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Quirky cafes in Qatar

December 5, 2021 2 Comments

If I can say one thing about Qatar, it’s that it aims to quietly impress. Not competing with the neighbouring countries’ affinity for Guinness World Records, Qatar prefers a subtler approach. But don’t despair, you’ll still be wowed especially if you’re aiming to explore some quirky cafes in Qatar. 

Qatar’s coffee shops run the gamut from teeny tiny hole-in-the-wall spots to sprawling chains. What I love about these shops isn’t just the latte art, but the amazing theming and decor that goes into these beautiful spaces making it more than just a visit; it’s an experience. From West Bay to Bin Mahmoud, Al Sadd to Msheireb, you will find it hard to not find a decent cappuccino, or rose latte in a unique setting. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite quirky cafes in Qatar where you can be impressed and inspired. I find myself seeking quirky cafes in Qatar to be inspired by what they’ve created.

Ink cafe

This eatery has a unique space that makes customers feel as though they’ve stepped into a cartoon world. The idea is that once you step inside you become part of a 2D optical illusion, was if you’ve crossed dimensions into a sketch book.

Decked out like pen-drawn cartoons, this small café blends reality and illusion together seamlessly—with white interiors creating a stark contrast with real and faux elements outlined in black, such as real tables, chairs, and mugs, plus illustrations. They have a relatively large menu offering food, desserts and beverages.

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 club sandwich, 1 cold chocolate & 1 rose latte. 

We paid: QAR107

We rated:  4 out of 5 pandas because we loved our time there but my only criticism is that the cafe is too small. Its not the quietest place to get any work done as its situated inside a busy food arena but still a fun place to visit for snacks and photos!

Upside Down Cafe

As the name suggests, the quirkiness of this cafe lies in the fact that everything here should be upside down. Seeing furniture on the ceiling is definitely one of the most unique things I have seen in a cafe so far!

Unfortunately for me, those were the only positives of this cafe. The staff were unhelpful (almost downright rude. The server taking my order started talking to someone else while I was giving my order), the food is uninspired and while the hot chocolate was delicious, it wasn’t enough to redeem this place in my eyes.

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, 1 chicken & mayo sandwich, 1 hot chocolate and 1 cafe latte.

We paid: QAR111

We rated: 2 out of 5 pandas. The food was uninspired and poor service. Go with low expectations.

Chemist Cafe

This cafe looks like a party-themed science lab, with the barista dressed in a lab coat, beakers and test tubes decorating the surfaces, and the decor based around calculations and formulae.

They serve a variety of drinks in beakers and lab flasks, making you feel as though you were in the middle of a chemistry class. They don’t serve any food, only desserts and drinks.

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 honey pudding, 1 bubblegum mojito & 1 cappuccino. 

We paid: QAR77

We rated:  3 out of 5 pandas because the cafe was noisy- filled with e sounds of screaming children due to its proximity to a mall play area- and there were very few dishes on offer. We felt that the theming could’ve been stronger in the decor as well.

Anime Cafe

For many people who grew up dreaming of becoming a Pokemon master like Ash Ketchum, a Super Saiyan like Goku, or a ninja like Naruto, at Anime Cafe, you can actually eat at a place where you can let your inner Anime geek out.

Their main focus are the characters from One Piece, Dragon Ball, Studio Ghibli & Pokemon. They have hundreds of figurines and toys on every surface so take some time to peruse while you wait for your food. 

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 dynamite shrimp, 1 chicken burger, 1 pikachu katsu curry, 1 bubble tea & 1 dragon fruit lemonade.. 

We paid: QAR207

We rated: 4 out of 5 pandas. The location is superb , and the theming is very evident from the decor to the food. This place lost points because I felt that the quality of food didn’t match the prices and parking is a hassle if you aren’t a resident in the area.

Subzero Ice Lounge

A fun and unique experience that goes beyond just being a cafe or restaurant (they serve food here in addition to desserts). If you’ve never experienced a white winter then this is the perfect way to get a taste for it without the unpleasantness. Upon arrival, you’ll be asked to pay the entrance fee which includes hot two drinks (the drinks are really good but the way). You can also choose to order dishes but pay extra for those. Then you’re escorted into the ‘closet’ where you’re kitted out in an inner layer, winter coat, hats and gloves. After which, you head into the ice lounge which is a balmy minus 3 degrees Celsius.

You’ll then be served your food and drinks after you’ve snapped a million photos of course!

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 hot chocolate, 1 cinnamon sahlep & 1 lotus cookie skillet

We paid: QAR90 for entrance which included 2 drinks and 35QAR for the lotus cookie skillet

We rated: 5 out of 5 pandas because this was so much more than just a quirky cafe- it was a whole experience! They have many food options, a wide array of hot drinks and you really felt transported out of the desert. Tip: Dress warmly!

Blue Signature

The idea behind this cafe is that ‘Its not just a coffee shop, its art’. And one has to agree! Although its small and seems unassuming from the outside, its really stunning on the inside. With a ceiling covered in beautiful blue flowers, floating books and swinging seats, this cafe is so whimsical.

The only downsides are that its small, the parking can be a nightmare when its busy and the menu is equally tiny. There are very few beverage options that don’t involve coffee and only a few desserts (no food). They did try to incorporate the blue theme into their food and drink but I personally didn’t think it was particularly creative. We ordered two drinks and a chocolate cake and paid 75QAR.

Click here for the location link

We consumed: 1 blue velvet latte, 1 passion iced tea & 1 chocolate cake

We paid: 75QAR

We rated: 3 out of 5 pandas. I felt that they needed more options and variety on their menu but service was good so its still a must see when checking out quirky cafes in Qatar.

Doha residents are truly blessed with an array of amazing coffee shops that seem to be a stone’s throw away from each of our stomping grounds – but sometimes, this choice can make it even harder to find ‘your’ coffee shop – especially if you’re looking for a more unique or independent establishment. Hopefully this list of  quirky cafes in Qatar can help you to choose a place for your next lunch date, book club venue or evening out.

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Would you visit any of these quirky cafes in Qatar? Or have I just put them on your list? Let me know in the comments below!

expatpanda

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2 Comments

  • winteroseca December 5, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    Those are some wonderful cafe ideas!

  • higgledypiggledymom December 14, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    I think I like the ice one the best, although visiting and trying all might be fun too.

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