Something has been brewing in Doha over the past couple of years. The city’s café scene has grown from the predictable chain outlets serving up super large, bland blends and free Wi-Fi to a full-blown, locally driven coffee culture.
One of great things about the caffeine-inspired boom is that you can find stops for sips in most parts of the city. Even if you don’t know your Chemex from your crema, you can still enjoy Doha’s thriving café scene and its quirks at these cozy venues.
Located in the tunnel joining Msheireb Downtown to Souq Waqif, this quaint café is a breed apart in the specialty coffee game. The shop uses beans imported from Yemen, giving the brew an almost chocolatey flavor thanks to the country’s unique terroir. Be sure to try the Nomad Signature coffee (a sublime blend with cinnamon and cardamom accents) or opt for the traditional flat white or espresso.
The aesthetic of the tiny café may be smooth stones and neutral colors, but the coffee and passion of the staff really make it stand out.
One of the first on the craft caffeine scene in Doha, this local hot spot now has two locations, one at The Pearl Qatar, with sweeping marina views, and the other with a large kitchen and inventive brunch fare in Tawar Mall.
The café is known for bringing the Australian flat white (two shots of espresso topped with microfoamed milk) to Qatar, but its industrial-chic interiors and exceptional coffee knowledge (try a tasting or class while you’re here) keep legions of followers coming back for more. The star attraction is right there in the name, but the team also makes a mean ginger latte.
Qatar’s first vegan restaurant also serves up an excellent organic coffee. Choose from a range of plant-based milks (including sprouted cashew milk) to enhance your ethically sourced cup or just go black.
Evergreen, as it’s known to devotees, is on the edge of Venetian-inspired The Pearl Qatar and has a sun-drenched courtyard that’s great for a coffee date. For those looking for caffeine with a twist, order the Iced Chaispresso, a refreshing concoction of dates, espresso, cashew milk, Indian ayurvedic spices, vanilla and sea salt.
Another specialty coffee pioneer, this place has remained popular in spite of dozens of newcomers hitting the market since it opened in 2017.
Located almost inexplicably in the outpatient clinic of Al Emadi Hospital in Al Hilal, the venue’s coffee still lives up to the hype. The specialty here is the locally beloved Spanish latte, coffee sweetened with condensed milk that’s served hot or cold.
The interiors are pure industrial-chic with comfortable couches and an Instagram-friendly living wall. Food offerings include a creamy croque monsieur and a nana-approved Victoria sponge cake.
TV drama Breaking Bad may be long gone from our screens, but Walter White’s legacy lives on in this Istanbul import. Paying homage to White’s science teacher day job, the café is adorned in yellow, and staffers wear iconic matching hazmat suits as a nod to his nighttime pursuits.
The menu is a periodic table with nomenclature such as Sl for Spanish latte, Ca for cappuccino and A for Americano. Gimmicks aside, the huge menu has something for everyone — V60 and siphon for the coffee snobs and iced tiramisu or a straight cappuccino for those who prefer a simpler sip.
The two branches of Walter’s are at opposite ends of town — one in the up-and-coming Lusail district and the other in the seaside city of Al Wakra.
Another player in Qatar’s love affair with all things Turkish, this brand has sprouted four locations and a very loyal following.
In addition to some seriously good flat whites and cappuccinos, you can also sample “golden” coffees infused with caramel or white chocolate. These cafés are welcoming as well as functional, with most seats having easy access to electrical outlets and charging stations. Housemade sweet treats and sandwiches make the place extra enticing.