@DISTRICT by Amalfi
This New York-style Italian already gets serious points for its cool graffiti-covered interior and awesome Thursday night brunch. So when it launched the comprehensive vegan menu, we knew that it was going to be pretty amazing. Featuring authentic Italian-style pizzas, pastas, starters and desserts, you’re left totally spoilt for choice.
Open daily noon-4pm; 6pm-11pm. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Street (800 101 101).
Of all the vegan burgers in the capital (or maybe even the world), the Beyond Burger is without a doubt the most famous. It contains no animal products (instead, it’s pea protein and potato starch) but yet it really does taste almost exactly like meat. Thanks to a clever bit of science (and a lot of beetroot juice) it even “bleeds” when you take a bite, which is not actually as creepy as it sounds. There are loads of toppings available, and if you sometimes crave the taste of a proper beef burger, this might just change your life.
Open Sun, Tue & Wed, Sat 10am-11pm, Mon, Thu & Fri 10am-midnight. Marina Mall (02 441 1723).
This Khalifa Park café is always busy with people grabbing lunch or enjoying one its high-quality coffees. Specialising in wholesome food that is locally sourced, there’s a friendly, rustic vibe to the place. Vegans can choose from the quinoa vegan wrap (great for a filling and healthy lunch), the ultimate veggie burger, pasta arrabiata, margharita pizza and much more. It can all be finished off with a side of courgette fries. Delicious.
Open daily 8am-10pm. Khalifa Park Area (02 671 1113).
Jones the Grocer
It’s fairly predictable that this trendy Aussie café offers some fantastic vegan options. While the cheese and grape nights might not be for those on a plant-based diet, there are loads of dishes that are. These include the truffled mushrooms on toast, acai bowls (the banana and peanut butter variety is our favourite) and grilled vegetable ciabattas. You can also take part in vegan cooking classes to learn how to make the eatery’s signature masterpieces at home.
Open Sun-Thu 10am-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11.30pm. Various locations, including Pearl Plaza Tower, Al Khalidiyah (02 639 5883).
This stylish Italian does so many things well, and the choice available on the vegan menu is just incredible. The colourful salads include the Asian mixed offering with cherry tomatoes, avocado and lemon dressing, while the mains feature delicious pastas such as saffron fusilli with sautéed wild broccoli. There are also mixed vegetable risotto and the signature Roberto’s vegan pizza with truffle and mushroom. You can then finish it all off with a sweet and creamy coconut milk panna cotta.
Open daily noon-4am. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 627 9009).
With numerous gyms just a few metres away from its outdoor seating area at Zayed Sports City, this hole-in-the-wall café has plenty to tempt in all the health-conscious gym-goers and sporty types who pass by every day. Vegans are very well catered for, with the vegan feta bread, tofu tikka masala with cauliflower rice and the summer quinoa salad with vegan cheese among the many highlights.
Open daily 7am-9.30pm. Abu Dhabi International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (050 418 8378).
Masdar City is leading the way in Abu Dhabi when it comes to sustainability and recycling, and it believes in eating ethically, too. Skinny Genie ensures that each of its healthy, organic dishes is full of goodness and fantastic flavours. The numerous vegan options are no different, and these include raw vegan overnight-soaked granola, vegan mixed organic foul and vegan quinoa, apple and cranberry salads.
Open Sat-Thu 9am-11pm, Fri 11am-11pm. Siemens Building, Masdar City (02 555 5897).
Not only does this café ensure that every item is 100 percent gluten free, but it also has a rather lovely vegan menu. Now you can gaze out over Al Muneera Beach Plaza while enjoying healthy plant-based breakfasts like Middle Eastern-style beans and chickpeas, warming soups, fresh and crunchy salads and even decadent desserts like chocolate brownies and doughnuts. We might be bit obsessed.
Open daily noon-10pm. Al Muneera, Al Raha Beach (02 556 6900).
The Surf Café Abu Dhabi
This hippy-style café is relatively new to Abu Dhabi, and we love its healthy dishes and super sushi selection. But it’s also made great efforts to include loads of vegan options on the menu. There’s everything from mixed vegetables and spinach dumplings, to soba noodles with tofu, to veggie poke bowls, tacos and acai bowls. There’s even a vegan omelette with scrambled tofu. It’s tasty enough to convert even the most avid meat eaters to the vegan way.
Open Sat-Wed 7am-10pm, Thu-Fri 7am-11pm. The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah (02 633 3774).
Hidden away in Al Rayyana compound, it seems that most of Khalifa City is in love with this gourmet supermarket and café. The smoothies (in particular the peanut butter crunch) are wonderful, while the vibrant salad bar is a glorious sight for any foodie or health food fanatic. Vegans can also enjoy lavish stacks of American-style pancakes, breakfast burritos, vegan cheese pizzas and much more. It’s all prepared with great care, attention and high-quality ingredients.
Open daily 7am-midnight. Al Rayyana, Khalifa City (02 550 0971).