The weather is cooling – that means chances for swanning around outside and not end up bathed in a sheen of sweat are high. Doha winters make the summers almost bearable (and I will fight anyone who disagrees). Here are my 7 top places in Doha to dine outdoors this winter… catch you outside..
1. Mykonos Doha
It seems like Mykonos has been around forever and there is a good reason why its outside terrace is packed nightly in the cooler months. With a pool view and a bit of an island feel, the food is Greek staples like moussaka and grilled lamb, it’s hard to look past. Friday and Saturday lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to sample the menu and the sun drenched terrace. Order a bunch of mezze, a glass of Greek wine and soak up the vibe.
2. The Terrace at CUT
CUT’s terrace has one of the most unusual views in the city – across the lagoon to the futuristic and ever-changing Lusail skyline. The terrace will be opening in early December (it closes for the summer). You can expect some special menus including a BBQ and of course their signature steaks and inventive starters. Combine a night on their terrace with their fabulous happy hour and you will be a happy foodie.
3. La Mar
This restaurant just has the “it” factor – fresh, innovative Peruvian food and a stunning location. They are clearly doing something right, it is one of the few venues in town without a happy hour or business lunch. And yet, it’s always heaving. Their revamped menu has some great new dishes and this place is great for an al fresco lunch or a cosy dinner. Their terrace, and the one upstairs at Manko affords a lovely view of the bay and a sea breeze. It was a natural inclusion in my 7 top places in Doha to dine outdoors this winter.
4. Mosaic at Mandarin Oriental
This place is proof that great food and views doesn’t start and end in the West Bay/Pearl nexus. Their wrap around terrace has views of the Msheirb rooftops and the Corniche. And the food – a tour de force of the Silk Route countries like India and China – takes things to the next level. For something more casual, their outdoor Aqua Lounge also on the eighth floor has both cosy cubby holes and more family friendly tables plus a menu of Spanish tapas.
5. L’a Pastisserie at IDAM
Praise should go to IDAM who continue to come up with incredible offers to bring more people to this location. Every afternoon IDAM between 3.30pm and 5.30pm (except Fridays) you can sample some of the inventive creations from their pastry team as well as drinking in the restaurant’s views. At just QR120 for two people, you can indulge in a tea or coffee each, a dessert each and a selection of pastries to share plus water or a mocktail.
All this is served on their terrace which has an uninterrupted view of the Corniche and West Bay skyline. It’s really quite a special experience and honestly, the value is hard to beat.
6. O’Glacee Poolside at Al Wadi Hotel
The Al Wadi by M Gallery is a bit of an underrated gem in this city. They continue to serve up great food in a charming setting. Their poolside restaurant, O’Glacee, has a mix of tables and sofas for lounging is a little slice of heaven in the city. The outdoor menu includes five kinds of bruschetta, stuffed squid and steaks grilled to order from their outside kitchen. They serve shisha and alcohol and I was considering keeping it to myself… but this place deserves some love.
7. Boho Social
I’m saving the newest and shiniest thing for last. Boho Social has to be one of the most eclectic and beautifully envisioned restaurants in the city. While it’s interiors are all turquoise, pinks and riots of colors and patterns, the outdoor space takes this to the next level. With high backed cane chairs, jewel colored cushions and views across to the Pearl and West Bay, I’m considering taking up residence just for the outdoor spaces alone.
The menu is as diverse as the aesthetic – a mix of Arabic, Asian leaning into South American. Order a bunch of small plates like the moreish cassava croquettes and fresh cabbage rolls, cosy up and try not to fall in love with the space. It’s open for lunch and dinner but in January will start their breakfast menu, which will be a game changer for the cooler months. This is the restaurant the mostly average dining scene in Katara needs.