Hipsters, hold onto your beard trimmers, because Dubai is the new stopover destination for foodies! Knowing and loving Dubai’s fine dining and streetside shawarma reputation as we do, we were similarly surprised (delighted) by rumours of cereal killers, shipping containers and bottomless brunches. So we investigated, and discovered that Dubai has some of the best breakfasts, baristas and beards this side of Brick Lane, Brooklyn, Berlin and Brunswick Street (the four official coordinates of global hipsterdom, look it up).
Don’t believe us, read on. And grab a napkin for the drool.
CEREAL KILLER CAFÉ
Brick Lane, Camden, Dubai… It’s happening!
As we live, breathe and write, we DID NOT expect this. The two brothers behind East London’s Cereal Killer Café (aka, the UK’s most notorious hipsters) are coming to Dubai! And not on holiday. To the un-initiated, Cereal Killer serves over 120 cereals, from childhood faves to bizarre foreign finds. Kindly hipsters with nice beards who care about the most important meal of the day? What’s not to like.
THE BLACK LION
The H Dubai, No.1 Sheikh Zayed Road
Billed as Dubai’s first ever East London inspired gastro pub, we’re delighted to report that this appears to be the case! Right down to the Brick Lane salt beef sandwich, jam jar cocktails, weekend roasts, DJs and late night lock ins (with kebab menu). Oh, and bringing the boys to the yard, are their Freakshakes. Not authentically East London, but we’re clearly not complaining.
TOM & SERG
Al Joud Center, Al Quoz
Australia does lots of things well, cricket (sometimes) and coffee (all the time). Bringing Melbourne’s brunch and café culture to the industrial landscape of the Al Quoz Art District, Tom & Serg is well worth the queue. Homemade granola, poached eggs, the ubiquitous crushed avocado and the feeling that every day is Sunday. All served within exposed brickwork (as every good flat white should be).
Everywhere… things could get messy
Something amazing happens every Friday afternoon in Dubai that the rest of the world has to wait two days for, it’s called brunch. For Emiratis, expats and all sensible travellers, Friday brunching (Dubai’s weekend runs Fri-Sat) is a serious pastime. It’s generally an all-you-can-eat and bottomless affair, so pack a bib. And if your stopover falls on any other day of the week, call us to change it now!
A staple on the streets of New York, Melbourne, London (don’t get shirty if your yard isn’t listed)… there’s now a convoy of aluminum caravans lining up to join Dubai’s food truck revolution.
Not all of the below have permanent homes, so check out where they’ll be on Instagram or Facebook first.
Only in Dubai can you get Wagyu beef from a caravan. SALT on Kite Beach serves up the best gourmet burgers, sliders and laid-back beachside beats in town. Just remember the 30 minute eating/swimming rule. @findsalt
Yes, pipe down, we realise that coffee isn’t food. But in addition to their 100% organic coffee, Bio Bean’s other offering to the world is Bean & Cream – brownie bits, salted caramel, espresso, nuts and ice cream. Thank you Bio Bean. @coffeebiobean
Starting a grilled cheese revolution on the streets of Dubai, and singlehandedly answering all our prayers, Toasted serves grilled sandwiches, dogs and other cheese-based products likely to cause distress to lactose-intolerants. @toasteddubai
Taking the flavours of Goa on a round the world trip and finally landing in a funky wooden truck in Dubai, head to the ethical food lovers at GoBai for awesome home grown fusion street food. @foodgobaifoodtruck
Al Wasl Road
In contrast to the superlative glitz of Dubai’s highrise skyline, BOXPARK is made of… shipping containers. Quirky, architectural and urban, amongst BOXPARK’s eclectic fashion labels you’ll find everything from traditional Emirati cuisine, to Beirut street food and Canadian poutine. If you need us to translate the latter, it looks like this: fries + cheese + gravy = poutine.
Kite Beach, Dubai Food Festival (usually in Feb-Mar)
Okay, this is a bit mean, as you may not be in Dubai for the 11 months of the year when this ISN’T going on. But as part of Dubai’s annual Food Festival, Beach Canteen on Kite Beach hosts over two weeks of pop-ups, street food, DJs and general beachside awesomeness. Find out more at www.visitdubai.com/en/discover/festivals/dubai-food-festival
We came, we ate, we conquered. Ask about adding a Dubai stopover to your flights today. Don’t be shy, start a conversation. We want your tips!