Is eating a legitimate hobby?
If you ask anybody what their favourite things are to do in Kuwait, I guarantee that one of their answers will be eating out. No matter if they are Kuwaiti or from any other corner of the world, everyone takes pleasure in sampling the cuisine here on offer in Kuwait. And there are so many options. SO. MANY. OPTIONS. From the small corner shops with menus exclusively in Arabic selling falafels for ½ KD each to fine dining at the Hilton Hotel buffet, there is literally something for everyone.
With breakfast being my favourite meal of the day (I REALLY don’t understand the sorcery behind people who wake up and function for hours surviving on just one hot beverage), this post is dedicated to a few of my favourite breakfast spots in Kuwait. The list isn’t comprehensive but I can’t afford to become the size of an African elephant so I haven’t gone everywhere (although my stomach would love to).
1. Café Bazza (Mahboula)
I have eaten here on more than one occasion and service can be a hit or miss. Sometimes they don’t have an English menu on hand but there is usually one kind waiter who will happily translate for you. Their bread is amazing and for 6KD, you can enjoy a traditional Arabic breakfast below (serves 3-4 people). This was the first place I ever tried karak and it started off a mild addiction.
Rating: A reasonably priced brunch option and a great place to introduce your out of town guests to Arabic breakfasts. Swop the chicken livers for falafels in the Dasman Platter but the livers are delicious too if you like that sort of thing. Oh and that cream with honey/jam is divine! I only wish their service was more consistent but that probably differs from branch to branch. 3 out of 5 pandas.
2. Prime & Toast (Kuwait City)
They have a hipster-feel about their restaurants despite being a franchise located across various locations in Kuwait. The menu acts like a guest book where you can write any message you like! They serve western style breakfasts and they have SOOOOO many options to choose from. The likes of Belgian-style waffles, salmon with avo and spicy beans are up for grabs; plus many more choices for any level of appetite.
Rating: A tastefully cute interior, all day breakfasts, friendly service and deliciously prepared food are a perfect start for a great day giving this cafe a 4 out of 5 pandas.
3. Table Otto (Al Shaheed Park)
This is one of two places on this list that are an absolute must. Table Otto boasts a minimalistic, yet sophisticated bistro feel. Pop down for your morning coffee hit, brunch with the ladies or impress your significant other with a long lazy breakfast. Every detail is thought of; from the interesting flavour combinations on their menu to the cute uniforms the waiters wear. If I’m being entirely honest, how food is served can make me want it, even if I don’t even like whatever is on the plate. And at Table Otto, they know how to make each dish an aesthetic piece of art.
Rating: If you like toasts with innovative spreads, dishes you’ve never heard of before and you are not opposed to a little bit of chaos, you might want to check out Table Otto. Don`t be deterred by the long line – take a walk around the park to kill the time; it is worth the wait for one of the best breakfasts in Kuwait hence the 5 out of 5 pandas.
4. Ayamme (Marina Mall)
Open everyday for breakfast, providing a huge selection of options, this beautiful restaurant overlooking the marina has everything your heart could desire. And if you can’t decide what to eat, why not order one of their infamous ‘breakfast platters’ which have a little bit of everything. Dishes have a strong Mediterranean influence with a Middle Eastern twist. Artfully served and deliciously satisfying.
Rating: The lofty all-day eatery offers indoor and outdoor eating and also offers shisha if you need that early morning fix – a great place to people watch and enjoy the views of the Kuwait skyline in the distance. It really is the perfect place for an Arabic breakfast hence the 5 out of 5 pandas rating.
5. Köşebaşı (Arabella)
No I can’t pronounce it either. But should you go? Hell yes. Described as an “artisanal Turkish Grill restaurant” it caught my eye one day after Bee and I had just finished our morning workout. We thought we deserved a treat and boy did we treat ourselves. 11KD for this HUGE breakfast selection, which can easily feed up to 4-5 people.
Rating: The breakfast platter includes a selection of cheeses, cream, nutella, traditional Arabic dishes and morning breads. Highlights are certainly the scrambled eggs, flavourful mince and grilled halloumi giving this place a 4 out of 5 pandas.
6. Coco Cafe Middle East (The Avenues)
This place serves breakfasts all day. What is not to love about that? And it’s the perfect antidote to refueling after shopping up a storm at The Avenues. It may not seem very chic to be eating breakfast in the middle of a mall but the Grand Avenues section of The Avenues mall seems more like an outdoor shopping street than a mall. With carefully placed plants and decor, this cafe exudes a cosmopolitan vibe. The breakfast options are just the right amount of food and decadence of brunch without the stomachache feeling (which I know very well).
Rating: If you’re in the mood for a hearty, filling and decadent all day breakfast or lunch in The Avenues then this is the cafe for you. Get there early (they open at 9) to avoid the shoppers and enjoy your meal in a serene environment. This cafe is also famous for their desserts. Their signature milkshakes are truly something to lust over lending itself to a 4 out of 5 pandas.
7. Cocoa Room (Kuwait City)
This is the other place I would rate as a MUST DO. Did I even know how to appreciate food before I visited Cocoa Room? Probably not. Shout out to the two girls I went with who were good at swooping in and stopping me from total self-destruction as I almost ordered everything on the menu. The menu isn’t extensive which is what I like… They do a few things and they do it SUPERBLY.
Rating: The café`s interior is beautifully designed with dark walls and lots of greens that are creating a cheery & airy atmosphere. If you are looking for an Instagram-able breakfast – this is your place. Highly deserving of the prestigious 5 out of 5 pandas.
8. Meem Cafe (Abu Halifa)
This inconspicuous little storefront in the Sea Views Complex (you’ll pass right by it if you’re not paying attention) is currently cranking out some of the most ridiculously good breakfast items in the area. Their menu has quite a few options but we opted for their morning tray which had all of the necessary elements for an Arabic breakfast with a side order of hummus. The falafels and hummus were definitely some of the best I have had in Kuwait and the presentation of food is absolutely gorgeous. The pink drink pictured below is the rose guava shake which is simply to-die-for.
Rating: Although the taste of the food wasn’t as memorable as some of the other options on this list, its still a fulfilling breakfast option. The restaurant decor is very chic and they sell all sorts of artisanal goods from olive oil to jams. Bee really enjoyed her Turkish coffee and I, of course, loved dessert. No matter what you eat, save room for dessert. Their chocolate cake is one of the best I have eaten in Kuwait (and I have eaten quite a few in Kuwait!). I would say an admirable 4 out of 5 pandas.
9. Baker & Spice (JACC)
Originally a British restaurant originating in London, Baker & Spice is a franchise that has made its way to the Gulf with a few locations in Dubai and two in Kuwait. My friends in Dubai have been raving about this place so I grabbed some girls and headed out to the Kuwait Opera House or Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre for brunch one morning.
Although their presentation of food wasn’t the most visually appealing and neither were their portions very large, the quality of food was very impressive. Their lamb sausages deserve special mention. They were the Danny DeVito of the sausage world! Impeccable is the word I would use to describe the pistachio and cranberry pancakes and the Turkish eggs tasted simply magnificent. There was a handsome waiter named Praveen which helped us enjoy the experience even more. Yum, yum, yum.
Rating: Excellent organic food coupled with bistro inspired decor as well as the backdrop of the fountains at the Cultural Centre, makes for a worthwhile dining experience although I did feel it was a little overpriced (Two sausages and some leaves for 3KD?). You can also purchase various breads and treats to take home. Definitely a 4 out of 5 pandas which could be bumped up to a 4 and a half if the presentation of the food was improved.
10. The Gathering Bistro (Abu Halifa)
This urban-chic cafe is has two branches- one in Kuwait City and a newer one in Abu Halifa which is where I went with fellow blogger Mini and Bee (just a few meters away from Meem Cafe). It is a far cry from conventional breakfast haunts in the area. It has a trendy feel about it, and with graffiti on the walls and other nostalgic trinkets decking the shelves, you may forget you’re in the middle of a residential area. The menu is large without having two many choices. As a group of 3 ladies, we opted for the Arabic breakfast tower (5.5 KD but enough for 4 people to share) with a white omelette with mushrooms and spinach.
Rating: The food is delicious, the portions are very generous, the choices are interesting, the plates look good and the service is attentive. Oh and I should mention the cinnamon roll pancakes which were the finest I’ve had in Kuwait to date. Amazing, thick pancakes cooked in a mold, pancakes without borders, fluffy like a sponge, airy and tender. Two thick pancakes stacked one on top of the other filled with a layer of cinnamon cream in the middle and decorated with fresh cream on top while served with a jug of maple syrup. Mmmm! It was good value for money so I give this place a 4 out of 5!
Breakfast is an important and often overlooked meal of the day. Many people when referring to breakfast often do not use words such as memorable, once in a lifetime and mouthwatering to describe this morning meal… but trust this panda you will, when you try some of these dishes. I encourage you to join me for a little foodie adventure and start the day off right. Kuwait indeed has it all from busy coffee shops to lazy cafes, no shortage of all-day bistros and a wealth of bakeries. Let me, and other readers, know which are your favourite brekkie spots in K-Town by commenting below!
P.S. Breakfasts that were 2 pandas and below include The Early Bird (Fahaheel) and Emirgan Sutis (Egalia).
P.P.S. This list has been updated since it was first published.