We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice spot in Abu Dhabi”
Review of Cafe Arabia

Cafe Arabia
Ranked #95 of 2,061 Restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $75
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Cafe Arabia is a cultural venue, with three floors featuring Middle eastern culture, Art, English and Arabic library, open roof top terrace with seasonal events, grills, and The first floor Gallery. Food is freshly made to order ,family style meals, fusion and traditional hand me down recipes from family and friends. Our drinks are all made to order. We have perfect space for both business events and personal events . Cafe floors can be fully reserved for functions, we have a catering department ready to cater for all your events. Casual dinning
Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Nice spot in Abu Dhabi”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

If you are looking for a very warm "Iftar" for a very affordable price.
The staff is really nice, and we spent a very good evening

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank SergeHenri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

328 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    164
    103
    27
    15
    19
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Ruwais, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
137 reviews
98 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Beautiful Setting, Comfortable Atmosphere, and Great Food & Service”
Reviewed July 20, 2013

My wife and I decided to try Cafe Arabia upon the recommendation of a friend. We were more than pleasantly surprised. Our server was prompt and professional, and the food was fresh, well-prepared, and arrived within minutes of ordering.

After dining, we decided to explore the work of local artist adorning the halls, stairwells and walls, and afterwards took advantage of the comfortable downstairs seating area while casually reading a few magazines and enjoying the A/C.

We met the owner, Aida, who was as warm and open as she was intelligent. Long story short, we will be returning every chance we get.

Bottom line - excellent value, service and atmosphere.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul_Harris1390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Welcoming and friendly”
Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

I enjoy going to this Cafe simply for the atmosphere alone. The art that is displayed and other decorations are beautiful. Although the service can be sometimes a bit slow and orders get mixed up (not all the time but often) i still enjoy calling down to the Cafe for a coffee and something small to eat. Their coffee is extremely strong, just the way I like it. Food wise the quiches are nice for a light bite to eat and their chocolatw fondaunt and carrot cake is lovely too.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Scalatron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WithAida, Owner at Cafe Arabia, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Dear Fiona,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Cafe Arabia. We are delighted to know you are a regular guest, and your opinion is highly valued . I would like to recommend you try out our Ramadan buffet, which features Arabian home cuisine as well as some international favorites. This way you get a chance to try out all our menu. Otherwise pls never miss out on our signature fatteh and fatouche which are number one best sellers and are very healthy and refreshing for all seasons ! Pls give us your email, or l" like" our FB page to stay connected to all our Art , music, crafts events as well as our offers. We are honored for your support and loyalty to Cafe Arabia, and hope you can share some of your favorite recipes or any suggestions you may have.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
117 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“disappointing”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

I came here with much excitement and great expectations based on what my friends had told me.

I was sorely disappointed.

First on the plus side, the place is a restyled house so has a homey/hipster feel that is novel and cool for a café in Abu Dhabi. There are couches and free internet which make for good hanging out.

Also a plus, the cakes were very good (in particular the carrot).

The downsides - everything else.

We paid a respectable price for brunch, and then found out it did not include any drinks after 10am. Had we been there before 10am, free coffee. Afterwards 18 dirhams per coffee :-/. So if you think this place is a nice cheap brunch alternative, that turns around fast after 2 coffees.

In addition almost all the food that was not cakes was mediocre. Omelets made with a slice of cheese simply placed of top (rather than using high quality shredded cheese mixed with the egg. Pancakes tasting like you could probably make at home, will no frills. Misc Arabic mezze that is edible, but average or below average in a city that has tons of high quality mezze.

Sadly I wont be going back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
9 Thank Wrstling1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WithAida, Owner at Cafe Arabia, responded to this review, June 15, 2013
Dear Leopold,

Thank you for sharing your visit to Cafe Arabia,which won Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

I think we met at Cafe Arabia, and you asked me if the drinks were included in our Friday brunch, which was listed in TimeOut, Whats on, Abu Dhabi weekly as one of The Top Five Brunches in The Capital, based on great value for money as well as variety, Cafe Arabia brunch was recognised amongs The top five stars leading hotels, inspite of the fact we are only a cafe.

You mentioned "We paid a respectable price for brunch" without mentioning the respectable amount was only Dh65 inclusive of any hot beverage and freshly squeezed juice before for breakfast buffet until 10:00 am, ofcourse our the brunch continues from 10:30until 3:30 for Dh 75 only =£12 =$20 for an Open refillable buffet of our home baked croissants,breads, muffins, a live pancakes station which is made only of fresh eggs, fresh yogurt, flour, and the finest maple syrup, you are rightfully so , as ones you make at home, that's our theme, to bring a home experience of quality ingredients without the commercial pre packed mixes, also I'm sure it must have come as a big pus The of Live Station eggs anyway you like them,The Live Pasta Station , unheard of in any Cafe anywhere ive been in the world,. The 10 different varieties of Salads and Mezza, which I personally selected to be of healthy ,fresh options , You also had the . main courses ranging from
Arabian home main courses Aubergine ,Makloubeh, which our customers just rave about, Mouloukhyia stew, Chicken Thai curries , which one guest actually commented on being better than any Thai ever eaten outside Thailand, :) to healthy options of Chinese vegetarian and meat
Stir fries, we try and keep a little favorite for each treasured guest, and so we added the Fish & Chips, as well as all time favorites Beef Lasagna and Shepoards pie,etc
I am happy you particculary liked our home made carrot cake, which was included in the same buffet, together with Red Velvet, Coffee & Walnut cake, fudgey Brownies, as well as our very popular Arabian Desserts ranging from Rice Pudding, Muhalabyia, Om Ali as well as ofcourse a range of fresh exotic fruit platter, of pineapple, Kiwis, Water melon, melon, grapes.
The above surely is very respectable for dh75 only, and as you well know you'd pay that amount atleast for a medium ranged price of one plate plus a drink, and certainly never for the full board I mentioned above. We were actually told this was The cheapest priced Brunch, or buffet without ever compromising on the highest quality of food and in lovely setting which you mentioned as home setting. I think you realized this was no where close to any Cafe you came across in the region, we held on 15 day after your visit an arts and crafts exhibition, with artists from Greece, Italy, UK, Spain, France, Arabia, etc with a house full not one chair nor corner spared, it was the true spirit of Cafe Arabia, on top floor a Writing Seminar, Arts on first floor, and ground floor our community came together as one to savor home made meals, family style, in their home away from home, Cafe Arabia. We hope you'll find something intersting amongst our community of 10,000 members and growing. Thank you for visiting.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, England
Level Contributor
63 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“More Cafe than Arabia.”
Reviewed May 19, 2013 via mobile

Ate here twice on a recent visit to AD. First visit for lunch on a weekday- very pleasant, good service, tasty food, but full of western expatriate Ladies Who Lunch rather than Arab business people. Second visit for Friday Brunch confirmed my impression that Cafe Arabia has lost its identity. What are Chinese dishes doing on the buffet table of an Arabic restaurant?

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
8 Thank PabloDover_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WithAida, Owner at Cafe Arabia, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear PabloDover,

Thank you for taking the time to share your visit to Cafe Arabia with our dear Tripadvisor patrons.
We are proud that you visited twice during weekdays, as many businessmen and women do, and found Cafe Arabia to be " very pleasant, good service, tasty food " and yes we are very popular with not only western ladies, but ladies from all over, we have become the meeting point for Ladies from Korean , Turkey , Diplomats wives, Latinos, etc overall our customers are 70 / westerners, both male& female. we get more Arab business people and residents as well as Emiratis in the later afternoon and evening, it realy has to do with cultural and personal lifestyle, i found it intersting that upon your second visit for Friday Brunch you thought that "Cafe Arabia has lost its identity " based on seeing some Chinese dishes , it is only natural and very much part of the vision ,mission & values of Cafe Arabia to bring world food under one roof. ,since the very first day of opening Cafe Arabia, I wrote that our cuisine is family recipes which , my mom made in a healthier version from traditional meals, our recipes handed over by friends & world hopping cuisine!!! .... So that's what pasta , Ruz: our healthy take on Rissotto and a best seller, Fattouche with chicken ,a twist on the original recipe, an all time favorite, yet unheard of in the Arab world, are our community's favorite. Ours is home style food, so we try new dishes, and ask guests to teach us something new, as you would with family & friends.... So there you go...fusion food, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Italian, and soon Camel dish made French style :) playful and intersting & always homely ..... Welcome to Cafe Arabia!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Cafe Arabia also viewed

Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi
 
Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi
 

Been to Cafe Arabia? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing