While Qatar excels in luxury offerings, the country also allows for budget dining without scrimping on quality. The road to the FIFA World cup has never looked so delicious…writes N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Qatar Tourism reveals the budget-friendly restaurants best for big appetites without breaking the bank. For less than $30 a day, fans can taste authentic Middle Eastern flavours, or any international cuisine, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with local teas and “qahwa” coffee to boost energy levels in preparation for the match excitement.
Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “Sometimes, all a traveller wants is a quick, affordable, but delicious meal to get them through the day. In Qatar, visitors can grab shawarma with meat fresh off the grill, or dip warm falafel into tahini for just a few Qatari riyals. With a never-ending portfolio of pocket-friendly bites on every street corner, sometimes the simplest meals are the best. Football fans should get ready to be wowed with our low-cost sweet and savoury sensations.”
While Qatar excels in luxury offerings, the country also allows for budget dining without scrimping on quality. The road to the FIFA World CupTM has never looked so delicious.
Shay AlShomous: Located in a corner of Souq Waqif, Shay AlShomous is owned and actively run by a renowned Qatari woman called Shams Al Qassabi. Biryani CornerWith all menu items priced under $7, it’s a must-visit location for authentic Qatari food. Top tip: the restaurant is known for its breakfast rush.
Chapati & Karak: It’s always tea time at Chapati & Karak. Located in Katara Cultural Village, this establishment serves an assortment of flavoured chapati and innovative teas to quench both sweet and savoury cravings, for under $2. Top tip: perfect for a quick mid-day snack.
Karak Mqanes: Karak Mqanes serves traditional Qatari cuisine with a hint of local charm. With more than 20 locations serving recipes shared through generations, Karak Mqanes is known for its Qatari breakfast, desserts, and authentic karak. Most of the menu items are priced under $5. Top tip: make sure to leave room for dessert.
Chapati at Karak Mqanes.
Turkey Central Restaurant: Located in the heart of the city, Turkey Central is known by both locals and expats for its mouth-watering menu, generous prices and prompt service. The menu options start from $1 upwards, with plates big enough for two to share. Favourites from the restaurant include mixed mezze ($8), mixed grill ($9), half grilled chicken ($7) and the renowned lamb chops ($10). Top tip: be sure to arrive early, as it’s first come first serve and always packed with customers.
Petra: Visitors can drop by any Petra location for a taste of the Middle East. With all sandwiches under $2, this is a trendy destination for a bargain bite. Popular choices include the falafel and chicken sandwiches. Top tip: order two, no one stops at just one.
Marmara Istanbul Restaurant: Guests can mark ‘eating shawarma in Qatar’ off the checklist with one of the best at Marmara. Priced at $3.50 and $2 for large and regular-sized shawarma respectively, this restaurant is always buzzing with people at all hours of the day and night. Top tip: the restaurant is open from 9 am to 4 am.
Sabah W Masa: At $5.20, this Lebanese restaurant serves some of the greatest falafel in town. Fresh Lebanese cuisine is available on the go from a wide menu suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Top tip: one main menu order is good for two people.rak
Ali Al Naama Cafe: Visitors can dine amongst the hustle and bustle of Souq Waqif at this local eatery. Adorned with traditional seating, the Ali Al Naama Cafe has become a crowd favourite for its quick service and low-priced menu with most items under $4. Top tip: the combination of the egg and cheese paratha and a cup of Karak make the perfect meal combination.
Biryani Corner: Visitors in the mood for some south-Asian cuisine can grab a hearty plate of biryani for under $5 from this local eatery. The selection includes vegetables, eggs, chicken and mutton biryani to fulfil everyone’s appetite. It’s best for a quick takeaway. Top tip: order a side of papadum, pickled veggies and yoghurt to make any meal a feast.
TeaTime: With an extensive menu available 24/7 and most items under $4, TeaTime is a night owl’s dream. With branches all over the city, visitors can grab a burger, wrap, snacks and its famous Karak everywhere they go. Top tip: most branches do not have dining areas, so it’s best for a quick takeaway.
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