It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee – and tuck into some tasty food while you are at it. Even if you are not a morning person (actually, we don’t think we have ever actually met one of these creatures, and we are not sure we want to) there are a whole host of brilliant breakfast options to make rising from your slumber more than worthwhile.
Whether you want to dig into a bumper fry-up, go continental, or kick off your day with a healthy feed, there is plenty of food for thought in Abu Dhabi. So spring out of bed and get ready to face the day – if you snooze you lose out on a fantastic feed.
Blu Sky Lounge & Grill
Time is but an illusion. Okay, that might seem a bit philosophical to start things off, but if it helps you to explain why are you still scoffing a fry-up at 11pm then why not throw it out there? The team at Blu Sky Lounge & Grill are free thinkers, too, which is why you can order the Full Monty breakfast from opening hours to the close of play. You can tuck into your eggs whenever you like, along with other classic tastes such as mushrooms, beans, stuffed tomatoes, hash browns and much more while you catch a match or unwind with pals. It’s always sunny side up at the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi’s buzzing sports bar.
Try this: Full Monty breakfast (Dhs65)
Open Sun-Thu 3pm-3am; Fri-Sat noon-3am. Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 818 4888).
The funky Pan-Latin restaurant thinks so highly of breakfast it even has its own club. The Breakfast Club runs from 10am until 3pm each Saturday, so you don’t have to even set your alarm to make sure of a seat at the table. There are a raft of excellent breakfast offerings, such as acai bowls, English and Mexican breakfasts and a variety of egg dishes, but it’s the pancakes that really have us licking up our lips. The golden stack of fluffy delights are topped with wild berries, spicy chocolate sauce, dulce de leche and date ice cream. We think a visit to BU! is due.
Try this: Pancakes (Dhs40).
Every Sat 10am-3pm. The Hub, The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah (02 666 8066).
They don’t do breakfast by numbers at Café 302. The deserved winner of the Best Café going at the Time Out Abu Dhabi Restaurant Awards is one of the hippest hangouts in town and serves up classic dishes with its own unique twist. Take the breakfast sandwich, a flamboyant take on the trusty egg sandwich. The toasted croissant comes with two scrambled eggs, cheese and turkey bacon. We’re also big fans of the vegetarian eggs benedict, which has spinach, tomatoes and a pesto hollandaise. The fine food, cool vibes and top service will put you in a good mood all day long.
Try this: Vegetarian eggs benedict (Dhs48).
Open daily 6am-11pm. Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Al Markaziyah (02 610 6666).
Now, you could come here and order the English or American breakfast but this is really a place to get a true taste of Arabia.
The Arabian breakfast is an exotic treat comprised of foul medames (fava beans), lovely labneh, feta and a smattering of vegetables and herbs to cap off a fresh and vibrant dish. Take your taste buds on an adventure at this homely eatery, which welcomes all cultures to indulge in the UAE’s rich culinary roots. Egg fans will find plenty to be cheerful about, too. Our pick is the Palestinian shakshouka. Four eggs are baked in a mix of spicy tomatoes, feta and olives.
The dish is drizzled with a garlic and mint yoghurt to finish.
Try this: Palestinian shakshouka (Dhs55).
Open daily 7am-11pm. Airport Road, Al Mushrif (02 643 9699).
This bakery has been on the rise ever since swinging open its doors less than two years ago. The team bakes all its own breads and pastries, ensuring customers get the freshest of flavours. The breakfast menu is pretty extensive and this creative offering is a big favourite. The sweet potato waffle benedict comes with veal bacon and spinach, making for an intriguing and colourful contrast of flavours that really hits the mark.
Try this: Sweet potato waffle benedict (Dhs48).
Open daily 7pm-5am. Ministry of Energy Building, Al Falah Street (02 677 7004).
This All-American diner has found a home from home in Abu Dhabi. The venue is a big hit with all the family and cooks up plenty of classic Stateside dishes, including a pleasing pile of pancakes stacked up high. The delicious chocolate chip versions will give you a welcome morning pick-me-up.
Try this: Chocolate chip pancakes (Dhs22).
Open 24 hours. Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiya (02 304 8080).
Gossip Desserts & Café
Why wait for your final meal of the day to savour a sweet treat when you can start it off with a breakfast bite choc full with gooey goodness? The rahash-filled chocolate French toast is served with strawberries, bananas and smothered in choco-hazelnut sauce, crème Anglaise and sprinkled with Rahash. Okay, so you might get in trouble with your dentist if you have this for breakfast every day, but this beats plain old butter and toast. Plus you’ve got some splendid views of Al Maryah Island to soak up while you empty your plate.
Try this: Black and white French toast (Dhs47).
Open daily 7am-11pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 677 7520).
Jim’s Kitchen Table
This is a feast that really will set you up for the day. Big isn’t always better, but in this case it definitely is. The only thing that isn’t huge is the price, coming in at a pocket-friendly Dhs59. You get plenty of bangers for your buck in the shape of beef boerewors sausage, as well as maple and thyme beef bacon strips, sautéed button mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, homemade potato rosti, homemade baked beans and sourdough toast. If you don't fancy all of that you could try the French toast stack. It's rich, sweet and definitely satisfying.
Try this: French toast stack (Dhs45).
Open daily 8am-10pm. Siemens Building, Masdar City (02 491 9401).
Jones the Grocer
See, the Aussies do like the English really – and not just because the ‘poms’ (a term of endearment, honest) keep letting their Antipodean pals win at cricket. International restaurant chain Jones the Grocer, which first rose up Down Under more than 20 years ago, serves up a full English breakfast every day, a homage to anglophiles if ever there was one. Or you could go down another route and order the pancakes. Made with coconut flour, they’re topped with a bluberry compote, fresh berries, pecan crumble and whipped Greek yoghurt. We like the sound of both, to be honest. Breakfast is on offer until noon during the week and if you fancy a lazy weekend, you can tuck in until 4pm on Friday and Saturday.
Try this: Coconut flour pancakes (Dhs47).
Various venues, including Peal Plaza Tower, Khalidiya (02 639 5883).
You can look forward to a picture-perfect breakfast at this stylish restaurant based in the heart of the Manarat Al Saadiyat art hub in the Saadiyat Island cultural district. The Italian restaurant serves up suitably artful dishes, including the lovely sunny vegetables omelette. The light and fluffy omelette comes with two hunks of brilliant bread. The works of art aren’t just adorning the walls at this cool culture spot.
Try this: Sunny vegetables omelette (Dhs38).
Open Sun-Wed 8am-11pm, Thu-Sat 8am-1pm. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island (02 657 5888).
This ever-popular Irish haunt is one of the liveliest spots – morning, noon or night. If you are in need of a refuel the day after the night before (which may well have been spent here, too) then fill up on the hearty Irish breakfast. Plant your fork into classic breakfast staples straight from the farm, along with tomatoes, baked beans and toast, all washed down with lashings of refreshing tea. Top of the morning to everyone.
Try this: Full Irish breakfast (Dhs60/90).
Open Sun-Wed 3pm-3am; Thu-Sat noon-3am. Channel Street, Al Raha Beach Hotel and Resort (02 652 4333).
No.Fiftyseven Boutique Café
Don’t worry, they didn’t just leave it in the toaster too long, the black bagel really is a thing. As well as on this week’s cover, what better place to showcase this stylish breakfast dish than at No.57 Boutique, which also brought us activated-charcoal pancakes.
This latest little black number is filled out nicely with fried egg, turkey ham, avocado, sriracha mayo and alfalfa sprouts. This might be one of the trendiest spots in the city, but style is allied with substance here.
Try this: Black bagel (Dhs55).
Open daily 9am-10.30pm. Al Marasy, Al Bateen Harbour (02 441 6100).
How do you like your eggs in the morning? With steak, of course. Enjoy a sizzling start to your day at this innovative eatery, which makes a happy marriage of the unlikely pairing of Afghani and Californian cuisine. The restaurant cooks up a wide variety of speciality egg dishes and none come more special than this dish. Two sunny side up organic eggs share a plate with sautéed onions, coriander and those succulent beef steak cubes. After a feed like this, the hunger pangs will be kept at bay for quite a while.
Try this: Steak and eggs the Afghani way (Dhs80).
Open daily 9am-11pm. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (800 66587).
If a quick cup of coffee and a slice of toast is all you are after for breakfast, this probably isn’t for you. But, if like us, you love a gargantuan feed to get you up and running in the morning, then Saraydan provides a super-sized serving of Turkish delight. The authentic Turkish eatery, based at Deerfields Mall, offers a bumper breakfast called Serpme Kahvalti, the rough translation of which is ‘wow, that really is a lot of food’ (Disclaimer: this translation might not be accurate). Get yourself settled in to take on a selection of Turkish cheese, beef pastrami, tomatoes, black olives, jam, butter, honey, labneh and pan-fried eggs served with simit and Turkish tea. You might not need lunch after this.
Try this: Serpme Kahvalti (Dhs79).
Open daily 8am-11.30pm. Deerfields Mall, Al Shahama (02 563 2133).
We are big fans of this cosy café and it isn’t just because of the exquisite tea. The restaurant name translates as ‘perfect tea’ in Arabic, and we particularly love the karak made here, a smooth and creamy chai simmered with milk that is a sweet success.
If you want some breakfast with your beverage, you are in luck, too. The shakshouka is a Middle-Eastern favourite consisting of poached eggs drenched in a rich, tomatoey sauce. It is a beautiful dish that will keep you coming back for more.
Try this: Shakshouka (Dhs40).
Open Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Muroor (02 621 7323).
Stars ‘N’ Bars
Fried chicken for breakfast? What’s not to like? Yas Island’s funky American-style sports bar offers up a wide variety of traditional breakfast dishes on its daily brunch menu from 11.30am until 4pm, including omelettes, French toast and the Roscoe’s Special, a mouth-watering mix of fried chicken and waffles. If you want to make a day out of it, you can upgrade your brunch to a bottomless beverage package (including house beverages and mixed drinks) for an extra Dhs200.
Try this: Roscoe’s Special (Dhs50).
Open daily 11.30am-2.30am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
If you love rich food, then Tashas is happy to share the wealth. The family-run chain, which started life in South Africa, offers up a truly eggs-travagant breakfast dish. The so-called billionaire eggs feature scrambled eggs and parsley, topped with parmesan shavings, truffle oil and seaweed caviar. Okay, it might not be the same as having a billion in the bank, but you can savour a taste of the high life here.
Try this: Billionaire eggs (Dhs62).
Open daily 8am-midnight. Al Marsa, Al Bateen (02 445 0890).
You can enjoy a health kick without being a ‘gluten’ for punishment here. Every menu item at this forward-thinking bakery is 100 percent gluten free – and still jam-packed with flavour. If you fancy sweetening your morning mood, we suggest trying out the Belgian waffles, which are drizzled in a rich, homemade chocolate sauce and served with strawberries and whipped cream. Even if you like a bit of gluten in your food, you won’t feel you are missing out by exploring the tasty menu at Tawa Bakery.
Try this: Belgian waffles (Dhs37, extra Dhs5 for a scoop of ice cream).
Open daily 8am-11pm. Al Muneera Beach Plaza, Al Muneera (800 8292).
The Living Room Café
We are not quite sure why our favourite here takes its name from a cinema classic (was Audrey Hepburn a banana fan?), but it is a real blockbuster of a breakfast. The dish consists of freshly baked banana bread with a French toast twist, served with syrup and icing sugar. Best of all, the array of breakfast options on the menu, which include a mix of healthy and sweet fare, are available during the day at this cosy venue.
Try this: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Dhs35)
Open daily 7.30am-11.30pm. Khalidiya Village (02 639 6654).
The Sportsman’s Arms
It might not be a good idea to head for the tennis courts straight after this formidable feed but you will have an ace time devouring every last morsel. The Boston-inspired sports bar adds some Irish inspiration to your morning meal, with eggs cooked to your liking, beef bacon, chicken sausages, baked beans, grilled tomato, field mushrooms, hash browns and your choice of toast.
Try this: Full Irish breakfast (Dhs70).
Open daily 8am-11.30pm. First Floor, International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City (02 447 1066).
Third Place Café
Our pick here does exactly what it says on the tin (well, the bowl). If you don’t wake up in the mood for a greasy fry-up or just want a little break from the usual bumper breakfast, make Third Place your number-one choice. The aptly named Healthy Breakfast is made up of apple and ginger yoghurt and granola, served with fresh fruit. You will get a warm welcome at this café, too, which aims to be a comforting ‘Third Place’ away from work and home in which to relax and unwind and meet up with friends.
Try this: Healthy Breakfast (Dhs55).
Open daily 8am-11pm. Corniche Road (02 681 1877).
Don’t worry, you aren’t expected to head out into the jungle and forage for your own food (unless you want to), the Nature breakfast is instead packed with plenty of wholesome, good-for-you ingredients ready for you. You'll find mini vienoiserie, yoghurt with homemade muesli, assorted cheeses with walnuts, cuts of fresh fruit and bread, butter and jam. Be at one with nature at Waterlemon.
Try this: Nature breakfast (Dhs59).
Open daily 8am-11.30am. Three Sails Tower, Corniche Road (02 635 9414).