Exploring Doha’s food scene

Doha’s culinary scene is a mélange of flavors. There are the local Qatari delicacies and Middle Eastern influences, intermingling with cuisines brought from all over the world, thanks to Doha’s large expat population. Without a doubt, this is one of the best places in the Arabian Peninsula to go on a food trip.

Together, let’s go on a delicious journey to uncover Doha’s exciting gastronomic scene. For more information about Doha and real estate in Qatar, you are always welcome to get in touch with us. Bil-hanā’ wa ash-shifā’!

Traditional Qatari dishes you need to try

Before you go on and fully explore Doha’s culinary scene, do take some time to taste traditional Qatari dishes.

Food plays an integral role in Qatari culture. It was shaped by various influences coming from India, Iran, and Northern Africa. Doha’s coastal location also helped mold the local cuisine. Browse any menu serving Qatari food and you will find plenty of seafood plates. Lamb is also another popular source of protein in Qatar.

A wide array of vegetables often find their way to Qatari dishes, so if you want to maintain a healthy diet, you’ll have no problem doing so in Doha. In fact, many of Qatar’s most delicious food feature vegetables, so you can indulge while keeping yourself in good shape.

One traditional Qatari food you should definitely try is machbous/machboos/kabsa, a rich rice stew, aromatic and heavily spiced. It has seafood or meat (or sometimes both!) and is usually served in a communal dish, eaten with pita bread.

Qatar is an Islamic country and so Ramadan is strictly observed. During this period, culinary favorites emerge. There’s madhruba, a porridge made of butter, milk, rice, meat, then spiced with cinnamon. Thareed is another Ramadan favorite, made with chicken or lamb, tomato, and all sorts of vegetables. When breaking their fast, Qataris love to do so with harissa or harees, a healthy dish made of ground wheat and meat.

If you’re already a lover of Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll be delighted to know that kousa mahshi or zucchini stuffed with lamb is also a favorite not just in Doha, but the rest of Qatar.

Qataris are also into desserts. Luqaimat is a well-deserved dessert, loved most especially during
Ramadan. It looks like mini dumplings (spiced with saffron and cardamom), deep-fried then doused with honey or sugar syrup. And then there’s fragrant mehalabiya, which is basically a pistachio and rose water pudding.

The best restaurants in Doha

Now that we’ve briefed you about several must-try Qatari food, let’s take a look at some of the best restaurants in the capital. These offer everything, from authentic Arabian flavors to even Latin American dishes.

  1. Spice Market
    W Doha Hotel & Residences West Bay
    If you’re craving Southeast Asian foodSoutheast Asia is quite far from Qatar, so it’s a delight to have Spice Market around if you want Thai noodles, Vietnamese spring rolls, and beef skewers. Aside from Southeast Asian food, Spice Market also serves other Asian favorites, such as Taiwanese-style fried chicken, Mongolian bowls, and more.
  2. Hakkasan Doha
    St. Regis Doha, Al Gassar Resort
    If you’re in the mood for Cantonese cuisineHakkasan is one of the best places in Doha if your taste buds are craving Cantonese delights, such as Peking duck with Beluga caviar, wok-fry lobster, spicy prawns, and a well-decorated platter of different kinds of dim sum.

  3. La Spiga by Paper Moon
    W Doha Hotel & Residences West Bay
    If Italian food is the day’s desire Let La Spiga’s well-made Italian dishes of beef carpaccio, red tuna tartare, burrata, roasted veal, minestrone, and insalata transport you to the Mediterranean, even with your feet firmly planted in Qatar.

  4. The Cellar
    Oryx Rotana, Umm Ghuwaylina
    For sumptuous Spanish cuisineAt The Cellar, the aromas wafting from their open kitchen will get your mouth watering. You can already smell the tapas even before they’re served to your table, so don’t hesitate to ask for a glass of wine as soon as you sit down.

  5. JW’s Steakhouse
    Doha Marriott Hotel
    For when you deserve a fine cut of steak (or you just feel like it)JW’s Steakhouse at the Doha Marriott Hotel is the best place to go for days of celebration, when all you want to eat is a prime cut of US-certified Angus beef. Of course, that’s not the only food they serve. Go ahead and explore their impressive menu.

To learn more about life in Doha and Qatar real-estate, browse our website or contact our team today. It would be a delight to help you make Doha your home.

Ramy Wali


Ramy is a devoted professional with over 11 years of experience in retail, project management, and business consulting...

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