A cursory glance at Doha’s dining scene and you easily could dismiss the city as a meat lover’s paradise. But take a closer look: with an increasingly diverse population, access to a new abundance of fresh local produce and a penchant for culinary trends, the foodie playing field for herbivores is better than ever.
While not all exclusively vegan or even vegetarian, these are among the top places in Doha to enjoy a plate of plant-based goodness.
This meat mecca at the whimsical Mondrian Doha has made a name for itself by being more than just a steakhouse. The team has done this by adapting and creating dishes to accommodate diners with food intolerances and vegan and vegetarian diets.
The locally sourced wild mushroom and toasted almond soup can be made purely vegan with housemade almond milk, while savory brunch sides like coffee-kombucha-glazed parsnips and sage-hazelnut-crumble-charred cauliflower are sure to please.
Other vegetarian dishes to try include an Italian-chestnut-filled agnolotti and roasted heirloom baby beets with pistachio yogurt.
This homegrown eatery is a pioneer of the Qatar capital’s healthy push. With a sunny, waterside location at The Pearl Qatar’s Venetian-inspired Qanat Quartier, this cute café has become a hub for meatless meals.
Qatar’s first all-vegan restaurant features recycled wood and greenery-heavy interiors with a fun menu that proves there is more to veggie-focused food than avocado toast and salad.
The Gangsta Burger, for example, is a must-try sunflower-and-mushroom patty topped with an almond-crusted onion ring, pickled jalapeños and smoked mushrooms.
Other standouts include the beetroot ravioli stuffed with housemade cashew cheese and the lush raw cacao chocolate torte.
Rest assured that everything is made in house and, while portions are small, these plates are overflowing with flavor. But even if you’re not sold on the natural food menu, you can still appreciate the sensational organic coffee.
The tasty Thai eatery at the imposing Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas is one of the city’s quiet achievers. Since it opened more than five years ago, Isaan has served super-spicy and crowd-pleasing cuisine.
Aside from its seafood-heavy dishes, the restaurant has a separate “healthy” menu with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Choose from steamed and fried tofu, fresh salads with tropical ingredients like green papaya and Thai tomato, and several noodle and wok dishes — the pad kra-pao hed with mushrooms, garlic and hot basil packs a punch.
Plates are sent out tapas style, so order up as many as you can eat and indulge.
This all-day dining venue at Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel has cooked up unique takes on grab-and-go café classics for a couple of years. Justifiably busy at all hours, the casual spot has started to expand its menu to fill a gap in the market.
Try the pea protein wrap, a flatbread or a salad that easily can be made to omit animal products. And the lentil soup is a warm and comforting meat-free option.
Since opening in 2015, the world’s largest restaurant from renowned chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa continues to dominate the dining-out market in Doha. One of the reasons for this success is the staff’s ability to cater to the increasing sophistication of the market — many menu items have been adapted to be plant-based.
The popular mini tacos, for instance, now include a version with earthy Shimeji mushrooms, and the famed spicy rock shrimp can be enjoyed with creamy tempura cauliflower rather than crustaceans.
Other vegetarian-friendly twists include a smoky eggplant variation on Nobu’s legendary black miso cod and a Caesar salad spin with pillowy potato mochi, caramelized pecans and a luxe truffle sauce.
The extensive sushi and maki roll menu also comes with a small selection of vegetarian and vegan options.
Falafel Al Akawi
While much of the Arabic food served in Qatar tends to be heavy on the meat and seafood, there is still a lot to work with on the vegetarian front. With five locations across Qatar, this cult favorite specializes in its namesake snack food.
The falafel balls are crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and well-paired with the venue’s signature dipping sauce. Customize your chickpea bites with additions like tender grilled eggplant, french fries, pickles or tahini all wrapped in freshly baked akawi (Arabic cheese bread) or pita.
If you’re feeling bold, order the Falafel Rocket. Not for the faint of heart, this massive creation is chock-full of falafel, tahini, pickles and tomato, and is best shared.
If sweeping Corniche waterfront views and a good cup of coffee aren’t enough to lure you in, this casual spot’s vegetarian options should do the trick.
The lentil and freekeh (a North African whole grain) salad is filling (and vegan), while the grilled halloumi salad hits all the right notes for the vegetarian brigade. Plus, the plump falafel balls are mouthwatering morsels that come in a salad or tucked in a wrap.
This no-frills crowd favorite is a vegetarian standby serving renditions of Indian staples.
Multiple locations just outside the city make grabbing a quick, healthy bite easy. Once you take the trek, you’ll be rewarded with a menu bursting with flavor. The dosa (a paper-thin rice flour pancake that can be filled with spicy potato) is legendary. Also worth the visit is the Dynamic Cauliflower, a plate of savory and spicy deliciousness.