Food & Restaurants in Doha
Given the population diversity in Doha, there is a large variety of different types of cuisine, including Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Korean and, of course, typical Middle Eastern food. Since Qatar is a Muslim country, all food is certified halal.
Most major American fast food chains have multiple branches here, including McDonald's, KFC, Hardee's, Arby's,Burger King, Subway, and Dairy Queen.
Pizza places include Pizza Hut, Little Caesar's, Pizza Inn, and Papa John's. Many of these are located in the major shopping centres, and at Ramada Junction (the intersection of C-Ring and Salwa Rds).
There are also a number of more upscale American chains, including TGI Fridays (in the Landmark, Villaggio shopping malls, Bin Omran Opposite the Civil Defense and Suheem Bin Hamad Street, Al-Sadd), Applebee's, Chili's,Fuddruckers, Bennigan's, and Ponderosa Steakhouse.
- Ric's Kountry Kitchen, Sana Complex, Ras Abu Abboud St(southeast corner of Ras Abu Abboud St and D Ring Rd), . Serves up large classic American breakfasts, and one of the few places in Doha with real bacon and pork sausages.
- Yellow Cab Pizza, several branches, . 11AM-1AM daily. This is undisputedly the most popular pizza in Doha, surprisingly offered by a well-established and efficient Filipino operation. The barbequed chicken pizza is particularly tasty. Delivery and pick-up available.
- Noodle House, three locations, , e-mail: (City Center Mall), (Landmark Mall), (The Pearl-Qatar Porto Arabia)[email protected]. noon-11PM. Offers a number of southeast Asian-style dishes. Their portions are not very large, but the taste makes up for that. Their prawn crackers are particularly good. Delivery available.
- Oishi Sushi, Al Sadd St (Royal Plaza Mall), . Decent sushi, with sushi train. On Monday and Tuesday evenings they offer an all-you-can-eat for QR 135 (reservations recommended).
- Royal Bafilyon, Salwa Rd (behind the Al Jazeera petrol station, across from Quality Hypermarket), . This Cantonese restaurant is a favorite of the Chinese and Singaporean expat communities.
- Shanghai Garden, City Centre Mall (West Bay), . 11AM-11:30PM. Favored by local Chinese expats.
- Sri Kebaya, Souq Waqif, . 11AM-11:30PM daily. Good Malaysian food.
- Thai Corner, The Centre, Salwa Rd (adjacent to MegaMart), . Sa-Th 10:30AM-10PM, F 1:30PM-10PM. Tiny place with two tables, with fantastic Thai food. In nice weather you can eat in the courtyard.
- Thai Smile, Al Corniche (Rumaila Park), . Su-Th 11.30am-10.30pm, F-Sa noon-10.30pm. Casual and delicious Thai street food, with outdoor seating.
- Thai Snack, Al-Mirqab St (near Doha Clinic, adjacent to a Thai massage parlor), . Daily 10AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10:30PM. A Doha institution, offers authentic Thai street food for very reasonable prices.
- Ciao, Salwa Rd (near Decoration Roundabout), .12:30PM-12AM. Offers thin-crust pizza baked in a traditional oven, along with a good selection of pastas and risottos.
- J&G Sandwich Cellar, Ras Abu Aboud St (near the C-Ring flyover), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. S-Th 7AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 8AM-10PM. Doha's only British café, with full English breakfasts as well as Yorkshire pudding. Free wi-fi; delivery and takeout available.
- Lo Spaghetto, corner of Al Difaaf and Al Hamdani St (behind Royal Plaza Mall, Al Sadd), . 6:30PM-11PM. Classic Italian food, prepared by Italian chefs.
- Mykonos, Al Isteqlal Rd, West Bay (InterContinental Hotel), . Daily 12PM-11:30PM. Solid Greek food, outdoor pool-side seating available.
Doha is home to a large Indian population. As such, the city centre is full of small Indian restaurants, with many other excellent Indian restaurants scattered throughout the city.
- Aalishan, Ibn Seena St (not far from the Radisson Blu),.Sa-W 12PM-11PM, Th-Fr 12PM-11:30PM. Recommended for the Friday afternoon buffet.
- Al Zarka, Al Mahtuf St (near Qatar National Museum, Al Salata), . , 6AM-1AM. Very popular with South Asian workers as well as Qataris. Menu features primarily Indian as well as Arabian dishes.
- Anjappar Chettinad, Al Khaleej St, . Sa-Th 11:30AM-11:30PM, Fr 7AM-11AM, 12:30AM-11:30PM. Vegetarian, good value for the thali set menu.
- Bukhara, Khalifa St (opposite Bennigan's and Fuddruckers, by Khalifa Tennis Centre), . Daily 12PM-3.30pm, 6PM-1.30am. Delicious northern Indian cuisine, with especially good fish tandoori and chicken vindaloo.
- Chingari, Radisson Blu (corner of C-Ring and Salwa Rds), . Daily 6PM-11PM. Expensive and good northern Indian food, with live Indian music on a small stage.
- Garden Annapoorna, Najma St, . Formerly located in Musheireb, serves great south Indian dishes.
- The Garden Village Restaurant Doha, Fereej Kulaib St (opposite Yaarmuk Petrol Station & Nissan showroom, ahead of Al Ahli Hospital while going from Ramada signal), . Recommended for its good ambience and nice Indian village model interior.
- Taj Palace, Al Faisal St (near the corner of Al-Khaleej and Al Rayyan Rds), . Reasonable northern Indian food, worth trying if you're in the area.
- Taj Rasoi, Marriott Hotel (near the airport), . Daily 6:30PM-11:30PM. One of the most expensive (and excellent) Indian restaurants in Doha, and the place to go for Indian seafood.
- Al Shami Home Restaurant, C-Ring Rd (opposite from McDonald's), . 8AM-12AM daily. A Doha institution, featuring traditional Syrian and Lebanese dishes, as well as sheesha.
- Al Hamra, Al Rayan Rd (opposite from McDonald's), .6AM-1AM daily. A family restaurant offering Lebanese dishes. Service is a bit slow, good for large groups.
- Al Mourjan, Al Corniche (white building behind the giant Orry statue). An upscale place with tasty Lebanese dishes and some of the best views in Doha.
- Ankara Pastry Restaurant, Ahmed Bin Ali St (across from Al-Ahli Hospital), . Good pastries and shwarmas, popular with Turkish expats.
- Istanbul Sultan, Mesaimeer Rd (near the left corner of the strip mall behind Abu Hamour Petrol Station). Very small place with great schwarmas.
- Layali, Salwa, +974 4431 0005 /06 /07. One of the more expensive Lebanese restaurants. It is rumored that the former Emir himself has eaten here on occasion.
- Shebestan Palace Restaurant, Al-Sadd St (east of C-Ring Rd), . 12PM-12AM daily. Good Persian food.
- Turkey Central, Al Mirqhab Al Jadeed St (off of C-Ring Rd, near the Doha Clinic), . , 8AM-12:30AM daily. Offers good, cheap Middle Eastern fare. The portions are large (try the mixed grill or shish tawooq) and the appetizers are excellent, particularly the chili labneh. Delivery and take-out available.
For local street food, nothing beats the home-made goodness dished out by thePancake Ladies in Souq Waqif every evening in the square by the car park. The crepe-like mankouche is particularly tasty, filled with your choice of labneh (cheese), za’atar, or the less-traditional Nutella for QR5. Other local specialties feature meat, chicken, and fish, and there are even a couple of vegetarian options.
There are also many good restaurants in Souq Waqif worth trying. Perhaps the best include Tagine (Moroccan) and Le Gourmet, particularly good for sheesha and a cup of tea. These are not as inexpensive as the Pancake Ladies but are good for ambiance and people watching.
- Best Fish, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St, . 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-12AM daily. Popular with Qataris. Cheap local fish dishes - the grilled hammour with garlic butter is recommended. Take away and home delivery available.
- Fish Market, Al Isteqlal Rd, West Bay (InterContinental Hotel), . Sa-Th 6PM-12AM, Fr 12:30PM-3:30PM. The best fish in town at upscale prices, much of it local. Reservations recommended, particularly for the Friday brunch.
For self-catering options there are a few hypermarkets as well as a number of smaller neighborhood grocery stores distributed throughout the city.
- Carrefour. 8AM-midnight daily, closed Fri 11:30AM-12:30PM. This French-based chain has three hypermarkets in Doha: in Landmark Mall, Villaggio Mall, and City Center Mall. They also have a smaller grocery store in Lagoona Plaza.
- Family Food Centre. 7:30AM-midnight daily, closed Fri for midday prayer.Three branches on Al Matar St, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St, and Al Rayyan.
- LuLu. 8AM-midnight daily, closed Fri for midday prayer. This UAE-based chain operates two full hypermarkets: on D-Ring Rd (near the airport) and in Al Gharrafa (across from Landmark Mall). There is also a smaller express store near Education City.
- Mega Mart, The Centre, Salwa Rd (not far from the Radisson Blu (formerly Ramada) hotel). 8AM-11PM, closed Fri 11:30AM-12:30PM. Very popular with western expats as it imports a lot of products from America and Europe, but can be quite expensive. Also has a Costa Coffee nearby, as well as many smaller shops stocking cards, electronics and perfumes.
- Quality Hypermarket, Salwa Rd, . 7AM-1PM daily, closed Fr 11AM-noon.
- Spinney's. This Lebanese chain operates two standard grocery stores: one at the Pearl-Qatar (in Porto Arabia), and one at The Mall (D-Ring Rd).
Tipping at restaurants is not compulsory, although it has become fairly standard to tip about 10% to the waitstaff. Despite being banned, some restaurants still include a 10% service charge in the bill. Should your bill include a service charge, feel free to strike it from the total and leave a tip on the table instead.