Best Restaurants In Downtown Qatar – It’s been a long time, but the rebuilt Msheireb Downtown district has become one of Doha’s new hotspots. For the uninitiated, Msheireb is located near Souq Waqif and is the historic heart of Qatar’s capital, Doha. It has undergone multi-billion dollar residential, cultural and commercial redevelopment and has become a destination in its own right. Although it’s still a work in progress, whether you’re a local or a stopover in Doha, there’s already a real foodie buzz going on. and deserves to be explored.
An artisanal bakery, it has become a regular part of my weekend diet. With understated, neutral interiors, a background soundtrack that leans heavily on Sinatra, and a short, punchy menu, it’s the perfect antidote to Doha’s frenetic energy. The menu includes brunch classics like eggs benedict, granola, and croissants, but I also like their sandwiches and coffee. The cafe overlooks a square and has outdoor seating, so grab a table and settle in. Be warned – it gets busy on weekends, so get there early or put your name down and go for a walk.
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Located a short walk from Rusk, the MOC, as it is known, has become a firm favourite. That’s thanks to its funky neo-industrial interiors (check out the illuminated Qatar map) and creative menu. The Uncle Sam sandwich is made up of chicken tenderloins marinated in almond milk and fried in ground almonds, piled between gritty bread with cheese and other goodies. Umami bomb. The cafe is ok, but it’s more about the interior than the sun and the food. They also have their own customer parking – just follow the many signs in the basement next door!
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The Mandarin Oriental is being killed on the foodie frontline and Gelato is one of the reasons why. All cakes, pastries, ice cream and other concoctions are homemade. Try the range of ice creams made with fresh ingredients such as honey from the hotel’s beehives. Or discover the fantastic and colorful croissants and ice cream cakes. Eat from the highly Instagrammable store or take home for a decadent treat.
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Speaking of Instagrammable, the interiors of this cafe are simply cut to the gram. But luckily the coffee and service also live up to the hype. Located on Baharat Msheireb, this cafe has a spacious outdoor area, as well as a cute button-like interior with plenty of seating.
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Kyoto’s cult coffee chain has finally arrived in Qatar. And judging by the queues, it’s already a success. Minimalist interiors and an emphasis on quality over quantity, the menu is short and very focused. The coffee beans include an original sole and blend – although this could be because it opened recently. You can also sample a small selection of slices and other treats. There are outdoor seats in the plaza it is in and the line moves at a merciful pace.
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Venture down the tunnel that connects Msheireb and Souq Waqif and you’ll find an underrated cafe gem. Nomad is a small cafe with a big story. Their Mokha coffee port comes from the Al-Durrar region of Yemen, at over 2200 meters above sea level. they also use beans from Ethiopia and Brazil. Its interiors redefine minimalism – don’t forget to take a look at the stools, crafted from clay by a Dutch designer. The staff are friendly and take great pride in their work.
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I’ve raved about this unique hotel restaurant before, but it’s worth remembering. The menu is breakfast until and serves it until 3pm. This is a great place to start the day before exploring Msheireb and the souk area. The menu includes interesting twists on breakfast classics like pancakes, spicy Qatari scrambled eggs and more. The terrace overlooks the souk and the interior is inspired by Doha’s first post office – check out old school maps of the city.
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Getting there: The easiest and most efficient way to get there is the Doha Metro. Msheireb station is the hub for all lines. It’s fast, cheap and well located for exploring.
Parking: Street parking is rare in this area. There are (paid) valet stations located in the area, but Msheireb has one of the largest underground car parks in the world. Follow the signs and you’ll be fine.
Getting around: This place is made for walking, but don’t miss the chance to catch the Msheireb tram which runs on a circuit of nine stops and closed by a 2 km track. It is free to use and yes, the novelty value is high.
Other sites: The Msheireb museums are a must visit in this region. They have a unique and fascinating (in some cases flawless) look at the complex history of Doha.
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Future Status: New locations are opening every week, it seems. Look for Liang, the Chinese restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental which will open in mid-February and the Anis Café on the ground floor of the Park Hyatt Doha, serving organic cuisine with local produce. Also, don’t miss the New York cult Umami Burger which should open its doors very soon. EDIT (Nov 2021): It looks like the Hangout has changed location again and is now in the Msheireb Galleria (where the food curtain is). first). I’m also not a big fan of this place – it’s small, dark and most of the plants are gone 🙁
A small confession before I start – I’m not a big fan of “trendy” spots. If everyone is talking about something, I probably won’t 😉 I believe it’s more valuable to write about places that are underrated, rather than where everyone goes. But after visiting the Hangout, I might change my approach.
What I find annoying is that if everyone is focused on the beauty of a place, there’s usually no mention of the downsides or things that may put some people off. And it’s kind of obvious that no place is perfect, or suitable for everyone.
The Hangout, which opened in Msheireb Downtown a few months ago, is widely touted as a “public space” where you can relax, have a cup of coffee, read, work or play games with friends. There is no entrance fee and you don’t even have to order anything to enjoy it. Great concept, right? Reading about it and seeing pictures I decided this was my kind of space. I took my laptop and my husband, and went to Msheireb.
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The place is clearly marked as you walk past it, but somehow the location in google maps was off. Once inside I also noticed that the interior does not look like the photos I saw online. Sure, it’s still very green and spacious, but the photos make it look bigger and brighter. I went straight to the security guard to investigate, and this is what he told me:
Originally, the Hangout was located in a building across the street. This is the airy place I remembered from the pictures! Unfortunately, a restaurant has announced that the hangout venue and venue will need to be changed. Where he is now is meant to be a temporary location and hopefully within the next 6 months they will move to a permanent location.
So yes, something you need to consider – although I noticed that most influencers have already deleted old photos and replaced them with photos from the new location.
With that little detail aside, what did we like about the Hangout? And what did we find missing?
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What I liked the most was the concept of this place, very new in Doha and one of a kind. The indoor public space designed to have fun with friends without paying anything (if you don’t want to). Qatar needed it. During the summer months, there’s almost nowhere to go that doesn’t require us to spend our hard-earned riyals. It’s amazing that there is finally a space like this and I hope more will follow.
Another great thing about The Hangout is the design – I love how green it is! It’s so nice to sit there and enjoy the calming surroundings. Msheireb
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