February 20, 2023

Nutritious Nosh Near 974 Stadium

974 Stadium is the closest FIFA 2022 World Cup tournament venue to Doha's city centre and is but a hop, skip and a jump from Hamad International Airport, making it one of the most accessible stadiums to travel to and from - a bonus if you're hungry during any visit to the site. 

The 974 stadium is one of Qatar's most unique 2022 World Cup arenas, having been sustainably constructed using shipping containers and other easily recyclable materials that can be dismantled once the tournament is over and upcycled for other uses. As a result, the stadium won't be around forever. When the final whistle blows and 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, though there will be snack food kiosks on-site during the World Cup competition, visitors will have to look a little further afield for sit-down eateries. And since the stadium is so close to the city, there are plenty of options to choose from.

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

Akte Pier 51

Image: Rixos.com

Akte Pier 51 is located adjacent to the 974 Stadium in the grounds of the Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha. While the hotel is nearly 50 years old, it recently underwent extensive renovations. As the site of Doha's first five-star hotel, it's no wonder that the recent upgrades have not only renovated but transformed 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 foods ranging from Turkish to Indian, American to Greek, and luxury to artisan style. Our favourite of the bunch 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 and West Bay across the waters, Akte Pier is a stunning venue to have a spot of lunch or dinner. The restaurant itself 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 an array of Mediterranean dishes with a distinctly Greek influence. Ingredients are top quality, with freshly sourced seafood, and each plate, though traditionally- based, given 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 shots of the stadium, 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 is the start of Doha's Corniche and 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 gastronomic Qatari 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 in 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-match, 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 it's 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 at one of Doha's top tourist destinations and a favourite of locals, Souq Waqif - a traditional-style Arabian market- offers 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 Yemini 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 to tune 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

Main image: SanjayJS/Shutterstock.com

Published: November 17, 2022
Last updated: February 20, 2023