Khaleeji and Arabic Food in Qatar
Over the course of the better part of a year living in Doha, I was eventually able to find numerous good, hole-in-the-wall Khaleeji (Gulf Region) and more general, Arabic restaurants. Information is tough to find in Doha - particularly about traditional places - so I figured I would share them. I'll be continuously updating this for a while, so check back for more places. As with everything in Doha, things frequently change without notice and seemingly without reason, so I don't know how long any of this will be valid. Hopefully, since these are the tastiest places, it will be for a long time.
I've created a publicly viewable map on Google maps of where these places are. It is available here.
Khaleeji is the Arabic term that roughly translates to ''Of the Gulf''. This term applies to the region on the Arabian Gulf (also referred to as the Persian Gulf), the people from the region, and the dialect of Arabic that is spoken there. Traditionally, these areas were much more nomadic and less sedentary than many other parts of the world, and there was a lot of cultural mixing between peoples in the area. Granted, grouping these areas and people together vastly oversimplifies complex cultures and histories, but it is nonetheless one of the more common groupings, so I will use this.
Frequently, Khaleeji refers to 6 of the 8 countries that touch the Arabian Gulf. These are the 6 member states of the GCC or Gulf Coast Council. Together, they form a (generally, but not as much recently) more cohesive and similar subgroup of Arab countries. The six countries are Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. The two that don't belong to the GCC are Iraq, which has a much different history and only has a small coastline on the Gulf, and Iran, which is Persian, not Arab. The difference between Arabs and Persians is huge and goes back thousands of years. They vastly differ on almost everything, from ethnicity, to culture, to culinary traditions, to language. Iraq was in talks to be part of the GCC but that fell apart in the early '90s when it invaded a member state (Kuwait). I'll write a much more detailed discussion (from an American's perspective) on Khaleeji soon.
Bayt al-Kuwaiti (مطعم البيت الكويتي) - The Kuwaiti House Restaurant
Harees al-Walda - Mother's Harees
Arabian Peninsula Food:
General Arabian Food: