The brunch bucket list for people new to Abu Dhabi

From all-day parties to sophisticated dinners, here are all the brunches that you simply must try

The brunch bucket list for people new to Abu Dhabi

During your first few weeks in Abu Dhabi, you’ll come to realise that everyone spends their Friday afternoons eating and drinking as much as they like for a set price.

This ritual is called brunch, and it’s ingrained in our weekly routine.

So to help you get the hang of this rather indulgent pastime (it’s a hard life, honest), here are all the very best brunches in the city that you need to try out.

Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE
While during the cooler months this spot is known as one of Abu Dhabi’s biggest Friday party hubs, the Saturday brunch lets you choose whether you want to eat in the restaurant or right out on the sands on a sunbed by the sea. House tunes set the mood and the spread of nibbles include sashimi, sushi, burrito bowls, antipasti and more. Attracting the capital’s coolest customers, it’s one of the most stylish ways to spend your Saturday, and surprisingly family friendly.
Dhs310 (restaurant), Dhs340 (beach and terrace), Dhs580 (bubbly). Sat 1pm-4pm. Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel & Resort, Ghantoot (056 113 3400).

COYA
This fun Peruvian restaurant certainly knows how to throw an awesome brunch. With colourful décor, and upbeat Latin music, it’s a party you’ll wish will never end. There’s views over the water surrounding Al Maryah Island and the menu includes the bars best dishes like sushi, ceviches, bao buns, creamed corn, grilled meats, fresh fish and much more. The desserts are also unmissable, so save space.
Dhs238 (soft drinks), Dhs378 (house beverages), Dhs498 (sparkling). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

Funch, Stars’N’ Bars
For the second year in a row this outrageously fun brunch has bagged our Best Party Brunch gong at the Music & Nightlife Awards 2019, but this year it was for the edition at Stars ‘N’ Bars on Yas Island. With retro games, sports car seats at the tables, it’s all very silly (in a good way) and once the weekend arrives it transforms into an all-singing, all-dancing party destination. There’s an always-packed after party with live music and a fantastic range of mouthwatering American-style dishes such as burgers, corn dogs and chicken wings.
Dhs198 (12.30pm-4pm), Dhs385 (12.30pm-8pm). Every Fri. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).

Iris Yas Island
With brilliant ladies’ nights on Sunday and Wednesday and regular appearances from world-renowned DJs, Iris was already doing everything right in our eyes. But since it introduced the very cool Le Brunch event, we love it even more. Filled with the usual young and very trendy crowd, decorated with trailing vines and offering chilled-out tunes mixed by the resident DJ, the food is also on point. The live stations serve up fish and chips, spicy chicken wings and pasta, while the colourful sushi spread is one of the many highlights. The venue is undergoing a revamp at the moment, but will be reopening in the Autumn.
Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs240 (house beverages), Dhs290 (premium beverages). Fri noon-5pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).

Nahaam
As if the fine flavours sourced from several continents wasn’t enough, Nahaam also throws in pool access should you feel the need to swim a few lengths to work your fabulous feasting off. The sushi spread is sublime, while the poke bowls, barbecued meats and delicious desserts are also top-notch. The live band is super fun as well.
Dhs350 (soft drinks), Dhs450 (house beverages), Dhs550 (bubbly). 12.30pm-4pm. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).

Olea
Staggering, sublime, superbly satisfying. From the plank of canapés upon arrival to the sumptuous sweets you’ll savour before you depart, everything on offer is just glorious. Should you have not filled yourself up on the fabulous foccacia, the treasure trove of glorious dishes that abound here are each better than the next. Over-indulgence doesn’t come in a more perfect package.
Dhs380 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs695 (bubbly), Dhs180 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). 1pm-4pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8888).

The Westin Golf Resort & Spa Abu Dhabi
Bubbalicious is one of the most legendary party brunches in the capital and it’s always busy. The service is speedy and efficient, and as the mixed drinks flow, you’re sure to have the best time. The spread includes barbecued meats, fresh salads, an incredible selection of cheeses and much more. Staying on for the post-brunch drinks deal is always a good idea and there’s live music throughout the afternoon if you want to have a boogie.
Dhs336 (soft drinks), Dhs430 (house beverages), Dhs624 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Sas Al Nakhl (02 616 9999).

Zuma
Ask any Abu Dhabi resident for a brunch recommendation and there’s a very high chance that Zuma will be the first name they say. It would almost be nice if someone came up with a more controversial answer at some point wouldn’t it? But there’s no escaping the fact this high-class Japanese restaurant does everything brilliantly. From the beautifully-crafted dishes, to the intimate and friendly atmosphere, we always love dining here. Just make sure you book a table; there’s never a quiet day at Zuma.
Dhs395 (soft drinks), Dhs495 (house beverages), Dhs595 (premium beverages). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).

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