Circle Café on Saadiyat Island is at most 15 minutes away from NYU Abu Dhabi. The café is a getaway for those moments when campus feels too stifling and the city too distant. It’s also a good place to go if you want some calm in a different atmosphere. The green and white color scheme, with a sunflower atop each table, adds to the peaceful ambiance. Outdoor seating is also available, where patio umbrellas offer protection from the harsh sun. And in case you would like to get some grocery shopping done, a conveniently located Waitrose supermarket can be found directly opposite the cafe.

Sangeetha Mahadevan, Class of 2018, especially recommends Circle Café for its brunch menu and tranquil interior.

It’s very well lit … the sunlight is just beaming through the windows, it’s just brilliant,” said Mahadevan. “They just have a very good setup — it’s just very conducive for communication.

Circle Café serves breakfast all day, so even a brunch squeezed into later study sessions is possible. Breakfast items include yogurt and smoothie bowls, toast, pancakes and even some unique options like the Falafel Benedict. If you’re a fan of avocados, the café also has a couple of avocado options such as the Avocado Garden.

The non-breakfast items include American and Indian mainstays. However, there is a sashimi option, and for a slightly higher price add-ons such as avocado, chicken, beef, salmon, cheese, eggs and seeds are also available. As for drinks, Circle serves a variety including cold drinks, fresh juices, hot drinks and smoothies.

I would highly recommend the mint lemonade — definitely during the fall because it’s so hot outside,” Mahadevan added.


The dessert menu looks exquisite and offers a wide range of sharable cakes and other desserts, including Oreo Mousse and little bites that can be shared with a group. If you’ve ever wanted to taste butter cake with popcorn, Circle is the place to go. Customers can also place orders for cakes that are delivered within four hours.

Liza Tait-Bailey, Class of 2017, especially recommends the carrot cake.

They have the best carrot cake in the world. It’s so good, very moist with perfect flecks of carrot. And it comes with delicious icing that you pour on top,” she wrote.

To see some of the pretty food presentations at Circle Café, check out their Instagram account.

In terms of pricing, the food at Circle can be a little expensive, with prices ranging from around 30 to 70 dirhams. However, on Tuesdays, NYUAD students can get 40 percent off their bill, while on other days there’s a regular 20 percent discount upon presentation of an NYU ID.

Circle Café is only a 12-dirham cab ride away from campus. It is located within the Saadiyat Beach Residence area, within a small complex that also houses a Starbucks and a Waitrose. Due to a lack of experience, most taxi drivers still have trouble finding the place, so prepare yourself with more precise directions from Google Maps just in case.

Originally published by ‘The Gazelle’, an NYUAD student publication on 01st October, 2017.