2 Cool Cafes in Dubai

Dubai cafe
Wind tower, old-fashioned air con

Basta Art Café, a cool Dubai cafe

On our very first day in town, we discovered a cool Dubai cafe. Cool in every sense: Basta Art Café is located in the courtyard of an old wind tower. Lucky for us, it was just across the street from our hotel in the Old Bastakiya quarter, close to Dubai Creek.



It seemed to be an expat hangout, so not that local really, but very child-friendly. There was even a cafe cat. We popped by almost every day, trying new things most of the time (‘cept Alex who kept ordering pancakes with strawberries). The Arabic breakfast is wonderful, with tea, white cheese, greens, tomatoes, Arabic bread, honey and a delicious, slightly salty yogurt. In fact, I would like some right now! Just as delicious any time of day, is their drinks selection, with Moroccan mint tea and fabulous juices. Here’s our favourite:

Basta Art Cafe
Funny-looking, but superbly delicious lime and mint juice; tastes like a non-alcoholic mojito

Shakespeare & Co

On our last day, we happened to pass Shakespeare & Co in The Village on Jumeirah Road. Thinking it was a branch of the Parisian book shop, I decided to stop by for a quick look. Instead, it turned out to be a restaurant/patisserie/flower shop, fabulously decorated in a turn-of-the-century, very opulent style. We only had time for ice creams on the large airy terrace.

Around us, by the potted trees and the fountain, others were lounging in the comfortable cushioned wicker sofas, smoking sheesha. Ahh, next time. Sans kids.



17 Responses to “2 Cool Cafes in Dubai”

  1. Lora 23 April 2010 2242 #

    Looks like a great place to be hanging out, local or not. I do like breakfast in the mediterranean, nothing close to sugared cereal here. Just fresh good stuff.

    • Anne-Sophie 24 April 2010 1514 #

      @Lora – Yeah. Has something to do with the pace of life, I think.

  2. Bridget Smith 23 April 2010 2321 #

    My husband just got back to Dubai and said it’s very kid friendly. Hope we get a chance to visit someday and try out your favorite cafe!

    • Anne-Sophie 24 April 2010 1519 #

      @Bridget: Dubai is very child friendly. Both my daughters want to go back. I suspect Dubai’s creative shopping malls are involved in that desire somehow 🙂

  3. Alli 23 April 2010 2322 #

    Sans kids? 🙁

    • Anne-Sophie 24 April 2010 1511 #

      @Alli: Ok, sans kids under legal sheesha smoking age then …

  4. Lucia 24 April 2010 0653 #

    Both places sound like great discoveries…bookmarking this in case we are ever in Dubai.

    • Anne-Sophie 24 April 2010 1520 #

      @Lucia: They are. Wouldn’t mind hanging about in Basta for a bit right now – with a laptop and a glass of green juice.

  5. inka 26 April 2010 1806 #

    Just what I needed to know for my upcoming trip to Dubai.

    • Anne-Sophie 26 April 2010 1822 #

      Inka, you travel all the time, you lucky girl you!

  6. reidun i arendal 26 April 2010 2209 #

    Spennende !!
    tvi tvi og en god klem til deg !!!


    • Anne-Sophie 2 May 2010 1809 #

      Tusen takk, Reidun – og klem til deg også.

  7. Rebecca 28 April 2010 1138 #

    ooh, i wish I’d had this list when i was there in February! nice pics too

  8. Kim 3 May 2010 0928 #

    You know, I’ve been to Basta – it’s in that garden right by the museum, right?

  9. Nancie 3 March 2011 0735 #

    Both look like great spots to relax. I would love to try the breakfast. That yogurt sounds delicious.

  10. Jason 5 March 2011 1831 #

    Nice post Sophie,
    The non-alcoholic mojito looks very refreshing.


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