The hot spot that is Muroor, around the Y Tower and the Mamoura building, has expanded quickly – with a variety of gourmet outlets and fun venues springing up.
A Parisienne café like no other, Alouette Creperie is also adorned with memorabilia paying homage to its country of inspiration. The dishes, ranging from appetisting to absurb, are wacky and the sweet dishes are like a little flat pancake straight from the heart of France. For the more ambitious, there are dishes such as crepe pasta, crepe pizza and a variety of savoury-style dishes. Great for a kitsch experience.
Open Sat-Thu 7am-midnight; Fri 9am-midnight (02 643 3310).
This Italian eatery is honest home-made fare, offering a selection of baked dishes, pastas and pizzas as well as the mouthwatering Nutella pizza. Located within the Y Tower, tacky Italian memorabilia adorns the walls, with a red and white colour scheme, photos of Italian tourist destinations – the only thing missing is a full-sized Vespa sitting outside the store. The food is simplistic yet quality – the way Italian should be.
Open Sat-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri 3pm-11pm. Y Tower (02 658 4244).
The American diner concept is rare in the UAE, but Hwy 55 does it, and does it well. The quirky turquioise and pink colour-scheme was started in North Carolina in the United States. The Muroor branch is the first Hwy 55 franchise outside of North America, but keeps the same authentic menu including the mammoth Hwy 55 challenge – a whopping 55oz burger with fries – if you finish it within 30 minutes then it’s free. The food is by no means healthy, but it’s fun, authentic and quirky. Service is great too.
Open daily11am-midnight, Muroor Road, near Mamoura Tower (02 641 1161).
Rolls and Rice
This eclectic café plays the sounds of jazz while dishing out a variety of reasonably priced fresh food. The concept came about based on the staple ingredients of wheat and rice – there are dishes from koshari to steak as well as a hearty selection of tex-mex style dishes, fresh teas and juices. The branch was the inaugural Rolls N Rice – there are now four outlets across the city. All of the dishes are freshly made in-house and have a homely taste. There are grilled meats for healthy options and salads, as well as a few heavier options. Don’t miss the homemade ice teas – they’re delish! Check out the daily deals for lunches too.
Open daily 10am-11pm (02 446 2020).
A great healthy option, every item on the menu at Soulfull is designed to be low-calorie and high in taste. The cafeteria-style café dishes out a range of low-calorie, nutrient-rich salads, sandwiches, soups and smoothies as well as even low-cal desserts. It’s an ideal spot to order lunch from for those working in the area, and they also deliver. It’s not the most comfortable of places to dine, but the food is hearty, healthy and reasonably priced.
Open daily 8am-11pm, www.soulfull.ae (02 643 3669).
This unusual café has plenty of character. The rustic décor, including armchairs, exposed wooden tables and dated chandeliers are all part of the scene at Shabby Chic. It’s a quiet little escape serving up the usual lineup of salads, sandwiches and cakes with a few twists. The café, though not busy, is comfortable, the service is laid back and the cafe offers free wifi.
Open Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm, Golden Tower A, (02 643 7497).
But wait there’s more
The UAE’s own fast-food chain is going from strength to strength, there couldn’t be a foodie district without a branch of the falafel vending chain.
Open daily 7am-midnight, www.justfalafel.com (02 445 0292).
For burger-lovers, Abu Dhabi just keeps getting better. This American franchise is popping up everywhere across the city. Get your home-style beef burgers here.
Open Sun-Thu 7am-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm, www.grandcentral.ae (02 642 6499).