12 best restaurants in Al Quoz, from Cassette to Nette

Enjoy breakfast and lunch at casual cafes with creative, hipster vibes

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Al Quoz is known for many things — most notably its industrial warehouses, quirky shops, the Alserkal Avenue art district and restaurants with a more creative vibe.

There are more down-to-earth cafes serving excellent breakfasts and lunches (plenty of acai bowls and avo on toast to discover) than fine-dining establishments with dinner service, but there's plenty of culinary variety to enjoy.

Here are some of the best venues on offer in the area.

Boston Lane

Seating at this tiny cafe at the heart of The Courtyard is mostly al fresco, in the courtyard this complex is named after, so you can sit next to tinkling fountains and foliage and enjoy a light, usually healthy meal.

The vibe is inspired by Melbourne's coffee culture and the menu spans chia pudding and avo toast to scrambled eggs and French toast for breakfast, as well as salads, pasta and sandwiches, including a cheese toastie, for mains. Children have a few classics to choose from, too (think spaghetti or peanut butter and jam).

Prices range from about Dh37 to Dh62 for main dishes.

Inside there are also artisan market stalls to peruse.

Open daily 7.30am-7pm; The Courtyard, 6 A Street; 058 517 2131; www.bostonlane.com

Cafe Rider

Since late 2013, Cafe Rider has been building a community over a love of coffee and customised motorcycles under the motto "to truly be original in our art, we have to be free to create".

The menu is an eclectic mix of international dishes to suit a "global palate" that's all made fresh and in-house. It's a roster that's updated regularly.

Expect breakfast classics such as avocado toast and an acai bowl alongside more unique options such as the Rider Breakfast Wrap, which packs two eggs, turkey bacon, onion, sweet peppers, black beans, cheese, avocado and chilli into a flour tortilla.

There are also salads, burgers, quesadillas and wraps among the main courses, as well as a banh mi, mie goreng and salmon teriyaki, for example.

Sweet-toothed diners will enjoy the medley of desserts, such as red velvet cheesecake, mango sticky rice and home-baked cookies.

Open daily 8am-8pm; Warehouse 7 14 C Street; 04 321 4411; www.caferider.com

Cassette

As the name suggests, this cafe at The Courtyard has music at its heart as is immediately clear when you spot the vinyl records on the back wall display.

The venue, which opened in 2019, was inspired by a passion for great food, music, art and the culture that surrounds it, according to its description.

The industrial-style decor is accentuated with natural materials and belies its cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

The owners like to describe their menu as a "modern Parisian direction", but with international flavour to suit a variety of taste buds.

Think savoury waffles duck confit, truffle egg croissant, pan-fried sea bass and wild mushroom quinotta, but also a crispy chicken burger, butter chilli prawns and a braised beef sandwich with cheese and pickled jalapeno on a toasted baguette.

Open daily 8am-6pm; The Courtyard, 4B Street; 04 249 1966; cassette.ae

Kave – The Story of Things

Kave – The Story of Things opened in Dubai's ­Alserkal Avenue in March 2019 as a cafe, fair trade boutique, guitar shop and workshop space.

Founded by sisters Rania and Zaina Kanaan, it offers products and services that adhere to the core principle of being kind to yourself and your community, to people both near and far, as well as to nature. The focus is on upcycling and being ethical and sustainable in everything they do.

The dog-friendly venue serves up a range of healthy and wholesome meals, including salads, bowls, mezze plates, pastries, egg dishes, pastas, pizzas and sandwiches, as well as smoothies, milkshakes and mocktails.

They recently revamped the menu, following recipes specially created for Kave by Mediterranean and Balkan chefs in Dubai.

Open Tuesday-Friday 10.30am-7.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 11am-8pm; Warehouse 20, Alserkal Avenue; 055 102 4469; thestoryofthings.com

Le Guepard

This French-style brasserie, which opened in summer last year, serves up an all-day brunch, afternoon tea and a la carte mains.

The cuisine fuses French dishes with international flavours — we're talking Le Trio Chicken Tacos, Le Pancake au Saumon and Le Hopper (inspired by the Sri Lankan staple), for example — while the interiors merge art and culture with the culinary world.

"A space that feels like a glamorous European home, every detail is a reference to masters of decoration of the 20th century from Madeleine Castaing to Henri Samuel," reads its description.

The restaurant also has a private dining concept that's reservation only.

Open daily 10am-7pm; 57 Alserkal Avenue; 056 687 8486; www.leguepard-est2021.com

Nette

Ultra-cool padel and sports hub Matcha Club opened its dining spot Nette in December. The brainchild of the people behind Cassette (mentioned above), it fuses French dining with the flavours of Japan.

The menu, designed by chef Shaunne Cordier, features flavours of miso, taragosia, mirin and tamari throughout. Sweet and savoury breakfast options include the honey matcha bowl and egg sando sandwich, while for lunch and dinner, there's the miso-braised beef French dip sandwich and the avocado and seaweed salad sandwich. For a sweet treat, there are matcha and chocolate eclairs, Japanese souffle creme brulee buttermilk pancakes and French toast served with matcha mascarpone and yuzu curd. A range of healthy beverages, as well as coffee from Three Roasters, are also available.

All of this is housed within a tranquil space dotted with greenery and lemon trees and with geometrical designs that have been subtly inspired by the sport of padel tennis, its court and net. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to flood the indoor space and guests can also sit in a shaded courtyard outside when the weather permits.

Open daily 8am-10pm; Matcha Club, 20 8 Street; 04 548 8369; matcha-club.ae

Nightjar Coffee

Naturally, Nightjar Coffee is best known for its coffee, which is roasted and brewed on site. This ranges from cold brews to nitro-infused concoctions. Its baristas' latte art is something of a talking point, too.

But the food is just as good a reason to visit the Alserkal Avenue-based cafe, with its moody, industrial-style interiors and cool vibes that are often set off by the DJs spinning records in the corner.

The rotisserie chicken or cauliflower is worth a try, as is the ricotta pancake stack. The menu is split into meat options, such as the New Zealand meatballs or the veal schnitzel, alongside non-meat options like the mac and cheese or comte toastie.

The staff tell you to save room for the homemade custard pie, too.

Open daily 10am-9pm; Unit G62, Alserkal Avenue; 050 365 1120; nightjar.coffee

Raju Omelet

This egg-focused Dubai institution has its biggest branch on the edge of Al Quoz and it's popular for budget-friendly Indian breakfast dishes that hit the spot.

It boasts quirky, kitsch interiors, with myriad egg-related puns, and a menu brimming with tasty options.

There are plenty of omelette varieties (think mushroom cheese, masala corn and even one with Mexican flavours), of course, but also boiled and scrambled eggs, as well as curries, noodles and rice dishes, plus rolls and sandwiches, all containing — you guessed it — eggs.

Mop it all up with a Bombay pav or paratha, then swish it down with a milky chai. If you want something sweet for afters, there are a few mawa cake varieties, too.

A filling meal for two is unlikely to cost much more than Dh50.

Open daily 8am-11pm; 9A Street, Al Quoz Industrial Area 1; 04 388 3355; instagram.com/rajuomlet

Roseleaf Cafe

Dubai expatriate Rose Zeini and her husband Leon founded Roseleaf Cafe about a decade ago, inspired by the couple's passion for home cooking and bringing families together over the dinner table.

"My philosophy is simple: I believe in offering fresh, quality, healthy, crafted goodness that is kind on your wallet," writes Rose on her website. "Add into that a little bit of creativity, innovative touches to traditional recipes and a dedicated kitchen team, and you are sure to find that we’ve managed to create something magical to your taste."

There are two branches, but the Al Quoz cafe stands out for its unique location and bohemian, airy, foliage-strewn interiors in The Garden Concept, a plant store along Sheikh Zayed Road.

The menu is hearty and wholesome, with dishes including a moussaka, cottage pie and vegan lasagne on the menu, alongside baked goods such as lemon curd tart, polenta orange cake and a caramel slice.

Open daily 8am-7pm; The Garden Concept, Exit 42, Sheikh Zayed Road; 050 571 1944; roseleafcafe.com

Sparkbake Bistro

This fully plant-based cafe is a bit of an Al Quoz hidden gem, having opened in the fairly quiet upper food court of Times Square Centre earlier this year. It's worth a detour, or at least a home delivery, for its flavourful and healthy dishes created with passion.

The burger and sandwich selection is hearty, and they use homemade patties as opposed to big-name brand vegan meat substitutes. The bulgur truffle risotto is also a tasty treat.

The desserts are most impressive, however, as they serve up dairy-free yet creamy gelatos in interesting flavours such as saffron, lemongrass and black sesame. The carrot pecan cake is a must-try.

Open daily 10am-10pm; Times Square Centre; 056 962 8400; sparkbake.com

Tom & Serg

This Melbourne-inspired, all-day breakfast spot created by native Aussie Tom Arnel and Spanish-born Sergio Lopez has been a big hit since it opened way back in 2013. It helped kickstart Dubai's now-thriving coffee and cafe culture.

The two-level venue, which boasts industrial-style decor with a homely touch, is always a hive of activity, filled with everyone from singles to co-workers and families with young children.

It prides itself on having great coffee, but the food is fantastic too, from the breakfast bap bun and Turkish eggs for breakfast to the fish tacos and grilled chicken satay for mains. They often do collaborative limited-edition menus with other brands, too.

Open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-6pm; 15A Street, Al Joud Centre; 056 474 6812; eatx.com/tom-serg

Wild & The Moon

Health food cafe Wild & The Moon, which was born in Paris, opened in Dubai back in 2016 and has been serving its 100 per cent organic, cold-pressed, plant-based, wheat-free and unpasteurised dishes and drinks to Alserkal Avenue ever since.

Emma Sawko, who co-founded the chic healthy cafe Comptoir 102 in Jumeirah, partnered with vegan chef Sati Faulks to open it.

The chic, two-level venue is all about natural materials and that casual vibe that's perfect for friendly catch-ups or longer co-working sessions.

You can buy their health products from the store or sip on one of their famous smoothies, nut mylks or cold-pressed juices. Recommended dishes include the orange blossom pancakes and the bean tacos.

Open Sunday-Thursday 8.30am-7pm, Friday-Saturday 8.30am-10pm; Street 8, H77, Alserkal Avenue; 04 345 0183; wildandthemoon.ae

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