Shakespeare & Co
This local chain is a love-it-or-hate-it sort of place. The décor looks like someone’s let their maiden aunt lose in a suburban Oxfam – the beaded lampshades, chintzy sofas and heavily flocked wallpaper are the fusty side of eccentric – but if you find it all too oppressive, there is an enormous terracotta-tiled terrace to escape to. Even on Friday, when the rest of this boutique mall is a ghost-town, Shakespare & Co is packed with locals who clearly don’t think the food is much ado about nothing. It’s a great quick coffee stop, with glass counters piled high with gleaming patisserie and sherbet-coloured macaroons to greet you as you walk in. If you’re after something more filling, the exemplary Arabic breakfast and more standard sandwiches, pastas and crêpes are not bard at all. OK, I’ll stop now. Branches also to be found at Sheikh Zayed Road; Al Wasl Road; The Meadows and Gulf Towers; Oud Metha Road.