Winner of Time Out Doha’s best café award, W Café features the best Baklavas in Doha. Using traditional methods, the master’s 20 years of experience is bound to have you melting with joy. Amongst its elegant, art deco interior, you’ll find an enormous cake display set upon a marble fixing. The decadent lighting and beautiful furnishings, the décor add to W’s sophisticated atmosphere. However, its mid-range prices and vegan options make for a fairly universal Sunday out. The seating – great for groups – can be a little cramped, so find yourself and arm chair to avid clashing elbows. The ornate feel is also offset by twee semblances. Take, for example, the brilliantly coloured furniture or the adorable bird-cages cake-stands; these supply the signature eccentricity any good café needs. Café W couples splendid with cosy for a perfect afternoon tea.
Cafe 42 Doha
Doha’s newest and most undiscovered café casts a vast social media footprint, but still remains a relatively well-kept secret. This is the epitome of the “do it for the gram” craze. Café 42 articulates the best of European, urban Lo-Fi chic; imagine you’ve wandered into a studio rented by art students. Sadly, this impression matches the service, but this café is still in its fledgling stage. The staff are charming and good-humoured. Plus, they have a famous Red Velvet and great coffee. Moreover, its rustic aesthetic gives it an edge in Doha, as does its relatively inexpensive price list. If you like your afternoon tea with an edge, or always wanted to look wistfully off into the distance whilst writing that novel, then this is the place for you.
Café Meesh offers an Artisan range of cakes and a magnificent selection of pastries and desserts. Get a handsome breakfast for reasonable price, and relax in the capacious, naturally lit space. Its beautiful aesthetic with exposed ingredients is reminiscent of farmer’s markets. But exposed ceilings and sharp-patterned interior adds an industrial urban feel. Located it the business park, Meesh café is perfect for meeting with friends or colleagues, as well as an easy grab & go point for a busy schedule.
Sridan has an exquisite range of cuisine in a beautifully traditional Arabic setting. The lavish décor, styled like a souq, features decadent lanterns, rugs and Arabian-carved doorways; it carries guests to a Levantine fantasy. Inside, food is on offer from almost every origin; Indian, Chinese, Seafood, Grills, and Pide are all included. The plethora of cuisine choices is based on the travels of Ibn Battuta. Sridan’s live cooking stations reveal a world of fiery techniques. The staff are particularly attentive, and help explain the food in all its wonderful forms.
Styling itself as having a Qatari Identity with a Modern Touch, Café Brouq is the epitome of fusion cuisine. It offers a Qarari/Arabic breakfast menu as well as Western-style. They pride themselves as offering a restive experience; platters of gorgeous cakes drift around the room, and guests are given a wide berth to enjoy their time fully. Its traditional breakfast dishes are vast; on offer are ‘Balalit’, ‘Shakshouka’, ‘Raqage’ bread with cheese or thyme and a wide variety of Qatari sweets, including Aseeda and Rahash cake. Not least on the menu is Brouq’s special Arabic coffee blend and renowned ‘Karak’ tea.
Le Monde Café
Le Monde is the perfect place for a quick cup of coffee. There, you’ll find a straightforward selection of light bites. The friendly, laid back staff are all smiles; it’s a humble escape from the gimmicks and grandeur of some Doha eateries. An assuming interior makes it a great place to chat, read or relax. Far from shy from a little panache however, a gallery of international urban photography, bold hanging flowers and graffiti-style icons give the café its edge. It’s also open 24 hours; that open terrace and beckoning lights are a welcome sight after dark.
The Cellar has re-mastered tapas. This Mediterranean-style basement is the perfect setting for romance. They have an exquisite selection of traditional dishes as well as some twists. From Saffron and Parmesan arancini, to grilled salmon with fennel and orange, the menu is bound leave you satisfied. They’ve introduced Doha to an age-old concept: BYOB (bring your own bottle), which means more for less. The cellar has the glamour of Latin dining, combined with a cute and intimate atmosphere. Located in the ground floor of the Oryx Roxana hotel, this is a reasonably-priced evening, but is surely worth it.
Considered by many to be the best steakhouse in Doha, Prime lives up to its name with the finest cooking methods imaginable. With up 36-hour slow-cooked rib, and 60-hour-cooked steaks, Prime cuts no corners. For the full experience, be prepared to spend! A wooden interior and low-lighting make this a slick venue, perfect for work or family. The addition of a magnificent range of sea-food also make it unique. Moreover, for meat-lovers, its exquisite deli will keep you satisfied all around.
Opal by Gordon Ramsay
TV’s most infamous chef brings his cuisine to an opulent setting. Its bistro-style interior is spacious and social, with a stunning sea-view. The menu is made up of classics, as well as a few surprises; you’ll find everything from seafood to burgers, with some ingenious fusions such as schwarma pizza. The interior’s grandeur is matched by its variety; a bar, pizza station and spectacular sea view give a general sense of glamour. This comes at the cost of the service, though; Opal has a cumbersome wristband policy and some reviewers note sloppy bar/table service. However, this is a special fine dining experience – a noteworthy stop for food connoisseurs.
Written by: Alex Glendinning
About the author: Alex Glendinning is a freelance writer with an BA in English and History from the University of Sussex. From P.R. to journalism his work has featured in The Gulf Times and Qatar Today. Read more at clippings.me/sympa and https://innerouterblog.wordpress.com/