“For people who just want to have their coffee and for people who love art.” Art House Cafe
One of Abu Dhabi’s homegrown hidden gems, the Art House Cafe in Al Bateen, has opened a smaller outpost in Al Raha Beach in the waterfront community of Al Bandar. Like the original shabby chic venue it’s a riot of colourful hand painted art works and recycled furniture.
The new Al Bandar cafe is a much smaller affair located in one of the community’s central glass cubes offering indoor and outdoor seating. Those who fancy getting arty can choose to paint a white ceramic plate or mask but the cafe also welcomes non-painters who just wish to dine. As expected the art theme is strong with menus attached to a wooden artist palette, walls adorned with colourful painted plates and masks, brightly coloured oil drum chairs and even a repurposed bathtub. Following the sustainable ethos of the brand the majority of the fixtures and fittings are made in-house from recycled or repurposed materials.
The painting is a great, affordable way to keep younger members of the family entertained as well as being a therapeutic activity for adults. All materials (plates, paints, brushes etc) are provided for just AED 20 per painter and as there’s no time limit you can just relax and create your masterpiece.
The cafe menu offers an extensive breakfast choice with the popular avo on toast, many different egg dishes as well as the more indulgent french toast and tiramisu pancakes. There’s also a daily soup, a choice of healthy salads, starters (got my eye on the halloumi fries for my next visit), pasta, pizza, sliders, sandwiches and main course items such as steak and salmon. Kids have their own menu and there’s plenty of hot and cold drinks options. If calories aren’t a concern there’s a chocolate lava cake and a lotus sundae amongst the dessert selection – see the full menu HERE.
I visited the original cafe, which is next to the Etihad Modern Art Gallery, many years ago so it was good to revisit the concept in this newer location. While the painting is good fun it’s also a great casual spot to grab a drink and a bite to eat in a quirky venue with lovely marina views.
Art House Cafe
Location: Al Bandar Marina, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 546 6876
Opening Times: Daily 9am – 10pm
Art House Cafe menu linked with courtesy of Zomato
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2021. All rights reserved.