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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.