Food and Drink
Qatar's nomadic history, land and sea trade with Arabia, North Africa, Persia and India, and the influx of migrants over the centuries have contributed not only to its heritage and culture but also to its cuisine. Qatari fare is a blend of its history with spices and flavours from all over Asia and the Middle East. Traditional dishes are full of complex flavours, with combinations of nuts, spices, beans, legumes and grains, fresh, seasonal ingredients, meat and fish, and rice. Even the desserts, tea and coffee are infused with spices. As a general rule, dishes are slow-cooked, one-pot dishes, food to share and to be eaten by hand.
While there are many favourite foods, Machboos is the nation's national dish, a meal of slow-cooked meat flavoured with a blend of herbs and spices and served with seasoned rice. Desserts are popular too. Luqaimat, deep-fried sweet dumplings flavoured with cardamom and saffron and drenched with sugar syrup, and Um Ali, an Egyptian-style bread pudding flavoured with raisins, chopped nuts, sweetened milk and cinnamon, are two of the best-loved. Karak, milk tea with cardamom, saffron and sugar, and Arabic coffee, spiced with cardamom and served with dates, are typical refreshments served after food. Dates and fish are probably considered staple foods across the nation.
However, traditional food is not the only fare in Qatar. Over the past seventy years, the tiny Arab nation has seen a massive inflow of ex-pats into the country. And with the flow of people from across the world, new flavours and cuisines have filtered into the country's menu. These days, you can just as easily sit down to eat foods from Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, India, Pakistan, America, South America and Europe as you can a traditional dish.
And the type and number of eateries in Qatar are insane! Restaurants and cafes, cafeterias and food halls, food trucks, kiosks and pop-up food stands, diners and sports bars, bistros, grills and barbeques, buffets, fast food, themed dining, fine dining, casual dining, poolside dining, rooftop dining, beachside dining, alfresco dining - the list is endless. You can find traditional rustic restaurants with inexpensive menus, where sitting on the floor is the norm and eating with your hand is expected. On the other side of the coin, some eateries serve only the most sought-after ingredients cooked by internationally renowned chefs in the plushest of environments. You can even try a little karaoke, watch live bands and performers in some restaurants, try fine dining at the cinema, or sup hot chocolate in an ice cafe.
If you can think of it, Qatar probably has the eatery of your dreams…and a host of others you've never considered. The only option is to dive straight in and tickle your taste buds.
Qatar’s Filipino community has many eateries offering home-cooked grub across the country; check out our favourites.
Indonesian cuisine is hugely diverse and unbelievably flavourful; try Doha’s top three eateries and find out more.)
Afternoon tea: a British tradition that has travelled far and wide and can be found in many of Doha’s finest eateries.
Vegans are well catered for in Doha, with a host of 100% plant-based eateries to choose from.
As a maritime nation of old, Qatar has a host of seafood eateries – we’ve picked our top five in Doha for you to try.
If you love Mexican food and enjoy some swinging fiesta vibes, Doha has plenty of options to state your hunger and keep your feet tapping.
If you are hankering for some Australian-style grub, Qatar has a couple of eateries worth checking out.
Georgian cuisine is based on fresh, seasonal, local produce with influences from many far-flung places – the result is a delicious melee of cultures on a plate.
If you want to try traditional Bubble Tea or some of the many new variations, check out Doha’s top Boba spots.)
Qatar shares food flavours with Asian and Middle Eastern nations, but global cuisine is just as easy to find.
Tickle your taste buds with pan-Asian cuisine and lap up some old-world glamour this September at Shanghai Me Doha.)
If you love Japanese food or fancy giving it a go, Downtown Msheireb has plenty to offer.
Light, fluffy and big on flavour, perfect at any time of the day, the mighty steamed dough Bao Bun is worth tasting.
If you like a sociable meal, you’ll love Chinese Hot Pot; it’s the perfect communal meal for bringing folk together.
Cool down over the summer in some of Doha’s most delightful ice cream parlours - great flavours, tastes, and venues.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at some of the finest dessert parlours in Doha - approved by the fact. DINING AWARDS 2023.
Hungry morning, noon or night? Doha has some of the best eateries for dining throughout the day…and that’s a FACT!
Brunch is one of Doha’s most popular weekend activities; join us to discover the most talked about brunches this year.
Qatar’s winters are the best time to enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to experience it than while eating breakfast alfresco.
Westbay is usually bustling with business activities on weekdays, but it becomes the ideal spot for catching up with friends and family over brunch on the weekends.