Being European, café culture runs in my veins, and we take our rendez-vouses very seriously. Whether its to snuggle up with a great book while sipping on warm tea, or spend time with friends and loved ones, cafés are homey places which bring people together.
Abu Dhabi is filled with incredible concepts – international and local, and offers anything and almost everything to its ever growing scene. Did you know that Le Café at the opulent Emirates Palace serves golden crusted cappuccinos (and now ice cream)? Or that the Chocolate Gallery at Fairmont is a euphoria for chocolate lovers, with its smooth and silky treats, and coziest corners on earth! A host of new cafés have sprung up in the posh Al Marasy area such as Tasha’s, a concept from South Africa and The Coffee Club from Australia. New York’s famous Magnolia Bakery has found its home on Reem Island offering the splendid banana pudding, which I simply cannot live without!
I am one of those few expats who still lives in Abu Dhabi’s downtown, characterized by the it’s upbeat energy and effervescent vibes. The heartbeat of the city has a host of fantastic cafés, which have become my regular go to places and I can’t wait to share those with you! Have a look:
Sitting on the top of my list, is the coziest of downtown cafés! A haven for community members of all ages, the café boasts a wonderful healthy menu, comfortable seating and inspirational quotes filled on the walls, designed to offer relaxation and boost creativity.
Crunch n Munch
When I first discovered this café , I instantly fell in love with it’s natural light and cozy reading corners. Located in Khalidiya, just a step away from the Corniche, Crunch n Munch offers visitors a refreshing menu featuring salads, sandwiches, pastas and a variety of crepes! With beautiful positive quotes spread along the walls, this is an ideal place to escape every day life, while enjoying a nice cup of tea.
This café defines modern chic with its beautifully designed interiors, and equally beautifully presented food. And by that I mean, Instaworthy – quite literally, they have one of the most beautiful feeds I have seen (see below screen grab from their account @no57cafe). The café offers indoor seating, but also has an outdoor terrace overlooking the scenic Bateen Marina, and is a great place to meet up with friends at any time of the day.
This energetic café has the most creatively designed ambiance, I have ever seen, utilizing bursting colours, recycled furniture and lots of plants! Not only do I love to spend hours finding my inspiration in this space, but they also have the best Nutella crepes in the city (trust me, I am a crepe professional). Check out my full experience here.
Located just a step away from my office, I have visited this café a number of times for lunch. Their menu has a great variety of dishes, including Abu Dhabi’s favourite Kale salad. Cafe 302 also has cozy corners and a beautiful terrace overlooking Hamdan Street which is absolutely the perfect venue in the cooler months!
Shakespeare & Co.
Very shabby and almost kitsch interiors add to the charm of this café, which has several locations in the UAE; my favourite is at the World Trade Centre Souq. Their menu offers a variety of dishes from around the world, including a Caprese salad served in an edible Parmesan basket, and the silkiest lentil soup. I love their selection of desserts which are strategically located at the entrance of the café, to tempt you from the start!
This newcomer is so beautifully designed with lots of natural light, comfortable seating, and a plethora of elegant accents. The menu offers everything from burgers to sushi, however personally I feel its sweet shop is a small slice of heaven on earth (just have a look at the screenshot from their Instagram account @delectouae).
Jones The Grocer
Although it resembles more of a bistro, I love the concept of Jones the Grocer. The menu is purely made from organic and healthy produce, while a range of kitchen equipment and food products for sale are scattered around the restaurant. My favourite branch is in Al Khalidiya, where you can enjoy a leisurely meal just a step away from the Corniche, and is my favourite place for breakfast on weekends. Jones also happens to serve the creamiest, richest hot chocolate ever – trust me, I’m an expert.
The weather is finally cooling down in Abu Dhabi … so, where shall we meet?
- Third Place Cafe – Corniche
- Crunch n Munch – Al Khalidiya, next to NBAD
- Art House Cafe – Al Bateen, opposite Al Bateen Mall
- Jones The Grocer – Al Khalidiya, Pearl Plaza behind Oryx Hotel
- Cafe 302 – Al Maha Rotana, Hamdan Bin Mohamed Street
- No.57 Cafe – Al Marasy, Al Bateen
- Shakespeare & Co – World Trade Centre Mall, off Hamdan Street
- Delecto – Al Khalidiya, BP building
Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary, unless otherwise stated. Screenshots taken from the Instagram accounts of Delecto and No.57 cafe, are credited in the post.