Doha Restaurant Awards 2012

Who will be crowned the best restaurant in Qatar? Get ready to eat! Comments

© ITP Images

Our food spies have been busy this year, eating their way through the best of Qatar’s dining scene. With so many new restaurants opened this year, it was no easy task! The goal? To narrow down the field to the best, the brightest, the tastiest, all in the name of helping you, dear reader, make an informed decision when someone asks ‘What’s for dinner?’ While the winners, including the coveted Best Restaurant in Qatar Award, won’t be announced until the gala event on May 8, the important part is what you hold in your hands: the shortlist. Anyone who made this list deserves a nibble, and we should know—we’ve tried them all.

Our panel of judges spread out across the city, anonymously eating, testing and trying. Like Batman, they left no stone unturned, and vanished without a trace. Morning, noon and night we were there, eating and surreptitiously filling out score cards that take not just the food, but the ambiance, the service, the atmosphere and the value for money into consideration. As with all our food reviews, we pay for our meals and do it without the owners ever knowing, all so that you can trust that our picks are the unbiased best in Qatar. Restaurants also had to be open a set amount of time to be considered, to ensure consistency. Anyone on this list should give themselves a big pat on the back; no matter who wins, they’re all winners.

It’s like school sports day, only with better catering. Hungry? Don’t be: we’ve got this.

Best Bar Food
The Cellar - Winner

Offering up the original bar food, Spanish tapas, this one has made a name for itself for value for money, but kept us trekking out Airport Way for the quality of the food. Tiny plates of bite sized nibbles mean you get to try a bit of everything, and we highly recommend taking advantage of their set menus—just put it in your mouth, you’ll love whatever it is, trust us. We especially like their little Spanish pies and the rather marvelous things they put on sticks.
Oryx Rotana (4402 3333).

Belgian Café - Highly Commended

Any place that can have a menu that seems to be mostly comprised of different kinds of meatballs makes us happy. Once you get past the meat however, don’t miss the mussels, the waffles (yes waffles) and what we’d dearly love to crown The Best French Fries in Qatar. Thick, hearty and dunked in mayonnaise, they’re excellent and so is this spot. But be warned: it’s not a hidden gem—people know it’s there, and it’s packed solid on weekends. Book early.
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444)

Sometimes, you need a bar where everyone knows your name. Or at least one with giant TVs on the walls. Champions pairs a down-home, easy, relaxed atmosphere with awesome burgers and nibbles and we ask for seconds. Combine that with cheaper prices and we’re in.
West End at Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel (4419 6100)

The Irish Harp
This smoky favourite is one of those Doha places so popular it most often goes by one name, the Harp, just like Madonna. And like Madonna, it’s a weird-yet-delightful mix of British and North American, with great fish and chips and even some traditional ‘Irish’ dishes sharing space with regular bar grub on the menu. They keep it simple, hearty, and founded in things that should be dunked in sauces, and that’s just fine with us.
Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel (4485 4444)

Sometimes, you just need melted cheese and jalapeños. And sometimes you need the best nachos in town. This long time Tex-Mex favourite has undergone a menu makeover this year, moving closer to authentic Mexican dishes, but they haven’t forgotten their delectably greasy roots. Is it fresher? Yes, but we still order the extra cheese sauce for our nachos. Don’t miss the tacos and burritos for a full meal, or their very interesting dessert offerings for something sweet!
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444)

Click here for Best Brunch
Click here for Best Budget Eat
Click here for Best Business Lunch
Click here for Best Café
Click here for Best Chinese
Click here for Best Contemporary European
Click here for Best Family Restaurant
Click here for Best Indian
Click here for Best Italian
Click here for Best Japanese
Click here for Best Middle Eastern
Click here for Best Romantic
Click here for Best Seafood
Click here for Best Steakhouse
Click here for Best South East Asian
Click here for Best South American
Click here for Best Newcomer

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

User reviews:

Posted by: Pramod on 07 May ' 12 at 18:48

Why you are saying infamous singer for Asha's. Is there anything you know that others don't ;-).
And is Garvey's your budget pick open to all?

Posted by: Pramod on 07 May ' 12 at 18:48

Why you are saying infamous singer for Asha's. Is there anything you know that others don't ;-).
And is Garvey's your budget pick open to all?

Posted by: Anonymous on 07 May ' 12 at 17:04

I'm surprised Khazana (by Sanjeev Kapoor) didn't make the list. I suppose their location isn't one you would just stumble upon, but I think it's quite unfair that they didn't make the list. They specialize in North/East Indian cuisine with a very large selection of kebabs as well as biryanis, breads and curries. I love going there both with my family and as well as with guests. Being from North India myself, I feel it is authentic and definitely worth the not-so-large amounts of money you'll be spending... in fact, it is, in my opinion, better than Asha's.

The garden in the winter months is spectacular and the indoor arrangement is quite peculiar but one can count on privacy if sitting indoors.

It's an international chain and several of their restaurants have won awards.

It's located at Souq Waqif (

I just really hope you hadn't known about this restaurant when you made this list because it's a real shame. They deserve recognition.

Posted by: enrico on 01 May ' 12 at 02:23

Lo Spaghetto

Posted by: BC38 on 04 Apr ' 12 at 09:18

I would be very grateful if you could kimdly let me know how and on which bases you award the BEST RESTAURANT in Doha?

Thanks for you reply

Posted by: Basem on 02 Apr ' 12 at 10:17

Your choices in Middle Eastern food are ... questionable. Perhaps you need someone with a more refined Middle Eastern palette :)

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Most viewed restaurants

  1. Le Paradis DeLord
  2. Sizzle
  3. Smat
All reviews

Our favourite features