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Time Out Dubai

Original café in d3 with sensational breakfasts With a tagline of ‘feed your soul’ One Life Kitchen and Café certainly has lofty ambitions. And with hearty food, a chilled-out atmosphere and irresistible desserts, we think it might just manage it. The first café to open in Dubai Design District back in 2016, 1life was cool before most people had even heard of d3. Although a number of other cafés have since opened in the area, this spot still draws in a crowd on the weekend. Outdoors, you’ll find a mix of trendy (a recurring theme at this eatery) pallet furniture and regular wooden seating, with plenty of foliage to jazz it up and umbrellas to keep the sun at bay. Indoors, you’ll find a bar-style area – yes, the café is licensed – and a kind of deli area where you can check out what’s on offer that day, including those aforementioned desserts. Our favourite part, though, has to be the library, complete with sliding ladder to access the higher shelves. We haven’t yet jumped on it and pretended we’re in Beauty and the Beast, but no guarantees for our next visit. 1life is an absolute must-visit for breakfast – which is very generously served until 3pm on weekends. All the classics make an appearance on the menu, like eggs and avocado on toast (topped with sliced radishes and zaatar), shakshoumi (think shakshouka, but with added halloumi), and bancakes (a slightly healthier version of the real thing made from banana and oat flour). Our pick? The stuffed croissants, which includes a delightful mushroom and leek version that we’ll be thinking about for many breakfasts to come. Wake yourself up with one of the coffees, which are roasted in-house, or a fruity iced tea. If you’re heading here later in the day, not to worry, because lunch and dinner options prove just as tempting. Salads change daily, and you can check them out at the deli counter before picking one that looks perfect for you. Looking for something more substantial? The poke bowl with salmon is a top choice, and plant-based folks can switch it out for tofu with vegan aioli, or the sandwiches (particularly the reuben) are always a winner. Make it a winner, winner chicken dinner with the chicken burger, or try the red Thai shrimp curry. No matter when you come, dessert is non-negotiable. Those who can walk past a case filled with cakes just begging to be eaten without ordering a single one are stronger (or, more boring) than us. The burnt basque cheesecake is exceptional, and there are plenty of chocolate-y treats worth trying, too. The atmosphere inside (and outside) is on point, and at the weekend you’ll find plenty of friends, couples and families whiling away the hours. During the working week, you’ll also spot plenty of people ditching WFH in favour of working from 1life, with plenty of plug sockets and fast wifi. Basically, this café will suit anyone. You only have one life, and One Life Kitchen and Café isn’t a bad place to spend (part of) it. Time Out reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

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