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.