Coffee shops in Doha are easy to find. There are many types here, from global franchises to quirky locally owned places. You will certainly not miss out! However the price of your favourite coffee in Doha may seem expensive. Especially compared with other cities. So if you fancy a reasonably priced cuppa where do you go?
Fear not Qatar Quick has the answer. Read on.
Only five minutes walk from DECC metro station, opposite the Tornado Tower – you will see Monoprix supermarket. Monoprix is a French supermarket with several branches in Qatar. In my opinion, they also sell the best croissants.
Just next to the entrance, look left and you will see a red Volkswagen camper van with no roof. Might sound strange, but this is a coffee shop. They sell a range of their own Monoprix coffee from QAR 12 upwards. Not only that, they also sell tea, soft drinks and water as well as snacks.
There is a range of seating to choose from and if you go at night the lighting is awesome. Drinking coffee sitting among the skyscrapers is cool, but admittedly the street view is not amazing.
However its well worth checking out if you are in the area.
From here, its a short walk to the awesome Qatar Corniche. So why not visit at night and enjoy a stroll after.
Did you visit Monoprix Coffee Shop? Why not share your experience below.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you find any hidden budget restaurants on your visit to Qatar, then please leave us a comment below…..
Want to know more about the prices of Fast Food in Qatar? Here is a price guide for what to expect to find in food courts across Qatar. This section will be updated as often as possible, but please treat it as example prices only. Also please be aware that exchange rates change much faster than this price guide can be updated.
Big Mac Meal
Big Tasty Meal
Quarter Pounder with Cheese Meal
Chicken Mac Meal
McChicken Meal (Original)
McChicken Meal (Spicy)
McArabia Chicken Meal
Grand Chicken Meal (Spicy)
Grand Chicken Meal (Special)
Chicken McNuggets Meal (9 pcs)
Link to McDonald’s Qatar Home Delivery menu click HERE
Just occasionally I get a nice surprise. And on Friday I was super pleasantly surprised. We headed to a restaurant located in a mall. Now when I think of restaurants in malls, my expectations are not that high. But this restaurant quite simply doesn’t belong in a mall. I’m talking about ‘Layali Aley’. Located on a corner of Gulf Mall, and accessible only from the outside. So you could argue it’s outside a mall instead of inside.
I knew nothing about the restaurant in advance. I was invited by my son to go with him, and he didn’t know much about it either until we got there. So this is why I had such a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Layali Aley is quite simply opulent. Oozing with quality and comfort. And serving some of the best Lebanese cuisine I have ever tried. Their food is right up there with the very finest in Qatar. Not what you expect to find in a mall. And here is the real kicker… they are really, really, reasonably priced. Our three courses with drinks (excluding shisha) came to around QR 200 each. And trust me you would not mind paying it.
The soft furnishings mean you feel relaxed and unhurried. This is an environment where you can settle down and dwell. The service was attentive and informative, and quite educational as well for me. There is nothing rushed about Layali Aley. You do not feel like you are being processed, harvested and your table released as soon as possible.
The food was exceptional. I’m not a food critic, so I’m not going to bore you with detail. I will simply say that the food was cooked to perfection, presented beautifully and burst with flavor.
After our meal we settled back and enjoyed some shisha. I’m not a shisha expert, but this was good shisha. If you don’t like smoke there are areas where you can escape it.
If you are in, or near Gulf Mall. I strongly recommend you set aside some time for Layali Aley. Take some good company with you, and be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Ask for Krishna, he will look after you.
Looking for a good value breakfast? Try the Sapphire Plaza located in Bin Mahmoud.
The Sapphire Plaza offers a buffet breakfast as an option for guests @ QR 25 (GBP 4.88 USD 6.87), or for non-guests @ QR 49 (GBP 9.59 USD 13.47) Children are free up until 6 years old. However there seems to be a degree of flexibility with the age.
Value for money is excellent. There is something here for everyone. Including a live egg station that will prepare you fresh eggs cooked to order. With unlimited hot and cold drinks.
Of special mention is the Indian section, which was absolutely delicious.
The restaurant where breakfast is served (Al Maha) is spacious, bright and very nicely decorated. With a quality feel to it that would normally be found in more expensive venues.
Service was excellent.
Breakfast times: Daily 6am – 10:30am
Indian breakfast plate at Sapphire Plaza Hotel
Cold meats and egg, breakfast plate at Sapphire Plaza Hotel
One of Qatar Quicks top tips while visiting Qatar, is to buy a copy of The Entertainer
Qatar Quick do not earn commission, or make any money from persuading you to buy a copy of the Entertainer. we are simply recommending it because it makes sense.
What is it?
It’s a book or an App containing 2 for 1 vouchers on lots of things you like to do. Their website states; “Whether you want to dine out for a special occasion, relax in a Moroccan bath or spend time with your family, there is something for everyone in Qatar 2018!”. The vouchers are valid for the calendar year they are purchased in.
How much does it cost?
Full list price is QR 375, but a lot of the time there are offers bringing that down by around QR 100 to QR 275.
Why Should I buy one?
If you traveling alone, then there is absolutely no point in buying a copy of the Entertainer. But if there are two or more of you, you will be able to make the purchase price of the Entertainer back in as little as one transaction. A good Brunch in a top hotel will cost anywhere between QR 200 and QR 350. Use a 2 for 1 voucher and the book/App is paid for.
Once you have recovered the purchase price, you are saving money every time you use a voucher. Even if you are only in Qatar for just a week you should easily get your money back and make some great savings.
Using vouchers on fast food and hotel buffets is going to give you the best return. Along with beach/leisure passes. We have found that à la carte 2 for 1 doesn’t normally represent a big saving. If you are in a restaurant you will normally use a ‘Buy 1 Get One Free Main Course’. The saving of one main menu item when the bill comes for starter, main, dessert and drinks only makes a small difference. But hey it’s worth having.
Where can I buy a copy?
You can buy online here, or a copy can be purchased in most large supermarkets and book stores.
I need to tell you about a really nice Indian restaurant Vic and I discovered near Abu Hamour. While out for a drive we both felt hungry and both fancied a curry. So we check our Entertainer App for a nearby Indian restaurant and Kababs and Kurries caught our attention. We decided that Kababs & Kurries would be a good choice as it’s located in 01 Mall and we could pop into the Mega Mart branch there at the same time.
We arrived in Kababs & Kurries around lunch time. It was not busy with only two tables occupied. Staff were warm and welcoming and seated us in one of their booths that had the ability of becoming private by closing their curtains (which we did not). We were working our way through the menu pondering which two courses to order when I spotted an advertisement on an adjacent table for a lunchtime offer. Our Entertainer App had a voucher for ‘Buy one main course, get another main course free’. So we intended to order two main courses and share them, which is our normal modus operandi. But we decided not to use our Entertainer voucher and go for the ‘Non Veg Thali’ at QR 55 each instead (only available 12pm to 4pm).
After ordering we were invited to select which flavor yogurt drink we wanted to accompany our meal. I can’t remember what the options were, but both Vic and I went for mango. Whilst waiting for food, I started sipping away at my mango yogurt drink and considered that in other establishments I would have been charged around QR 20 for the drink alone. And it would have been worth it! I love yogurt drinks and this was delicious. We were also given nibbles and dips to keep us occupied while awaiting the main event.
Tastes as good as it looks
When our food arrived it looked amazing. And it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The meats were boneless and good cuts, cooked to perfection. The sauces were tangy and bursting with flavor. Vic had ordered hers less spicy than mine, and they got both of our spice heats spot on, so we could both enjoy our meal. Amazingly we both managed to finish our meals. But it was a while before either of us could leave the table as we were both so full.
Would we go again?
This meal went straight into my top 10 of favorite Indian meals ever. Was it worth QR 55 each? Hell yes! Would we go back? Absolutely, and we would be prepared to cross town to do it.
If the Thali is a bit more than you want to pay for a spot of lunch, then there is their ‘Executive Lunchbox’ to consider as well. We noticed one of the other tables enjoying Kababs & Kurries Executive Lunchbox, and that looked well worth a go as well.
One of our favorite breakfasts in Qatar. It’s worth a taxi ride to enjoy the pure pleasure that is the Santa Monica Breakfast Club
Update: The SMBC is now offering their buffet breakfast for QR 80 all the time
While continuing to work our way through The Entertainer App using up as many 2017 vouchers as we can before the 2018 edition kicks in, we popped along to the Santa Monica Breakfast Club yesterday morning for… well… breakfast.
We have saved over QR 822 so far by using our Entertainer App and that is in less than a month. For Santa Monica Breakfast Club we were about to save a further QR 80. I say about to, because just as we were about to order à la carte from the menu, our waitress informed us that Chef was prepared to let us have the breakfast buffet at the reduced price of QR 80 each down from QR 150 each as there was only an hour of breakfast brunch left. Both of us were about to spend around QR 80 on à la carte and with our voucher that would have meant that one of our breakfasts would have been free thus costing a total of QR 80 for the two of us. But instead of using the voucher and saving around QR 80, we took chef up on his offer and ended up spending an extra QR 80 (QR 160 for the two of us).
We didn’t regret the extra spend. The breakfast buffet in Santa Monica is outstanding. And even though we only had an hour, it was more than enough to end up full to the brim.
I’m always extra happy when smoked salmon is included in any buffet, and if it is included in a breakfast buffet I am super happy. I ordered two poached eggs to go with the above, but at the time of taking the photo they had not arrived yet.
The hot section delivered me a good old traditional English breakfast with pretend bacon, sausages, beans egg etc. And I have to say that their sausages were among the very best I have had in Qatar. Really, really nice.
Next I had an attempt at healthy. Well let’s just say more nutritious than healthy. I hit the fruits section and added some yogurt to be extra healthy 😉
See I can do healthy as well
Next and the final round before calling it a day, came the pastries. OMG! Donuts for breakfast. My son is going to kill me.
And that was me fit to explode. There was plenty to drink as well. Unlimited coffee, and it was very good coffee, fresh juices including carrot, pineapple (my favorite), orange and apple juice, milk and smoothies.
If Santa Monica was QR 80 for breakfast buffet all the time, they would have just knocked the Mövenpick Hotel Doha off the top of my favorite breakfasts list in Qatar. The breakfast buffet at Santa Monica was so, so good. And I would happily return and spend QR 160 for both Vic and I to enjoy a top quality breakfast on a Friday again any time. But would I spend QR 300 for the two of us (which is what it would have cost at full price)? No! That is just too much money for an indulgent breakfast. So Mövenpick Hotel Doha continue to be top of my list giving outstanding value at QR 75 each.
After our delicious breakfast we popped outside to enjoy the garden and beach of the Grand Hyatt. We found a lovely bench and chilled there for over an hour while our food went down.
There are very few 2 for 1 Friday Brunch offers in The Entertainer, and the Double Tree is one of them. And this is why my son and I ended up in the L2 restaurant last Friday. The cost of a Friday brunch in L2 is QR 149 (£30.50 or 41 USD) each. Use The Entertainer 2 for 1 offer and that comes down to QR 149 for both (QR 75 each). And to be honest QR 75 is all I would be prepared to pay for this underwhelming brunch.
To me it is not a destination Friday brunch. It’s more for guests staying in the hotel. The range of dishes is limited and only at well lets say acceptable standards. Nothing to rave about.
There was smoked salmon on offer though, and that was my starter course/plate sorted. Next was roast beef. Unfortunately this was pre-carved and dry.
The pasta station was live (the only live station in fact), but with no fish or meats it was a little bland for me. The cheese board was basic, but acceptable and the deserts were very ok.
There was very little atmosphere in the non smoking side. It was just a function room with some tables and chairs added. I didn’t check the smoking side, but I think that may have been the regular restaurant part and could have been a bit better. Our function room was… well a function room without character.
Staff were excellent as was service.
Not a Friday brunch to rave about. Had I paid QR 300 for the 2 of us on this visit, I would have felt over charged. But at QR 75 each this represents good value. Thank goodness for The Entertainer.
Having invested in my new 2018 Entertainer App, I was keen start making use of it as soon as possible. So Vic and I popped into The Westin Doha to try out their Thursday night Sea Food Buffet held in their Seasonal Tastes restaurant.
Now without the Entertainer this would cost QR 200 each (£40 or 54 USD) but with the Entertainer 2 for 1 offer I paid a total of QR 200 for both of us. And trust me that was a complete bargain.
Now I have had a lot of buffets and Friday brunches in Qatar, and this Seafood Buffet at The Westin goes straight to the very top of my top 10 buffets. It was absolutely gorgeous. The King Crab was big and meaty and well… just totally delicious. And that was my starter course/plate sorted.
Not only was the seafood amazing, but so was all the other fair up for grabs. Their roast beef was totally amazing, cooked rare and carved to my requirements (nice and thick for me please) with some lovely rich gravy and vegetables. I could have just kept going back for that time after time. So that was my second course/plate sorted.
Instead of another plate of that amazing roast beef, I went back to the carvery for roast turkey instead. You know it was the seasonal thing to do. Ohhh man! Succulent and juicy. So that was my third course/plate.
Now I was starting to become aware of my fuel gauge, the tank was almost full and I knew I was going to have to slow things down a bit. So next I went for some fresh bread and honey straight from the comb. Simple and full of taste.
Well once I started on sweet, I simply had to stay there. So plates 5 to 10 were all deserts. I missed out on so many other options, and having gone totally nuts on sweets I also ended up missing out on the cheese board. And for that I will not forgive myself, because that was one amazing looking cheese board.
We had an amazing evening. And considering this cost us just QR 100 each, outstanding value. This was our first buffet in the Westin, and we were so impressed we could well be booking our Christmas brunch in here. No vouchers for that in The Entertainer, but I don’t care. Christmas is the most important brunch of the year, and it simply has to be flawless. And I think that the Westin can deliver, so it looks like they are favorite for December 25th at the moment.
Oh and I forgot to mention. The staff were outstanding as was their service. 5 stars out of 5 stars for everything. Not a single complaint.
For the first 2 years I was in Qatar 2009/2010 I purchased and aggressively used annual copies of The Entertainer for great dining out/buffets, beach/pool passes, fast food restaurants and so much more. Then for some reason I stopped buying it. But the 2018 App version has finally tempted me back to invest in it once again.
For those of you who don’t know; The Entertainer is a book/App of ‘Buy One – Get One Free’ offers. There is a new book every year, and the offers in the book are only valid for that calendar year. And even if you are only here in Qatar for a few weeks, you can quickly get your investment of QR 375 back from your initial purchase of the book/App.