Looking for truly great coffee and all you can find is chain stores? Check out what our members think of coffee places around town. Please note: You will always pay more for specialty coffee – but totally worth it for your fix!


Nastassia Van Jaarsveldt

South Africa

Ten 11 Cafe - during lockdown
Still trying to keep up with our coffee traditions, we are finding new ways of experiencing our favorite beverage. Ten11 Cafe didn’t disappoint and from the car I could see this is definitely a coffee shop I would love to visit in person once we are allowed to do so. The coffee tasted great and the staff were so friendly, which just made the experience so much better. Speciality coffee = special prices, as always this is what we prefer over a chain. Also, support the small local businesses, especially during these times.

District 10

Nastassia Van Jaarsveldt

South Africa

District 10 café
Even our coffee is social distancing! I opted for an iced latte this time. Refreshing in the heat, and it tastes more of coffee than milk. I also liked the cup it came in. Ordered from the car, and delivered to the car.
Disclaimer: cups were sanitized after their photoshoot.

Espresso Lab

Nastassia Van Jarsveldt

South Africa

The Espresso Lab - Qasr Al Hosn cultural village
We love coffee. When that first sip hits your lips and it awakens your soul type of coffee. And I definitely felt this way at The Espresso Lab . The 3way iced coffee was one of the best I’ve had, where the milk doesn’t over power the taste of the coffee. And that cappuccino doesn’t keep any secrets by showing off the full bodied taste you will get from it’s dark color. Barista Daniel was absolutely fabulous and he shared some wonderful coffee stories with us


Nastassia Van Jarsveldt

South Africa

We always love stumbling upon new coffee shops! We found ourselves in a different part of Abu Dhabi that we normally don’t go to and found Rush Coffee in the Al Maqta area near the special olympics offices.

One of the best coffees I’ve had in terms of flavor and all rounded body. Very friendly and welcoming staff too! And off course...presentation!

Espresso Lab

Rebecca Rouen


Stopped in for a coffee at The Espresso Lab this morning. (Yes, I had cake for breakfast! 🙈)  The carrot cake looked so scrummy I knew I needed to taste it and report back for all the CC lovers out there! The coffee was nice but not served as warm as I would have liked it to be. The carrot cake was DELICIOUS! It was very moist, and a nice ratio of icing to cake. I easily finished the whole thing and dare I say, it’s better than the slice at The One!? The cafe inside is very sleek and modern. Their drinks menu is a little limited depending on what you are after. They don’t offer tea, decaf coffee or have sugar available, so it might not be for everyone. The location was a lovely spot to enjoy a coffee and cake.

Sofa Cafe

Nastassia Van Jarsveldt

South Africa

We went to visit Sofa Cafe yesterday. As avid coffee drinkers we are always looking for something unique that is out of the ordinary and not a franchise chain (side note: you will always pay more for specialty coffee so if it’s an inexpensive coffee and average experience you are looking for the chain coffee shops are your best bet) We paid 46 aed for two cappuccinos and a mini raspberry cheesecake.

The place is really homey and the staff extremely friendly and helpful. But the decor and the coffee is what made us stay that long. Sofas arranged in private little alcoves makes it the perfect place the have an intimate catch up or even do some work.

They also opened a coffee take out right next to it so if you are in a rush you can have your coffee to go.


Zoee Shelley

New Zealand

In the quest for good coffee...

There is a little place that is relatively newish and we have been waiting for it to open so we could try it. Willing to be guinea pigs, we popped by to put the coffee to the test.

Full disclosure here... I am a latte with one sugar person who is also partial to an espresso. I like strong Italian coffee.

Recharge is a little coffee shop in the same vein as %Arabica, Aptitude, Slash/, Malibu Cafe ... We walked in and the woman serving was friendly and seemed to know her coffee. They have a little display cabinet which had some brownies and other treats inside. We got a tasting and they were quite nice!

On to the coffee... usually I find myself adding sugar only because it makes the average coffee more drinkable. I asked the woman to add a sugar and she suggested I try it first... one sip and I knew I didn’t need sugar. It has a strong flavor, which my other half thought was almost a bit bitter but I was super impressed at how lovely the flavor was!

They also do coffees such as Spanish and saffron lattes.

This little place is located in the guardian towers area across from the spinnys building. It’s not as expensive as rain but you are still looking at around 20 odd dirhams for a latte. We will definitely be returning though as the flavor is too good to stay away!

Oz Specialty Coffee

Gee Seale


Popped into Oz Specialty Coffee today 

We ordered flat whites (mine was lactose-free) using beans from Guatemala. The coffees were delightful. Strong with a nice aftertaste.

So glad to have found this place - it’s nice to have more than one coffee option available in one area.

I would highly recommend the coffee from here and would definitely return.

Oz Specialty Coffee
+971 2 441 1215

Little Malibu Cafe

Gee Seale


Such a cute find!  We ordered flat whites 20AED (I had mine with lactose-free milk) & a slice of brownie with salted caramel topping 🤤 16AED (their baked goods are gluten-free).

Everything was great*. The cafe was sooooo cute - I’m in love with it.

*not so great: staff’s choice of music playing during our visit, but I’m sure that could be changed upon request 💛

Little Malibu Cafe

Kopi Ketjil

Weny Eowyn


Kopi Ketjil sells many varieties of Indonesian coffee including Kopi Luwak (one of the best coffees in the world) and also some teas.
I ordered the Rempah latte - Rempah means spices in Bahasa Indonesia.  It was served with cinnamon, fresh ginger and also nutmeg if I’m not mistaken 😊. The rempah latte was really good, I loved it!
My friend ordered the affogato with avocado 🥑 and yes the coffee was served with fresh avocado and she loved it too 😃They also sell some authentic Indonesian cookies and some souvenirs. Highly recommended!


Nastassia Van Jaarsveldt

South Africa

Another ‘coffee car hop’ goodie. Volta Café situated near Al Qahirah Street Khalidiya.
The flat white is nice and flavorful and you can definitely tell it has the two shots it’s supposed to. Staff are fully covered with face masks and gloves and just happy to help.

Mix Box Cafe

Nastassia Van Jaarsveldt

South Africa

This is a cute little cafe in Khalidiyah with a hanging garden wall, great coffee and interesting desserts.
The coffee is full-bodied with a rich rounded taste, I had a flat white and the taste really came through with the double shot. A wide variety of beans are also on sale. They are using paper cups due to the current situation but this isn’t usually the norm. Recommended! 

The Echo Cafe

Nastassia Van Jarsveld

South Africa

The Echo Cafe, Al Rawdhat
This has a cool concept using pastel colors, giving it a bit of a 50’s feel. The staff are friendly and they have good knowledge of the beans. They also roast beans on site. It’s speciality coffee so don’t expect Costa prices, but as someone who loves good coffee I don’t mind paying the 25 aed.

Coffee Architecture

Ana Oliviera


The bestie was off, so we ventured to Coffee Architecture in Mangrove Place.
What a lovely place and aaaaamazing coffee. The weather was a bit meh that morning so the super friendly Barista welcomed us in. The place is nicely decorated and bestie even asked where the tables are from 😄

We were offered water free of charge and a taste of Arabic coffee as well 👏🏻

The menu is small so I've chosen a Mocha and bestie chosen a Latte. We were asked to select the beans for our coffee and we both went with the Brazilian. Perfect choice.

My sweet bestie is exactly that, a sweet coffee lover and very much likes her sugar but the lovely Barista challenged her about not having sugar on her Latte and oh my that was a first 😊 the coffee is so good that no sugar was added 👏🏻 props to my bestie 😂

My mocha was exactly how a Mocha should be, not to sweet not to bitter, perfect balance between coffee and cocoa 👌🏻


Nastassia Van Jaarsveldt

South Africa

We went to Tribe Specialty Coffee on Saturday and really enjoyed the feel of it. Very small with about 9 seats in total over looking the street. The barista was amazing sharing his knowledge on how he was preparing the aero press and the different beans we could choose from. I enjoyed a flat white and my husband enjoyed an aero press. This was our second visit ☕️

Saeed Cafe

Gee Seale


Popped into the cute little Saeed Cafe this afternoon for a coffee and baked treat.

The coffees (flat whites, mine with almond milk) were good. Coffees were 25 AED each.
But the highlight of the visit was the cakes.

The pistachio cake was very good.  But wow 😮 - the London cheesecake was exceptional. I could eat so many of these. The crumb layer on the outside was so buttery and the filing was sweet but not so much where it overpowered the cake.
Cakes were 29 AED each.


Chris McKee


Stopped by Pelae Coffee Dart in Boutik Mall, a new coffee shop that opened upstairs before the food court. Very nice coffee and friendly service. The prices are comparable to most chain coffee shops, possibly cheaper, and the taste is much better with a large menu to choose from. And best of all, they also have a loyalty card which means for every 6 coffees purchased you get one free. At present they have a small food selection, cakes etc that looked homemade, but I'm sure this will increase over time. Enjoy! ☕🍰

Oud Cafe

Gee Seale


This cafe is very spacious, with ample room to host large groups, and plenty of staff to assist. I’m thinking it would be great for mum meet-ups as there’s a lot of room for strollers.
I loved the oud music being played during our visit but I think it may have missed the atmosphere it was aiming for. It was a bit flat.
Their flat white (24 AED) did not disappoint! Full bodied and rich, and served in a “HuskeeCup” - a BPA-free mug, made out of re-purposed waste including coffee husks ♻️🌿.

Overall, I think with so many coffee shops surrounding this one, I think even though the coffee was great, they may need to fine ‘tune’ the interior (heh, see why I did there 😹).

Al Wahda - Sultan Bin Zayed the First St -


Sarah Cheah


I'm totally in love with the consistency of their coffee. Never once am I disappointed with my hot cappuccino, even when it is prepared by different baristas! Not forgetting, professional and friendly servers since they opened!

Cupital Cafe

Nastassia Van Jarsveldt

South Africa

Had coffee for the first time at Cupital cafe in Khalifa park. Cappuccino @20AED anda  great dessert selection. Love the decor and relaxing atmosphere. Great new place for a catch up.

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