Best restaurants in Doha 2017

Revealed: The 2017 Time Out Doha Restaurant Awards Discuss this article

2017_dohaawards
© ITP Images

When it comes to eating, we’re deadly serious about it, because when it comes to recommending places for you to spend your hard-earned rials, we want to make sure we get it right.

Our team was dispatched to everywhere from fine dining venues to roadside joints, hoovering up everything from shawarmas to sous vide wagyu beef along the way. We do this all anonymously and we pay for everything we eat. Our opinions aren’t influenced by any outside factors, it’s purely down to our experiences. And because we’re paying – whether that’s a QR8 fattoush or a QR700 steak, we get the same treatment as you.

This is the one list that you can trust.

Regional Awards

Best Asian


Asia Live!

Cosy and secluded, this restaurant takes you on a culinary journey through the Far East. The Dragon rolls are some of the best in town.
Doha Marriott Hotel (4477 4124).

Baan Thai
Hardly the most glitzy spot on this list, but Baan Thai’s green curry makes the long drive out of town completely worth it. Did we mention your wallet will be happy too?
Muaither (4029 8126).

Hwang
When you're eating at Hwang, you're not eating just great Asian food. You’re eating great Asian food in a really tasteful and classy venue, with fantastic views of Doha.
InterContinental Doha The City (4015 8888).

Isaan
The most authentic Thai cuisine you'll find in Doha. We guarantee you that the marinated sea bass will be spot on every time. And we very rarely proffer guarantees like that.
Grand Hyatt Doha (4448 1250).

Jasmine Thai Restaurant
A top spot if you're looking for a secluded and quiet Asian meal followed by a walk on the cobbled streets of Souq Waqif. We often find ourselves thinking of their chicken satay.
Souq Waqif (4443 1601).

Oriental Kitchen
Their ambience is basic but their butter prawns aren’t. A popular option for budget friendly and simple, but tasty, dining.
Najma (3336 3279).

Sabai Thai
The fare is authentic, the decor is discerning and the service is top-notch. There really aren’t many better Asian experiences in town. Get the mango with sticky rice.
Westin Doha Hotel & Spa (4492 1555).

Spice Market
A contemporary twist on Asian dishes. Prepare to be wowed by the quality of what comes to the table. In fact, just prepare to be wowed.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4477 4281).

Thai Corner
This Thai joint is a tiny box that somehow manages to produce some of the best Thai food in town. Just go and try it.
The Centre (6640 7858).

The Rice & The Noodle
Possibly one of Doha's best kept secrets. Well, until now. Try anything from the selection of sushi and it'll be good.
Souq Waqif (4415 5185).

Chinese
Beijing House

This is a tiny little place with décor that is best described as minimal. But the unassuming signage and interior belie the top-quality Chinese food coming from the kitchen.
Barwa Village (4486 4272).

Chi’Zen
The scarlet and black tones make for a great ambience. Try the seafood siu mai and the crystal prawn dumplings – they come highly recommended from the staff. And us.
Oryx Rotana (4402 3484).

Chopsticks
The food here makes up for the kitschy décor. This is a good option if you want to get your Chinese fix without breaking the bank.
Wyndham Grand Regency (4434 3333).

D’Chopstix
This is a great place for lunch thanks to all the light shining through the artistic, box-shaped grills. Mouth-watering Chinese delicacies that are beautifully presented – we’re sold.
Holiday Villa (4477 4279).

Hakkasan
Hakkasan might be the pinnacle of fine dining in the country. Look no further if you’re in the mood for contemporary Cantonese cuisine. Every dish is a success. The prices are completely worth the overall experience.
The St Regis Doha (4446 0170).

Mainland China Restaurant
Excellent service and a fantastic ambience help make Mainland China one of the best Chinese restaurants in town. The wasabi prawns, edamame truffle dumplings and kung-pao chicken are out of this world.
Barwa Towers (4038 7376).

Ruby Wu’s
True to its name, you’ll see a lot of red all over the atmospheric venue. The prawn mayonnaise might sound simple, but we assure you it is as tasty as it is photogenic. Special mention to the duck noodles, too.
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1555).

Three Peppers Restaurant
Makes some of Doha’s best dumplings, and if you are looking for authentic, no-fuss Chinese food, this should be near the top of your list.
Old Airport Area (6649 2626).

European


Aceite

A contemporary Spanish restaurant that serves up a very good paella. The atmosphere is lively, thanks to a live band.
Melia Doha (4019 9999).

Aroma
One bite into the signature camel burger will have you hooked. Aroma is luxurious and always spot on with food and service.
Kempinski Residences & Suites (4405 3333).

El Faro
The décor is very tastefully done – a trendy mix of cosy couches and interesting pieces of art. Especially the Picasso-inspired graffiti brick wall. Try the selection of authentic tapas for a true taste of Spain.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Gordon Ramsay
Spoil yourself with some classic Mediterranean dishes with a contemporary twist here. Gordon Ramsay promises a truly exquisite fine dining experience.
The St. Regis (4446 0105).

IDAM by Alain Ducasse
This restaurant redefined dining in Qatar when it opened. Try the Experience Menu for a true exploration of what it does.
Museum of Islamic Art (4422 4488).

La Varenne
A French café experience is a rare one in Qatar. La Varenne lives up to expectations and then some. Do not miss the business lunch – it is one of the best in town.
Tornado Tower (4499 0680).

Market by Jean-Georges
An excellent option for contemporary European and continental dishes. Whether you order the black truffle pizza or the famous cheeseburger, we promise you’ll love it.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5373).

Mykonos
Go here for the perfect Greek experience. The food is extraordinary and the talented live band will transport you to the streets of Greece in a heaertbeat.
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444).

Opal by Gordon Ramsay
Opal has a cosy, bistro-style vibe and if you want the Gordon Ramsay experience in a more casual, lively setting, this scores big points. The food is simple, fresh and tasty – just how we like it.
The St. Regis (4446 0000).

The Cellar
Contrary to its name, The Cellar is actually filled with bright light and is a great option for a relaxed and casual lunch in an elegant atmosphere. The Mediterranean tapas are some of the best in town.
Oryx Rotana (4402 3333).

INDIAN


Bombay Balti

Easily one of the top Indian restaurants, not just for the delicious curries served in traditional copper buckets, but also for the fantastic live music that accompanies them.
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1555).

Caravan Bukhara
A truly authentic Indian dining experience in a dimly lit, wooden-interior restaurant. Try the dal makhani and butter chicken, served in copper vessels on small burners.
Khalifa Tennis & Squash Complex (4483 3345).

Chingari
You will be transported into the majesty of North Indian palaces at Chingari. The venue is filled with soft light and beautiful ghazals – dining here is a grand experience.
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1555).

Kababs & Kurries
Definitely not what you'd expect from a restaurant inside a mall. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised with how adorable and cosy this place is, but also with how homely the food tastes.
Zero One Mall (4477 4230).

Royal Tandoor
Rich, creamy curries and the excellent biryanis put this restaurant on the not-to-miss list.
The Pearl-Qatar (4002 0777).

Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor
Gorging on recipes carefully crafted by an Indian cooking legend is the stuff of foodie bucket lists. We have one more thing to say – lemongrass butter chicken.
Melia Doha (4477 4286).

Saffron Lounge by Vineet
Vineet Bhatia is an Indian household favourite and when you try the prawn curry, you'll know why. One of those places that never fails.
Katara (4408 0808).

Taj Rasoi
An old but reliable favourite, Taj Rasoi has become a place of family tradition. It’s atmospheric and serves authentic desi fare.
Doha Marriot (4429 8499).

Tamarind Indian
Indian molecular gastronomy is fast becoming a trend. Add great ambience and service to that formula and you get Tamarind. The dal makhani here is comfort food at its best.
Lagoona Mall (4481 5544).

Zaffran Dining Experience
It might take you a while to decipher their complicated menu, but if you order the biryani you’ll quickly forget all about that.
Al Hilal (4447 7747).

Italian


Antica Pesa

This award-winning, waterfront Italian restaurant, which has sister restaurants in Rome and New York, serves up excellent, authentic dishes with a contemporary twist. Servers are professional and knowledgeable, the décor is stunning, and the atmosphere makes it a great place for romantic meals out.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Cucina Italiana
With rustic décor and open kitchens, this pleasant restaurant with good vibes serves up classic, simple Italian fare that hits the spot every single time.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha(4419 5000).

La Dolce Vita
A cosy, charming, classic Italian restaurant buried in the heart of the Arabian-inspired Souq Waqif, La Dolce Vita is well-known for its authentic fare and friendly service. Oh, and the pizzas are incredible.
Souq Waqif (4436 7791).

La Spiga by Paper Moon
Easily one of the most stylish restaurants in the city. It’s easy to while away the hours enjoying the buzzing atmosphere.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

La Veranda
Beside the delicious food, stunning West Bay views draw guests back time and time again. Grab a seat on the outdoor terrace and soak up the charming atmosphere.
Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Centre (4485 3000).

Le Vesuvio
This lovely restaurant serves classic Italian dishes. Head to the rooftop to enjoy the exceptional pizzas.
Katara Cultural Village (4408 1500).

Lo Spaghetto
This unassuming trattoria is about as far away from glitzy five-star hotel dining as you can get. But, boy, is it good. For pizzas, there may be no finer place in the city.
Al Kinana Street, Al Sadd (4434 1601).

Nonna Zanon
A casual, unpretentious West Bay restaurant that has perfected the art of pizza making.
The Residence Tower (4029 0348).

Paper Moon
The sophisticated interiors will transport you to Milan. Food is top-notch, service is brilliant and the atmosphere is wonderful.
Umm Ghuwailina (4016 6000).

Porcini
It might be a little bit old-school in décor, but Porcini is timeless. The beautifully presented dishes are well-balanced, well cooked and delicious, and the staff are incredibly good.
The Ritz-Carlton Doha (4484 0000).

Japanese & Korean


Junko

From sushi to noodle soups and chawanmushi, anyone who knows a thing or two about traditional Japanese cuisine will know this place is an underrated gem.
Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar (4002 8294).

Korean Garden Restaurant
It’s hard to miss one of Doha’s few Korean spots, as Korean Garden Restaurant has a bright, garish sign to lure you in. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but, like we said, K-cuisine is a rare find in the city, so, for your kimchi and barbecued meat fix, this is the place.
Fereej Bin Mahmoud (4442 1853).

Megu
Megu’s modern Japanese fare has continued to impress us for years. The chefs take traditional dishes and turn them into delicious, unique meals that allow every ingredient to shine. The décor inside is stunning, but it’s the outdoor terrace that really makes this experience memorable.
Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar (4495 3876).

Neo
Neo serves up a strange combination of Japanese and Italian cuisine and while the kitchen team does both well, it’s the incredible sushi that draws us back year after year. That and the surprisingly trendy, down-to-earth venue on Salwa Road. Oh, and did we mention they run great deals throughout the week? This is your Japanese craving, sorted.
Salwa Road (4432 2539).

Nobu
Doha has the largest Nobu restaurant in the world. Fact. And, we might add, one of the most impressive. The three-tiered, ocean-facing restaurant is beautiful and the food, naturally, is outstanding. Add to that the excellent happy hour deals that draw in a crowd, and we have a seriously great restaurant on our hands.
Four Seasons Doha (4494 8500).

Nozomi
Last year, Nozomi nabbed our Best Newcomer award and for good reason. It’s achieved something not many other restaurants have managed – to offer something unique, exciting and popular to the city. It’s a smartly designed place, with beach views, a lovely outdoor terrace, excellent service and Japanese food that wows with its flavour and texture combinations. Need we say more?
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5089).

Oishi Sushi
It might be in a mall, but Oishi Sushi is still a great destination for Japanese food. Simple, unpretentious classics, from sushi to katsu curry and soba noodles, are on the menu.
Royal Plaza Mall (4442 8989).

Sakura
Stepping into Sakura reminds us of walking into a little downtown Tokyo sushi bar. The wooden, quirky décor and down-to-earth vibes are charming, and the food is as authentic as you can get. That’s why it’s been around for years and has a fiercely loyal clientele (that includes us, by the way).
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1428).

Yee Hwa
Another one of the few great Korean restaurants in the city. The tables boast traditional barbecues, where you can cook up the freshest of beef, and there’s a massive menu of classics alongside a range of tasty Japanese cuisine, too. The giant kimchi pancakes are worth going for alone.
Al Sadd (4441 9898).

Yen Sushi Bar
Granted, it’s not exactly a restaurant, but this stylish sushi bar, which boasts designs by the world-famous Philippe Starck, serves up some of the freshest sushi rolls we’ve found. It’s a top place for a quick bite for lunch or dinner with colleagues or friends.
La Cigale Hotel (4428 8888).

Latin American


Caminito

This small restaurant has pretty city views, fantastic staff and a cosy atmosphere. It also turns out some of the best Argentinean fare in the city, including tender, juicy steaks that are perfectly seasoned.
Zubarah Hotel Doha (4447 0000).

Copacabana
A little way out of the city, but worth the trip, this spot specialises in churrasco meats with a variety of fusion influences from Mexico to Peru to India – and it’s some of the best we’ve tried. The terrace is a stunning place for an al fresco meal at sunset and it’s great value, too.
Souq Al Wakrah (3119 6242).

Ipanema
This lively Brazilian restaurant is perfect for big groups, where you can feast on delicious, moreish cuts of meat with all manner of Latin side dishes. Upbeat music comes from an excellent, enthusiastic live band.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha (4419 5000).

Isla
We’re still dreaming about the tres leches cake that Isla’s kitchen turns out (light as air with a sublime custardy milk sauce). The expertly spiced tacos and chunky guacamole are almost unbeatable.
Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar (4409 5285).

Fuego
Fuego is simply stunning. The menu is creative and contemporary but stays true to its roots with dishes inspired by Argentine traditions, and some of the tastiest steaks we’ve tried of anywhere in the city. Cosy leather chairs, fireplaces and live music from a talented Argentinian folk duo puts this near the top of our to-dine-at list.
Shangri-La Hotel Doha (4429 5295).

Latino Steakhouse
If anywhere captures the spirit of Latin America, it’s this restaurant. The atmosphere is invariably lively, and everything from the burritos and quesadillas to ceviche and empanadas are bursting with flavour.
Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel (4485 3000).

Paloma
For a casual evening out with Mexican beverages and a hearty Tex-Mex, Paloma is your place. Fill up on enchiladas, quesadillas and fajitas packed with meat, cheese and sour cream while enjoying live music from the house band from Sunday to Friday. This spot won’t burn a hole in your wallet, either.
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444).

Rodizio
Meat lovers will be in their element here. The authentic churrasco-style meats and seafood from the open flame grills are served to the table, and are all so good that you’ll find it hard to turn down second helpings.
Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park (4408 7777).

Salsa
With its fun mariachi band and cool artwork on the walls, this is one of the coolest and most down-to-earth restaurants in the city. There’s no need to worry about dress codes, the atmosphere is lively and the Mexican fare is fantastic. What more could you want?
Doha Marriott (4429 8464).

Toro Toro
It’s little wonder why this sleek restaurant and lounge is always so busy. All bright coppers, dark leathers and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, the setting is unbeatable, while the upstairs lounge is one of the liveliest nightspots in the city. It’s pan-Latin menu is nothing short of inspired and the most wide-ranging in Doha, featuring dishes such as cachapas (corn pancakes) with halloumi and tomato jam, dainty plates of scallops with chipotle aioli and sea bass tartare.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5101).

Lebanese


Al Mourjan

Watching the ocean from Al Mourjan is one of the nicest ways to eat in Doha. That the Lebanese food is also excellent makes this a great choice at any time.
West Bay Corniche (4483 4423).

Al Nafourah Garden
It’s in a swish hotel, but Al Nafourah Garden offers a somewhat no-frills approach. Happily that’s just how we like our Lebanese food. More pricey than some of the cafés on this list, but for such pretty surroundings and top-notch food, you won’t mind.
Oryx Rotana (4402 3333).

Aziza
This seafood restaurant has a huge menu, but the quality doesn’t suffer for that. The usual Lebanese mixed grills are also excellent. The ornate dining room gets busier as the day goes on, making for fantastic late-night vibes.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha (4488 6644).

Beirut Restaurant
Next to “no-nonsense” in the dictionary is a picture of Beirut Restaurant. But, behind the somewhat austere appearance lies the best hummus in Doha. Trust us.
Fereej Bin Mahmoud (4442 1087).

Burj Al Hamam
A chain with a strong presence around the Middle East. It has achieved longevity for good reason, though. Among the usual suspects (which are all done brilliantly) there are more unusual, authentic dishes, such as smoked fish row and sheep’s brain.
La Croisette, The Pearl-Qatar (4495 3876).

Debs W Remman
This Pearl restaurant offers a real taste of Beirut in a restaurant that looks the part. The sweets and desserts are excellent here.
Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar (4456 8374).

Layali
Fresh Beiruty food that is bursting with flavour. The menu, as ever, is long, but you’ll find inventive takes on the traditional here, which keeps things interesting.
Lagoona Mall (4471 8417).

Leila
An absolutely solid choice for Lebanese food. It might not look fancy but whatever you order is guaranteed to be done really well.
The Gate Mall (4407 7133).

Remman Café
A quirky spot with a fun menu and bright interiors, Remman Café doesn’t take itself too seriously. Happily, the kitchen doesn’t treat its food the same way. We love the kibbeh here.
Ezdan Hotel & Suites (4477 4131).

Zahr El Laymoun
A really attractive restaurant with a menu showing attention to detail. We love the breakfasts and the breads are delicious.
Freej Bin Mahmood (4444 9197).

Middle Eastern and North African


Afghan Brothers Restaurant

As you might expect, Afghani food rules here, but there are also plenty of Khaleeji dishes on the menu, too. For machboos, there is no better place in town.
Al Nasr (4488 8556).

Agora
Opulent interiors, a beautiful garden and spectacular Turkish food. Go for the grills (you’d be mad not to) but also check out the choice of pides.
Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah (4445 5555).

Al Sufra
A wide range of Levantine dishes are available in this modern, spacious and welcoming restaurant. The chefs really know what they’re doing and the service and presentation is some of the best you’ll find anywhere.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Ard Canaan
This Palestinian restaurant has been busy since opening. The stone and wooden interior and beautiful ceiling art create quite the impression, but not as much as the food. It will cost you a decent amount to dine properly here, but once you taste the hummus, you’ll know what’s going to follow is well worth it.
Katara Cultural Village (4408 0811).

Argan
One of those places that combines old-style Arabian hospitality and design with more contemporary touches. The food, though, is resolutely authentic. Expect huge portions of Middle Eastern food that is perfect for sharing. If you can stand giving any away.
Al Jasra Boutique Hotel (4433 6666).

Damasca One
One of the most atmospheric parts of town, Souq Waqif is a brilliant place to explore. Next time you do, we recommend stopping off at Damasca One for some excellent Syrian food.
Souq Waqif (4475 9088).

Mamig
Always busy and always of the highest quality, this Armenian and Lebanese spot has an almost unbelievable amount of mezze on offer. What is perhaps even more surprising is that every single plate is mouth-wateringly good. Try any of it and see what we mean.
Katara Cultural Village (4408 0800).

Orient Pearl
A majestic, palatial building that is as welcoming for families as it is for groups of friends and couples. It does exceptional daily specials that are great value. But we recommend seeking out the grills. Ask the staff which ones they recommend, they really know their way around the menu.
Al Salata (4410 6666).

Parisa
Iranian cuisine in Doha is best represented here, the slow-cooked stews are absolutely superb, while the marinated meats used for the grills are delicious. With great views and a top band playing, too, Parisa is an all-round delight to dine in.
Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6666).

Sukar Pasha
Take a trip back to the Ottoman Empire with the age-old dishes at Sukar Pasha. Another place where grilled meat rules, don’t forget to try the pide while you’re here, too.
Katara Cultural Village (4408 2000).

Themed Awards

Afternoon Tea


Al Jalsa

A palatial Arabian setting that transports you back in time. It’s about the overall experience as much as the food, which covers cheese, pastries, scones, prawns, fruit and more.
Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6666).

Café Murano
An extremely popular venue serving great cakes and coffees throughout the day. However, the afternoon tea is a truly brilliant experience. If you feel like pushing the boat out, go for the Golden High Tea.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Gourmet House
This good value option is also available until 7pm – which is something we can absolutely get behind. The savoury selection is tops and the atmosphere is chilled.
Kempisksi Residences & Suites (4405 3326).

Lobby Lounge
An afternoon tea that puts as much emphasis on the tea itself as the food. We love the range of unusual blends on offer.
The Ritz-Carlton Doha (4484 8000).

Luxe Lounge
This lobby offering isn’t in the most relaxing of settings, but the food more than makes up for that. The unique pastries are worth it alone.
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa (4492 1555).

Sarab Lounge
Choose from one of three experiences, which get gradually more lavish. We would be happy with the excellent Lady Caroline Astor option that comes in at the bottom of the scale. By the time you get to The St. Regis Doha Afternoon Tea (at QR399) you’re looking at a gloriously over-the-top experience.
The St. Regis Doha (4446 0105).

Seasons Tea Lounge
Four Seasons hotels always deliver on classy experiences without any stuffiness. This afternoon tea is no different. Truly excellent.
Four Seasons Doha (4494 8888).

Tea Lounge
Afternoon tea without all the pomp and ceremony that sometimes threatens to overwhelm you. Don’t get us wrong, all the elements (sweets, scones, sandwiches) are here but it’s done in a fuss-free way.
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444).

Torch Tea Garden
A pleasant place to linger over dainty cakes and sandwiches. The setting is just lovely – light and airy, yet cosy and intimate.
The Torch Doha (4446 5600).

W Café
W hotels always have a sense of fun and modernism. That ethos also feeds into W Café’s afternoon tea. The food is superb (we particularly love the scones) and the presentation is amazing.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

Best Bar & Pub Food


Admiral’s

A classic pub with a classic menu. Get in, get settled and order your favourite hearty dish.
The Ritz-Carlton Doha (4484 8000).

Boston’s
Really good food using quality ingredients. Try the metre-long sausage if you’re in the mood for a real belly buster.
City Centre Rotana (4445 8888).

Belgian Café
This chain always delivers the goods. From great hops to big burgers and fragrant pots of mussels. It’s a buzzing place for good reason.
InterContinental Doha (4484 4444).

Champions
With dozens of big screens, pool tables and other games, Champions is a sports bar in the truest sense of the word. The food is the type of stuff you’ll gorge on then feel full for days. Think burgers, chicken wings and nachos.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha (4419 5000).

Irish Harp
The epitome of an Irish pub. It’s friendly, no-nonsense and filled with character. The hearty food always hits the spot.
Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Centre (4485 3000).

Illusion
This venue is pretty special. Set on the rooftop of the Marsa Malaz Kempinski, it is part nightclub, part terrace and part speakeasy. The food absolutely matches the surroundings and among the inventive dishes (think duck roll pasta, smoked salmon lollipops and lobster arancini) you’ll find brilliant pizzas.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5757).

Strata Lounge
Not quite as high as Z Lounge, but the views from this 56th floor bar are pretty spectacular. If you car tear your eyes away from the vista you’ll find a great selection of Asian dishes. We particlarly recommend the sashimi.
InterContinental Doha The City (4015 8888).

The Jazz Club
Classic bar bites rule here. Think satay skewers, petit portions of fish and chips and other sharing plates that are the perfect accompaniment to the cool music.
Oryx Rotana (4402 3333).

Trader Vic’s
A perennial favourite for a good time, there’s more to Trader Vic’s than mixed drinks. The menu is filled with international big hitters. The jalapeño cheese balls are still our favourite bar snack in the city.
Hilton Doha (4423 3118).

Z Lounge by Zengo
From celebrity chef Richard Sandoval comes this sleek, contemporary bar perched high over the city. It’s not just the bar that is brilliant. The food here is spot on, too.
Kempinski Residences & Suites (4405 3561).

Brunches
Doha Marriott brunch

Indecisive? This could be the brunch for you. An absolutely unbelievable amount of food from all manner of cuisines.
Doha Marriott (4429 8888).

Four Seasons Doha
The bustling brunch is spread over three of the hotel’s restaurants and is just brilliant.
Four Seasons Doha (4494 8888).

Isaan
Isaan's Thai food is pretty much impossible to beat, and its lively street food-inspired brunch is an even better way to experience it.
Grand Hyatt Doha (4448 1250).

Lagoon
That lagoon is an excellent setting for the brunch. The food is also good and this has one of the best atmospheres around.
The Ritz-Carlton Doha (4484 0000).

Market by Jean-Georges
A brunch where you can sample the best of the regular menu. That’s the dream, isn’t it? And when that restaurant is as good as Market you’re on to a winner.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

Nobu
A classy place with a very elegant brunch. Sushi and sashimi stations are unrivalled in the city. With mains brought to the table you also get a touch of the à la carte experience, too.
Four Seasons Hotel (4494 8500).

Sawa
This brunch covers a huge range of cuisines but we particularly love the Japanese section and the carvery.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5555).

Spice Market
One of the city’s very best restaurants also hosts one of its very best brunches. The quality doesn’t waver either.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

The St Regis Grand Brunch
One of the most popular big brunches in the city. Get a table outdoors when the weather is good and be prepared for multiple trips to the buffet. You will want to go back again and again to full up your plate.
The St Regis Doha (4446 0000).

Toro Toro
Always really busy, this brunch starts with an impressive array of small bites from the à la carte menu. That’s followed by unlimited churrasco and a dessert platter. Brilliant.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5101).

Budget


Bandar Aden Restaurant

Traditional Khaleeji food is served authentically. Sit on the floor with friends and tuck into hearty mandi.
Souq Waqif (4437 5503).

Bharanth Vasant Bhavan
A bewildering amount of food is on the menu here and often you’ll be told you can’t order something for seemingly no reason. No matter, whatever you end up with at the North Indian restaurant will be delicious and will probably feed you for days after.
Fereej Bin Mahmoud (4443 9955).

Gokul Gujarati Restaurant
Head here for Thali and keep eating until you’re totally full. The staff will keep topping it up until you can’t fit in any more. Terrific.
Freej bin Mahmoud (4480 0373).

Jabal Lebnan Restaurant
It’s very pink inside. We thought we should get that out of the way. The Lebanese joint offers incredible value pastries, shawarma and grills.
Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street (4442 1704).

Maharaja Darbar Restaurant
Another North Indian restaurant offering wonderful food at low prices. Try the dosas and be prepared to be fed a lot.
Plaza Mall (4477 4121).

MRA Bakery & Sweets
If Indian sweets are your thing then this is about the best place you’ll find. For those with less of a sweet tooth, try the breakfasts. Budget Indian dining at its best.
Al Markiyah (4442 2073).

Oriental Kitchen
This place is always packed. It serves some of the tastiest Chinese fare in town at a fraction of the prices in five-star hotels.
Al Khalidiya Street (3336 3279).

Sol Korean Restaurant
Korean food can be a little confusing for the uninitiated, but try the bibimbap or spicy beef soup and you’ll be back for more.
Fereej Bin Mahmoud (4477 4252).

Thai Smile Restaurant
Gutbusting portion sizes which are even more impressive given how little you’ll pay for them. Incredibly authentic and very spicy.
Umm Ghuwailina (4441 5222).

Turkey Central Restaurant
You want Turkish street food? Don’t want to spend a lot? Check this place out. Now.
Al Mirqab Al Jadeed Street (4443 2927).

Café


Bohemia

This bar-turned-café serves up a sweet collection of smoothies, cakes and light bites, in a contemporary, cool venue amid a relaxing atmosphere. The views of the hotel’s lush gardens and beach give it a holiday feel.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Café Murano
Another entry for Marsa Malaz Kempinski is this sophisticated tea lounge famous for its Golden High Tea, which comes with truffle lollipops and delectable cakes. The suave atmosphere, upmarket setting and lovely views from large windows make it a great choice for a light bite.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5011).

Chef’s Garden
We love the mission guiding Chef’s Garden. The focus is on fresh, healthy and organic ingredients. The kitchen sends out super-tasty international food, made-to-order from vegetables that are produced at a local farm.
Al Shaqab Hotel (4409 5000).

jones the grocer
At any time of day or evening, popping into this Australian gourmet deli for a bite to eat, cake or simply a sip of coffee, is an enjoyable experience. The food is top-notch and the atmosphere is family-friendly. It’s a safe bet.
The Gate Mall (4407 7175).

Gourmet House
The modern interiors and smart décor are inviting at this European-style café, and we particularly enjoy stopping by for a breakfast, or later in the evening when the breads made fresh every morning are half price.
Kempinski Residences & Suites (4405 3326).

Meesh Café
A casual, self-service kind of café had been missing in Doha before Meesh Café opened. It’s a rustic place, where you can hole up with a good book, order fresh, tasty food and sip on a particularly excellent cup of coffee.
Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park, (4408 7777).

Mokarabia, Dafna
A wide selection of good-quality café fare and particularly good coffees. For a catch-up with friends, this is a great option amid the ever-expanding café scene in Doha.
Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar (4498 4264).

Sugar & Spice
Think Magnolia Bakery meets Shakespeare & Co and you’ll be somewhere close to what this quaint, charming little café is like. It’s always busy, as hordes of sweet-lovers seek out this spot’s extravagant, excellent cakes and desserts. There’s savoury food, too, but it’s the sugary stuff Sugar & Spice excels at.
Al Waab (4411 4456).

The French Olive
The French Olive is an underrated star that breathes new life into a city of often generic café settings. We love the interiors, but, mostly, we adore the superb fare that’s served by the genuinely friendly staff.
Al Sadd (4444 4777).

W Café
A stylish, brightly coloured spot, W Café attracts the most glamorous of café-goers in the city. We love the Mad Hatter-style décor and excellent food, which is a mix of savoury soups, salads and mains, alongside standout sweets and cakes. It’s small and cosy, too.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

Romantic
Al Dana

It’s hard not to be impressed by Al Dana. Firstly, the setting is stunning. Then the service is excellent. And the food is delicious. Dining on the excellent seafood dishes while gazing at the stunning sea views through the floor-to-ceiling windows or from the gorgeous, expansive outdoor terrace is fantastic.
Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6666).

Al Mourjan, West Bay Corniche
You can’t miss Al Mourjan – it’s the only large, standalone restaurant on the Corniche, and it has one of the most incredible outdoor settings, looking over West Bay. Add top Lebanese fare and you’ll be swooning.
Corniche (4483 4423).

Antica Pesa
It’s worth splashing out for a memorable meal at this exclusive dining destination. With great food and professional service, Antica Pesa also offers a stunning setting and romantic atmosphere that’s pretty hard to beat.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5300).

Hakkasan
Ever since it opened, world-renowned Chinese restaurant Hakkasan has wowed its guests with the cutting-edge, contemporary décor and ambient, intimate atmosphere. That, and the top-notch food that comes out of the kitchen make it a fail-safe romantic meal.
The St. Regis Doha (4446 0170).

Illusion, Marsa Malaz Kempinski
Get dressed to the nines and head out early to the amazing rooftop terrace for a bite of the creative fusion cuisine. Once you’ve had an intimate dinner, the place will have livened up, and, on weekends, you can then dance the night away. It’s a one-stop date-night spot.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5757).

Nobu
Well, what can we say? Booking a romantic meal at the largest Nobu restaurant in the world, which juts out into the Arabian Gulf and serves up some of the most delicious miso black cod we’ve ever tasted, is just a no-brainer really. It’s easily one of most impressive settings we’ve come across here.
Four Seasons Doha (4494 8600).

Spice Market
Yes, Spice Market is known for its party atmosphere on a weekend. But that ambience adds to its cool date-night appeal. Ambient lighting, intimate tables and seriously great food provide a night to remember.
W Doha Hotel & Residences (4453 5135).

The Anvil Rooms
The views of the city’s glittering skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows might steal the show, but the décor – with its red leathers, cast iron and intimate tables – and the supremely sumptuous steaks ensures this restaurant deserves a place on this list.
Tornado Tower (4499 0685).

Toro Toro
With shimmering, golden interiors, calming sea views, and standout Latin American cuisine, Toro Toro will impress any loved one. It’s refined but fun, thanks to a buzzing vibe.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski (4035 5101).

Seafood


Al Dana

You get the best of both worlds at this elegant seafood spot. The à la carte menu offers a creative selection of dishes that benefit from expert European-style cooking techniques. But you can also pick from a fresher-than-fresh seafood market-style selection. Eat it on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the ocean, and there’s no looking back.
Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6666).

Al Sayyad
The seaside setting of this beach shack-style restaurant is easily one of our favourites and we also enjoy the seafood dishes it serves. The medley of international and Middle Eastern cuisine served in huge portions is perfect to share with a group of friends.
The Diplomatic Club (4484 7444).

Al Sultan Brahim
Al Sultan Brahim was brought to Doha’s shores from Lebanon, which is why the Arabian-style seafood cuisine is so on-point. From mezzes to octopus dishes and fresh seafood cooked how you like it, the chefs here deliver every time.
The St. Regis Doha (4446 0000).

Fish Market Restaurant
It might be basic, but Fish Market Restaurant has an extensive (and fun to read) menu that covers all the bases of seafood you would like, from lobster to shrimp and mussels. For down-to-earth vibes and fresh, simple cuisine that’s hearty and good value, we definitely recommend this veritable hidden gem.
Al Sadd (6610 4448).

L’Wzaar Seafood Market

L’Wzaar is consistently great. The sheer volume of seafood that the kitchen creates is impressive enough, but to get it all to taste delicious is no easy feat. Then there’s the huge restaurant with fun, nautical themes, and those sea views. That’s why this place is always packed.
Katara Cultural Village (4408 0710).

Little Sailor Seafood
It’s a humble little restaurant along B Ring Road, but it’s got a friendly atmosphere, casual setting and seriously great seafood. It’s certainly nothing fancy, but that’s not what it wants to do. Little Sailor Seafood has a loyal following and we don’t see that changing.
B Ring Road (4442 0208).

Medi at The Village
The Village complex offers up a range of cuisines across a clutch of restaurants, but we’re consistently drawn back to Mediterranean seafood spot Medi, where the bright interiors and refined food, which spans the entire region, from Italy to the Levant, get the thumbs up from us time and again.
The Village (4444 4700).

Pier 12
The nautical themes in this small, intimate restaurant might be kitsch, but we (and they) don’t care – it’s fun but still refined, and the collection of creative dishes, which includes everything from sashimi to grilled fish to battered cod, is done very well.
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1555).

Sammach
This relatively new restaurant boasts a wide-ranging menu of international seafood concoctions, from crab salads to seafood spring rolls and machboos to tajines. It’s all done well, and we love the setting.
Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar (4427 4568).

Steakhouse


Astor Grill

The St. Regis’ signature steakhouse recaptures American glitz and glamour with an ambient, stylish setting and classic dishes, including some excellent beef cuts from around the world. It’s decidedly upscale, with elegant interiors and silver service.
The St. Regis Doha (4446 0105).

Bentley’s Grill
Bentley’s Grill doesn’t mess around with the classics, because the chefs know there’s no need. For simple, straightforward, absolutely standout steaks, this is the place to go. Angus to wagyu and everything in between makes an appearance, and it’s all seasoned expertly and cooked prefectly.
Radisson Blu Doha (4428 1428).

Black Rock Grill
This is a casual place, with hearty, and plenty, of deep-fried goods on its menu. Sliders and chicken wings make an appearance, next to plenty of burgers and tenderloin steak. For reasonably priced meat feasts and a down-to-earth feel, head to Black Rock Grill.
Medina Centrale, The Pearl-Qatar (4498 4275).

Fuego, Shangri-La Hotel Doha
We can’t get enough of this Argentinean steakhouse, which delivers its plates with a passion rarely seen elsewhere in Doha. This is evident in the well-balanced, robust flavours of the meat, and their introduction of traditions from across the pond. Everything from the South American grape to the Latin-style service and live music makes this a great place for a meal out.
Shangri-La Hotel Doha (4429 5295).

Hunter’s Room & Grill

There is plenty of charm at Hunter’s Room & Grill, especially thanks to its indoor garden, with tree-trunk tables and trickling fountains, and sleek, contemporary décor. Besides steak, there is a medley of other options on the menu, including seafood and vegetarian dishes and well-seasoned, light starters. We particularly commend its QR99 early-bird special, making fine-dining accessible.
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa (4492 1555).

JW’s Steakhouse
JW’s Steakhouse never goes out of fashion in the Doha market. The furnishings and décor may have been revamped in recent years, but the excellent service and high-quality fare has never changed. The atmosphere is cosy, particularly when the live singer gets going, and you’ll find it has a fiercely loyal clientele.
Doha Marriott (4429 8218).

Le Relais L’Entrecote
You’re asked just one question when you walk into this Parisian bistro (well, besides your name, what kind of water you want, and so on) – how would you like your steak? Because that’s the only option for your main course. That’s why the chefs excel at their craft – cooking meat to perfection.
Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar (4002 8182).

New York Steakhouse
You can’t go wrong with a steak at New York Steakhouse. Cuts from Australia, Japan, Argentina and the US, to name just a few, grace the menu, and they’re always cooked perfectly (as are the creative side dishes). The restaurant itself boasts an upscale American theme, with deep reds, leather and woods that’ll woo you the moment you step in.
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha (4419 5000).

Prime
Prime is smartly decorated and an elegant place to dine, but it’s not overly complicated so the food has the chance to really shine. The steaks are the highlight, but the textbook sides and desserts are also excellent. We also love choosing our own steak knife and the on-the-ball service.
InterContinental Doha The City (4015 8888).

The Anvil Rooms
An American-style, upscale steakhouse, The Anvil Rooms is a well-designed restaurant, with intimate vibes and slick interiors, boasting leathers and cast iron throughout. The skyline views are impressive, but certainly don’t overshadow the quality of meat, fish and sides that comes from the expert team of chefs in the kitchen.
Tornado Tower, West Bay (4499 0685).


Newcomer


Café #999
It’s in an old fire station, which is a massive plus, but it’s also a really smart new venue with fresh tasty sandwiches, salads, juices and burgers.
The Old Fire Station, Civil Defence Roundabout (no number).

Doha Gymkhana

We’re not short of good Indian restaurants in the city, but we’ll always welcome a new one and that’s what this place is.
Souq Waqif (4038 5328).

Evergreen Organics

We’re all for finding new, healthy places to eat, and with veganism becoming more and more popular it’s fantastic to see somewhere doing it this well in Doha.
The Pearl-Qatar (4472 0437).

Muy Vivo

A South American restaurant with real style and flair. From top cuts of meat to fresh, zingy ceviches, it’s all here.
AlRayyan Hotel Doha (4477 4262).

La Mer Bistro

This casual eatery, reminiscent of an atmospheric Parisian bistro ticks so many boxes. Food is comforting and filling and the vibe and views are stunning.
The Ritz-Carlton Doha (4484 8000).

Nisantasi Baskosi

Turkish food is currently in vogue and this Istanbul import shows why. Excellent meat, wonderful flavours and all done with style.
Melia Doha (4019 8876).

Santa Monica Breakfast Club

Indulgent US-style dining and not just for breakfast. This venue has injected some fun and vitality into the Doha dining scene.
Grand Hyatt Doha (4448 1240).

Shanghai Club

A playful menu filled with Chinese classics. It’s all presented prettily and, more importantly, tastes fantastic.
Shangri-La Hotel (4429 5295).

The Raw Bar

Another new concept for the city. A venue totally committed to all things raw. It’s done with style and panache.
The St. Regis Doha (4446 0105).

Zengo

A stylish restaurant from celebrity chef Richard Sandoval. Asian dishes are served with bags of style in a venue with an unbeatable view.
Kempinski Residences & Suites (4405 3560).

By Paul Clifford, Shereen D’Souza and Katy Gillett
Time Out Doha,

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