Doha’s Most Insta-Worthy Cafes
Posting beautiful images to communicate, inspire and spread positive vibes is very on-trend in today's world. We all love to share our adventures and experiences with our friends, families and wider social networks, especially on visual platforms like Instagram. If you are in Doha, Qatar's capital city, for any reason, then there are literally thousands of opportunities to take interesting, unique, artistic and creative pictures for the ‘gram.
Qatar is a fast-growing tourist destination, famous for being one of the wealthiest nations in the world and for hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup. It has a plethora of sights and attractions worthy of being snapped, especially in Doha. Doha is a modern capital city - a maze of awe-inspiring skyscrapers, heritage-style Arabian markets, majestic mosques and excellent museums, green parks, seafront promenades and palm-lined streets, all set against the beautiful backdrop of the Gulf Sea. The cityscape and everything in it allows for many unique shots. However, you can find the perfect images to share without embarking on an epic tour of the city streets. Tucked away amongst all the heady buildings, works of art and other glorious sights and attractions, Qatar offers some equally Insta-worthy cafes and coffee shops.
So, kill two birds with one stone, sit back and relax with a coffee, a snack or a delicious cake, catch up with friends or take a business lunch, and capture some beautiful images of some of the city's quirkiest, most unique and most aesthetic cafes while you're there. Here are our top recommendations for cafes that will make you smile and want to capture an enduring snapshot of your surroundings and post for all to enjoy:
Blue Signature Cafe
The Blue Signature Cafe in Al Aziziyah is small but elegant and worth a visit to snap a few shots for the 'gram. Blue by name and blue by nature, the cafe is decorated in a deep blue, almost indigo colour, with quirky mirrors, patches of exposed bricks, and books open as if in mid-read adorning the walls. But, it is the bunches of blue and violet material flowers that envelop the back wall and the whole ceiling and the swing seats that make this cafe stand out. The flowers look like a sumptuous carpet of blossoms growing across the roof, and the tree-style swings hanging from the ceiling, with velvet cushions on the seats, give the impression of a quaint English garden.
The cafe serves a variety of coffee types, flat white to macchiato, latte to cold brew and Chemex (Japanese-style - hot brewed over ice), and various flavours. Try the Pistachio Latte, creamy, nutty coffee…what's not to like? Or order a blue, pink or black Signature Latte: coloured coffee made with condensed milk and served with a slice of cake in the corresponding colour. If you're feeling peckish, we recommend trying the sweet crepes, the cookies or the chocolate tart.
The Blue Signature Cafe is located in Al Aziziyah, not far from the 2022 World Cup venue, Khalifa International Stadium. The coffee shop is easy to get to from the city centre by heading west on Al Waab Street from the Doha Expressway - the journey, by car or taxi, should take around 20 minutes. The nearest Metro station is Sports City Metro Station; from here, the cafe is a 20-minute walk away.
Location: Othman bin Affan Street, Al Aziziyah
Hours: Daily, 6 am - 12 am
Contact: +974 3087 7774
Entering Ink Cafe is like walking into the pages of an artist's sketchbook or, if you're old enough to remember, the Aha Take On Me video. The entire cafe is white, decorated with black detailing like a 2D picture. Each object in the shop is white with a black pencil drawing-style outline. From the tables and chairs, the plates, cups and napkin holders to the bricks on the wall, the wooden floorboards, the window frames, carpets, light fittings and doors, and even the servery and cash register, everything follows the monochrome, sketch theme. It is an art-inspired, fun-filled optical illusion and an Instagrammers haven. For such a tiny venue, the opportunity for distinctive, artful shots is immense.
However, the food and drinks at Ink Cafe are anything but monochrome (except for the delicious Black Cold Latte made with activated charcoal). With a myriad of coffees on offer, from Espresso to Candy Americano (coffee served with spun sugar), hot chocolate, iced fruit teas, dry mojitos and milkshakes, you're guaranteed some colour! And the food menu, with a range of salads, sandwiches and desserts, is equally as colourful. We recommend the pancakes, the waffles, the sweet french toast, the cheesecake, the carrot cake, the chocolate cake, brownies and, for good measure, the cafe's Signature Cake.
Located at Lusail Marina's Food Market, Ink Cafe is easily accessible by car or taxi via the Lusail Expressway out of Doha central in around 20 minutes. The nearest Metro station is Legtaifiya Metro Station.
Location: Lusail Marina Food Market, Lusail
Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 8 am - 2 am; Friday, 12 pm - 2 am
Contact: +974 7741 4481
SubZero Ice Lounge
Bone-chilling temperatures and ice blocks don't naturally spring to mind when considering Qatar's Arabian desert climate. Nonetheless, SubZero Ice Lounge manages to transport its customers to the chilly world of the far northern or southern hemispheres, if just for a short while.
SubZero is a frozen lounge complete with ice tables and chairs, frozen bookshelves and wall decor, and a host of icy sculptures. The sculptures include some of Qatar's famous landmarks (such as the Pearl Monument and Fanar Mosque), heritage items (a replica Dhow), traditional objects (an Arabian coffee pot), and other models of cultural significance (a camel, a cannon and a car, which is big enough to sit inside!). Before lounge entry, visitors are provided with arctic-ready fur and fleece-lined hats, gloves, jackets, slipper shoes and heavy Arabian coats. So everyone remains toasty warm while exploring the cafe's icy wonders. There are even furs on every chair to keep guests' cheeks warm! The ice-cold venue offers a distinctive and fun experience and one that will give you some excellent cold but cool Insta-shots!
The cafe serves a variety of hot beverages, though hot chocolate (included as part of the entry fee) is generally the drink of choice. For QAR 95 pp and QAR 65 for kids (2-12 years), you get the experience and hot chocolate with a refill. The venue also offers an array of snacks and desserts worth tucking into…even if you have to take off a glove. The cheesecake, chocolate cake, brownies and hot caramel sauce are all winners in our books.
SubZero is located at The Pearl, 20 minutes from central Doha. The venue is easily accessible via car or taxi via the Lusail Expressway. The nearest Metro stop on the Red Line is Legtaifiya Metro Station; from here, you can jump on a Metro Shuttle Bus into The Pearl.
Location: Marina Way 18, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Doha
Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 12 am; Friday, 1 pm - 12 am
Contact: +974 5595 1101
Upside Down Cafe
Upside Down Cafe is a modern coffee shop with dark, sleek grey decor brightened with bright yellow and bold blue detailing on the walls, floors and ceiling. Comfy mismatched chairs in brown and dark grey leather and soft blue material, alongside round knitted Ottoman stools, provide contrast and set an on-trend tone. However, there is more than meets the eye to this trendy little establishment. Look a little harder; you'll start to notice some oddities. Some of the shelves dotted around the room are loaded with books, plants, ornaments and crockery that hang securely, seemingly normally, upside down. Point your gaze upwards; you'll spot the perfect mirror image of the furniture below suspended upside down from the ceiling above, including lamps and coffee cups. The overall effect is an odd topsy-turvy optical illusion of an upside-down parallel world, making for some great snaps.
When you've finished taking pics, the cafe's menu is worth checking out too. Speciality coffees, from Lattes to Japanese-style Iced Coffees, are all the rage, but a variety of other hot and iced drinks, bottled and canned cold drinks and slushies are also available. Apart from the Iced Chemex coffee, our favourites are the fruity Mango Slushie, the Pink Panther Lemonade and the Upside Down Latte in a bottle (coffee layer at the top, milky layer at the bottom). In terms of food, Upside Down Cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, savoury croissants and salads, as well as an array of tasty desserts and pastries. We love the Roasted Chicken Sandwich, the Syrniki Pancakes (made with soft cheese and served with fruit, honey and cream), and the Apple Cinnamon Cake (vegan-friendly).
You can find the Upside Down Cafe in Dafna, West Bay, near the Burj Doha Tower. It's easy to get to by car or taxi via Al Corniche or Majlis Al Taawon Street. The nearest Metro station is the DECC Metro Station outside the Gate Mall.
Location: Amkasah Street, Dafna, West Bay
Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 6 am - 12 am; Friday, 8 am - 2 am
Contact: +974 3310 2046
Main image: Facebook/SubZeroIceLounge
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