For an easy invite into the private world of the Emirati, grab coffee at Basta Art Café in the Bastakiya Quarter. This artsy
café is located in the backyard of a traditional Emirati house. In the heart of the hustle and bustle of Bur Dubai, this walled patio feels like a bubble of calm amongst the storm. It’s a mix of Mediterranean decor, Tuscan foliage, American Southern style lounge furniture, and Arab cuisine. All balanced perfectly to provide artsy tranquility. In a city that is comprised of steel, glass and concrete with an accent of greenery, the Basta Art Café flips the equation providing a patio filled with tall Narra trees, dozens of potted plants, and bright pastel flowers. Dubai prides itself in being big and modern, cozy here is rare to find. But, this little café pulls it off with style.
The food is excellent, though don’t expect American style portions for breakfast. The fruit cocktails are refreshing on hot days, made in a variety of flavors. For the adventurous foodies, try the Apple Cinnamon concoction. The menu includes options for meat lovers and vegetarians alike. The salads are all made with fresh vegetables from the region. For salad connoisseurs try the Broccoli Salad with fresh broccoli, feta, cheery tomatoes, and toasted hazelnets or for a more Middle Eastern experience go for the Souk Salad with cous-cous, chicken, tomatoes, sweet corn, capsicum, and cashews. And if a more hearty meal is what you are looking for this café offers a wide variety of Jacket Potato dishes and sandwiches.
Have a favorite dish at Basta Art Cafe? Let us know in the comment sections and we’ll add it to this review.
Fine Details: No credit cards, so bring dirhams. This café is located a 5-10 minute walk from the Al-Fahidi metro stop. Fast, courteous service. 8am-10pm daily. Dishes 30-40 AED. No wifi.
Editor’s Note: The cafe has changed it’s name to Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café. Effective Spring 2014.