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Sunday, October 24, 2021

11 places to eat iftar and suhoor in Qatar (that aren’t hotels)

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Burj Al Hamam
Burj Al Hamam

For many people in Qatar, Ramadan is a time for reflection, gratitude and sacrifice. But, let’s be real here – it’s also very much about food.

With so many restaurants opening up around town, it is possible to explore the Ramadan food scene in Doha without breaking the bank. Following on our recent cheap eats post, here’s a mish-mash of 11 suggestions for non-hotel iftars and suhoors to check out during the holy month, ranging in price from QR15 to about QR100.

Many of these restaurants offer complimentary dates and other treats or promotions over the next few weeks. Let us know what which places you would add in the comments!

Cuppa Tea Café

During Ramadan, this Pakistani restaurant’s claim to fame is its QR15 “iftar boxes,” which are stuffed to the brim with biryani, assorted appetizers (including pakoras, a fried snack made of potatoes, onion and spices), dates and a bottle of water. Please reserve in advance.

The boxes, which Cuppa’s staff often distribute to laborers and people in the Industrial Area, can also be ordered for delivery if a large quantity (10+).

Ramadan box at Cuppa Tea Cafe
Ramadan box at Cuppa Tea Cafe

For those who want to dine-in, there’s a tasty traditional Pakistani iftar menu with items like chaat (a savory snack), dahi pulki (made from chickpea flour and spices), samosas and BBQ items, curries and biryani for QR55/person.

And for suhoor, Cuppa is offering selections like paaya (spicy curry), nihari (tender beef stew), keema (minced mutton with peas or potatoes) and parathas, which is a flat bread stuffed with potatoes, minced meat and spices.

Cuppa is located on Al Mirqab Al Jadeed (Al Nasr St). It’s open from 4pm to 2am daily and serves iftar starting from sunset, and suhoor from 9pm. Staff recommends calling in advance at 4475-9352 for reservations because the restaurant gets very busy during iftar time.

The restaurant also offers full catering for iftars and suhoors, as well as delivery and take-out.

Al Aker Sweets

If you need a dessert fix this Ramadan, then head to Al Aker Sweets at Souq Waqif, or its many other locations around Qatar.

Al Aker Sweets
Al Aker Sweets

Deliciously prepared and presented, you can find special Ramadan treats such as katayef, which is a Palestinian sweet made with cheese or nuts, at QR50/kg.

There’s also kolaj, which is a special sweet bread served only during the Ramadan period, that costs QR50/kg; baklava made from walnuts and pistachios for QR50/kg. Half or quarter-kg orders are also available.

In addition to sweets, Aker serves homemade juices that are prepared just for Ramadan, including vimto (sweet mixed berries) for QR20/L; qamar al din (apricot with rose water) for QR20/L or tamer hindi, which is made from fresh tamarind and sells for QR50/L.

Al Aker Sweets is open in Ramadan from 2pm to 1am at Souq Waqif and can be reached at 7092-7288. More info on other locations can be found here.

Shakespeare & Co.

This café has two locations and feels very high-end at first glance, given its colorful décor.

But the special iftar set menu during Ramadan is a pretty good deal. It’s QR88 a person for a three-course Arabic-themed meal with generous portions and Ramadan-themed juice (tamer hindi or qamar al din). Choice of soup, mezze and main meal vary daily.

Shakespeare & Co
Shakespeare & Co

For each person who orders iftar, Shakespeare will donate one iftar box (with chicken, rice, fruit, dates and water) to laborers in the Industrial Area during Ramadan.

The suhoor menu, meanwhile, is à la carte.

During Ramadan, Shakespeare is open for take-away from 1pm and for dine-in from 6:30pm to 1:30am (no reservations needed). Its Pearl-Qatar branch can be reached at 6629-3821 and its Dar Al Salam Mall branch is at 6676-8812.

Remman Café

This funky, colorfully decorated new restaurant in Dafna is offering a tasty Lebanese-themed iftar menu this month.

Al Remman Cafe
Al Remman Cafe

The QR90/person meal includes dates, laban, jellab, juices, bottled water, cold and hot mezze choices, a daily special of beef, lamb or chicken, vegetables, rice, Arabic sweets and coffee or tea.

Al Remman is located in Ezdan Hotel & Suites, Tower 1. It’s open during Ramadan from 5:30pm for seating and/or delivery/take-out, and serves iftar from 6:30pm to 8pm. It’s closed from 8 to 10:30pm for prayer, and then open again from 10:30pm to 3am for suhoor. Reservations are recommended by calling 4040-9595 (landline) or 3305-3555 (mobile).

Kababs & Kurries

This recently-opened eatery in Zero One Mall (above MegaMart in the food court) looks like an intimate, high-end Indian restaurant at first glance.

This Ramadan though, it’s serving an all-you-can-eat North Indian buffet for iftar that costs QR89/person and should please the whole family.

The buffet changes daily but may include salads, hummus, starters (kaffir lime chicken tikka is delightful), lamb kebabs, samosas and other traditional South Asian snacks, as well as lentil soup.

Kababs+Kurries
Kababs+Kurries

Main courses include chicken kadhai, a semi-saucy dish, mutton, mixed vegetables, dal makhani (lentils slow-cooked with cream and butter), rice and vegetable biryani, saffron rice, assorted breads (their garlic naan is to die for), and for dessert, gulab jamun (sweet dumplings dipped in syrup).

Everything is made fresh to order and kids will be sure to like the breads and dipping selections. There are spicy and non-spicy options as well. The iftar buffet also includes fresh juices, bottled water, dates and sliced fruit.

Children five years old and under eat for free and kids ages 5-12 years old cost QR45.

Kababs+Kurries is open during Ramadan for iftar from 6pm-1am, (no suhooor). Reservations are recommended by calling 4444-0133 as the restaurant is quite small, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Al Tabkha

This Lebanese restaurant at the Pearl charges QR75 for a lovely iftar meal that includes a set menu of of soup, hot and cold mezze, a main course (chicken or beef, changes daily) and an array of Arabic sweets. Bottled water, Ramadan juices and soft drinks are also included.

Al Tabkha
Al Tabkha

Children six years and under are free; kids 7-12 years old cost QR35.

Al Tabkha can be reached at 4495-3542 and is open from noon to 6pm for delivery or take-out (no dine-in); and opens from 6pm to midnight for dine-in. It’s located at 22 La Croisette in Porto Arabia at the Pearl-Qatar.

Grill House

The Grill House is for seasoned Pakistani food lovers. It’s a diamond in the rough, so to speak – a tiny, traditional establishment in the heart of an old Doha neighborhood.

The iftar menu includes samosas for QR2, pakora (batter-fried vegetables) for QR5, spring rolls for QR3, mutton kebabs for QR3, and various Arabic sweets for under QR6.

Grill House
Grill House

The suhoor menu (typically heavier) includes paratha (thick, flat fried bread) for QR5, qeema (minced mutton) for QR10, omelets for QR2, kormas for QR12 and daal fry for QR10, amongst other typical South-Asian suhoor dishes.

Grill House is also preparing iftar boxes filled with chicken biryani, samosas, pakora, dates, juice or water for QR15.

The restaurant is open in Ramadan from sunset to 3am and can be reached at 3342-8731. It’s located opposite Imalco on Al Ruwaidat St. in Muaither.

Burj Al Hamam

Beautifully decorated and facing a lovely view of the water, this Arab-themed restaurant offers a set iftar for QR110 a person (QR55 for children ages 7-12 years and free for kids under six years old).

The menu includes fresh soup, hot and cold mezze such as hummus, maknek (a special Lebanese sausage made from lamb and beef), a main course (daily special of meat, chicken, lamb or fish), Ramadan sweets, juices and bottled water.

Burj Al Hamam
Burj Al Hamam

The suhoor set menu is offered later in the evening for QR130 per adult, QR65 for children ages 7-12 years and free for kids under six years old.
Burj also offers an à la carte option during the month of Ramadan as well as special saj manakish breads (zaatar, cheese, chocolate, banana, and even lamb) during suhoor.

Burj Al Hammam is open during Ramadan from 6pm to 3am and reservations at 3325-9205 are recommended. It’s located at La Croisette on the waterfront of Porto Arabia at the Pearl-Qatar.

Asiana

Asiana is offering an extensive iftar for QR49, with children three to eight years old eating for half off.

The buffet includes soups and salads, biryani and kebabs, beef, chicken and mutton dishes, vegetable noodles, an assortment of breads and various popular Indian and Arabic sweets.

Asiana
Asiana

Sides of chutneys, sauces, and poppadoms are also included in the buffet. In addition, Asiana is offering complimentary Ramadan juices and dates. Bottled water costs extra.

Asiana gets quite busy during iftar time, so be sure to arrive early. There’s no suhoor menu but the buffet goes from 6pm to 1am. The restaurant is located on Old Airport Road opposite Old Airport signal and next to Pizza Hut in Al Hilal, and can be reached at 4462-6600.

Opera Café

A Doha institution for almost 20 years, Opera is not only a café but a fully-operational restaurant with some lovely Ramadan treats on offer.

Their set menu costs QR65 per person and includes laban, dates, Arabic-themed side dishes, a weekly-changing main course, Ramadan sweets, assorted breads, bottled water and tea or coffee. Juices cost extra.

Opera
Opera

For those who want to try something more extensive, Opera also has an all-you-can-eat iftar buffet, available only on Thursdays and Fridays, for QR75 per adult and QR40 per child 10 years and below.

The buffet includes laban, bottled water, dates, soups, salads, rice and vegetables, stews, a hearty main course of lamb, chicken, beef, or fish, an array of fresh breads and assorted homemade Arabic treats. Ramadan juices cost extra.

Opéra also offers a children’s menu of chicken fingers or fish fingers and French fries for QR16 (drinks extra).

Opera
Opera

In addition, the restaurant sells an an iftar box “meal” that includes a generous serving of biryani and rice (as well as other traditional main course options), fruit, dates, Arabic sweet and water for QR40.

Opera’s “snack box” option includes a mini pizza, three types of small sandwiches, a croissant, sweet, juice and water, all for QR30. The eatery also sells katayef (QR 60/kg).

During Ramadan, Opera’s buffet is open at 6pm and the set menu is available from 6pm to 1am. Its Landmark Mall location can be reached at 4486-3334 and its Al Mall number is 4467-8885; reservations are recommended for both venues.

The One Restaurant

The One has an all-you-can-eat iftar buffet for QR89 per adult and QR49 per child 12 years and under.

The daily-changing buffet includes an array of traditional Arabic as well as international dishes such as lentil or mushroom soup, fattoush, Moroccan lamb tagine, beef stew, kebabs, pastas and an assortment of mini desserts. Laban, jellab (another typical Ramadan juice made from dates, grape juice and rose water) and bottled water are included.

The One is open in Ramadan from sunset to 9:30pm and are reservations are recommended for parties of four or more by calling 3373-8446. The restaurant is located on the second floor of The One Furniture Store inside Landmark Mall on Al Markhiya Street.

Thoughts?


More Ramadan coverage:

https://dohanews.co/ramadan

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