Six dining experiences in Qatar you don’t want to miss

Jiwan Cuisine

From opulent breakfast spreads to Michelin-star Japanese, when it comes to dining in Doha, one thing is certain: you’ll never go hungry.

Thinking about heading to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in November? You might be more tempted to head to the independent emirate of the Gulf Region simply to enjoy its varied culinary scene boasting more than 3,000 restaurants including some 15 Michelin-star restaurants.

No need to suffer analysis paralysis; simply set Google Translate to ‘Thank you, but I’m already full’ (you’re going to need this particular phrase) and make a beeline for the following:

Enjoy a traditional breakfast spread

Smashed avo on toast will always have its place, but it won’t be at Shay Al Shoomos, a bustling cafe located in the Souq Waqif. Here, the most important meal of the day begins and continues (oh, does it continue) with a range of local specialities such as Khobiz Regag (a traditional crepe), Baid Shakshoka (eggs poached in a tomato sauce laden with spices) and margoga (small pieces of bread mixed with sauce and cooked vegetables).

Try also: Karak Mqanes and Bayt Sharq

Experience high-end Qatari cuisine

Located on the fourth floor of the spectacular National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), Jiwan by Alain Ducasse is a celebration of the nation’s rich cuisine and heritage, yet linked in a creative way to activities by the sea. This is a flowery way of explaining that although you’ll be dining amongst desert dunes, you’ll enjoy sea views as you make the most of one of three menus offered by the restaurant: set, a la carte and sunset tea. Expect the likes of chicken breast with kohlrabi and kabsa, and an exotic fruit mahalabia.

Try also: Yasmine Palace and Al Manchab.

Marvel at the city’s cheap eats options

Geographically, Istanbul is a four-hour flight away, but if you head to Turkey Central, a local institution frequented by both locals and expats, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Turkey. As expected, you’ll be surrounded by folks insisting you ‘eat more’, but with generous pricing (menu options start from as little as two dollars), generous portions of grilled meats and sides and mouth-watering flavours, you’ll be more than happy to oblige.

Try also: Chapati & Karak and Bayt El-Talleh Restaurant

Get to know Qatar’s multicultural heart

Home to over 100 nationalites, Qatar is a melting pot of cultures from every corner of the globe. You could argue with us, or you could just go ahead and gain first-hand experience by booking at Morimoto Doha, a luxurious dining experience (surrounded by rose gold-studded columns) and feasting on dishes such as lobster sushi rice risotto or wagyu fillets. Located in Mondrian, this is Chef Morimoto’s first restaurant to open in the Middle East.

Try also: Mesob Habesha Restaurant and Paper Moon

Enjoy a Michelin meal

There’s no shortage of Michelin-star restaurants in Doha, chief among them the iconic global Nobu chain which has opened its largest restaurant in Doha. Here, perched above the Arabian Gulf, you can experience Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s signature Japanese cuisine with many zeroing in on his brunch menu which includes dishes such as Beef Tenderloin with Yuzu Truffle Tosazu Butter and Soft Shell Crab Kara-age with Amazu Ponzu.

Try also: Veritas and Hakkasan

Explore Qatar’s street food culture

Fancy a quick shawarma, ragag or falafel? Qatar has its own unique take on roadside eats, often serving such dishes in refurbished shipping containers in ‘box parks’, as well as in trucks, carts and stalls.

Of course, if you prefer to eat at a casual sit-down diner, you can easily purchase these at popular chains such as Mashawi Al Arabi and Zater wa Zeit.

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