Family-Friendly Dining in Souq Al Wakrah
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Doha is Souq Al Wakrah, another charming souq with an array of delicious restaurants where you are sure to enjoy an afternoon or evening with your family. Most restaurants have outdoor seating facing the sea so your children can meander in and off the sand, and the promenade is short—only a five to ten-minute walk—so you don't have to worry about them wandering too far. Parking is extensive with convenient golf carts to pop you from the parking lot to your destination in no time but as you might expect, weekends can get busy so arrive in the early evening or make a reservation to get the best seating and avoid the rush at our top restaurant picks below.
Best family experience: Copacabana
If Brazilian churrasco (grilled meats and fish) is what you are looking for, check out Copacabana. This unique concept (fresh off the grill and carved at your table) is sure to be fun for the kids—all-you-can-eat churrasco buffet for children (QR 50), and the venue is on the beachfront so your little ones can play in the sand while you watch. Delicious fresh juice smoothies are also on the menu. Your little one will love the blueberry mojito mocktail (QR 26). Be warned, though, it’s huge and very sweet! Reservations are neccesary because the venue only has a few tables outside and they fill up quickly.
Kids will love: the kids' chicken or beef sliders (mini burgers) with coleslaw and fries, QR 36.
Parents will love: the all-you-can-eat “carnivore” buffet with five different types of Brazilian-style grilled beef from Argentina, chicken and lamb, or the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet with grilled salmon and shrimp—both menus include fries, beans, grilled pineapple and coffee, QR 99.
Hours: Daily 13:00–23:00, the buffet is available from 18:30–22:30
Contact: +974 3119-6242, facebook.com/CopacabanaQatar
Best mixed grill:
The Coast Café and Restaurant
This colourfully decorated venue has delicious Turkish and Arab-inspired mezze and mixed grill platters that will tempt the whole family. Tasty, generous and nicely presented portions are a part of Coast Café’s mantra. The café also serves dishes like pasta and burgers for particular eaters.
Kids will love: the mixed grill, which comes with kofta, lamb chops, shish taouk (chicken kebabs), beef kebabs, tahini, fries and fresh Arabic bread. For QR 120, this meal is enough food for six to eight children or three to four adults.
Parents will love: the seafood mixed grill sharing platter with mackerel, grilled shrimp, grilled calamari and baked crab with mozzarella cheese for three to four adults, QR 150.
Hours: Saturday to Thursday 09:00-24:00, Friday 13:00-24:00
Contact: +974 4037-2259
Best Indian: Royal Tandoor
If your family loves Indian cuisine, head to Royal Tandoor, a beautifully lit venue with a lovely balcony overlooking the water. Their dishes are fresh and custom-prepared, and your family will love the array of kebab choices. Kids will also enjoy the tasty fresh juices (QR 18). Adventurous eaters might like the nawabi barra lamb kebab (QR 75). Royal Tandoor also has a variety of deliciously unique house desserts, including gulab jamun cheesecake (QR 25), crème caramel rasmalai (QR 25) or karak chai tiramisu (QR 35).
Kids will love: piping hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven naan bread, QR 4–8.
Parents will love: the best-selling signature dish, butter chicken, QR 50.
Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 12:30–24:30, Thursday 12:30–01:00, Friday 13:00–01:00
Contact: +974 4481-119 or +974 3323-7555
Best Egyptian quick bites: Al Helimya
Nestled along the seafront is Al Helimya, an inconspicuous venue that has fantastic quick eats for a great price. It doesn’t have a sign in English, so you may have to ask for directions. Look for a couple of outdoor tables and a simple menu. Try the chicken or beef shawarma (QR 20) or the shish taouk (QR 20). The kofta, Egyptian-style minced beef with mild spices, is also worth a try (QR 12).
Kids will love: the kushary, an Egyptian speciality made with pasta, lentils, tomato sauce and topped with fried onions, QR 20.
Parents will love: the quick service.
Hours: Daily 16:00–23:00
Best Arabic fusion: Baiz Café and Restaurant
Stroll over to Baiz Café for some delicious and innovative Arabic and Italian fusion dishes. The homemade breaded chicken bites with pesto sauce are a kid favourite (QR 35). For main dishes, children love the kibbeh, kofta-like minced meat balls with labneh (QR 75) or the pink penne pasta, a tomato and cream penne (QR 50) large enough for two to three children. Baiz Café’s signature dish is their classic burger with fries (QR 80), but don’t leave without ordering the fresh, colourful mocktail (QR 18–28).
Kids will love: the homemade waffle with tasty toppings such as bananas, strawberries and chocolate sauce, QR 40.
Parents will love: crunchy apple and peach salad with lemon, honey and mint vinaigrette, QR 45, or the fresh mango and pomegranate salad with pesto-labneh dressing, QR 55.
Hours: Daily 15:00–midnight
Contact: +974 4477-4207, baizcafe.com
Best Qatari food: Al Baranda Coffee Shop
This tiny venue serves fresh, authentic Qatari cuisine with no frills but plenty of taste. Try the Al Baranda, a full Qatari breakfast (QR 69) served all day, which includes a variety of dishes—chick peas, balaleet (eggs), cheese, honey, chapati and a hot drink (tea or coffee).
Kids will love: the cheese and honey chapati, a crêpe-like treat, QR 9, or the chapati with cheese, egg and tomato, QR 15.
Parents will love: The reasonable prices
Hours: Saturday to Thursday 09:00–23:00, Friday 13:00–midnight
Contact: +974 4481-8193
Best dessert: Gharissa Ice Cream
For the perfect end to an evening out, pop over to Gharissa for some tasty gelato-inspired ice cream (QR 12 for a single scoop).
Kids will love: the choice of yummy, fun flavours!
Parents will love: traditional Gulf flavours like rose water, date, orange blossom and more.
Hours: Sunday to Wednesday 09:00–22:00, Thursday to Saturday 09:00–23:00
Contact: +974 6662-8660 or 4441-1230, facebook.com/gharissaicecream
Best Arabic sweets: Al Aker Sweets
This divinely delicious sweet shop is located at the start of the beachfront promenade—definitely worth the short walk from the parking lot. Customers will find an array of Arab sweets beautifully presented on large trays, on display for QR 50–70 per kilogramme (half or quarter kilos also available).
Kids will love: kunafa, a delicious treat prepared with delicate strands of dough and mild cheese soaked in a sugar syrup. Al Aker’s speciality and most popular dessert!
Parents will love: Al Aker’s caffeine fix—tea, coffee (including Turkish coffee) and karak.
Hours: Daily 14:00-24:00
Contact: +974 3390-0074