When my friend suggested we meet at The Surf Café on Jumeirah Beach Road, I thought we’d be entering an underground world of dreadlocks, trunks and surfboards – where bronzed skin and long, wavy hair are mandatory. While this sounds awesome on paper, I think the reality was even better.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this place lately, and it’s quickly gaining momentum as a go-to dining destination. Here’s why it’s my favourite foodie hotspot at the moment.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a chilled late-morning breakfast, a lazy afternoon coffee or a seafood dinner with friends, The Surf Café is a bustling dining haven. With a slightly Latin vibe, the venue is chic and laid back. Things are bright and airy; the odd burst of vibrant colour adds a bit of energy to the place, while its massive windows allow plenty of natural light to flood in.
The worst part? You’re limited to a view of Jumeirah Beach Road, rather than the sprawling beach beyond – meaning rush hour affords unrivalled panoramas of the city’s beaming brake lights (like we don’t see enough of those already).
If you’re visiting for dinner (like I did), the seafood is the star of the show, while plenty of chicken and meat dishes add some variety. Choose your favourite fresh catch of the day from the counter, or order a la carte.
Here are some standout choices that I couldn’t recommend more highly (yes, I’ve tried them all at some point).
- Quinoa Greek salad with prawns
- Poached eggs with avocados
- Crab leg with chimichurri sauce
- Japanese scallops
- Acai bowl (packed with antitoxidants and vitamins)
- Fresh sashimi made at the sushi bar
The boring stuff
Paid parking is available (free on weekends), or you’ll be able to find a space in the backstreets behind the café. Prices aren’t cheap, but they’re pretty decent for the portion sizes and quality. When I visited for dinner, my bill for two was AED 535 for two crab legs, one sea bass, two jumbo prawns, one sweet potato fries, one quinoa salad, one bottle of sparkling water and two coffees (yes, we eat a lot – don’t judge).
Great food, chilled vibes and awesome seafood. Stop messing around and get booking.