Must Try Doha Restaurants

This article features several of my favourite places to eat within walking distance of a Doha Metro station (definitely) and a tourist attraction (mostly) The cuisine and prices vary but most are budget friendly.

Most restaurants below can be found on google maps.

Katara Cultural Village

Katara is a cultural destination featuring an ampitheatre, concert halls, exhibition galleries, a planetarium, shopping mall, park and beach areas plus a variety of restaurants. http://www.katara.net/en/

A daytime view from Katara beach towards the Pearl
Katara beach

Take the red line to Al Qassar and follow the signs to Katara.

(Please note Al Qassar is the closest metro stop to Al Fanar Food Truck – for the ampitheatre/planetarium and other attractions use the Katara metro stop)

Signs will direct you through an underpass and you will emerge near the beach. Look to your right and you will see the Al Fanar Food Truck.

Al Fanar Restaurant

Select from fresh juices, hot and cold drinks and from chapatis, sandwiches and mutabaq – a type of lightly fried pancake with savoury or sweet fillings. Enjoy your food (preferably at night) on the beach with a beautiful view over Katara and the distant Pearl development.

Katara view night
Katara night view

Al Bidda

Ask the helpful metro staff for the park exit (shown below) and follow the signs to the Fire Station. The park is gorgeous and has a number of features along the way. Its around a 20 minute walk so best done in winter or at night.

Al Bidda Park Metro exit

The original fire station was built in 1982 but moved to more modern premises in 2012.

The building was then handed over to the Qatar Museums Authority and redesigned as an art space cleverly incorporating many of the original features.

999 Cafe
Artistic fire tower with 999 Cafe and art shop in background

Enjoy the current exhibition and visit the artist in residence and garage gallery – featuring (you guessed it) the original fire engine garages. http://firestation.org.qa/

Facilities also include the best art supplies shop in Qatar and the 999 Café. The café serves a variety of light bites, cakes, hot and cold drinks. At night the atmosphere is beautiful with water features, trees and clever lighting. A must visit while in Doha!

999 Cafe and art shop

Doha Al Jadeeda

Exiting the metro using the Al Matar South exit you might wonder where you are!

Turn right however and within a few minutes walk you will find the trendy Meesh Café which is well worth a visit. Attached to the Crowne Plaza hotel and situated on the main road the café is very modern and has a selection of hot and cold light bites – either healthy or not so….It has free wifi too.

Meesh Cafe

If you fancy watching sport then continue past Meesh Cafe to the Holiday Inn and the Stock Burger restaurant. Open from noon it sells a range of burgers/wings/salads and desserts. They also serve alcoholic drinks.

Oqba Al Nafie

This station is not in a touristy area whatsoever but if you feel like an authentic Indian meal it is well worth the adventure. The Biriyani Corner restaurant is a 10 minute walk from the Metro station (use the Al Matar St West exit then turn right, keep walking and cross the big road, then continue past Ansar Gallery until you see the restaurant on the right)

Use the Al Matar St West exit

Upon entering turn left and go upstairs. The layout is simple but do not be put off – the food is excellent and very budget friendly. Choose from curries, vegetarian dishes, rice and a multitude of different breads. Western and other Asian dishes are also available. Wash your food down with tea, coffee, water or a soft drink.

The Biriyani Corner Restaurant

The following restaurants are on the newly opened (Nov 2019) Gold Line and mainly within Souq Waqif – one of Qatars best and well known tourist attractions.

Souq Waqif

Opposite the Cornice is where the original settlement of Doha used to be a century or so ago. Rebuilt after falling into decay it now offers a sensory overload with a variety of spices, saffron, local perfumes as well as fishing equipment, tools, fabric and clothes and huge pots and pans. Within the same area you will also find a pet souq, the falcon souq, camel and horse pens. A modern gold souq has been built and traditional arts and crafts can be found throughout.

Souq Waqif is also well known as a dining destination and showcases a true variety of food.

I have selected four of my favourites here which are all budget friendly and offer a local authentic experience.

Shujaa Restaurant is extremely simple, the menu is tasty meat skewers, arabic bread, salads and a variety of middle eastern dips. Soft and hot drinks are also available.

Shujaa Restaurant

The seating is traditional Arabic style and under the cover of a rattan roof. Sit and watch people pass through the souq and enjoy the authentic atmosphere. This place opens for breakfast and dinner and can get very busy so be prepared to wait for a table.

Shujaa seating area

Al Marouf Bakery is right next to Shujaa and offers tasty bread takeaway snacks. A very budget friendly place, simply select your preference from the menu in the window and wait as your food is cooked to order. There is limited seating but eating your food as you walk through the souq is a great experience.

Al Marouf Bakery

Ali Al Naama Coffee is a small place towards the end of the main drag. A menu in the window tells you whats available which includes a variety of chapatis and hot and cold drinks.

Ali Al Naama Coffee

The price is super low and seating is available opposite. Take your time and watch the world go by as a mixture of locals, tourists and traders wander along.

Al Enna Restaurant is in the Falcon Souq and serves traditional Qatari food as well as a mixture of other Arabic cuisines. They offer indoor (air conditioned and traditionally decorated) and outdoor seating where shisha is available if you wish to try. Food is good value here and service is excellent. Another must visit!

Al Enna restaurant – all photographs in this article by Phil Wright

If you find any hidden budget restaurants on your visit to Qatar, then please leave us a comment below…..

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