Café Retro

While perhaps not a secret, Café Retro is certainly something of a hidden gem. Neither new, nor widely publicised, you wouldn’t even need to blink to miss this café. It is located in a rarely frequented corner of Mirdif not far from the Uptown Mirdif, and Mirdif City Centre malls, but in a location that is not as much of a destination in its own right. Beyond the façade of the Al Barjeel Oasis Complex, you’ll find a network of sandy coloured buildings, with a residential feel (despite, being mostly otherwise). Wandering through this mini outdoor shopping area feels a little like the streets of a quiet and pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. From the outside, Café Retro gives little away. There is a large sign, designed like a vintage cinema billboard, with peeling letters, a few tables and chairs (not occupied on the warm day when we visited) and darkly tinted frontage, which offers little insight into the interiors. Step inside, and the shelves full of coffee- making paraphernalia at the entrance will provide the first clue. To the right is an indoor, air-conditioned smoking lounge, decorated with a homely and retro combination of chairs and couches (some upholstered in leather, others emblazoned with embroidered Beatles) and cowhide rugs on the floor. Behind this (and entirely separated in terms of air quality) is the main dining-café area. You’ll find a large bar, with a handful of cakes made inhouse displayed on the counter, and yet more coffee apparatus displayed behind. There’s a bookshelf for browsing, good Wi-Fi, large and comfy chairs and a huge black and white image of Marilyn Monroe, occupying an entire wall. Coffee, as you may have guessed by now, is in fact a key part of the concept at Café Retro. In addition to the lengthy coffee menu (which features camel milk lattes), you’ll even find a small roasting machine (surrounded by buckets of green beans) in the room, where the café freshly roasts quantities of one kilo and upwards. As for the food menu, the selection is a straightforward and classic range of Italian dishes, with plenty of choice, including hot and cold antipasti, pizza, pasta, risotto, plus meat and fish ‘second plates’. From the cold starter list, an (actually semi-warm salad) of Sicilian caponata marked a strong beginning point. The aubergine had a creamy texture, sweet and a little sour in flavour, although also quite oily. The visuals and the eating pleasure of the aubergine was offset well by crisp local spinach leaves, crunchy flakes of toasted almond and splodges of fresh, creamy and fluffy ricotta. Unfortunately, the main course of pizza was brought to the table before this highly enjoyable salad had quite had its day. The caprese pizza was topped with cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and mozzarella, however, it was adorned with only a very ungenerous amount of fresh basil (barely three ripped fragments of leaf). The base of the pizza was a little soft in the centre, but overall the crust was good and on the crisp and flaky side, rather than doughy or heavy. Service is friendly and helpful where possible and some staff (possibly the owners) are quite personable. However, it has to be said that unless you are in the direct line of vision of the waiting staff and can catch their eye, you may have to wait some time for attendance. Nevertheless, the quality and variety of food served at Café Retro stands up impressively to the prices charged, the coffee is strong and rich, and the ambience is full of character, even a little bohemian. In fact, we’re inclined to mourn the fact that Café Retro is quite some way out of our usual stomping ground, but if Mirdif is your manor, you may find a new favourite here. The bill (for one) 1x caponata Dhs42 1x caprese pizza Dhs45 1x small water Dhs12 1x Americano Dhs12 Total (excluding service) Dhs111

Places Near Café Retro

Kaya Skin Clinic - City Centre Mirdif
Kaya Skin Clinic - City Centre Mirdif

The largest chain of skincare clinics in the Middle East, with the region's largest pool of dermatol...

Baskin Robbins
Baskin Robbins

When you think of ice cream, Baskin-Robbins® is the brand that immediately comes to mind. As of toda...

Eva Kana
Eva Kana

This little hidden gem in Mirdif offers delicious home made food, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Packe...

Chiquita Fruit Bar
Chiquita Fruit Bar

All our fruits are in peak condition and the drinks are all freshly prepared, which means we can off...

Caribou Coffee
Caribou Coffee

Our Roast masters are personally responsible for all our coffees. They've spent years in the field "...

Black Iris Cafe
Black Iris Cafe

Taking its name from the Jordanian national flower, Black Iris Café is a casual restaurant and coffe...

Pasta Kana
Pasta Kana

Pasta Kana Restaurant is one of the nice place to be for Lebanese and Italian Food, Prices are good,...

Silkor Laser Medical Center
Silkor Laser Medical Center

Silkor is an industry pioneer and the regions leading chain of laser hair removal, laser medico aest...

Ningxia
Ningxia

Enjoy a unique taste of fine quality food along with distinctive service at Ningxia Chinese Restaura...

Friterie Belgica
Friterie Belgica

A new experience in Dubai, the first real Fries Shop. Customers like and already come back.

Al Arrab
Al Arrab

The Al Arrab Restaurant menu is centered around a variety of authentic Lebanese cuisine, where the b...

Arabian Centre
Arabian Centre

Arabian Center is a premium shopping and entertainment destination. Supporting Arabian architecture...

City Centre Mirdif
City Centre Mirdif

City Centre Mirdif is a super regional shopping mall ideally located on Emirates road and Tripoli st...

Abou El Sid
Abou El Sid

Egyptian food doesn’t tend to have a sheen about it, at least not in Dubai. The handful of restauran...

Al Forno
Al Forno

For shoppers, Mirdif City Centre is a dream come true: it’s virtually empty, meaning they can peruse...