The vibrancy and diversity of Qatar’s cosmopolitan capital make it an exciting destination for foodies. Once a pearl fishing village, the city offers the best of traditional Arabic delicacies, Michelin-starred restaurants and modern, experimental cuisine.
Market by Jean-Georges, Doha
Restaurant, Middle Eastern
Market is a sleek, high-end restaurant inside W Doha Hotel & Residences in West Bay, the heart of the city. This award-winning restaurant serves simple yet elegant international cuisine inspired by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who has created a restaurant that has the feel of a family kitchen. The sophisticated venue hosts a popular Friday market brunch – part à la carte, part buffet – with live cooking stations, signature dishes to order and a wide range of great dishes to choose from. Experience new flavour combinations and spices from around the world that Market is famous for. A la carte is pricy, of course, but the breakfast buffet and express lunch are more affordable options.
The Torch, Doha’s landmark five-star hotel, is home to six dining and lounge options. But the most magical of all is this revolving restaurant – the only one of its kind in Doha – on the 47th floor of the 300m (984ft) structure. This high-end eatery is the ideal place to indulge in luxury Mediterranean cuisine while enjoying panoramic views. Single tables fan the 360-degree space, facing out through floor-to-ceiling glass. It’s impeccably done out, with tables draped in crisp white tablecloths and finished with sparkling crockery and cutlery. Lunch is a more affordable option, but if you’re wanting to splurge, come for dinner; besides the regular menu, look out for themed nights based on dishes such as homemade pasta, entrecôte, or steak and lobster.
This waterfront complex, Doha’s largest dining experience, comprises three different restaurants – the Joury, La Toscana and Nayrabin – which makes it the perfect spot for groups and families all with different tastes. It’s a lively and welcoming place, with seating for up to 1,500 people who come to enjoy affordable Arabic, Syrian or international cuisine. Located at the end of the Corniche near the harbour, at night it glows with pink and blue lights. Guests can choose to sit inside and make the most of the air-conditioned, marble-floored interior; or you can choose to dine al fresco on the terrace, with a nightly son et lumière as the fountains spring into life.
From fish to crustaceans, the full ocean-to-table experience at this restaurant on Katara beach pays homage to Doha’s roots as a fishing village, with azure tiles and huge fish tanks adding to the aquatic theme. You can dine at small tables with cosy booths and a view across the Gulf, or on high-top stools offering a peek into the smart kitchen. Choose how you want your food to be cooked: whether Mediterranean, Arabic or Japanese style. The fresh seafood is hauled daily from Dhow Harbour straight into the restaurant. Try an authentic dish such as hammour (grouper), which is firm but flaky with a distinctive taste. There’s also lobster, sushi or filling fish and chips – it’s all here and reasonably priced.
This modern, minimalist restaurant, in the Museum of Islamic Art, is a work of art itself. Designed by Philippe Starck, the vast atrium and wall of glass add a real wow factor before you’ve tasted a thing. The menu is contemporary French Mediterranean with an Arabic twist; the setting is upmarket with breathtaking views of the Doha skyline. Idam – which translates as “generosity” – holds a monthly concert night including a cocktail reception, seven-course dinner and VIP seats to the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. For something simpler (and sweeter), head to the terrace to enjoy dessert while watching the sunset.
This one-of-a-kind fast-food style restaurant opened in 2019 and quickly established itself as great value for money and the prime spot for shawarma. Located in Muaither, near Aspire Park, it’s the first (and only) restaurant to offer eight types of shawarma (thinly-sliced meat roasted on a slow turning rotisserie or spit), including chicken, fish, camel and ostrich. Diners can choose from the Arabic-style shawarma or try the meat in a sandwich. There’s also a vegetarian option of falafel shawarma.
Layali, meaning “night”, is Doha’s favourite value-for-money Lebanese, with two outlets – one in Lagoona and another in Salwa. The vibrant interiors reflect a fascinating Arabian Nights culture, with mosaic tiled flooring, rainbow-coloured furnishings, soft drapes and bold art. Lebanese tradition rules, from the food – salads and mezze boards, grilled meats and seafood – to the shishas and the entertainment, courtesy of a live Tareb singer.
Set in the beautiful gardens of the exclusive St Regis Hotel in Al Qassar, Hakkasan is renowned for its opulence and fine dining. Here you can indulge in modern Chinese cuisine served in the elegant dining room, on the outdoor terrace or in the lounge. The impressive à la carte menu boasts everything from dim sum to wok-fried hammour. Dinner and drinks can prove expensive, but there are other options, such as brunch every Friday morning and don’t miss the signature menus and Hakkatini Night Menu. While the restaurant is part of a global chain, some of the dishes are exclusive to this venue.