If you’ve lived in Dubai long enough, you’ll know that Karak Chai is a HUGE part of Indian and Middle Eastern caffeine culture.
A blend of black tea, evaporated milk, sugar and cardamom, many cafés around town have their own unique spin on the classic recipe… We decided to take to the city streets to find the most flavourful and delicious cups of Karak around town. Let us know if we missed any of your favourites!
1. The ‘Disco Chai’
A long-standing favourite among locals, treat yourself to a party-in-your-mouth cup of ‘Disco Chai’ for a laughable AED 2 at Al Hara Cafeteria. Sometimes called the ‘best Chai in Dubai’, you’ll always find a host of devotees honking their horns outside this joint late into the night, waiting for another refill.
2. The ‘Legendary Chai’
Via Instagram | @fillicafe
Selling over 25,000 cups of their signature Filli Chai EVERY SINGLE DAY, Filli Cafe is without a doubt a Dubai institution. Of the 17 locations scattered across the city, our fave has got to be its breezy, beachside branch at Kite Beach which offers up stunning sea views that go perfect with a warm cup.
3. The ‘Ginger Chai’
More than just ‘eggsperts’ in all things breakfast, the egg-heads at Raju Omlet are known to make a mean Karak Chai (don’t miss the Adraki Chai, it’s their signature blend!) Popular with families and foodies, this busy Karama café knows how to brighten your day with its funny wall art and delicious food. This quirky joint is definitely one of our favourite hidden gems and well-worth making the trek for.
4. The ‘Sophisticated Chai’
Via Facebook | @Karakhouse
A trendy Emirati café in the heart of Downtown, Karak House is a modern chai shop that serves up its sweet Karak tea in funky glass jars with delicious glucose biscuits on the side (oh, the nostalgia!) A little more sophisticated than the rest of the pack, its central location and people-watching opportunities are a welcome addition to typical tea time chatter.
5. The ‘Super Sweet Chai’
Pair this Middle Eastern’s eatery’s signature Karak Chai with an oven baked Umm Ali dessert and you’ve got yourself a winning combination. The tea is prepared with condensed milk, so expect it to be a little richer and sweeter. For neighbourhood charm and rustic vibes, Mama’esh is a great spot to unwind.
6. The ‘Camel Milk Chai’
Via Facebook | @logmauae
What better way to get acquainted with Emirati culture than by enjoying its delicious cuisine? Head to Logma in BoxPark, and you’ll find a wholesome selection of Emirati foodie specialties like breakfast dishes, rice platters, and of course, Karak Chai. If you’re feeling adventurous, request a Chai made with camel milk, which adds a pleasantly salty flavour to the drink. Pair it with a plate of Lugaimat (sugar dipped dough balls) and you’re golden.
7. The ‘Street-style Chai’
Okay, so Truck Adda offers it’s own (delicious) version of Karak called Doodh Patti Elaichi, a hard-to-find Kashmiri tea that’s a must-try for any Chai lover. Coloured pink by the addition of baking soda, this unique tea is creamy, salty & sweet all in one sip.
8. The ‘Karak Dessert’
Via Instagram | @dxbbites
So this one isn’t technically a Chai, but a Karak-inspired dessert that you really can’t miss. A modern twist on the classic tea & biscuits, this molecular sweet treat from Farzi Cafe serves up molecular Karak flavoured ice cream with a side of cinnamon-cardamom cookies. Just delicious.
That’s not all folks! If you can’t fathom tea without pastries, you’ll love our top picks for Dubai’s most appetising afternoon teas.