Welcome to my pick of a few well tried and tested places that I go to very often. Great to catch up with a friend or share some family time. Each place is distinct and has it’s own unique features. Read on to find out which of these casual dining in Dubai places would suit you best.
MAMA’ ESH a very cute cafe/restaurant set in a converted villa on the corner of Al Thanya and Al Wasl road.
Honest, Palestinian food, very well priced, super for sharing. Think Palestinian hummus, spicy muhammara and cheese fatayer, fresh Middle Eastern style salads and basic coffee. You must also try the very good Um Ali dessert even if you don’t normally have puddings for casual meals.
Yes a super little terrace at the side, but it can get busy and watch out for flies but that’s just a seasonal thing, remember it will be too hot to sit outside from about June to October!
NOTE: It gets very busy during the weekends and even lunchtime weekdays so be prepared to wait or go off normal eating times. Also it’s quite a “bready” place so not the best if you’re looking to stay mainly gluten free, unless you’re very disciplined! Parking is limited but there is a valet.
VANILLA SUKAR – a family run local cafe specialising in homemade style sourdough sweets and savouries set on the ground floor of a the low rise API mall on the corner of Al Thanya and Al Wasl raod
Coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch with a Middle Eastern twist. Try their Vanila Sukar breakfast to share to be able to sample the best the cafe has to offer.
A small section of outside seating in front of the restaurant facing the road side but screened by some plants.
There is a car park in the basement and a little parking outside no valet. This seems to be quite a quiet cafe. Not too much gluten free here.
FRIENDS AVENUE – The second branch of a happy, home grown eatery serving a good selection of coffee shop style food. This branch is located in the Waitrose mall halfway down Al Thanya street.
Great choice for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. Very good range of vegetarian options and some gluten free too. Mainly Western style eggs with avo on toast, halloumi, good croissants and coffee. Service is always with a smile. I like their veggie burgers and Asian slaw with fries, super dish to share! Good portion sizes too. Also try their acai bowls if you want something cold and sweet.
Yes, a lovely seating area at the back of the cafe with good shade too. Light and airy.
Very easy parking outside usually, parking is also free here. Super choice to combine with some shopping at Waitrose too.
ROH CAFE This is a cool coffee shop that’s part of a community health club called Studio Republik parallel to Sheikh Zyed road just down from the Metropolitan Hotel, close to the Safadi restaurant.
Speciality coffee and teas, good coffee shop food with a Middle Eastern twist. Great for breakfasts and snacks, lot’s of healthier options like tahini cookies too! We’re regulars here so we always bump into someone we know!
Nope all indoors, one section a little dark, but one very bright section too. This cafe has a cool boho kind of vibe.
Can get a little busy on a Sunday it seems as that’s the new family day. They play great impromptu music sets most weekdays from about 5.30 or so. No alcohol though to go with the jazz! Great for when it gets hot outside! It’s located on the first floor of the club, so take the elevator from the ground or park in the basement and go to the ground by elevator.