This Quirky JLT Café Is The Perfect Place For A Spot Of Healthy Lunch

It looks like we're going to be friends.

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It’s hard to think of Dubai as having a café culture that you could compare with the likes of Melbourne, Berlin or San Francisco. I think a lot of it has to do with the shape of the buildings, the lay of the land and the fact that for a large part of the year you just can't walk anywhere. Sure, you’ll find lots of cafés in the malls, but they tend to be soulless chains, rather than the quirky independents that are the true architects of café culture.

That has started to change a little in recent years, with the likes of Tom & Serg, Surf Café and The Sum of Us rearing their hipster heads. And now there's one more to add to the list. Located at the heart of JLT, Friends' Avenue serves everything from salads and tasty artisanal sandwiches to fresh, simple coffee. Popular with the lunch crowd for both eat in and takeaway, there are nearly as many delivery drivers queueing up as diners.

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Tables are tightly packed, including a large high communal area that seats around 10. To be honest, over lunch, things do get a little too tight, but you can see that the guys are just trying to make the most of their limited space.

With a big focus on healthy juices, there are plenty of fruit combos available to get the antioxidants flowing. Apart from being ever so slightly too thick (I just threw in some water and it was perfect), it was absolutely delicious and I could feel the fruity goodness seeping into my body after the first sip.

For lunch, I went with a chicken wrap. It was perfectly decent, but nothing to write home about. A good sandwich, but I wouldn’t have been driving across town for it. I also had a salad with butternut squash (doesn’t that seem to be everywhere these days), green beans and chicken, which was light, tasty and superb. Either of the dishes would have been enough to fill me up, and they're perfectly enjoyed for lunch with a juice. For the sake of Lovin Dubai, I was just being a greedy pig ordering both.

I don't regret a thing.

I finished with a coffee, which was excellent, and, as the lunch crowd thinned out I was left there on my own. Needing the toilet I had to head about 50 yards out of the building, which was a shame in the hot weather, but again this was down to the space restrictions. If things keep going the way they are, lets hope they can expand into an even bigger unit, because the place has tons of potential.


Friends' Avenue is more of an in-and-out place for a quick, 30-minute lunch, rather than somewhere to come and linger for a coupe of hours. If you're in the area and need a solid spot for a good lunch and a bit of a health kick, then this is the place for you.

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