soy milk, low fat milk and camel milk options. It’s tucked away in Sunset Mall and also has a truck that you will see at pop-up markets and festivals across the city. USP: All the coffee is 100 percent organic and fair trade. Try the… Turkish coffee with cardamom – a dark, rich, fragrant brew that will keep you going for hours. From Dhs13.
Cafés 04 338 8559 Sunset Mall – Jumeirah
This villa in Jumeirah is another place using speciality beans and interesting brewing and serving methods. It hasn’t been open for long, but it already has a loyal following who have made it their own, ahem, stomping ground. With a good, and ever-evolving, food menu, too, if you haven’t checked it out yet, what are you waiting for? USP: Its independent spirit, décor and great food make it about more than just coffee. Try the… Burundi Nitro – cold brew infused with gas, making it creamy without adding milk. From Dhs15.
Dessert Café 04 344 4451 / 050 455 3603 Jumeirah
The Sum of Us
We can’t decide what draws us more into this café: the waft of organic sourdough from the oven, or the aroma of freshly ground coffee. The baristas take their profession very seriously here indeed, so don’t dare ask for a babyccino or a mochachocalatte – it’s likely you’ll be silently stared out of the building. USP: The in-house roastery has more than 20 different varieties of house-blend coffee for you to take home. Try the… Cold brew coffee served in a mason jar. This gentle brew takes a formidable 18-24 hours to infuse and is naturally sweet. From Dhs14.
They know how to do coffee in Italy. And at Attibassi you’ll find expertise dating back to 1918 when the brand was born in Bologna. Here in Dubai their branches do the simple things very well indeed. USP: The latte art. Their barista Emmanuel Katongole is the reigning UAE champion. Try the… Espresso con panna. Typically strong Italian roast topped with cream. From Dhs15.