When arriving in a new city you are hit with so many new sights, sounds and experiences that it can be difficult to know what to do first, let alone where to eat and drink. Male offers many restaurants and cafes, some are easy to find, located along roads popular with tourists whilst others are located off the main tourist path, but are worthy of visiting and you just need to know where to look!
With this in mind we asked Maahee, one of our fabulous local tour guides to share his three favourite Male cafes.
Location – Fareedhee Magu Male
AKOYA Fusion is centrally located not far from the National Museum and as the names suggests their menu is a mix of influences including Thai, Chinese, Western, Indian and Maldivian. Choose from delicious and refreshing drinks with a variety of soft drinks and fresh fruit smoothies plus more with the daily specials.
I had lunch with a friend in AKOYA fusion and ordered a local dish called Garudhiya which is one of the most traditional Maldivian foods and a favorite enjoyed by generations. Garudhiya is a clear fish broth based on the tuna fish that is so popular in Maldivian cuisine and is served with rice, onion and chili. It is definitely one dish that you should try and if you are not lucky to be able to try in the home of a local family whilst on a Secret Paradise tour then ensure you make time to sample it here! For drinks I ordered a fresh mango smoothie, it was simply delicious. The cost of a meal is between $5USD and $10USD(75 MVR to 150 MVR.)
Goatfish Cafe & Bistro
Location – Sakeena Manzil Dhekunuge, Male
I was pleasantly surprised when I first stumbled upon the Goatfish Café & Bistro some time ago walking through Male. The café is located within 5 minutes’ walk of the Hulhumale ferry terminal.
The café has indoor and outdoor dining options with soft music to create a relaxed and chilled ambiance. I loved that this café employs local staff, which is an additional boost for the local economy and employment.
On my first visit I only had a coffee since I needed to wake up and get a boost of energy but having a sweet tooth I also selected a delicious chocolate mousse perhaps not what everyone would take for breakfast but it worked for me!
Breakfast and lunch buffet options are available at the Goatfish Café & Bistro. Breakfast buffet starts from 8AM to 11AM and the buffet lunch starts from 12PM. Prices start from MRF 109/- which isroughly converted to$7 USD. They also offer a daily special signature dish which is a must try.
The Goatfish Cafe offers meals from around the globe, from the Middle East to Western and Asian food with a variety of soft drinks and fresh juices and is a place I regularly love to visit.
Civil Coffee Society
Location – Fareedhee Magu Malé
The Civil Coffee Society in my opinion is one of the top cafés to enjoy quality roasted coffee beans from around the world. I am a coffee fanatic and have tried the majority of baristas in Male and this remains one of my favorites.
As you enter the café you can smell the different types of coffee beans roasting, beans from Africa, South America and Asia. They have a welcoming display of coffee beans which you can select for the best barista experience. The preparation of the coffee is an art in its self. Watch how they pour the hot water through the filter of freshly ground coffee beans to produce the most amazing aromatic cup of coffee which you cannot help but wait patiently to receive; taking the first sip you will feel the weariness fade away. In my opinion no coffee is complete without a small desert or cookie and The Civil Coffee Society have plenty to choose from.
On this particular day I ordered an extremely good coffee with roasted beans from Kenya. Just the kick I needed! The price varies depending on your selection ranging from $5USD to $10USD which is in local currency 75MVR to 150 MVR.
Coffee culture is definitely big in the Maldives; many days and evenings are spent with friends at coffees shops enjoying time together. We at Secret Paradise Maldives call it the (unofficial) national drink of the Maldives!
Want to discover more off the beaten track locations in the capital, join Maahee or one of our other great guides on a Male City Walking Tour.