I’m working in a series of Abu Dhabi’s cafes, testing their wireless, so I figured I may as well critique them as I go – it can be difficult to find uninterrupted wireless, with staff that will let you sit.
Leopold’s of London – Boutik Mall, Reem Island (02 673 7420)
One of my favourite cafes for a variety of reasons – including being the only place in town that does a flat white.
The food & coffee:
The coffees are around Dhs25 each, which in my opinion is a little steep, but they’re good coffees and the wifi is unlimited time- you don’t need a user-name and password. I worked from LOL for four hours, had an amazing lunch (a mixed plate of salads – try it!) and two coffees and noone was pressuring me to leave at all.
There’s also access to power sockets all around the cafe.
Plus: Open ended wifi, delicious food and good coffee
Minus: Hard to get to and a little expensive
Out of five: four
Third Place Cafe – Al Khalidiyah (02 681 1877).
Third Place is a trendy cafe near the Corniche – which I’d been dying to try…and I’m glad I did. It’s similar kind of vibe as Cafe Arabia but with a bit less of an arty kind of feel – more hipster-style.
Parking is right out the front of this Khalidiyah villa – which is a bonus, though you do have to pay for parking.
Once you’re inside, it’s a happy little haven of peace and quiet, with mismatched furniture.
Food & coffee:
The coffee isn’t mind blowing but it’s decent. The food is delicious, with Arabic style food, salads, burgers and a good mix. The food is a little expensive but the wifi is open ended and there are couches and plenty of power sockets. The staff are nice enough – but one confusing factor is the ordering system – it’s set up to be a bistro and you order off a blackboard, but the waiters will offer table-service for coffee.
Plus: good food, unlimited wifi – and very quiet, plus V cool decor.
Minus: A little expensive
Out of five: Four
Mugg & Bean – Abu Dhabi Mall (02 645 4232)
I went to the Abu Dhabi Mall branch and was really disappointed – the service was horrific. There were about six tables of people in the cafe, and two wait-staff working and they were a bit daft – we had to approach the counter to try and get service in the end. What really p*ssed me off, is the internet is only a 30-minute user-name and I had to ask for them after the 30 minutes was up.
The space is large and there are a few comfy couches but they aren’t near power-sockets. It’s fairly quiet and spread out, so it’s a pleasant place to sit around. The parking is fairly easy, because it’s in Abu Dhabi Mall.
Food & coffee:
The food was crap – my ‘Greek’ salad was a pile of dry, old vegetables and while the greasy snacks and coffee are decent, they’re nothing to jump for joy about.
Plus: Plenty of parking, not too busy
Minus: Bad service, limited wifi
Out of five: One
Hippy Chic – Etihad Plaza (02 556 8264)
In the interest of keeping my spectrum broad, I went to Hippy Chic at Etihad Plaza, which is a funky design. I went on a weekday – so I can’t verify for weekends, but the service is quick, the wifi open-ended and the food delicious. I was at Hippy Chic for around three hours and while it was quiet between 10-12, after 12 it go so busy and noisy that I had to leave. Pity too, there were loads of hot guys!
Etihad Plaza is a drive for me, but so close to Khalifa City A, and has a fair amount of parking out the front. The cafe is a reasonable size, and is close to the parking, and easy to find.
Food & coffee
My FAVOURITE thing about Hippy Chic, is that the coffee is unlimited if you order black coffees. The lattes are only Dhs13 mind you! The breakfasts are large portions, for reasonable prices and they seem to be quite creative with their menu.
Plus: Wifi, free coffee, good food
Minus: Noisy around lunch time.
Out of five: Four
Have a cafe you think should be tried, tested or added?
Comment on this post for suggestions 🙂