What comes to your mind when you first think of Qatar?

Well, ask this question to a foodie and food would be the obvious answer. One of the finest countries in the Middle East, Qatar is no short of a culinary paradise. The food in Qatar has been a pivotal part of the country's tradition and it is something that brings the people together. Be it festivals, social gatherings, or any kind of occasion, food remains the talk of the hour. In fact, Qatar is more than a thing or two to offer as far as traditional delicacies are concerned.

Let's dive deep into it and understand more about food in Qatar.

Traditional Food in Qatar: Our Top Picks

Traditional food of Qatar has always been a driving factor in attracting foodies to Qatar. Today, the country houses a range of world-class restaurants that have made a name for themselves, particularly because of the traditional dishes they offer. So, let's take a closer look at some of the finest traditional delicacies to taste in Qatar.

1. Machboos

Machboos

Perhaps the best food in Qatar that is largely connected to the hearts of natives, Machboos is a spiced rice dish that can be prepared by marinating chicken, beef, lamb, camel, or even fish. Being the national dish of Qatar, it is easy to find Machboos in the country as every restaurant offers it in one way or the other.

For foodies, Machboos is a perfect blend of flavors, thanks to the slow cooking process of the dish.

In fact, as far as Qatari dishes go, this is a dish you've got to try when in Qatar. But hang on, do you know what is interesting about Machboos? Well, every restaurant in Qatar has its own fusion of Machboos. While some serve it in their own way, other restaurants focus more on providing the most authentic taste. Travelers can visit the Souq Waqif area in Doha where there are many traditional restaurants that serve Machboos in its authentic flavor.

2. Saloona

Saloona
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Saloona isn't a new name in Qatar Cuisine. This is a dish that can be prepared with virtually any kind of ingredients that are available. Highly popular in Qatar, most of the restaurants in Doha have Saloona on their menu. During family gatherings in Qatar, this is one dish that certainly features while the aroma of ginger, garlic along with beef, fish, or lamb makes it even more special.

As for the other ingredients, Saloona contains ingredients like tomatoes, aubergine, carrots, and potatoes. Usually, restaurants in the Qatari capital serve the dish with broth which is the way to go about enjoying it.

Wondering where you can taste it? Well, Saloona can be tried at many top restaurants in the country. This famous food in Qatar is available at restaurants in areas like Souq Waqif, or even the Pearl Qatar. There are many restaurants in Souq Waqif that serve Saloona in its authentic taste. So, visit any traditional restaurant and try the classic dish Saloona in Doha.

3. Luqaimat

Luqaimat - Food in Qatar

Another traditional food in Qatar, Luqaimat isn't just a popular food in Doha but in the whole country. This is a dish that is usually served in the Holy month of Ramadan when families and friends come together to enjoy a dessert-filled evening. Made with butter, milk, flour, sugar, saffron, and cardamom, Luqaimat has many similarities to a dumpling.

The dumplings are deep fried and then dipped in sugar syrup or honey. What comes next is a feast filled with sweetness and different flavors. This is a dish that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside which is set to satisfy your tooth.

Today, many restaurants in Qatar that serve authentic Qatari dishes serve Luqaimat to diners. This is, in fact, a delicacy that is prepared in just about every house in Qatar during the holy month of Ramadan. So, why not try Luqaimat at any restaurant in Qatar?

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4. Warak Enab

Warak Enab - Food in Qatar

A portion of traditional food of Qatar and one of the best Qatari dishes that can be tried as a snack, Warak Enab can be tasted at any time of the day. This is a light snack that is filled with a number of ingredients and is highly popular amongst travelers. Souq Waqif, one of the most popular places to visit in Qatar, is home to a range of restaurants and small cafés that serve Warak Enab in its most authentic taste.

The dish is often recognized by the name stuffed grape leaves and consists of ingredients like rice, herbs, lemon juice, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and so much more. One can also stuff the leaves with minced beef or lamb instead of rice.

Interestingly, you can also have this famous food in Qatar served as per your preference. So, if you're visiting Qatar on a holiday, make sure to taste Warak Enab from any authentic restaurant in the country.

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5. Khanfaroush

Khanfaroush
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Ever heard about a perfect blend of cake and biscuit? Well, that's Khanfaroush for you. Another popular traditional food in Qatar, this is a fried sweet that is aromatic in every sense and is served in the form of a disc. For travelers, this is a must-taste food in Doha and other parts of Qatar. Much like some other desserts served in the country, Khanfaroush is also deep-fried and is served with either sugar or a little drizzle of honey which adds to the taste of the dish.

But hang on, do you know what is the best part about Khanfaroush? Well, this dessert is crispy on the outside while the use of rosewater in the making process gives it a floral fragrance that is nothing short of dream-like for a foodie. The best part? It also enhanced the taste of the dish.

So, what's the delay? Visit any restaurant and taste Khanfaroush. If you're lucky, you may even get to taste it in a native's house.

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6. Baleelat

Baleelat

Are you a foodie who likes to try all kinds of cuisines or a fussy eater who likes only certain kinds of flavors? Well, either way, you should give yourself a treat to some of the finest Qatari cuisine. A blend of the rich heritage and culture of Qatar is seen through its generosity, open-heartedness and hospitality. Its food is similar, as its flavors, taste and uniqueness are a part of its heritage. Baleelat is one of Qatar’s favorite traditional breakfasts that attracts people from around the world. It is often served as a dessert that represents the diversity of the yummy cuisine.

Served either hot or cold, the dish may look strange at first, but the minute bites into it, the flavors will burst in the mouth, bounce of the tongue and create a sensational taste you have never had before. People will always come back for more. If you haven’t tried it yet, then what you waiting for? You have no idea what you're missing out on.

7. Madrouba

Madrouba
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The rice porridge, Madrouba is a traditional food in Qatar that is a dream for the taste buds. The dish is cooked with milk, butter, chicken and cardamom that takes hours to make as it is simmered till it becomes mushy in the end. Every restaurant in Qatar has its own style of making the dish. The toppings could differ in some cases; hence people are often told to read up about the dish before tasting it.

Madrouba is a savory dish that can be eaten during the day. The best place to eat the dish is at the Souq Al Wakrah’s maze of courtyards and alleyways. This mouthwatering chicken dish is served at Café Easir along with all kinds of yummy Qatari snacks.

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8. Kousa Mahshi

Kousa Mahshi
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Kousa Mahshi is one of the most exquisite Middle Eastern foods made with minced lamb, vegetables along with parsley and mint. It is one of the many dishes that is served to vegetarians using chickpeas instead of lamb. The flavors of the dish become even better with tomato paste or yogurt. When one is craving for this Middle Eastern dish, they can head on over to Salwa RD in Doha. Al Shami Home Restaurant offers a unique experience that people will never forget.

The restaurant is known for its traditional Berber tent with fabric hanging from the ceiling and marble fountain. It is filled with all kinds of flavors and is served in large portions. So, what you waiting for? Go on and give those taste buds a taste to the finest cuisine in the Middle East.

9. Umm Ali

Umm Ali
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Have you tried one of the most delightful desserts in the Middle East? One of the most ideal desserts, Umm Ali is linked with Egypt, but the Middle East has its own style of making it. Like a bread pudding, Umm Ali is created with raisins, chopped buts and condensed milk and then baked till its brown and crispy on top, the sweetest dessert in Qatar.

Umm Ali has made a name for itself with desserts and pastries along with Karaki, a sweet Karak tea. The creamy filing with dried fruit and a blend of all kinds of spices, makes the mouth water. What more can anyone want when it comes to giving their mouth a treat to one of the most authentic deserts? It has been a dream for most to eat such a dish all day long.

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10. Kunafa with Cheese

Kunafa with cheese

Do you have a sweet tooth or just love eating all kinds of foods that comes your way? One of the most traditional sweets in the Middle East, Kunafa with cheese makes the mouth water and crave for more everything people take one bit. With some added flavors, it has made its way to the top of the Qatari food. It is one of the foods people often eat during Ramadan. The idea of biting into something that is soaked in sugar and melted cheese, will transport people into heaven or rather taken them on a journey of the land of the sweets. It is too good to believe, isn't it?

People can always give themselves a treat to this sweet every year. Al Aker Sweets is one of the places in Doha people can give themselves a treat to Kunafa, nestled in the middle of Souq Waqif. In case you are craving for that extra sweetness, then Nutella Kunafa is the thing for you. With so much variety, people will never want to leave the Middle East.

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11. Thareed

Thareed

Middle East is full of tempting dishes that expats and excursionist might have never heard about. But this is where the beauty if Qatar originated from. The food represents the cultural traditions and hospitality of the country and thus it is a thing that must be relished here. Thareed is amongst the most authentic food in Qatar that can be tried. Just like a pot of stew, Thareed consists of a blend of veggies, roots and meat of various animals. This popular Qatari dish is served along bread and it is said to soak all the juices and gives a mouthful.  Though this dish is popularly knowns as the Qatari style lasagna.

Street Food in Qatar: Our Top Picks

Ask any foodie what street food means for you and the answer would be everything. As for Qatar, street food plays a big hand in helping you enjoy your time in the bustling streets of this country. From the best of traditional snacks to rolls and wafers, street food in Qatar has it all.

So, if you're headed to any popular tourist attractions in Doha or any other part of Qatar, here are some of the most popular street foods that you can find in the country.

1. Shawarma

Shawarma Food in Doha

We all know Shawarma, right? One of the most popular street foods around the world, not just in Qatar, Shawarma can be found easily on the streets of Doha. This is a snack that is prepared from boneless strips of chicken or beef which are stacked and then grilled on a rotating skewer. As the meat cooks slowly, the edges are sliced and wrapped in bread. Shawarma is often served with sauce, pickles, and fries. However, an interesting thing to note here is that every restaurant or street food outlet has its own style of preparing Shawarma.

For foodies, street food outlets in Qatar have multiple options as far as pieces of bread are concerned. One can opt for flat pita bread or an Arabic ghubuz, the choices are plenty. As for the prices, most street food joints in Qatar would serve you Shawarma at modest prices. Hence, travelers can keep it on their budget food list.

2. Falafel

Falafel Food in Qatar

Another popular street food in Doha that travelers can taste is Falafel. This is a popular vegan snack that comes in crunchy deep-fried balls or flat cutlets. For those who follow a vegan diet, this is often a go-to snack. Falafel is made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, and at times even both. Ingredients like parsley, coriander, and tahini are mixed with it which adds to the overall flavor.

Wondering when to taste it? Well, Falafel can be tasted at any time of the day. Whether you wish to have it in your breakfast or as an appetizer or snack, Falafel is fine to have at any time of the day.

What is interesting to note here is that Falafel may not be a traditional food in Doha but it has certainly become one of the best snacks as far as Qatari dishes are concerned. Today, many top hotels in Qatar serve Falafel as part of breakfast, and if you're interested to know the taste, why not come here and taste yourself?

3. Samboosa

Samboosa Food in Doha

Familiar with a samosa in India? Now taste the delicious Samboosa in Qatar. A delicacy that can be found in African and Chinese cuisines, Samboosa is often regarded as the modern version of stuffed fried dumplings. While Samosa is bigger in South Asia with a thick crust and potato filling, Samboosa is much smaller and is served in a thin crust.

In Qatar, travelers can find Samboosa served as street food at some of the finest joints in the country. This famous food in Qatar is stuffed with minced meat, spinach, or even cheese. The dish is also served with a range of chutneys, each with a completely different flavor.

But what about the Indian version and what similarities does it have with Samboosa? Well, in terms of looks, both Samosa and Samboosa look exactly the same. In fact, one can now find smaller versions of Samosas filled with cheese or chicken in India as well.

For foodies traveling in Qatar, this is a snack that can be tasted at any time of the day. However, evening tea time is probably the best. Places like Delhi Bakery in Doha Jadeeda or the Spice Market At W Doha Hotel & Residences are some of the best places to taste Samboosa.

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4. Pani Puri

Pani Puri Food in Qatar

Right from Bombay Chowpatty to the bustling streets of Doha, Pani Puri is everywhere. A portion of the famous food in Doha that, in fact, comes from the streets of India, Pani Puri is like a hollow ball that is filled with a range of ingredients. The likes of chickpeas, onions, and potatoes form the major ingredients of Pani Puri. However, restaurants serve in their own style with different ingredients.

What attracts travelers to Pani Puri is its amazing taste. The flavored water used with it is what really adds to the overall taste of the snack. Besides, when it comes to Qatar, Pani Puri can be found in not some popular street food joints but also in some of the most lavish restaurants in the country.

So, if you're headed for sightseeing with your loved ones, make sure to try Pani Puri wherever you find it as this is a portion of street food in Qatar you would not want to miss.

5. Crepe / Regag

Crepe Food in Qatar

An Arabic street food in Qatar that is highly popular amongst the locals and travelers alike, Crepe is often called by the name Ragag. This may not be the best food in Qatar but it certainly has all the attributes to be a popular street snack in the country. In fact, most cafés and street food outlets in Qatar serve Crepe to tourists.

A paper-thin snack is folded or rolled in the shape of a cone and is often crispy. One can taste it with tea, a kebab, some toppings of cheese, eggs and so much more. Locals in Qatar also love to spread honey or a thick fish paste on the Crepe which enhances the flavor of the snack.

Doha, the majestic Qatari capital has numerous food outlets that serve high-quality Crepe. In fact, this is a budget snack that is available in Qatar for as low as 5 riyals. Hence, travelers can come here and enjoy tasting the best of Crepe at modest prices in Doha.

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6. Khaboos

Khaboos

Have you ever eaten any kind of flat bread dish in the Middle East or in any other country? Well, Khaboos is one such dish that is found on the streets of Doha that is popular among the people visiting the Middle East. It is a dish made from flavors that have originated from the Indian subcontinent. One of the main ingredients is it is made from is maida, which makes it even more mouthwatering as a snack. Khaboos can be eaten with dips or hummus. Visit Souq Waqif, the ancient market, is the one place people can give themselves a treat to Khaboos.

This is among the many dishes that people should not miss out as it really gives the taste buds a treat to something new.

7. Popcorn

Popcorn

Have you ever stopped to think as to how popcorn in the Middle East would taste? It’s not like the ones that one would often eat in Asia or any other country? Or maybe it is. People will never know until the taste buds get a treat to the snack.

One of the most delicious snacks, popular all over the world, Popcorn has now made a place for itself in Qatar. It is the one snack is often eaten while watching a movie or any other serial. It is found on the streets in Qatar and is said to be the go- to snack.  So, if you haven’t given yourself a treat to the Middle Eastern popcorn, then you really have no idea what you're missing out on.

So, when roaming the streets of Qatar, grab a bucket of Popcorn and tuck in. It is one of the many things that make a holiday memorable.

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8. Harees

Harees

Harees or Harissa is a dish that is made with boiled, cracked ground wheat with meat. Its consistency is a blend of a porridge and a dumpling. If you are wondering what kind of taste it offers and will it be good for your health, then you need not worry. It tastes amazing and is has sufficient nutrient content and is often eaten for breakfast during Ramadan at Iftar. These dishes offer a unique taste that is only found in the Middle East. It is not like any other dish, so when on holiday, people should give their taste buds a treat to the best.

It is one of the finest delicacies in the Middle East, people should not miss out. Harees is a dish once eaten, people will always come back for more. It is a yummy dish that takes the taste buds on a journey to heaven.

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9. Kebab

Kebab

One of the most delicious foods that one should definitely try in Qatar is Kebabs. Soaked with aromatic flavors, Kebab is a cooked meat dish with vegetables or various other ingredients. It's grilled and served with various bread and salads to enhance your taste buds. Also known as kofta, it is a famous middle-eastern food cooked on fire. Some of the Kebabs are cooked on a skewer and some are baked in a pan which gives them a different aroma. It is the ultimate street food in Qatar that you just can’t resist and surely give you a delightful experience.

10. Balaleet

Balaleet

Known for its soothing taste, Balaleet contrasts the flavors with sweet as well as Savoury. This traditional dish is a popular food in Qatar. Vermicelli, cardamom, sugar, and even rosewater and saffron blend together to give out the intoxicating taste of this Arabian delicacy. Irrespective of your inclination towards the desserts, you must try this dish from Qatar. It is one of the most popular breakfasts for the people.

A happening travel destination as it is, Qatar has gained immense fame in the culinary industry. This is a country that houses world-class restaurants and cafés that serve delicious delicacies. In fact, food in Qatar is a bridge that brings people from all forms of life together. Whether it's the holy month of Ramadan or any other social gathering, food is always a talking point in Qatar, which is what attracts thousands and millions of foodies to this part of the Middle East.

So, what's making you wait? Wish to experience the culinary world of Qatari Dishes? Book your holiday packages to Qatar and come and enjoy a culinary delight like no other.

FAQs

Q1. Which is the national dish of Qatar?

Machboos is the national dish of Qatar. It is a spiced rice dish that can be prepared by marinating chicken, beef, lamb, camel, or even fish. Being the national dish, it is easy to find Machboos in the country as every restaurant offers it in one way or the other.

Q2. Are restaurants in Qatar expensive?

Qatar is a paradise for culinary lovers and one of the most lavish countries in the world. There are many restaurants in the country that offer mouthwatering delicacies amidst the luxury. However, Qatar has a range of budget options for tourists as well.

Q3. What is Saloona?

Saloona isn't a new name as far as traditional Qatari dishes are concerned. This is a dish that contains ingredients like tomatoes, aubergine, carrots, and potatoes. Usually, restaurants in the Qatari capital serve the dish with broth which is the way to go about enjoying it.

Q4. What is Luqaimat?

This is a dish that is usually served in the Holy month of Ramadan when families and friends come together to enjoy a dessert-filled evening. Made with butter, milk, flour, sugar, saffron, and cardamom, Luqaimat has many similarities to a dumpling.

Q5. How many days should I spend in Qatar?

Qatar is a country that has a lot to offer to tourists. There are many places to visit and things to do here. Hence, travelers can plan to spend a minimum of 5 to 7 days in the country as these many days are enough to explore the country.

Q6. Is Qatar an expensive country?

Being perhaps the richest country in the world, Qatar has luxury options in plenty which can be a tad expensive for tourists. However, the country does have a range of budget options in accommodation, travel, and even food.

Q7. Which is the best area to enjoy traditional food in Doha?

Souq Waqif in Doha can easily be regarded as one of the best areas to enjoy traditional food in Qatar. This is an area that houses many authentic restaurants and cafés which are highly popular amongst travelers.

Q8. Which is the best street food in Qatar?

Shawarma is the best street food to taste in Qatar. This is a snack that is prepared from boneless strips of chicken or beef which are stacked and then grilled on a rotating skewer. As the meat cooks slowly, the edges are sliced and wrapped in bread.