As Doha returns to its busy buzzing self after the holidays, we figured you might need some help getting through September. What better way to do that than eat somewhere that’s both tasty and affordable?
In an encore to our first cheap eats picks, here’s our latest list of top 10 places to go for meals that cost QR25 or less.
This new restaurant at Souq Waqif opened in March 2016 and is beautifully decorated with traditional Arab themes and ample seating outside, upstairs and downstairs.
Al Enna, an old word in Arabic meaning desert resting place, is the perfect spot for a traditional Qatari meal. It’s open for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We recommend the chapati, a wrap with fried eggs and cheese, which costs QR12 for two. There are also chapattis with veal for the same price.
If your children like crêpes or if you have a sweet tooth, try the regag with nutella at QR8 or the regag with eggs, sugar, and saffron for QR8.
Also consider having balaleet, a Qatari breakfast staple that consists of vermicelli noodles topped with cardamom, sugar, rose water, saffron and fried eggs, for QR15.
If you are at Al Enna for lunch, their scrumptious lentil soup, served with toasted bread, costs QR15. Add a pot of “chay Haleeb,” aka karak, for QR8. Dinners cost more than QR25 but portion sizes are generous.
Enna is located in Building 23, Street 1 of Souq Waqif (next to the falcon market and directly in front of the horse stables). It’s open from 8am to midnight except for Fridays, when it’s open from 8am to 11am and 1pm to midnight.
It can be reached at 5000-1519/4417-2218/6693-7642.
If you haven’t heard about Filipino fried chicken, then you are missing out – and Max’s is a great place to enjoy it.
With two locations in Doha, including a massive new spot on B-Ring Road, Max’s has a friendly and efficient staff.
Several appetizing items on their menu fit right into our cheap eats requirements, including the breakfast chicken tocino, which consists of yummy chunks of grilled chicken and garlic rice plus two fried eggs and a cup of coffee, all for QR25.
There’s also Max’s spring-fried chicken, which is QR24 and includes a smattering of sweet potato fries. The spicy chicken fried rice comes in a huge serving for QR21.
My kids loved their chicken patty burgers with cheese and garlic mayo + potato chips at QR25. Don’t forget to ask for their spicy side sauce!
Oh, and the combo meals come with a tiny slice of heaven: caramel bars. Made with sweetened condensed milk at Max’s, you can even buy a huge boxed caramel bar for QR23.
Max’s is located on Al Difaaf St. in Al Sadd (4444-6297) and in Al Muntazah on B-Ring Road next to The New House Complex (4412-6297). The restaurant is open from 10am to 11pm daily except Fridays, when it’s open from 8am to 11:30am and 1pm to midnight.
Turkish Al Bukhari
This restaurant is pretty much “what you see is what you get.” It’s located in Al Markhiya off of TV Roundabout and is roomy, basic yet clean, with a friendly and efficient staff.
We recommend starting with the lentil soup for QR10 and a fatayer (homemade herb pie) for QR3. Then throw in a shish tawook sandwich (similar to a chicken kebab wrap) for QR10.
Al Bukhari also offers kofta meat wraps, meat kebab wraps and chicken kofta wraps for QR10 apiece, as well as hummus or tabouleh salad for QR10 each.
If your taste is more Indian-inspired than Turkish, you could also have a chicken biryani for QR24. The half-grilled chicken meal also looked amazing, and comes with seasoned rice for a total of QR20.
The restaurant is open from 11am to midnight from Saturday to Thursday; and from noon to 1am on Fridays. It can be reached at 4486-6515/4478-4836.
If you are looking for yummy, inexpensive Indian food in a simple, clean setting, then head over to this eatery in Bin Omran, opposite the Nissan Car showroom and off of TV Roundabout.
The Garden Village Restaurant offers an extensive array of vegetarian and non-veg dishes. The restaurant is huge and the staff is helpful and quick.
If you are passing by for lunch, the dragon chicken (shredded chicken with green peppers and red chili) is a must, and is medium spicy.
There’s also the Kozhi chicken curry, naadan style for QR20, which is a brown curry with coconut paste.
For dinner, check out the delicious butter chicken for QR20 a portion or the chicken Manchurian with ginger and garlic for QR18. Add a fresh, hot piece of garlic naan bread for QR4 (a big hit with kids).
GV can be reached at 4488-5115/4418-2669. It’s open from 11:30am to 3pm and 6pm to 11:30pm from Saturdays to Thursdays. On Fridays, it’s open from noon to 3pm and from 6pm to midnight.
Zaatar W Zeit
This popular Lebanese chain recently opened a branch at the Pearl-Qatar and it does not disappoint. Yes, it’s a franchise – but a great one!
In a nutshell, Zaatar W Zeit offers simple, reasonably-priced food that is kind to your waistline.
We recommend the QR18 quinoa and tabouleh salad, a lemony-zesty meal that is filled with protein from the quinoa and is surprisingly filling.
There’s also the QR18 baked falafel wrap, which unlike traditional falafel is not fried, but also not lacking in flavor. Love the fresh mint!
The restaurant’s manakeesh, or Lebanese pizzas, are tasty and also easy on the wallet (prices are between QR8 and QR25). We enjoyed the labneh aarouss with olive tapenade and mint, tomatoes and cucumbers for QR17.
For kids, there are four QR26 options, including a mini chicken wrap, mini chicken tenders, mini frankfurter or mini pizza. Each meal comes with fries and a choice of water, soft drink or juice, as well as a surprise.
Zaatar W Zeit’s new location is in Medina Centrale, Building 106, near Malaga roundabout and can be reached at 4482-0213. It also has an eatery in Souq Waqif, Al Wakrah and other places.
The Pearl restaurant is open from 7am to midnight daily except for Thursdays and Fridays, when it’s open from 7am to 2am.
Meesh Me-Time Café
This restaurant, which opened six months ago in the Crowne Plaza Business Park on Airport Road, has a modern, slightly funky feel to it.
One big draw is the eatery’s breakfast specials, which are offered all day.
The egg & salmon sandwich is generous in size and and comes with a side salad or crisps/potato chips for QR24. There’s also a cheese, egg and ham sandwich for QR22 (on your choice of freshly baked bread or roll.)
For lunch, consider their chicken tikka ciabatta or baguette for QR25, or a bowl of soup for QR19 (includes crunchy baguette.)
The cool, open setting and ample seating at Meesh also makes it ideal for a morning or afternoon coffee & sweet (a cappuccino and homemade ginger crunch cookie costs QR8).
Meesh can be reached at 4408-7744 and is open from 7am to midnight daily.
Souq Waqif is teeming with delicious food choices and for authentic, cheap Yemeni food, Bandar Aden is the place to go.
I popped in for lunch and ordered the traditional Yemeni salta for QR20. The deliciously-filling stew (not spicy) is made with ground beef, vegetables and potatoes.
It also comes with one of my favorite Yemeni sides: dqos. The scrumptious topping to the salta is much like a homemade Mexican salsa with a good spicy kick. It’s fresh tomato, coriander and chili goodness.
And the bread – the Yemeni bread! Also complimentary, this comes fresh out of a brick oven, is almost the size of a small child and great for dipping. The staff at Bandar Aden is efficient and quick and it’s plain to see why this restaurant is considered a Souq institution.
The eatery can be reached at 4437-5503 and is open from 8am to 10:30pm daily.
This restaurant serves Malaysian-Chinese dishes that are generous in size and reasonably-priced.
A large portion of Malaysian seafood noodles costs QR20. And the Marmite chicken with rice (yes, Marmite, you have to try it!) will put you back just QR24.
Lastly, on Thursday mornings from 10:30am to 2pm, Oriental Kitchen offers a special, delectable chicken with rice for QR25. But pre-orders must be in by Wednesday afternoon because it’s such a great seller.
Delivery is also available in the Doha area with QR50 minimum orders and outside of Doha for orders of minimum QR100 or more.
Oriental Kitchen is located on Alkhalidiya St. in Najma, behind QP Navigation and in front of Galaxy Supermarket. Parking can be tough during peak hours, so calling for takeaway at 4477-4077 is also a solid option.
The restaurant is open from 10:30am to 3pm and 5:30pm to 10pm daily except on Fridays, when it’s open from 12:30pm to 10pm.
Sometimes the best restaurants are the most inconspicuous. Take Aalishan Takeaway, which is nestled inside West Bay Petrol Station.
For breakfast, we recommend their savory Mumbai masala omelet for QR12. At lunch, Aalishan’s chicken tikka masala sandwich is a heavenly mix of grilled chicken tikka masala, vegetables and cheddar cheese for QR20.
Aalishan has an array of other wraps and/or sandwiches for QR20 or less.
But if you are looking for something a bit heavier, their biryanis are also tasty and cost QR25 for chicken or veg. They are served with a delectable aubergine raita called burani from the Lucknow region of Northern India.
In fact, Aalishan is famous for their authentic Indian clay pots and biryani for QR35 – out of our price range, but still worth mentioning.
The eatery is open from 7am to midnight except on Fridays, when it’s open from noon to midnight. It can be reached at 4412-4413/4414-8971.
Al Reef Lebanese Bakery
Bares bones but brilliant, this tiny bakery on Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St. in Al Nasr pops out an array of homemade treats that will fill your stomach on a budget.
Al Reef has a few tables for dine-in customers, but is mostly for takeaway.
The bakery’s claim to fame is the fatayer, a freshly-baked Arabic pie filled with anything from cheese and zaatar (thyme), spinach, egg and cheese, meat and more for QR5 or less.
Al Reef makes these tasty pies to order in just a few minutes and they also freeze well, if you want to have the perfect snack or lunch in your freezer.
I sat down and ordered tabouleh for QR8 and hummus for QR8, along with my cheese and zaatar fatayer. The tabouleh was fresh and lemony and the fatayer was piping hot as well as a perfect mix of soft, cheesy and crispy.
Al Reef is open from 8am to midnight daily and can be reached at 4432-6763/4435-1376.
What suggestions would you add? Thoughts?