February 2019 Update:
Do not read further than the updated section. The Surf Café has completely re-done their menu over the past years and is now one of the most vegan-friendly eateries in the neighborhood. Now you can get a vegan beetroot latte, a huge variation of vegan Acai bowls, an entire vegan breakfast (with tofu scramble), vegan dumplings, salads, tofu mains and much more! I will definitely be back to be able to taste these new additions!
Just around the corner of Sunset Beach in Jumeirah (that’s the one right next to Burj Al Arab) is the Surf Café located. It’s somehow connected to the Surf House next door where you can join a yoga class, take surf-, stand-up paddle lessons and rent these as well. They’ve got a little shop and a small café attached. However, before one of my one-hour stops at Sunset Beach (it was simply too hot to stay longer) I finally managed to try the vegan-friendliness of the menu at the Surf Café on Jumeirah Beach Road. One reason why I had always wanted to go was because they serve all-day breakfast and this is somehow the only way for me to enjoy breakfast outside of my own place (I’m just not that kind of person that likes leaving the house early and especially not without having eaten at all). While I was checking the menu online I noticed that dishes were labeled with V for vegetarian, GF for gluten free, N for contains nuts and NS for non-seafood. Since my favorite DF for dairy free label was missing I didn’t know what to actually expect from their menu until I arrived.
The restaurant is in a two-story building, with only a small entrance area with a bar on the ground floor and another bar and tables on the second floor. We decided for a table at the window. Since it was early afternoon most other customers were enjoying lunch already. Their lunch and dinner menu mainly focuses on seafood and sushi – I saw a few salads on there, which might be vegan or can easily be made vegan though! Also they offer lots of fresh juices, smoothies, coffee and tea. Even though the breakfast menu sounded promising, once I had consulted the waiter I realized that there were only two vegan options: the Acai Bowl and the Smoothie Bowl. Everything else sadly contains dairy or eggs.
So I got myself a Smoothie (the Soy Jubilee) and the Superfood Acai Bowl, topped with banana and homemade granola. IMPORTANT: the Acai Bowl was great – the Acai was quite frozen, but delicious and the topping made it perfect, BUT if you avoid honey please advise the staff, since honey is not mentioned in the toppings on the menu but my Superfood Acai Bowl got served with honey. The Smoothie was delicious as well – a blend of Acai, Pineapple, Granola and Soy Milk, but with 30 AED a little bit overpriced for the small glass.
Conclusion: I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere at the Surf Café; even though they only have a few vegan options for breakfast and lunch the Acai Bowl is worth trying. You can order via Deliveroo, too!
The Surf Café
Jumeirah Beach Road
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 8AM to 11PM, Fri-Sat 8AM to midnight