We've compiled a list of the best places to pick up the country's favourite brew
Eight of our favourite karak spots in the UAE
The price of a cup can vary from one dirham to Dh25, but these spots, not listed according to price, are some of our favourites.
This restaurant serves traditional Emirati fare with a contemporary twist. Along with the regular karak (Dh13), you can get an iced karak for Dh23 along with iced caramal or iced chocolate for Dh25 a cup. You can also get cereal with karak instead of milk.
Karak House, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, near the Manzil Hotel. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 9am to midnight. Call 04 551 6852.
From what started as a small hole in the wall tea shop near Al Mamzar beach, Filli cafe continues to expand, with Mumbai its latest venture. Our favourite is the one on Abu Dhabi Corniche. You can grab a small Filli karak for Dh4 or a large one for Dh7. The cafes also sell burgers, wraps and even the Chips Oman paratha roll.
Opening times vary. Visit the website to locate your nearest branch.
This ‘tea-house with a modern twist’ has branches in Oud Metha, at Meena Bazaar, Ajman, and a new one that is soon open in Festival City. You can get a cup of karak called “Cutting Chai” which purportedly comes "all the way from the street vendors in Mumbai" to a cooled version of the drink for Dh16. On the second floor, decorated with vintage furniture, you can play a variety of board games, including Scrabble, carom, and Jenga. The cafe is famous for their omelette options as an all-day breakfast option.
Opening from 9am to 4am. Call 04 357 6677 for table reservations.
This spot specialises in Indian street food and has a great reputation for its huge variety of omelettes and omelette sandwiches. You can get a karak here for Dh4.
Raju Omlet has locations in Al Karama, Al Quoz and Sharjah with two more locations set to open in Jumeirah Lake Towers and Business Bay. Opening times are from 9pm to 2am. 04 3885522
Dunya Al Sham Pastry
The karak in this tiny restaurant in Satwa packs a mighty punch for a mere Dh2. As well as an excellent vantage point to take in the bustling side of Dubai, the karak is excellent. There are a wide variety of pastries available here too - think cheese, cheese and zaatar, cheese and olives, cheese and meat - cheese and anything you could wish for. A favourite on the menu is the jebab - the Emirati version of pancakes, which you can either order plain, with cheese or with honey.
Dunya Al Sham Pastry is on December 2 Street, Satwa. Open from 5am to 3am. For details or orders call 04 398 9866.
Tucked away on a corner of Muroor Road, this café takes its karak very seriously. "Shay madbhoot" means “perfect cup of tea”, although the café also has a disclaimer: “Understand that there is an art, science and dash of magic that goes into it... so we won't declare it just yet. You can get a regular cup of karak here for Dh5 or an iced version for Dh10.
Opening hours are 6:30am to 2am. Call 02 6217323 for orders.
This establishments is said to be made from an old recipe belonging to yadoo (Arabic for ‘grandmother’). A small karak tea here is Dh5m while a large is Dh8. There are varieties with ginger for Dh10 or saffron for Dh12. The restaurant specialises in Emirati food and a firm menu favourite is the all-day breakfast platter. Choose from a list including eggs and tomato, balaleet (sweetened vermicelli) chickpeas, beans, and khameer bread with cheese and honey. And of course a cup of karak.
Yadoo's House is on Airport Road, near the capital's Embassies district. Table booking is recommended - call 02 4411311 to reserve.
House of Tea
Not one you will find on Instagram, House of Tea is one of our favourite places for a cuppa. Should you live nearby or your business takes you into downtown Abu Dhabi, it's a must visit. As well as the usual streetside cafeteria fare of 'zinker' burgers and wildly named mocktails, House of Tea is renowned for the quality of its karak. You'll pay just Dh2 for a small cup and Dh4.25 for a large. There is an extraordinary variety of karak on the menu, with flavours including saffron, ginger, zatar, horlicks, vanilla and strawberry.
Open from 5am to midnight. Call 02 6219275