July 06, 2023

Nutritious Nosh Near 974 Stadium

The FIFA World Cup Qatar may be over, but the legacy of the 2022 competition will continue for the foreseeable future. As part of the tournament, Qatar implemented a far-reaching modernisation programme and a colossal number of changes to its infrastructure, transport networks, sights and attractions and sports offerings, which will continue to benefit the country and its population for decades. The World Cup stadiums, built specifically for the 2022 tournament, were also designed to offer a significant legacy and to breathe life into the venues long after the final whistle was blown. 

The stadiums will remain some of Qatar's most iconic sightseeing landmarks, both for their unbelievable design and architecture and their links to one of the world's most popular sporting events, drawing people from all over the globe to view them. However, the venues and surrounding precincts will each be transformed to ensure they are fit for the future and the local populace. Each stadium will be repurposed as a tourist attraction but equally as a modern hub for sports, leisure, entertainment and relaxation. Each repurposed stadium and precinct will entice the local community, as well as visitors from far and wide.

As community hubs and important tourist spots, additional facilities such as cafes, restaurants and other eateries will also be on hand to help keep hunger at bay. So, for whatever reason, if you visit the 2022 tournament stadiums, rest assured you will find some great places to eat nearby!

974 Stadium

The 974 Stadium was one of Qatar's most unique 2022 World Cup arena designs, having been sustainably constructed using shipping containers and other recyclable materials that could be easily dismantled and upcycled for other uses once the tournament finished. As a result, now that the 2022 competition has been played out, the stadium won't be around forever. If you want to set eyes on the stadium - the world's first fully demountable World Cup venue - now is the time to visit.

When the stadium is dismantled, the remaining complex will be redesigned as a waterfront venue. A host of shops, restaurants, cafes and green spaces will be provided for visitors and locals to enjoy in a stunning location on the water's edge. Until then, visitors can enjoy the 974 beach - a beautiful sandy locale with amazing views, crystal clear waters, and many ocean-side activities. And, though there are snack food kiosks and a cafe on-site, visitors will have to look a little further afield for sit-down eateries. And since the stadium is so close to the city, plenty of options exist.

So, to help you out and ensure your hunger pangs are easily satisfied, we've compiled a list of our top three restaurants within easy reach of the 974 Stadium precinct…

Akte Pier 51

Image: Rixos.com

Adjacent to the 974 Stadium precinct, the Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha, Doha's first five-star hotel nearly 50 years ago, recently underwent extensive renovations, transforming the venue into an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art destination. Aside from the beautiful hotel building, the magnificent beachfront, and the superb spa facilities, the hotel also boasts seven incredible restaurants and cafes. Visitors can eat from Turkish to Indian, American to Greek, and luxury to artisan style. Our favourite is Akte Pier 51, which offers fantastic food in an outstanding location.

Situated on the end of a long pier, surrounded by a new marina and the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf, and with clear views of the 974 Stadium area and West Bay across the waters, Akte Pier is a stunning venue to have a spot of lunch or dinner. The restaurant is built over two levels, with much of the dining area housed in a double-story circular space with floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows, giving customers an almost 360-degree view of the available vista. Aside from the phenomenal views, the restaurant serves various Mediterranean dishes with a distinctly Greek influence. Ingredients are top quality, with freshly sourced seafood, and each plate, though traditionally based, has a modern twist.

Just a stone's throw from the stadium, Akte Pier 51 is a fantastic location to enjoy some top-notch food and, if you're keen to take some great pics, one of the best places to get the perfect Instagram shots.

Location: Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha, Ras Bu Aboud

Hours: Thursday to Saturday, 1 pm - 4 pm (lunch), 4 pm - 12 pm (dinner)

Contact: +974 4429 8666

Website: https://www.rixos.com/en/hotel-resort/rixos-gulf-hotel-doha

Instagram: @rixoshotels


Image: thalatheen/facebook.com

One Metro stop away from Ras Bu Aboud and the 974 Stadium complex is the start of Doha's Corniche, where you can find the awe-inspiring National Museum of Qatar. The museum, designed to resemble the Desert Rose, a rose-like formation of crystals that form in the desert due to evaporation, is a wonder to behold and well worth a visit. Equally so are the restaurants on site. Visitors can sate their hunger inside the museum at Jiwan, serving Qatari gastronomic cuisine. Or try the Desert Rose Cafe, offering everyday Qatari fare, and Cafe 875, dishing up local and international meals in a majlis-type setting (an Arabic-style sitting room). However, our favourite eatery at the museum is Thalatheen.

Thalatheen is located outside of the museum on the surrounding grounds. Small and simple but with a menu bursting with options and flavours, and everything served is vegan. You can grab breakfast, lunch or dinner at Thalatheen and are guaranteed fresh ingredients and a plethora of flavours - all inspired by Qatari cuisine. For breakfast, we recommend the Floral Chia Pudding with chia seeds, almond milk, caramelised pistachio, saffron, rose water and local dates. For lunch or dinner, try the Authentic Shawarma Wrap, with oyster mushrooms, creamy tahini, fermented pickles, lettuce and tomatoes, or the Exotic Humus Bowl, with chunky chickpeas, black gomasio (Japanese sesame salt), coconut bacon, coriander, paprika and sun-dried tomatoes. Wash everything down with a Tahini Date Smoothie, or for something hot, a Date Latte.

If you're looking for some grub pre or post-visit to the stadium, Thalatheen is an excellent spot for a quick, healthy, yet satisfying meal. Plus, if you have any extra time, heading into the National Museum of Qatar is highly recommended - not only is it an incredible building, but a great place to learn about Qatar's past, present and future.

Location: National Museum of Qatar

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 8 am - 10 pm; Friday, 10 am - 10 pm; Sunday, Closed

Contact: +974 4001 0669

Website: https://www.thalatheen.com

Instagram: @thalatheen

Bandar Aden

Image: bandaraden/facebook.com

Located just two Metro stops from the stadium precinct is one of Doha's top tourist destinations and a favourite of locals, Souq Waqif - a traditional-style Arabian market offering many places to eat. However, our absolute favourite is Bandar Aden.

Bandar Aden is located on the outskirts of the Souq's maze of streets and alleys and is an unassuming venue easily missed in all of the bright lights and noise of the market. However, this restaurant is a hidden gem and should definitely be on everyone's radar. Serving inexpensive, hearty, flavoursome Yemeni food, visitors will revel not only in tasty dishes but also in the no-frills, authentic approach to cultural dining. While chairs and tables are an option, most guests opt for the traditional floor seating with Persian rugs and majlis-style cushions for comfort.

There are many dishes worth recommending from Bandar Aden's menu, but our top picks would have to be the Chicken Ogda (an unctuous stew of meat and vegetables), the Mandy (tandoor cooked lamb or chicken with mixed spices and rice), or the grilled or roasted whole fish. Fresh flat bread and Dakoos (a traditional Arabic tomato and garlic sauce) should be ordered as the perfect accompaniment to every meal! Generally, meals are eaten with hands, but there is no problem with asking for cutlery. And as a word of warning, the dishes are huge, so sharing plates is a good option.

If you are new to Arab culture, this is a top experience for tuning into the region's cultural vibes. And so easily accessible from 974 Stadium, it's definitely worth visiting when hunger strikes!

Location: Souq Waqif, Doha

Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 8:30 am - 11 pm; Friday, 12:30 am to 11 pm

Contact: +974 4437 5503

Website: www.bandaraden.com

Facebook: @bandaradenrestaurant

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:

Main image: SanjayJS/Shutterstock.com

Published: November 17, 2022
Last updated: July 06, 2023
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