Sip, Read & Relax: Exploring The Coolest Bookish Cafes In The Middle East

Every once and a while, we crave escaping the realities of life through a thick book, one packed with adventures and epic tales or another that induces the kind of goosebumps that last the entire day. All across the region are special bookish cafes that offer the perfect nooks to not just read but enjoy a cup of coffee within spaces replete with unique aesthetics. If this is the type of outing you are looking for, we got you covered with the region’s coolest bookish cafes.

Pink Blanket Mama, Egypt

When someone poses the question “what exactly is Pink Blanket Mama?”, a one-sentence answer will never do it justice. This is one of those bookish cafes that is home to everything from wall to wall bookcases, an open-faced kitchen with crystal chandeliers to tables and chairs set along a wide staircase. Everywhere you look, something will catch your eye; whether its their ceiling-hung spiraled LED lights or their entire wall of vintage flickering TV screens. Pink Blanket Mama is an experience in and of itself so be sure drop it a visit.

Kefi Books, Board Games & Cafe, UAE

If you are bored of the overdone outing of going out with friends to a cinema or restaurant and looking for something different, you can try out Dubai’s Kefi Books, Board Games & Cafe. This unique cafe boasts spacious and sleek white interiors akin to a science lab is home to more than 200 board games, with over 6000 books and some delicious coffee options to choose from their menu. Imagine getting to play a competitive game of Monopoly and following that by grabbing a enticing book coupled with a cup of coffee. To try the experience for yourself, head to the cafe located at Mamzar Tower 1.

Bliss and Paper, Kuwait

All the way in the heart of Kuwait City is a haven for book lovers known as Bliss and Paper. It is home to over 11,000 books including rare textbooks like the first English translation of the Holy Quran by George Sale. Beyond its extensive book collection, Bliss and Paper is also all about the environment as all its books are recycled. A lot of these books have been donated and each person who donates these books ends up receiving credits. These credits can then be used to buy books, drinks or snacks like their croissants from the cafe.

Kawon’s Kitchen, Jordan

Giving off relaxed rustic village vibes is Kawon’s Kitchen, the first bookstore to open in Jordan’s Madaba. The entire space exudes countryside aesthetics with brick-laden walls and a massive garden with fruit trees. Along with that, the space is home to a vegetarian kitchen serving up dishes like spinach stew. When it comes to their books, they know how to tap into the charm of classic literature by offering popular titles including works by Russian author, Leo Tolstoy as well as Afghan-American author, Khaled Hosseini.

Aaliya’s Books, Lebanon

Lebanon’s Aailya’s Books boasts unique aesthetics of lacquered checkered floors which provide an intimate stage for special live performances. But that’s definitely not all as with its sleek bar serving up special cocktails followed by unique entertainment, the bookish cafe is all about offering game nights, book clubs and jazz performances. For the book lovers out there, it also offers a rare collection of books ranging from beautifully illustrated Arabic comic books like “The Story of May Ziadeh” to addictive literary tales like that of Pierre Jarawan’s “The Storyteller.”

For your next outing, head to a bookish cafe as that way you’ll not only catch up on some reading but also enjoy a live performance, play some board games or sip on aromatic coffee. It’s the ultimate eclectic experience that will change up how you spend your free time.

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