Excellent Eateries Close To Education City Stadium
When the FIFA World Cup Qatar ended in December 2022, the supporters disbanded and now await the next tournament in 2026. However, the legacy of the 2022 competition will live on in Qatar, primarily through the eight stadiums that hosted the event. These immense and iconic venues, through their history and careful design forethought for the future, will be leading lights in Qatar for some time.
The 2022 tournament stadiums will always attract visitors keen to gaze upon historic, hallowed World Cup grounds or glimpse the extraordinary architecture. But the venues will attract more than just avid football fans over the coming years. Seven stadiums, designed to be sustainable for the future, will be transformed into a modern hub for sports, leisure, entertainment and relaxation for locals and visitors, meaning that the venues will continue to give back to the community and the economy. The only stadium not to stay standing will be 974 Stadium; fully demountable, this stadium will be dismantled and the area rebuilt as a waterfront destination for leisure and entertainment.
As guests and visitors continue to be drawn to the stadiums or transformed areas, the need for amenities and facilities will also remain, especially those offering sustenance and refreshments. Fortunately, we have some great recommendations for eateries a stone’s throw from each venue.
Education City Stadium
Education City Stadium, nicknamed the 'Diamond in the Desert', was inspired by Islamic architecture. Geometrical panels lock together across the facade to make diamond-like patterns. The fabric of the cladding panels is highly reflective; it creates a shimmering, colour-changing effect as the sun passes over the stadium. And at night, thousands of tiny diodes illuminate the panels. Hence, the aptly given diamond in the desert reference. Day or night, the stadium is a spectacular venue to visit.
Now that the visiting 2022 World Cup supporters have left Qatar, work will begin transforming the stadium and the surrounding precinct. The arena will be converted (40,000 capacity to 20,000 seats) into a venue for local, regional and international sporting events, and an adjoining sports hub will serve the local community living, working and studying in Education City.
Located within Education City - a centre of learning - the stadium sits alongside nine Universities, a host of research institutes, sporting venues, such as a 33-hole golf club and a world-class equestrian centre, parks and some of the most awe-inspiring buildings in Qatar, including the Education City Mosque and the National Library. With so much in the area, it's no surprise that there are a few places to grab a bite to eat too. So, if you are looking for an excellent place to enjoy a meal before or after visiting the stadium, look no further!
Image: Chef’s Garden
The Chef's Garden is a farm-to-table concept restaurant just a 3-minute taxi ride from Education City Stadium at the Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre. The restaurant is a favourite among local families, with its chic and spacious, airy interior and quiet outdoor terrace seating with lush views of the garden and the pool.
The menu at the restaurant is made of seasonal local produce, organic meats, herbs, and vegetables from the chef's garden, with beautifully plated appetisers, soups, salads, main courses and desserts. We highly recommend trying the Prawns Asparagus Omelette or the gourmet Steak and Eggs Skillet (runny poached eggs served with fillet mignon and grilled halloumi cheese) for breakfast. It is hard for us to choose a favourite from the soups and salads menu, but the Cauliflower Leek Soup and Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad are fresh, tasty and morish. When picking a main, the homemade Ravioli Pasta and the Steaks, in our opinion, are unmatched. For dessert, their Crunchy Coffee Chocolate Cake is delicious and healthy. Another favourite is the Raspberry-Pistachio Parfait.
The restaurant has a separate menu for kids. And, when they're not eating, the venue has plenty of entertainment options, including a kids' club and an outdoor play area with bouncy castles, tree houses, and lots of space to run around.
If you have more time to spare, we recommend checking out the world-class Equine facilities at Al Shaqab to get a glimpse of the magnificent Arabian Horses that Qatar is renowned for breeding.
Location: Education City, Al Shaqab Gate 6, Al Luqta Street, Ar-Rayyan
Hours: Saturday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
Contact: +974 4409 5040
Image: Chariot Qatar
Chariot, also located on the grounds of the Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre, is a quirky and whimsical vibe eatery with an urban twist to it. 1950s diner themed with details and features of the times' fairs, circuses and carnivals, the ambience is quite unique, and its vintage-looking decor transports you back to bygone eras. With reflective ceilings, red chairs and some amazing artwork adorning the walls, the interior is also contemporary for the current age.
The diner is small but memorable (often crowded), and its Instagramable theme is popular among locals. The menu is short and mostly sweet. The Doha-Texas Brisket Sandwich and Country Fried Chicken Sandwich are most recommended. For the dessert, check out the Cro-Waffle with ice cream - a combination of a croissant with a waffle. Try venturing away from classic ice cream flavours and taste the sweet melon flavour - it's a taste sensation.
If you are looking for a trendy restaurant with good food and drinks in a pleasant setting, this is a good option located just a 5-minute taxi ride from the stadium.
Location: Gate 7, Al Shaqab Street, Ar-Rayyan
Hours: Saturday - Friday: 10 am - 11 pm
Contact: +974 4412 9608
National Library of Qatar Cafe and Restaurant
Education City Stadium is an awe-inspiring building, but there are many incredible constructions throughout the surrounding area that are also worth visiting. If you are hungry when at the stadium, why not combine a little sightseeing while you quell those hunger pangs? The National Library of Qatar is an immense structure and well worth a visit even if you're not in the market for reading material...they also have a great cafe and restaurant on site!
From the outside, the library is an unusual horizontal, elongated 3D diamond shape. Inside is a cavernous main hall with modern individually lit display cabinets set on ascending steps that create an amphitheatre-type effect. Alongside around one million books, the main hall floor is strewn with bean bags, comfy chairs and board games, creating a fabulously relaxed atmosphere. A small cafe at the centre boasts hanging bubble chairs that add to the peaceful ambience that pervades the building. The cafe serves sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries, soft drinks and coffee and is the perfect place to sit back and relax while you swing contentedly in a bubble chair. And tucked away behind the main bookshelves is a bright, airy restaurant serving soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, shawarma and desserts, and an array of main courses. Our favourites are the Chicken Biryani and the Vegetable Curry. Both the cafe and restaurant are designed to provide healthy, reasonably priced meals and refreshments to fuel inquisitive minds.
Aside from the books and refreshments, the library accommodates a Heritage Library full of rare and valuable books and artefacts, an amphitheatre, regularly hosting the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and a children's library with its own crafts and activities area. The library is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, relax and soak up more of Qatar's great buildings while taking a break from the football. Jump on a Yellow Line tram from the stadium to the Multaqa stop to reach the library.
Location: Ouloum Street, Education City, Ar Rayyan
Hours: Saturday - Thursday: 8 am - 8 pm
Friday: 4 pm - 8 pm
Contact: +974 4454 0100
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
- Awesome Edibles Around Al Janoub 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: Noushad Thekkayil/Shutterstock.com
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