Hipsters, hold onto your beard trimmers! Dubai might just be our new foodie stopover crush.
Best known for its traditional streetside shawarma and skyscaper 5-star dining, Dubai’s food scene has recently undergone something of a transformation. Or more aptly, an avocadoisation.
A sourdough revolution, led by flannel shirt-wearing foodies arriving in their retro Airstream trailers and shipping containers, Dubai now has some of the best brunches, baristas and beards this side of the international hipster triangle. (Brunswick, Brooklyn and Berlin).
Don’t believe us, read on. And grab a napkin for the drool.
CEREAL KILLER CAFÉ
The Dubai Mall, GF CSK 89
The brothers behind East London’s original Cereal Killer Café (aka, the UK’s most notorious hipsters) have brought their cereal-only concept café to Dubai. Usually considered the boring breakfast choice (especially in a city that excels at bottomless Friday brunches), prepared to be bowled over (sorry) by the 120+ choice of cereals and range of flavoured milks.
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
Taking inspiration from East London pubs, The Black Lion serves up awesome beats (hello, five-hour unlimited hip hop brunch) along with a menu that spans everything from ramen to roast dinners. Plus, a dedicated late-night lock in menu (11:30pm-2:30am) of tacos, dogs and kebabs. And a 2am happy hour, EVERY NIGHT.
Sold! To the swaying lady in the corner.
TOM & SERG
Al Joud Center, Al Quoz
Bringing Melbourne’s café culture to the industrial landscape of the Al Quoz Art District, Tom & Serg is well worth the queue. Straight out of Brunswick, it focusses on wholesome ingredients with lots of veggie and vegan options. Expect homemade granola, poached free-range eggs, smashed avo and organic coffee, all served beneath steel rafters and exposed brickwork (as every good flat white should be).
Everywhere… things could get messy
Something INCREDIBLE happens every Friday afternoon in Dubai that the rest of the world has to wait two extra days for. It’s called weekend brunch. For Emiratis and expats, Friday brunching is a serious pastime. It’s generally an all-you-can-eat and bottomless affair, so pack a bib. And perhaps a drip.
A staple on the streets of New York, Melbourne, London… there’s now a convoy of aluminium caravans lining up to join Dubai’s food truck revolution. From fat-free Fro Yo to Mexican tacos, consult Instagram, Time Out Dubai and visitdubai.com for where to get your meals on wheels. Here are two of our favourites.
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. All are free-range, grass fed and hormone free. Just remember the 20-minute eating/swimming rule. @findsalt
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 homegrown fusion street food. @foodgobaifoodtruck
Al Wasl Road
In contrast to the superlative glitz of Dubai’s high-rise skyline, BOXPARK is made up of over 200 converted shipping containers. Amongst the eclectic mix of retail outlets, including Adidas and Aussie-born Typo, 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 = happiness.
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 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