Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it shouldn’t be the most expensive. Here are some of Dubai’s most affordable morning treats, so set your alarm and whet your appetite.
Affordable naashta? Craving a traditional desi breakfast that ends on the perfect chai ki chuski ? Make your way to Karachi Darbar for affordable brekkie meals (including tons of vegetarian options) such halwa puri, daal, aloo paratha, keema paratha, egg bhurji and so on. There are 15 branches around Dubai, most of which open from 5am-2am.
All breakfast dishes are under AED 20. 04 334 7272. www.facebook.com/karachidarbargroup
Foul w Hummus
If you haven’t tried Foul w Hummus’ legendary falafel, then what are you doing with your life bro ?! Seriously, head down to this inexpensive Lebanese eatery for good values on hummus, mutabal, tabouleh, foul, eggs with potato and beef and arguably the best falafel you have ever tasted. No foul play suspected.
8am-2am daily. Dishes mentioned are AED 30 or below. Behind Sharaf DG Metro Station, Al Barsha. 04 395 7767.
For bae-gals who love coffee, Bert’s Café is your one stop destination this summer for affordable but delicious full English breakfasts and French confectionaries. You can indulge in a traditional English breakfast for AED 25 only or choose from the express menu, featuring bagels, pancakes, waffles, muffins and croissants with coffee or hot chocolate for less than AED 20.
Open 7am-12am daily. Breakfast combo meals and express menu items are AED 30 or below. Business Bay, The Greens and IMPZ. 04 361 9292.
Nothing says ‘weekend breakfast’ quite as beguiling as a huge papery dosa and sweet filter coffee. This South Indian chain of vegetarian restaurants does both exceptionally well, at branches in Karama, Al Barsha, Meena Bazaar, Qusais, Deira and Al Nadha. The Karama eating room opens at 7.30am, so we’ll see you there for a golden ghee roast dosa for AED 13, paired with coffee for AED 6. Purists may grumble, but we mix up our sambar and chutney for a flavour explosion.
7.30am-11pm daily. Facing Karama Park. 04 334 5252.
Find this Dubai institution in 2nd December Street, a road that’s popular for all its cheap and cheerful restaurants that spill out on to the pavement. It’s packed with affordable places to eat, but the rumour is Al Mallah serves the best shawarma and manakish around. The breakfast platter, with ful medames (fava beans and vegetables), pastries, two pieces of falafel and tea for AED 25, is not to be sniffed at.
Al Mallah also has restaurants in Qusais and Mamzar, but it’s only here that you can see the huge open-air art gallery on the street re-named in 2011 to celebrate the 40th UAE National Day.
Al Mallah, 2nd December Street. 6.30am-2.30am, daily. 04 398 4962.
From hunky and satisfying oats idli (AED 16), to light and comforting khichdi (AED 20), the morning menu here is breakfast goals, especially with a cup of masala tea (AED 5.50). Fans of homestyle Indian cooking will get nostalgic over upma and poha too (both AED 14). The best way we can describe them is savoury porridge and YUM.
If you’re in the JLT area and can’t face doing real life quite yet, the delivery service is usually brisk and minimum order is only AED 10.
Sunday-Wednesday, 8am-3pm and 6pm-10pm; Thursday 8am-3pm and 6pm-11pm; Friday 8am-11pm; Saturday 8am-10pm (breakfast served until 10.30am weekdays and 4pm weekends). Park Level, O2 Residence, Cluster O, JLT. 04 430 7029.
Think you can’t get breakfast in the heart of the marina for less than AED 30? FAKE NEWS. The Scene By Simon Rimmer serves a Breakfast Special daily, of two organic eggs, any way you want them, on sourdough toast WITH a cheeky coffee or a cup of tea for 29 dizz bucks. You also get some pretty stunning Dubai Marina views thrown in for nada.
8am-12pm daily. The Scene, Pier 7, Dubai Marina. 04 422 2328.
Granted, the Swedes are probably better known for knocking up some oddly named keenly priced furniture, but they also knock up a mean frukost (breakfast in Swedish). There’s a pretty decent range on offer here in Ikea’s restaurant. The classic ‘cooked breakfast’ includes baked beans, turkey sausage, hash brown and some scrambled egg (although ‘item swapsies’ are permitted, allowing you to customise your brekkie) at an incredible AED 10. You can get a grilled cheese for a refreshingly skimpy AED 5 and the breakfast bagel (which includes egg, cheese and cold cuts) is a healthy looking AED 9.
From AED 5. 9am-11.30pm daily. Ikea, Dubai Festival City Mall. 04 203 7641.
This Syrian restaurant is one of those places you only know, if you know. You know? It’s a humble starlet, no bragging, no brash self promotion, no ego, it’s all about the food. Here’s breakfast to remember; a vast menu tours around every conceivable craving. Pastries from AED 2, sandwiches from AED 4, omelet AED 14 and muhalabiya with nuts for AED 12. Frankly we’re down with cutting out the middleman and just getting some gnarly breakfast shawarma for AED 23. That’s a thing right? Breakfast shawarma?
From AED 2. 7am-3am daily. Aroos Damascus, Near Clock Tower, Al Muraqqabat. 04 2219825.