Best Food in Souq Waqif: Your Guide to Places to Eat
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November 29, 2023
8 min read
Get ready for an ambience like no other in Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar. Let's discover the best restaurants in this historic Souq Waqif, where traditional Qatari, Yemeni, and Lebanese cuisines come together with Middle Eastern and Persian flavors in a fine dining experience that is as rich as a thousand Arabian nights.
Let's start on a culinary adventure to explore the gastronomic treasures of this enchanting old souq, where hospitality flows like a river of gold. The restaurant scene in Souq Waqif, Doha is simply unforgettable. So loosen that belt (you'll need the extra room), and let's dig in.
Learn about Qatar's fascinating history and traditions - start your journey with our country travel guide today!
History of the Souq
Located in the heart of Doha, Souq Waqif boasts a captivating history intertwined with the Middle Eastern tradition.
An unfortunate incident that really change this place was the massive fire of 2003, which inflicted severe damage upon this cherished market. However, the Qatari government recognized an opportunity for transformation, embarked on a meticulous revival that merged its traditional allure with contemporary standards.
Today, as you stroll through its narrow alleyways, you'll appreciate the fusion of Middle Eastern and Arabic architecture, the intricate woodwork, and vibrant colors. This deliberate restoration not only rejuvenated Souq Waqif but also preserved its deep historical roots. Beyond its physical metamorphosis, Souq Waqif now stands as a testament to Qatar's commitment to cultural preservation and tourism development.
It has evolved into a vibrant social hub where both locals and tourists gather to savor the delights of cuisine from all over the world, from street food to the top restaurants. The dining experience here is a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.
Plus, the Souq's proximity to the landmarks like Doha Skyline, National Museum of Qatar enhances its appeal as a cultural destination. Amidst all the growth and changes over time, Souq Waqif remains an anchor in history while gracefully embracing new opportunities, making it an essential stop for anyone seeking Middle Eastern charm in the heart of Qatar.
With an array of restaurants and cafes, the flavors of Souq Waqif will leave you wanting more. Here are some of the best places to eat in Souq Waqif that are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds:
Best Restaurants in Souq Waqif
Shay Al Shomous
Shay Al Shomous is a must-visit for those visiting Qatar. It is situated in the heart of Doha's famous Souq Waqif, this eatery offers a lavish breakfast experience. Shams Al Qassabi, a prominent figure in the region and the first female entrepreneur, manages this popular spot. At Shay Al Shomous, you can savor authentic Qatari breakfast, including eggs and cheese, chickpeas, regag with meat and cheese, shakshuka and arabic coffee or karak.
The generous portions of Qatari dishes ensure a satisfying and fulfilling breakfast. The restaurant's ambience is simple yet elegant and cozy, reflecting the essence of a traditional Qatari food spot. When you visit Souq, you must walk to this restaurant to have a delightful journey of traditional Qatari cuisine. It's one of the best Arabic breakfast spots in Doha, promising a unique cultural experience in the country.
In the heart of Souq Waqif, Damasca One is a renowned Syrian restaurant, serving excellent Levantine fare. Nestled on one of the main streets in Souq Waqif, this cozy eatery offers a delightful menu of Middle Eastern delights, including fresh salads, flavorful falafels, and soft, juicy BBQ dishes.
Their mezze platter, featuring baba ganoush, creamy hummus, and mutabil, is a definite highlight of the dining experience. Enjoy these traditional Syrian comfort foods and refreshing smoothies in a historic building with outdoor seating.
You can also smoke a hookah here either with your meal or by itself. It was one of my highlights when coming here. I certainly suggest it if you are craving some shisha.
Bandar Aden Restaurant
Situated on one of the main streets in Doha, Bandar Aden restaurant is a renowned culinary gem specializing in authentic Yemeni food. This highly-rated eatery offers a diverse array of Yemeni dishes, including their famous boiling pot of chicken ogdat and a mix of meat served with large bread. Known for its generous portions and delectable food, Bandar Aden has earned its place among the best restaurants in Doha.
The restaurant's warm and inviting ambiance, adorned with traditional Yemeni decor, provides an immersive cultural experience.
Parisa Souq Waqif
One of the best restaurants in Souq Waqif, offers a palatial dining experience with a stunning interior adorned with intricate mosaics and decadent chandeliers. You have to come here just for the pictures. This elegant restaurant is a haven for foodies who love Middle Eastern and Persian cuisine.
Parisa is renowned for serving some of the best Persian dishes in town, including juicy kebabs, fragrant rice dishes, and flavorful stews. The attention to detail shines through both in the food and the opulent ambience, making it an unparalleled dining experience.
Indulge in a truly Arabian dining experience at Al Tawash. This local gem offers a variety of traditional Qatari dishes, including rich biryanis, succulent shawarmas, and aromatic Arabic grills. Don't forget to try their signature lamb chops, marinated to perfection.
Le Gourmet, renowned for serving excellent Levantine cuisine, is one of Doha's hidden gems in Souq Waqif, offering a fusion of Lebanese and Italian cuisine. From scrumptious mezzes to delectable pizzas and pastas, this restaurant provides a delightful mix of flavors.
Pair your meal with their refreshing homemade lemonade for a truly refreshing experience. Must try crispy and warm garlic bread and finish your meal with delicious desserts and coffee. Their specialty is mix grill, slow-cooked lamb, Lebanese mezze and Arabic sweets.
Al Terrace Restaurant
Located inside the remarkable four-star hotel that is Mirqab Boutique Hotel, you will find Al Terrace. Al Terrace is known for its warm decor and comfortable surroundings. Here they offer an array of Georgian dishes, featuring delectable khachapuri, khinkali, and shashlik.
As a fan of Georgian food I have to say the food here is truly exceptional, providing a unique culinary journey with delightful starters and perfectly cooked fish thus a great dining experience.
Argan Moroccan Restaurant
This restaurant stands out as one of the best restaurants in Doha, and is known for its authentic Moroccan cuisine. Argan will undoubtedly create a memorable and wholesome fine dining experience for foodies who appreciate genuine Moroccan delicacies.
The ambiance at Argan is a harmonious blend of traditional Moroccan charm and modern elegance, creating a fine dining atmosphere that's truly exceptional. With comfortable seating arrangements, including a majlis-style area in the center, you can relax on plush couches while enjoying delectable bites, drinks, and shisha on the terrace. The mosaic-adorned booths along with the lanterns hanging from the ceiling adds more charm to the restaurant's enchanting decor.
Here, you can savor freshly baked Moroccan bread and savor authentic Moroccan mint tea, choosing from a wide variety of tajines and delectable sweets, making Argan a top-tier Moroccan restaurant in Doha.
Jasmin Thai Restaurant
Jasmine Thai restaurant is one of the nicest Thai spots in Doha. This restaurant offers a delicious selection of Thai cuisine, from mouthwatering Thai curry to the tastiest rice and noodles. It's your go-to Asian place at Souq Waqif, offering a serene escape away from the buzz of the market.
When you dine at Jasmine Thai, you can savor a plate of chicken satay and a bowl of thai curry, partly because their curry is simply exceptional. Plus, you can find sushi rolls that taste divine. So, if you're exploring Souq Waqif and have a sudden craving for Thai food, Jasmine Thai should be your top choice for an authentic and delightful Thai dining experience.
Al Aker sweets Souq Waqif
Before departing Qatar, make sure to savor the exquisite kunafa, a traditional Middle Eastern dessert crafted from delicate spun pastry known as kataifi. It's delicately drenched in a luscious sugar-based syrup and garnished with ingredients like pistachios, or various nuts, depending on the regional variations.
A must-visit spot for the finest kunafa in Qatar is undoubtedly Al Aker Sweets, located in the vibrant Souq Waqif area. The restaurant offers a charming ambiance with bustling surroundings and outdoor seating arrangements, all while serving up freshly baked kunafa.
Enjoy karak at Souq Waqif
Originating from South Asia, the traditional Qatari drink, karak, initially has Indian roots but has been wholeheartedly embraced by the people of Qatar, becoming an integral part of their culture. If you are living in Qatar then this drink becomes part of your life.
Karak, a significant component of Qatari tradition, is a delightful fusion of tea, milk, water, sugar, and cardamom, all brewed together. When in search of the finest karak in town, Tea Time Qatar is your go-to destination. It's also a great spot for enjoying Indian dishes, including chapati, which pairs beautifully with their karak. Tea time will surprise you with its costs as nothing here is like overpriced Indian restaurants. The quality and flavor of their Indian food are worth it. It's one of the best Indian places you can find in Qatar.
You'll find an array of dining options, from high end restaurants in Souq Waqif to street food vendors offering freshly baked breads and pastries. The Arabian cuisine scene thrives, with small cafes serving the best Indian food alongside Qatari dishes. Whether you're seeking shopping and affordable eats, there are plenty of choices that won't be heavy on your pockets. For a more upscale experience, fine dining restaurants with mesmerizing views await. And to top it off, don't forget to enjoy shisha after dinner or grab a cup of karak from the small vendors to add a unique touch to your culinary adventure.
With its diverse culinary offerings, Souq Waqif is a food lover's paradise. From traditional Qatari dishes to exotic international cuisines, the dining options here are sure to leave you satisfied.
So, make sure to explore these top restaurants when you visit Souq Waqif in Doha, and prepare your taste buds for a remarkable gastronomic adventure.