Alarms? Who needs them when the promise of these kingly morning feasts will kick you right out of bed. The city’s breakfast spots have been stealing the notorious Dubai brunch’s spotlight and with good reason. Nutritious meals that match a buffet’s variety without the pounding hangover is a win-win. Plus, the tempting scent of a freshly-ground pot of coffee or a strong brew of chai just seals the deal. We stan breakfasts. Harder than a hard-boiled egg. Of which our 10 brilliant breakfast in Dubai list has many. You’ll find Middle Eastern shakshouka, Filipino tapa and Indian paratha rolls too as this list also checks off 10 different cuisines reflecting Dubai’s multicultural makeup. You’ll be glad you woke up early.
We’re cracking off this list with the punniest of them all. Not only does this eatery whip up eggs six ways to Sunday – think airy omelettes, creamy scrambled eggs and sunny-side-ups – but it’ll take an entire Sunday to work through their 10 different Eggs Benedicts. Besides a PhD in poached eggs, they’re also masters of North American classics like chicken and waffles, buttermilk pancakes, and an all-American breakfast so rich, it can join the 1%. Introducing the all-day breakfast trend in Dubai is what cemented this Montreal brunch chain as a firm favourite. The second City Walk branch lacks beachside views but matches the OG JBR spot’s long queues.
What started as founder Sarabeth Levine’s homemade orange apricot marmalade business in 1981 has now snowballed into an eponymous global empire with outposts in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and our very own UAE. Dubaiites can have the quintessential New York breakfast experience at Sarabeth’s chic City Walk location. Live your best Gossip Girl life (the NYC branch was a filming location) a la Blair Waldorf here with an order of fluffy French toast, lemon and ricotta pancakes and goldie lox on a multigrain bagel. Of course, breakfast here is incomplete without the jam that started it all.
3. Arabian Tea House
This charming Bastakiya tea house’s bougainvillaea-draped courtyard has been a dreamy escape from modern Dubai’s cacophony since 1997. It’s the food though that truly captures Emirati heritage. Regulars (and celebs like Martha Stewart) fill up its blue benches quickly on weekends. So drop by at the crack of dawn to relish their Emirati Breakfast tray at leisure. Classics like balaleet (vermicelli topped omelette); khameer and chebab breads; dango (boiled chickpeas), watermelon jam and cheeses are served on a massive silver platter perfect for sharing. Wash it all down with a piping hot cup of traditional gahwa (Arabic coffee), then fight the food coma and snap a picture in their quaint majlis-themed photobooth.
4. Raju Omlet
There are few sorrows in the world that a steaming hot cup of adrak (ginger) chai and and a fluffy chilli-flecked omelette, rolled up in a flaky paratha can’t cure. That, combined with quirky Bollywood-themed atmosphere of a Mumbai greasy spoon and farm-fresh eggs makes Raju Omlet’ an ideal pick-me-up brekkie spot. Their extensive spice-flavoured chais are some of the best in town. There are no wrong choices to be made here but hatch a plan to stick around till noon, then order the mutton keema and mop it up with freshly baked Bombay pavs (buns). You can’t go wrong with the Irani wrestler’s omlet or Mumbai anda pav either.
5. Silog Express
Okay, okay, we know Silog Express is a Flipino fast food chain and doesn’t fall into the bracket of typical breakfast spots but they are the kings of simple no-nonsense Pinoy breakfasts. Brilliant combo options let you mix and match the trio of beef tapa, sinangag (garlic fried rice) itlog (fried egg) with sweet-and-sour chicken tocino, lumpia (Filipino spring rolls) and fried tilapia, proving why tapsilog is the undefeated Kabayan comfort food, a vanquisher of hangovers, and perhaps the coolest portmanteau ever. Rice and shine is the theme but you don’t have to rise early as breakfast’s available all day.
6. Reform Grill and Social
A big rambunctious full-monty breakfast is the reward we all deserve during the weekend after slurping smoothies on the go and wolfing down protein bars before meetings. This British gastropub in The Lakes combines the charms of verdant garden space, the easygoing vibes of a local pub and produces a breakfast for champions. It’s literally called that. Eggs any style with bacon, sausages, black pudding, dripping bread, hash browns, baked beans and more will fill you up for the rest of the day. A lighter version for those who lack the appetite (or courage) to tackle this meal is the Full English Breakfast, which is a few items short but equally tasty.
7. Bab Al Mansour
Everyone loves a hearty chicken Tajine. But have you tried an egg tajine? This mosaic-spangled opulent Downtown restaurant is giving Moroccan breakfast the recognition its due. Named after the ancient gate in the Moroccan city of Meknes, this place is your gateway to discovering fluffy eggs tajine with meat or shrimp, barkoukach, traditional bread such as baghrir (semolina pancake), m’smen (flatbread) and harsha (semolina cake). Order these separately or find them stacked beautifully in a breakfast package that doles out balboula (barley soup with za’tar), refreshing Moroccan tea, marinated olives and amlou – an airy argan oil-infused almond butter that our Moroccan colleagues swear outshines Nutella.
This Istanbul meatery with firm its roots in the historic Bostanci neighbhourhood blossomed in Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar as an upscale modern restaurant with burnished interiors, it found a rapid fan-following. In large parts thanks to a table-groaning kahvalti (traditional Turkish breakfast) that could feed a tiny country. And your soul. Available only on Saturdays and Sundays, this spread whips out classics such as menemen (Scrambled eggs), sujuk and eggs, oven-fresh simit bread, flaky borek, pide (Turkish flatbread pizza) and cheeses with endless cups of Turkish tea.
9. Seva Table
It’s only fair that this carb-heavy list is balanced out with one vegan breakfast in Dubai. Trust us, Seva’s menu is mighty enough to make a dent. This plant-based cafe tucked inside a Jumeirah 1 villa is a bohemian garden sanctuary that will nourish your eyes. The all-organic breakfast menu will supercharge your body. Eggless omlettes, avocado on toast, chunky monkey pancakes and gluten free pain perdu drizzled with MCT oil and miracle superfoods such as ashwaghanda, maca and cacao nibs are the stars. You won’t find a trans-fat (or WiFi) for miles in this whimsical space’s rustic wooden tables, library nook and outdoor floor seating. An astrology reading event or meditation session, you most definitely will.
10. Floating Breakfast, Park Hyatt
Instagram’s latest trend of sumptuous floating breakfasts in plunge pools are the best things since breakfast in bed was invented. While we don’t know who to credit for the latter, the former is the brainchild of a Bali resort (purportedly Jumana Bali Ungasan Resort). Either way, Dubai’s taken to the fad swimmingly. Thankfully, Park Hyatt serves a massive floating breakfast in Dubai that you can access without having to book a room in the hotel. You can drift around (and pose for that photo) in the resort’s Al Porto Family Lagoon with a colossal rattan basket heaving with cheese, pancakes, croissants, fresh fruits, smoothie bowls and juices.