Best family restaurants in Doha

Eating out with children does not have to be a chore. Enjoy dining here Discuss this article

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Eating out with the sprogs can easily turn into more of a chore than a nice day out, so mum-of-two Lisa Travell sets out in search of Doha’s best and most popular restaurants for families.

Eating out is almost a national pastime in Qatar and a complete family affair. Let’s be honest though, kids don’t want to be stuck at the table grazing over an abundance of fancy courses. The key to a leisurely lunch, or serene supper in the company of your offspring, is a tasty children’s menu combined with efficient service. A kid’s activity pack, or a place for them to let off steam is also a bonus and will guarantee families flock back time and time again. Here are my top picks of family-friendly restaurants that tick all the right boxes.

American Grill
Food here is good American fuss-free fare. Although there’s no children’s menu, prices are reasonable enough for you to order adult portions for kids. MTV plays on televisions around the restaurant, entertaining older kids and there’s a playroom at the back of the restaurant for youngsters. High chairs are provided for babies, and staff are friendly and helpful. Desserts to die for include the Chocolate Volcano, it’s big enough to share, but your kids might not want to!
Open daily 6am-10pm. Somerset, West Bay (4411 0188).

The outside dining area of Carluccio’s is perfect for kids during the cooler weather; they’re free to run around and tend to be completely mesmerised by the large water feature, which attracts tiny hands and squeals of joy. A dedicated children’s menu, activity pack and pencils ensure younger children are occupied and happy, and free Wi-Fi satisfies gadget hungry teenagers. In some restaurants you sacrifice fabulous food for family friendly, but not here, as dishes are divine and delight both children and adults.
Open Sun-Thu, 10am-midnight; Fri and Sat, 10am-1am. Parcel 10, The Pearl Qatar, (6690 1777).

jones the grocer
Weekends are especially busy as families flock to ‘Jones’ for fresh home-style food in this vibrant café-style eatery. Meaty pies and Wagyu burgers tempt adults, while kids can choose from a hot menu or sandwiches. High chairs are available but at a premium during busy times. The atmosphere is relaxed and kids are provided with a picture and crayons, and budding artists’ work is displayed on the walls. The dessert counter here is perfect for families as it features a selection of superb tarts and cakes in miniature.
Open daily 8am-11pm. The Gate Mall, West Bay, (44077175).

Named after a popular holiday destination in Greece, Mykonos boasts superb Greek / Mediterranean cuisine. Overlooking the pool, with palm trees swaying in the breeze, dining here feels like a mini-break in itself. The circular outside dining area is shaded for eating in warmer times and gas-fired heaters ensure your family stays warm as it cools. Staff are welcoming and patient with kids, plus portion sizes are big enough to share, which promotes family-style eating in this authentic restaurant.
Open daily 12pm-11.30pm. Intercontinental Doha, West Bay (4484 4919).

Pizza Express
With a great selection of dishes for kids and adults, Pizza Express already has a winning family formula. Add in the fact that kids can make their own pizzas at the counter and this equates to happy times for all. Watch your children try to juggle bases like the chef then pile on their toppings. The joy and pride on kids’ faces when their masterpiece arrives bubbling at the table is why this restaurant is busy and a popular venue for kid’s parties.
Open Sun-Thu, 12pm-midnight; Fri and Sat, noon-1am. Villaggio Mall, Al Waab (4413 5248). Other locations: Landmark Mall (4488 5067), City Centre (4483 9595).

Shake Shack
It’s a little over a year since it opened and this American burger chain is still enticing families from across Doha. The queuing system alone is a reason to dine here as it prevents people pushing in and means that service is orderly, a rare thing in Qatar. The trendy surroundings appeal to both young and old, and burgers are delicious, fresh, meaty and made with 100 percent Angus beef. Of course the signature shakes are a must-try, with rotating specials. Just one tip – always order enough crinkly cheesy fries, or you risk exchanging family bliss for family fights.
Open Sat-Thu, 11am-12am; Fri, 1pm-12am. Villaggio Mall, Al Waab (4413 5395).

Even the name of this Japanese eatery sounds child friendly. There’s a host of dishes for kids, many miniature versions of adult dishes, which are well presented and tasty. Food is cooked fresh with the warning that dishes will arrive at different times, so you may risk sharing if yours arrives first! Half the fun for kids is grappling with the chopsticks, which is great as it sometimes means they are occupied for longer. On top of all that, if they do finish first, and if weather permits, there’s a great outdoor space for your little ones to run around just outside, giving you the chance to nibble your noodles in peace.
Open daily 11.30am-11pm. Lagoona Mall, West Bay (4463 3876).

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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