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!
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.
Nastassia Van Jarsveldt
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.
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
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.
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!
Cartel Coffee Roasters
We checked out this newly-opened gem today and wow were we impressed! Countless small details and amazing customer service added to the delicious coffee and lovely ambiance. They roast their own beans, make sure each cup of coffee is perfectly brewed, and keep the price competitive with other coffee houses in the city. The manager told us they are still finishing the kitchen and it will be open after Ramadan. We can’t wait to go back!
Blacksmith Coffee Co.
Address: NYUAD, Saadiyat Island
Phone: 02 650 1881
On the Menu: Flat White AED 24
Blacksmith Coffee Co is a hidden gem! It's slightly more expensive then your standard coffee shop but it takes its coffee seriously and to me, it was worth it. The decor is hip and modern with lots of comfortable seating and a large communal table for working with ample outlets and wifi. A definite go-to spot for those looking to get work done. They have a seasonal menu with features like basil lemonade and espresso affogato with salted caramel. The pastry case was full of scrummy treats. I have heard good things about the rose flavored croissant!
They serve a special ice-cream type cone, lined with thick chocolate, in which your coffee is served – then you eat the cone! Environmentally outstanding!
The flat whites are excellent: strong and delicious.
The AD ice cream dessert comes on a plate with warm chocolate poured over it when served. Divine! The coffees are 20AED each- slightly cheaper than the average, while the cone coffee is usually 26AED
Weekend hours are 1pm-11pm.
The other AD cafe location is just a few minutes away and is take-away only and is set up at the back of the shops almost like drive-through style.
I’m all for gimmicks/themed cafes - and JET:Lag doesn’t disappoint! Once inside, this small cafe (seats approx 20 people) you’ll be transported into an airport lounge! We ordered a flat white (20AED) and Ice Break dessert (45 AED), both which were served on an ‘airplane’ trolley cart.
The flat white was not as great as their neighbours (Oven.Lys or Hanaya Cafe) but their Ice Break cake (a cookie on top of a chocolate coated ice cream with toppings) was delicious.
I’d return for the desserts and service (Our server (Angelica) was delightful.)
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 ☕️
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. https://goo.gl/maps/Z8T5yE5Vy3nX3ian6
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! ☕🍰
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 😹).
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!
Nastassia Van Jarsveldt
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.
My husband discovered Bn Cafe (and he would probably argue that it's the best cafe only because he found it). When we visited, we were greeted by a brightly lit, warmly decorated venue, with equally bright and warm staff members. We ordered two flat whites (mine on Soy) + a Date cake w/ ice-cream (another item my husband claims to have discovered... after reading loads of reviews)
+ a Vanilla Milk Cake (my choice).
We both won the coffee game (bold and strong and served with a piece of rocky road type treat) but my Vanilla Milk Cake was the winner by a country mile (I'd also say it's the best Milk Cake I've ever had but I've only tried 6-7 so far).
If you're in the area and want to try something different from Rain, Slash, XShot (+ 20 other cafes around) - I don't think you'd leave disappointed.
Inspired by his "Esperanto" parents and following his dream to lead a satisfactory, simple and down to earth life, Coffee was one of the answers to this kind of life. An amazing cup of coffee a day that brought % Arabica Coffee to reality.
I particularly love how Kenneth Shoji phrased it:
"We only live once. So let's explore the world we live in, set goals and enjoy our time together over an amazing cup of coffee"
Enjoy BBs! 💖
Cosy cute cafe: speciality ☕️ + 🍰 = Oven.Lys!
They have a roaster and bakery section serving delicious pastries and Japanese cheesecakes! I’d highly recommend this place for those that want to work in peace, or have a cosy catch up with good coffee and pastries options.
We ordered two flat whites - 25AED each - (no non-dairy alternatives unfortunately) and they were extremely good. Comparable to other specialty coffee shops.
🍰 The Japanese cheesecake (small 10.50 AED) was served warm and although not exactly like a traditional one, a delight to see in such a setting.
🥐 The croissant (18 AED) was very good. Better than Paul and Bouchon. I had Nutella on the side so I could do a proper comparison but the pricing here is for a Nutella croissant.
Overall their pricing is in line with with other specialty cafes around AD.]