Leopold’s of London is Abu Dhabi’s new oasis for an exquisite cup of coffee, once an elusive find in the city. This newest hip café and brasserie brewed its first cup in December 2013 and has been an instant success with Reem Island residents and families.
Leopold’s secret draw is the coffee lab, where baristas brew coffee from Ethiopia and Kenya. Unique in Abu Dhabi is its cold brew, made using a Kyoto cold-drip technique that takes eight hours to brew with cold water and ice. The result is a delicious cup of refreshing coffee.
“I don’t like coffee, but this [cold brew] was delicious,” said senior Laith Aqel, sitting on the terrace.
Aqel first discovered Leopold’s through a friend at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. Located in the Boutik Mall, Leopold's is a short walk away from their campus and has become has become a study spot for many students.
For traditionalists looking for a steaming brew, try a cup of joe brewed with one of the various techniques available; from our Blacksmith club’s favorite chemex technique to the manual shot to get the perfect espresso. If you have been coffee-deprived since arriving to Abu Dhabi, Leopold’s can quell your thirst.
For sweet accompaniments to coffee, try their spiced ginger cake, the Danish of the day, or the red velvet cheesecake cookie, all freshly baked every morning. There are six varieties of tea, served beautifully on a tray with a candle. Chocolate fans can indulge in the hot chocolate, served with a large marshmallow in a cozy hug mug.
For a midday meal, try their Eggs Benedict, a healthy sandwich or a quinoa salad. Customer favorites are the lasagna made of braised beef short ribs with meat sauce and the burger slathered in a homemade barbecue sauce. Leopold’s does not disappoint, whether with food or coffee.
Leopold’s is packed and full of life on a Friday morning, when families come for a light breakfast. The outdoor terrace is the closest thing in Abu Dhabi to street café culture and the playground frees parents to chat with friends. The smell of grass coupled with coffee is one of a kind in the city of sand.
Leopold’s, inspired by both the street-style of London and the relaxed atmosphere of a Mediterranean café, is the perfect place to meet up with a friend or read with the background noise of a café culture seldom found in Abu Dhabi. Often an anomaly in the city, young and attractive 20-something year olds can be seen tucked into corners of the café, furiously typing business reports with steaming cappuccinos at hand.
As NYU Abu Dhabi looks towards the transition to Saadiyat, Leopold’s café will certainly be a hot spot for students. The café is only a 15 AED cab ride from Sama Tower and will cost even less from Saadiyat. Take a taxi to the Boutik Mall on Reem Island. The café is on the far right side of the mall on the ground floor, but ask the guards for precise directions.
Nicole Lopez del Carril is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.