Where to Drink in Doha

Doha, Qatar
Majlis al Dama, an unassuming coffee shop located in Souq Waqif, is popular among locals for its qahwa helw, loosely translated as sweet coffee, a mixture of coffee, orange zest, cardamom, cinnamon and saffron; the karak--strong tea with spices and full-cream milk--; and for its dama (checkers) tournaments. The Majlis Al Dama houses plenty of backgammon boards, so if you are looking for a caffeine fix, why settle for a boring Americano from one of the Western hotels, when you can have an authentic experience at Majlis Al Dama, a place where Qatari men gather daily to play the traditional game of dama, while you sip a traditional brew?
Al Corniche St, Doha, Qatar
Whether you want to catch the latest sports action, have a pint with friends, or experience a bit of Ireland in Qatar, the Irish Harp, located at the Sheraton Hotel, has it all and more. This Irish pub offers a selection of Irish favorites, such as Bangers & Mash, and Guinness Steak & Kidney Pie, among others. It’s a vibrant Dublinesque Victorian style pub, where every day there is a different party: Every Tuesday: Ladies Night with live band MVM, every Wednesday: Salsa night, every Thursday & Friday: Live Band followed by a DJ, every last Friday of the month: Girls night out.
West Bay Lagoon, الدوحة 23400, Qatar
Admiral’s Club, located at The Ritz-Carlton Doha Marina, offers superb seafood cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. But people don’t come here Saturday evenings just to eat, they come because of the wide variety of moderately-priced drinks and because after 9 pm the club is transformed into a Latin fiesta. A Cuban live band and the resident salsa DJ play old and new energetic Latin tunes until 2 am. Local salsa schools bring their students to the club to show off their moves. It’s a great place to give salsa a go for the first time, or to practice your groove. The drinks are great, affordable and nobody judges your moves on the dance floor.
West Bay, Doha, Qatar
Oyster Bay and Bar, located on the private beach of the St. Regis hotel, becomes a little piece of the Caribbean on Thursdays and Fridays. You can pay the minimum spend per person for a table, or simply kick off your flip-flops, find a sunbed (they are free), relax under the stars, and enjoy the sounds of reggae played by Fully Loaded, a band from Barbados. Whether you are having dinner anywhere in Doha or at the in-house Gordon Ramsay or Hakkasan, Oyster Bay & Bar is a perfect post-dinner chill-out spot. Or if you prefer to eat while listening to groovy reggae classics, the bar offers a modest Jamaican menu and small snacks. QR 150 ($41) for men (inclusive of one beverage), free entry for ladies.
Sugar and Spice, is a bakery, a coffee shop, and one of the quirkiest small bites places in Doha. It is located on the ground floor of the Lagoon Mall, adjacent to the iconic Zig-Zag Towers. Sugar and Spice is not only a sugar extravaganza of cakes, cookies, brownies, chocolate fondues, ice creams and syrups, but also the perfect place to have a cold drink or that perfect brew. The servers wear retro 50s style uniforms, Converse sneakers, and an upbeat attitude which combined with the mismatched chairs and “your home kitchen” decoration, give the place a funky, shabby-chic atmosphere. Sugar and Spice is known for its desserts but the variety of drinks is equally impressive: fresh and fizzy mocktails, hot drinks, frappes and iced teas, milkshakes, fresh juices, and a vast selection of coffees that range from espressos to Turkish to biscotti and butterscotch lattes, to three types of hot chocolate, and more.
Doha, Qatar
Museum of Islamic Art Café, located in the atrium of the museum, overlooking the Doha Bay and skyline, combines French with Arabic cuisine in a limited, but superbly delectable, selection of homemade signature creations. The high-end menu, on a user-friendly iPad, includes a selection of foods created by Adam Ducasse, the famous chef preparing the food in the exclusive IDAM restaurant upstairs and a collection of teas and coffees, as well as mocktails. This mixture of Arab-French cuisine, the mind-blowing architecture of the museum, the view, the peaceful atmosphere of the atrium, make this café a mandatory stop after an afternoon at the museum or a stroll along the corniche.
West Bay, Doha, Qatar
Jazz at Lincoln Center, located at the St. Regis Doha, is the only other Jazz at Lincoln Center outside of New York City. Renown musicians from New York and the best jazz bands in the world come to perform here every few weeks. Not surprisingly, the place is packed on weekends and a reservation is a must. JALC is the only place in Doha offering Cajun dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, Louisiana shrimps and grits. The wine selection is impressive and the cocktails are not overpriced. One Saturday every month they have a Family Jazz Afternoon, which is the only day when children and Qatari women in their national dress are allowed in.
Trader Vic’s Lounge, located at the Hilton hotel, the same franchise known worldwide as the Home of the Original Mai Tai® offers not only a great a la carte menu of Asian-Polynesian dishes, exotic cocktails, and a rich variety of rum-based concoctions, but also an energetic three-piece live Cuban band. To sit outdoors beside the sea sipping their signature Mai Tai® while tapping your feet to a catchy mambo, is the closest you get to be in Cuba without leaving Qatar. Happy Hour is every day from 5-8 pm with 25 percent off signature cocktails.
Omar Al Mukhtar Street, Area 61, Al Dafna, Street #850, Doha, Qatar
Quick Bites, located on the lobby of the Marriott Hotel at the City Center Mall, is a great place for a healthy breakfast, a grab-and-go lunch, or a light dinner. It has a home-made ice cream counter with every flavor under the sun and mouth-watering baked goods. It serves a delicious Turkish coffee, a wide selection of Arabic breads straight out of their stone oven, small pizzas, and pastries filled with za’atar (a mixture of herbs, sesame seeds, dry sumac and salt). With free wifi, a selection of national and international newspapers, lots of natural light and a relaxed atmosphere, Quick Bites is the perfect place to have just that: a small bite.
Doha, Qatar
Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar, located in Porto Arabia-The Pearl, is one of the trendiest cafes in Doha. It is a dream for chocoholics, coffee drinkers, and graffiti art deco lovers. With its retro-funky leather seats and artistic stations offering everything to satisfy the most demanding sweet tooth, Alison Nelson-Doha, is every bit as good as its mother bar in New York. Although they are most popular for their hot Belgian chocolate, they also have an impressive selection of teas and coffees, home-made pastries topped with dark chocolate, and organic salads. Nothing better than to sit outside the bar with a nice view of the marina, sipping a cup of authentic Belgian hot cocoa.
Chapati & Karak, located by the mosque at Katara Cultural Village, offers no -frills outdoor seating, and a Qatari version of a drive-thru service, which consists in many locals driving up to the tea stall, honking the horn and waiting for their order to be delivered to the car. Chapati (plain or sweet flat bread) and Karak (spicy black tea with condensed milk, cardamom and ginger) are both part of the traditional Indian cuisine that made it to Qatar more than fifty years ago, but have become part of the Qatari culinary identity. Chapati & Karak is a great spot to stop by after walking around Katara, or after dinner, or just because. The karak is so good and the chapatti so delicious that they had just branched out of Katara to the trendy Knightsbridge area in London- UK.
Al Istiqlal Street, West Bay Lagoon, Doha, الدوحة، Qatar
The Diplomatic Club, located in West Bay, between Katara Cultural village and the Pearl Qata, is the only place in Qatar offering its guests the opportunity to be both, the captain of a boat and the chef simultaneously. These electricity-powered BBQ contraptions are donut-shaped boats that hold eight to ten people, come equipped with a powerful sound system on board, and have incorporated a charcoal BBQ table that sits right in the middle, like a floating teriyaki bar. The ride takes you around West Bay so you can enjoy the coastline lights of the Pearl, Katara, St. Regis and skyscrapers of West Bay. The Donut can be booked for breakfast, lunch or dinner, up to two hours or more. Contact The Diplomatic Club for prizes and current information at +974 4484-7450 or email them at spa.recreation@dclub.com.qa
Kempinski Residences & Suites, الدوحة، Qatar
Z Lounge by Zengo is located on the 61st floor of the Kempinski Residences & Suites. This ultra-modern, super chic, recently-opened lounge, is the highest bar in the country, has a Latin-Asian fusion menu created by the Mexican celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, total capacity for 150, a private VIP room, plush red and black leather seats, a window-to-window- LED screen, and a wide selection of beverages that range from sake, rum, tequila, pisco and cachaça to vodka, wine, beer and an impressive selection of whiskies. Grab the drink of your choice, relax in one of the over-sized, super comfy leather chairs, and watch Doha lights flicker in the distance.
Doha, Qatar
Café Asherg, located in Souq Waqif, is a no-frills hang-out place popular among locals. The menu, like the atmosphere of the place, is simple: Hummus, Baba ganoush, tahini, kofta, Shish tawouq, liver and a limited variety of sandwiches are all it takes to keep patrons coming back over and over again. Cafe Asherg, is also the place to smoke apple-flavored shisha and watch the souq from the open-roof terrace. Nothing on the menu costs more than 10 QAR ($3) and the view is priceless.
Al Waab St, Doha, Qatar
Three Sixty revolving restaurant, located on the 47th floor of the iconic Aspire Tower—the tallest building in Qatar, offers Mediterranean-Italian cuisine and unmatchable panoramic views of Doha. If you’re not hungry for a full lunch, on the 21st floor of the tower is the Tea Garden, a place to have high tea under a grass-covered ceiling and snap lots of pictures. Another great place for a view of Doha is the tower’s outdoor swimming pool on the 19th floor. Not for the faint of heart as the pool seems to float in the air seemingly unsupported.
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