Scrolling though my blog in recent months you would perhaps be thinking I really only eat out and hang out in high end places.
This is only partially true. Those are the places I’ve been inspired to write about lately and have been on my radar because of new menus and promotions or just because they are good.
But time to look at something a little less formal.
Sometimes you just want a casual joint, no pretensions and no drama (and no need to wear heels) whether it be for a lazy breakfast, a long lunch or drinks and nachos with friends.
There is no end of casual dining places in Qatar. My list could be triple the length but I wanted to keep it short an sweet. Casual doesn’t have to mean you can expect lower quality of food or service. My standards are high and the four places listed below meet them and then some.
I’m not sure why it took so long for me to discover this place, but I plan to make up for lost time. As close to a “pub” as you can find in Doha, it’s thankfully free of smoke until 11pm (there is a smoking room for those who can’t wait). A relaxed and unpretentious vibe with a mixed crowd, they run several promotions during the week including for teachers and of course ladies night. The food is also a cut above pub fare.
Onion rings encased in a spicy crunchy batter were a big hit as was the very seductive “Sausage by the Meter”. Yep, by the meter. You’d be surprised how quickly you can wolf it down. The spicy chicken chorizo sausage a particular favorite as was the from scratch spicy and sweet pulled beef nachos.
They also have six kinds of fries and a huge selection of burgers. On a recent visit (as a guest of the hotel), we found the food tasty, freshly cooked and innovative and the service fun and engaged. Perfect for straight after work drink and a meal or even a #friesbeforeguys night with the girls.
2. Meesh Cafe
Perhaps one of the most surprisingly funky cafes in Doha, this casual eatery on Airport Road is part of a hotel but has its own distinct identity. Serving up light snacks, good coffee and great service, their are known for their sandwiches and the best value breakfast in town QR49 for a cooked breakfast with drinks!).
On any given day you will find people working on their laptops, families having a quiet lunch or solo diners just taking a break. The decor is industrial chic and they even have their own parking spots. When you are there you can also try the beefy and cheesy sandwich I have developed with the culinary team (see what I did there?) – RachelxMeesh.
Yes, it is in one of the most luxe hotels in town, but the Pool Grill is this hotel’s best kept secret. With views of the beach and of course pool, it’s the casual cousin of the hotel’s other more formal restaurants.
With a menu spanning burgers, light bites and more, their daily “Breakfast Around the World” offer is exceptional value. On a recent visit we tried the Scandinavian platter (salmon and other healthy items), the Mexican (all those crunchy tortillas!) and the Australian (a breaky roll with pineapple!). All priced between QR70 and QR80, the setting is family friendly as well as very relaxed. Try it before the weather beats you to it.
4. Al Baranda
This is located in Souq Al Wakra and is a gem for families and those willing to try something a little different. the menu is simple (Qatari inspired daal, egg dishes, coffees and shakes), the location sublime and the service cheerful.
It’s located right on the Corniche and the quirky interiors will keen adults and kids fascinated. You can come for a quick bite or spend the afternoon.
Eagle eyed readers will note I haven’t included any at The Pearl Qatar – because other bloggers like Clumsy Chic have covered some of the offerings there. Others speak highly of Isla Qatar (haven’t been yet but it’s on my very long list!). Friends of mine also love Admirals at the Ritz Carlton Doha for the marina views, pub grub and happy vibes. I’m also keen to try some of the new casual dining places in Doha Festival City.
Where do you go when you want a no frills, relaxed experience?
*The terrifying small print. I was a guest of Boston’s and the Four Seasons recently. I ate the food. I drank the beverages. I loved them.