Awesome Edibles Around Al Janoub Stadium
The FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar may be over, but the stadiums that hosted the tournament remain part of the Qatari nation’s ever-growing and changing landscape.
While seven of the 2022 competition’s eight* arenas will always capture people’s attention as venues of one of the most popular sporting events in the world, they are also significant tourist attractions for their incredible architecture and state-of-the-art facilities. Plus, in the days, months and years following the World Cup, each stadium will be transformed into a modern hub for sports, leisure, entertainment and relaxation. Each repurposed stadium and precinct will be a magnet for visitors and locals alike.
And where there are people, you will find a host of cafes, restaurants and other eateries waiting to feed the hungry masses. So, for whatever reason, if you visit the 2022 tournament stadiums, rest assured you will find some awesome edibles nearby! Here are our top three recommendations for excellent eateries:
*Stadium 974, the eighth stadium, is fully demountable (a world first) and will be dismantled and the area rebuilt as a waterfront destination for leisure and entertainment.
Al Janoub Stadium
Designed by the award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, Al Janoub Stadium is located in the coastal town of Al Wakrah. Inspired by the traditions of Qatari life on the coast - pearl diving and fishing - the stadium has been designed to resemble the sails of traditional Dhow boats from the outside and the hull of a ship on the inside - it is an impressive structure to see.
Following on from the World Cup, Al Janoub will now be redeveloped to reduce its capacity from 40,000 to 20,000 seats and become the home of the local football team, Al Wakrah Football Club. The stadium's surrounding precinct will incorporate a new retail complex, sports facilities, parkland, and a new mosque, wedding hall, and market.
Besides the stadium, Al Wakrah has plenty to do on its shores, beaches, parks, traditional markets and a plethora of places to eat. So if you are heading to Al Janoub Stadium to watch the football, play sports, immerse yourself in some retail therapy, or for sightseeing, check out some restaurants nearby - not only will you get some great grub, but you'll also get to see some of the city's other sights.
The Afghan Brothers eatery is just a 10-minute taxi ride from Al Janoub Stadium and well worth the journey. Serving Middle Eastern cuisine, this restaurant is always buzzing with customers who have come to love the fresh food made in the kitchen from scratch. Indeed, this local favourite, started by three Afghan brothers in 2008 who had a love of traditional homemade fare, is one of eight highly successful Afghan Brothers restaurants across the country.
The restaurant in Al Wakrah has a traditional Afghan ambience and, within its simple, homely style decor, has regular table-and-chair seating on the Ground Floor and private majlis-style seating on the First Floor. Majlis is traditional Arabic-style seating where Sadu woven cushions and futons are arranged around low tables or in a closely knit circle on the floor.
We highly recommend trying the Goat Mandi - a rice dish with melt-in-your-mouth-meat, or the Fresh Fish Majboos - a one-pot dish cooked slowly with onions, tomatoes and spices and paired with Daqoos, a native tomato garlic sauce. Finish off with a serving of Gulab Jamun - a fried dumpling flavoured with cardamom and soaked in rose and saffron syrup. The main dishes are enough for two to three people to share and, for an authentic experience, should be eaten by hand from the serving bowl.
A meal at Afghan Brothers is a perfect way to enjoy Arabic culture before or after visiting the stadium at Al Janoub.
Location: Abdulrahman Bin Jasim Al Thani St, Al Wakrah
Hours: Saturday - Friday: 11 am - 1 am
Contact: +974 4411 6783
Al Seeb BBQ
Al Seeb BBQ can be found in Souq Al Wakrah, a traditional-style Arabian market on Al Wakrah's coastline. The souq, a labyrinth of alleyways, old-style shops around courtyards, mosques, squares lined with date palms, and a seafront promenade, is full of cafes and restaurants. You are spoiled for choice and can find foods from the Middle East, Africa, India, Pakistan, Europe and Asia, with a wide variety of food on offer. Being on the coast, next to the city's fishing port, you can find some of the freshest seafood in Qatar. For us, Al Seeb BBQ offers some of the tastiest seafood dishes in the market!
While Al Seeb BBQ isn't as stylish as some restaurants in the souq or offer as extensive a menu, its minimalist decor and menu pale into insignificance once you taste their meals. At Al Seeb, you can choose your freshly caught seafood per kilo from the counter, and there are plenty of choices - seabass, sea bream, kingfish, red snapper, prawns, squid, lobster and crab, to name a few. The food is prepared and served hot and fresh, usually with a choice of salad, bread or Mandi rice (Yemeni-style rice). You can also order other BBQ dishes such as chicken, but when in Rome… Our favourites are the BBQ seabass, the BBQ lobster and the squid fry (tiny squid fried in bread crumbs). While the fish varies in price per kilo (according to the market price), the menu is very reasonable.
With its indoor and outdoor seating, Al Seeb BBQ is only a 10-12 minute drive from Al Janoub Stadium and offers a friendly, relaxed and authentic vibe to go with their delicious edibles. A trip to the souq and some excellent food make this trip worth the effort for hungry sightseers!
Location: Souq Al Wakrah, Al Wakrah
Hours: Daily: 10 am - 11 pm
Contact: +974 5073 5735
Image: Remman Cafe Qatar
The Remman Cafe, located five minutes by taxi from Al Janoub Stadium in Wakrah's Ezdan Mall, serves amazing Lebanese food. Specialities, such as Shish Taouk (Shish Kebab), Manakish (oven-baked flatbread with various toppings), grilled meats and broasted chicken, and Shawarma, are our firm favourites and well worth the recommendation. The food is excellent and very reasonably priced. You can order a variety of dips, salads, and other tasty side dishes to go with the main meals. And if you're in the mood for some dessert, try their rice pudding - it is a delight!
The cafe's signature red and turquoise check table covers, retro wooden furniture and decor reminiscent of a Lebanese souq or side street create the overall ambience of a traditional street cafe. However, the traditional foods offered have been given a contemporary makeover for the 21st century. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating - perfect for alfresco dining on cooler winter days.
When you've sated your hunger, Ezdan Mall also has some Middle Eastern brand outlet stores to pursue and a decent kids' entertainment venue.
Location: Ezdan Mall, Al Wakrah
Hours: Saturday - Friday: 7 am - 12 am
Contact: +974 4433 4545
If you are taking the time to visit each of the 2022 World Cup stadiums (which we heartily recommend), keep hunger at bay while you sightsee by checking out the following recommendations for some top eateries in the vicinity of each venue:
- Nutritious Nosh Near 974 Stadium
- Eating Out Around Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
- Best Restaurants to Visit Near Al Bayt Stadium
- Eateries Close to Education City Stadium
- Great Grub Close to Khalifa International Stadium
- Fabulous Food for Hungry Visitors to Lusail Stadium
- Discovering Sights Via The Metro Red Line From Al Thumama Stadium
Main image: Fauzan Fitria/Shutterstock.com
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