The UAE is home to some of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the Middle East, and the Abu Dhabi foodie scene matches its international reputation. From the modern to traditional, down-to-earth to fine dining, American-style cafes or classic Italian restaurants – you'll find them all in Abu Dhabi. We've rounded up a few of our favourites.
1. Shabby Chic Cafe
Shabby Chic Cafe is cosy but contemporary – a place where home, familiarity and comfort are just as prized as indulgence. Their menu is packed with everything from English breakfasts to French classics – and the good news doesn't stop there – they're also all about sustainability, so each ingredient here is locally sourced and super fresh. If your sweet tooth needs attention, head straight for their Crepes section for a nutty, chocolate-y dose of dessert as breakfast.
Where: Shabby Chic Cafe, Al Nahyan
2. Magnolia Bakery
These guys hail from New York City's West Village – aka the place credited with launching the global cupcake craze. Magnolia's commitment to tradition and quality, baking every item 'fresh-from-scratch' themselves, makes them one of the best bakeries around. Everything you'll find here is classically American, but it's their pastel-coloured Flower Cupcakes that steal the show. They're prettier than a bouquet of flowers – and taste so much sweeter.
Where: Magnolia Bakery, Al Maryah Island
3. Jones The Grocer
With its mission to provide the best gourmet food for everyday living, Jones the Grocer has set the benchmark in Australia for premium gastronome stores. Here, they serve up a selection of international morsels, artisan suppliers and natural ingredients. Choose from indulgent cheeses, classic antipasti, inventive salads and original sourdough breads. And for mains, the freshly Grilled Atlantic Salmon on Homemade Babaganoush remains a staple.
Is it a pizza? Is it a flatbread? No, it's pinza.
Lighter, crispier, and healthier than regular pizza dough, this delight will be your new go-to. Pinza chefs spent many hours studying dough in Rome until they found their signature four-flour blend and 30-hour fermented base. Using locally sourced and GMO-free vegetables and herbs, as well as cured meats imported from Italy, even the simplest toppings make for pure enjoyment. Look at the Shroom Pinza with huge Portobello mushrooms and earthy rosemary, or the Pinzafied Margherita with sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy burrata and fresh basil.
Where: Pinza, Al Musalla
5. Liwan Mansour Restaurant & Grill
Liwan Mansour Restaurant and Grill is a restaurant built on love – the venue is a homage to architecture, history and food. Mansour rustle up all sorts of traditional Arabic dishes. Go for the classic Shawarma Platter for a real taste of tradition, served up with toasted saj and juicy, marinated chicken. If you want to mix things up a bit, opt for the Mexican-inspired shawarma for an unforgettable flavour fusion.
Where: Liwan Mansour Restaurant & Grill, Al Khuberiah
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