Illustration by Nisala Saheed

AD Secrets: Shabby Chic Cafe

Looking for another good place to do your assignments in the city? Check out Shabby Chic Cafe.

Apr 23, 2017

Tucked into the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan area, Shabby Chic Café is a small, eclectic food haven for families, businessmen and students alike. Open from 10 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., the café offers cheap English-style breakfasts in addition to coffee, burgers, pasta and wraps, and provides free WiFi for all customers.
Photograph by Vamika Sinha
The quirky décor is certainly one of the highlights of dining at Shabby Chic. An assortment of unpredictable vintage items — cricket bats, electric guitars, lace lamps, violin cases, roller skates — adorn the walls; the kind of memorabilia one would find in a hole-in-the-wall antiques shop. Classic rock ballads from the ’70s and ’80s play overhead, and one can even request to play a record from a small selection on the restaurant’s vinyl player.
Shabby 2
Photograph by Vamika Sinha
The overall atmosphere at Shabby Chic is homey and cosy, an ideal nest to work on an essay or catch up with an old friend. Similarly, the menu offers an array of simple comfort food to add to the warm, relaxed, almost nostalgic ambiance. An extensive selection of feel-good salads are available, in addition to the mains, which include sandwiches, wraps, pasta and a few kinds of special English-style jacket potatoes. For dessert, there are richly satisfying dishes like chocolate crepes, English muffins and even Chicago-fried ice cream, a dish made with vanilla ice-cream, warm, sliced bread and bread crumbs. NYU Abu Dhabi students will be particularly excited to learn that the café also serves several kinds of bubble tea, an exceptionally popular drink on campus.
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Photograph by Vamika Sinha
To visit Shabby Chic Café, take the shuttle to Al Wahda Mall from campus. From there, take a taxi and direct the driver to Al Noor Hospital; the café is just a block away, next to the Al Manara Pharmacy. More specifically, it is located in Golden Tower B on Muroor Road.
Vamika Sinha is Deputy Features Editor. Email her at
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