Political upheaval aside, is it just me or have things been a little quiet around here lately? Not that I’m complaining, I genuinely do enjoy the Ramadan period in Doha and the chance it gives me to slow the pace down and sort my life out a bit. Now that we’ve hit the halfway point in the holy month, however, then chances are if you are not fasting then you’ll be on the hunt for restaurants that are still open so that you can enjoy something good to eat.
While most restaurants in Qatar only open after sunset this month, there are several that remain open during the day, although their hours may have changed a little.
I have already covered my top picks for Iftar and Sohour, but here are my top restaurants that are remaining open for other meals during the month of Ramadan.
Quick Bites, Marriott Marquis
This light and bright cafe is always popular, but during Ramadan it is positively rammed – and for good reason. From their excellent breakfast menu (which includes dishes from around the world, such as traditional egg dishes and Shakshouka, tasty Huevos Rancheros with refried beans and Sweetcorn Fritters), to their excellent flatbreads and ‘make your own’ salads, Quick Bites offers a little bit of anything that takes your fancy at any time of day.
Open: Daily, 6am – 7pm
Don’t miss: The delicious Ricotta Hotcakes with glazed figs, honeycomb and Chantilly Cream. You can catch them before the restaurant closes for breakfast orders at 11.30 during the week, and 3pm at weekends.
Elements, The Four Seasons
One of my favourite (and certainly one of the best value) business lunches remains open throughout Ramadan and I’m not ashamed to admit that my family have visited twice in two weeks. After our last visit, Mr Sunshine said, “I would literally go to Elements every day if I could justify it” (I told him he was EleMENTAL but truth be told, if we didn’t have a child, we might actually be able to!). The Som Tam is fresh and authentic, the Chicken Shui Jiao full of flavour and the Pecan Chocolate Cake is surprisingly light and moreish. At QAR 95 for three courses, you’re laughing.
Open: Daily, 12pm – 3pm
Don’t miss: The juicy Rosemary Roasted Chicken, which reminds me of home
W Cafe, W Hotel
For breakfast, a light afternoon snack, or just a really good coffee, then the W Cafe is always a good idea. Tucked away discreetly at the back of the W Hotel, its lively and bright interiors are a welcome retreat from the summer heat. Our family tend to use the cafe as a meeting point, so many different meals and snacks have been enjoyed here at various times of day, but it’s criminal to leave without ordering one of their signature cakes…or three.
Don’t forget that Doha staples Market and La Spiga are also open next door if you fancy a meal which packs a little more punch.
Open: Daily, 9am – 12 midnight
Don’t miss: The W Cafe Afternoon Tea which includes some of the best scones this side of the Persian Gulf
Cafe Murano, Marsa Malaz Kempinski
I was really surprised when my friend who works at the Marsa Malaz messaged me to let me know that Cafe Murano was open throughout Ramadan and has excellent pasta and burgers on the menu. I had previously only associated this beautiful cafe, with its stunning artwork and lavish soft furnishings, with coffee and cake (excellent coffee and cake, nonetheless). Naturally, I had to head over there to sample these new discoveries for myself. If you are a sucker for a larger than life, juicy beef or chicken burger then Cafe Murano might just become one of your favourite places in Doha this Ramadan.
Open: Daily, 6:30am – 6:30pm
Don’t miss: The 200g Black Angus Big Beef Burger with Swiss Cheese and BBQ Sauce
There are many reasons why Nobu is my favourite restaurant in Doha. From the architecture to the interiors, the rooftop views to the thoughtful attention to detail in the menu, this is not just a special occasion restaurant, but a once in a lifetime one.
The sushi and sashimi selection is not only one of the broadest in the city, but it is, in my opinion, by far the best. The innovative dishes that have been curated by Chef Nobuyaku Matsuhia, and are overseen by Doha’s Chef de Cuisine, Andrew Bozoki, include Lobster and Artichoke Salad with
Dry Miso which is a delicious balance of flavours and textures; the King Crab
Three Ways which creatively takes one main ingredient and makes it sing in a
trio of different ways; and the Mochi Icecream in blueberry and matcha, which are the most moreish little parcels, and the perfect way to round off your meal.
While most of Doha’s best fine dining restaurants close their doors this month, Nobu remains resolutely open, and for that, the foodies of Doha are incredibly grateful.
Open: Daily, 6:30pm – 11:30pm
Don’t miss: Where to start?! Try not to miss anything on this menu if you can help it. But it would be criminal if you walked away without ordering the Nagasaki Tuna or Sea Bass Sashimi, the Rock Shrimp or the famous Black Cod.
Which great restaurants are open during Ramadan that I’ve missed?