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Culinary itinerary

Take your tastebuds on a tour of Doha’s finest culinary establishments.

Qatar’s penchant for luxury is reflected in its culinary scene. In the capital of Doha, you’ll find a number of Michelin-starred restaurants representing an eclectic range of cuisines and helmed by some of the world’s top chefs, with talent from Latin America to Japan. The city’s haute cuisine is gaining attention amongst foodie circles around the world. Your main challenge will be finding the time and stomach to sample all of Qatar’s culinary delights during your visit.  

Day 1

If you arrive in Doha in the evening, treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the award-winning Sharq Village & Spa, halfway between Hamad International Airport and Doha’s central neighbourhoods.  Set along Qatar’s golden coastline, the Ritz-Carlton property and offers a secluded beach where you can unwind after a long journey. The resort has plenty of fine dining options, but for the best of Bedouin tradition outside a tent, try The Zarb Experience – a process in which meat (usually lamb shoulder or leg bone) is slow cooked for 6 hours in an underground pit or earthen oven called a Zarb.   

Day 2

Start your day at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).  Designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the building is a masterpiece in and of itself.  After taking in four centuries of Islamic art and artefacts, including metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, textiles and glass, from three continents, head to the top floor for lunch at IDAM.  With a name that means generosity, Chef Alain Ducasse’s first restaurant in the Middle East truly delivers. Each dish is a celebration of local tastes, spices and ingredients, such as the Date Soufflé, a traditional French dessert with a Qatari twist.

After a short repose in MIA park, wander over to Souq Waqif, an outdoor marketplace where you’ll find traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

In the winding alleyways of the Souq, you’ll find the culinary gem Parisa, a palatial restaurant with intricate mirrorwork and antique glass lanterns that serves the best of Persian cuisine. The Taj Bareh Kebab, a rack of lamb barbecue with homemade spices and fresh lime, is a crowd favorite.  Once the sun sets, you’ll find a variety of entertainment options in the Souq, including street performances and exhibitions, or you can head back towards MIA and the corniche to enjoy a traditional Dhow boat ride. 

Day 3

After enjoying Old Doha, head to the Pearl-Qatar, one of the largest real-estate developments in the Middle East, for a stroll along the waterfront.  Window shop at the Ferrari and Rolls Royce show rooms, or gaze at the luxury yachts harbored in the marinas, and sate your appetite by sampling Qatari fare at Rosado cafe, an independent Qatari-owned café that features Qatari staples like Machboos, as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes.

After lunch, wander around Porto Arabia at the Pearl and get a closer look at the yachts dotting the marina or explore Qanat Quartier, a Venice-inspired neighborhood with pastel-colored buildings and canals throughout.

Unwind at the recently opened Al Messila Wellness Resort & Spa, the first 5-star wellness retreat in Qatar. The palace-styled resort redefines luxury and wellness with 26 treatment rooms, mineral therapy pools and hydro wellness worlds themed Oriental, Floral, Mystic, and Mineral.  Close out the day with dinner at one of the resort’s eight innovative restaurants. Overseen by acclaimed Michelin-starred Italian chef Pino Lavarra, all the restaurants emphasise healthy cuisine and fresh ingredients.  For an authentic culinary experience, try the Madrouba at Deli Kitchen. A spicy and comforting porridge originating from neighboring Oman, Madrouba is made with chicken, overcooked rice, and spices such as turmeric, cumin, cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and black pepper. 

Day 4

Take the morning to wander through Katara Cultural Village. A maze of cobbled alleys more reminiscent of a medieval souq than contemporary Qatar, Katara is home to inspiring arts venues, a Greco-Roman amphitheater, boutiques and restaurants.  It sits along a spacious public beach where you can dip your toes in the water or enjoy one of the water sports activities on offer.

Just a 5-minute taxi-ride away, the Mondrian hotel has some of Qatar’s best high-end eateries in a funky, contemporary setting. For seafood lovers, Morimoto is not to be missed.  Try the chef’s signature Seafood Toban Yaki, a mouthwatering combination of lobster, king crab, mussels, clams and sea scallops in a spicy red miso lobster broth.  If you’re lucky, you might run into Chef Morimoto himself, who often passes through town to greet customers or give a masterclass.  Or try CUT by Wolfgang Puck, which emphasizes top-quality cuts of beef, combined with locally-sourced produce and ingredients. The chef’s signature dish is Braised Short Rib on the Bone, served with lettuce cups, rice and steamed Bao buns.

To feel the hustle and bustle of Doha, walk through downtown Doha (referred to as Al Dafna) and get an up close look at some of the architectural wonders that dot the skyline, such as Doha Tower, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, or the 52-floor Tornado Tower, which boasts 35,000 different light and color combinations at night.

After the sun sets, stop by the W Hotel for some prime people-watching. Sip on a beverage poolside at Wham Lounge, or for a more subdued experience, at Market by Jean Georges on the ground level.  If you are hungry for dinner, sample the Tuna Caponata at La Spiga by Paper Moon, named the Best Italian Restaurant by Time Out Doha for several years running. 

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