Dining out in Qatar when you are gluten free can be a minefield. But the good news is that restaurants and cafes in Qatar are finally starting to cater to special diets like those who are gluten free as well as food intolerances. This is not only great for those who previously have been left scrambling, it also makes great business sense.
While I am lucky not to have to deal with any major allergies (as a food blogger this is a blessing!), this post is in response to many requests from readers who wanted to know what their gluten free options were. It was an enlightening experience for me – being gluten free is not just about cutting out wheat. Many sauces and additives contain gluten, kitchens are teeming with flour and other gluten derivatives. It’s EVERYWHERE people! also, specifically gluten-free products can be expensive.
But these nine places in Qatar – restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and more – all offer great gluten free options or products either on the menu or by request.
1. Lulu Hypermarkets
Not a restaurant or a cafe, but the Lulu chain (which grows bigger weekly – a new store on B Ring road just opened and another off D Ring is in the works!), has one of the biggest gluten free ranges in the city – hundreds of items on the shelves.
Their Messila store in particular is well stocked with products from gluten free flour to pastas and more. Check out their shelves for the “Free From” signs for a range of internationally recognized brands – with many gluten free.
2. CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Not only has this restaurant got some serious foodie creds, the team has also built a reputation for offering creative and tasty food for a range of different diets ad is perhaps the go to place for gluten free dining in Qatar. This is a steakhouse so the grills and steaks are always a winner, but inform the team about your preference and they will whip something up. Absolutely do yourself a favor and order the wild mushroom soup topped with toasted almonds (this can also be made vegan).
3. Cafe 999
Being right on Al Bidda Park and with ample outdoor seating, this place has a great location and vibe. But it also has some gluten free options (and some vegan ones as well!) on the menu. Check out their breakfast items – shakshouka (hold the bread – or better still, give it to me!) as well as their Spanish tortilla – as well as their salads for a quick lunch with a view.
4. Q Lounge at Anantara
Take yourself on a little mini holiday away from Doha to Banana Island and to the very underrated Q Lounge. While the menu spans Indian, Arabic and international cuisines (their mixed grill is exceptional as is their butter chicken) they pride themselves in catering to special diets and gluten free diners. Call ahead or ask the team on the day what can be done beyond the menu.
5. La Spiga
This was a bit of a revelation, I had always assumed an Italian restaurant would be gluten heavy. But shame on me, they have many gluten free options such as their Melanzane (eggplant) with mozzarella, beef carpaccio and many of their main courses including their crispy roasted spring chicken. Their sister restaurant, Paper Moon on Airport Road is similarly accommodating (and has a lovely terrace – so bonus!). Special note – there is also a special menu at Market Doha for those with allergies or on special diets. They have adapted their popular chicken recipe to be coated in cauliflower as well as other dishes.
6. Pool Grill at Four Seasons Doha
The international breakfast menu here is a gluten free star with quinoa porridge, poached eggs with yogurt and hot smoked salmon.
Heading into lunch and dinner also offers some terrific options like an organic quinoa and seared tuna salad with creamy goat cheese and beetroot and a portobello mushroom and mozzarella wrap. Gluten free items are clearly marked n the menu and you can also ask the team.
Italian again yes and another family-friendly crowd pleaser. I was surprised to learn that they have a few options in gluten free pasta available on request. For mains check out the grilled salmon and lamb chops. Their breakfast menu can also be tailored to omit bread – I’m a big fan of their omelettes!
8. Aff’s Healthy Kitchen/Go Nuts Qatar
The lovely Aff not only does a mean line of nut spreads and some keto favorites, she also is a pretty handy baker of the gluten free variety. Her products include super seed flourless bread, keto coconut flour bread, trail mix and of course those spreads. Contact her on Instagram (link in the headline) or through her Facebook page.
9. Nandos Qatar
Another pocket friendly option and Nandos also offer a range of items to cover those with intolerances or special diets. Their sauces are gluten free as are their sides and yes, of course their famous chicken. actually the main things to steer clear of are the burgers and wraps. Fresh and delicious and the quality is always first rate and a favorite of adults and kids alike.
There are a range of outlets that will do gluten free items to order or by special request. Bateel Bakery can provide gluten free bread. the Cheesecake Factory (as you know I am a fan) also offers some gluten free options – but best to ask first. Evergreen Organics is, as always a terrific option for gluten free eating. the Indian Cookery Club runs some excellent cooking classes and offers a gluten free class for those wanting to try something at home.
this list is by no means comprehensive – its an attempt to offer some creative and interesting gluten free dining options in Qatar. If you have more – please mention in the comments!
Sally In Focus
Ok totally not in line with the blog post. But what’s your fave thing to eat at Cheesecake Factory? Didn’t know you were a fan. Still haven’t been :/
doingmybestdoha - Helena
I have to say Astor Grill, St Regis, each time I have been and have informed them I am gluten free, they have been outstanding. Not only do they make me different dishes (on occasions) but provided me with my own gluten free bread and then given me some to take home! As long as you inform them with your booking, they are fantastic!