Souq Al Wakrah is more-commonly regarded as the second Souq Waqif for a few logical reasons: the municipality where it is located -- Al Wakrah -- is not too far from Doha; it's only a 2-minute drive from the touristy Family Beach; and their parking lot is so huge that it can accommodate several hundreds of vehicles!
Featuring a dazzling market that boasts a few dozen shops, cafes and restaurants along a 3km coastline with a Corniche for people to walk on, the opening of Souq Al Wakrah comes as a major boost for residents living in the southern areas of Qatar like Mesaeed as there are only limited recreational options outside Doha.
When it comes to the architecture, photographers and model-wannabes prefer going here as its structures and shops are designed to give impressions of pseudo-aged architecture and design, a break from the whitewashed and grand-styled infrastructures emerging in the country.
And if you have an eye for detail, you'll notice that the Souq in Al Wakrah looks like a hybrid between Doha's Souq Waqif and the Katara Cultural Village.
The beach opened mid-2017 to the public and is perfect for a late afternoon stroll especially with the pleasant weather in place. During Eid, the Souq has also been one of the top destinations for many Qatar residents with their array of delicious restaurants tailored-fit for the whole family.
Here are FIVE dining suggestions that will most probably make you come back to Souq Al Wakrah for another weekend of tour and food tripping!
If you're up for Indian food, then you're in the right place! Located at the further end of the picturesque Souq Al Wakrah, Baharat offers a plethora of well-loved Indian cuisines! Though their price range might be a little on the costly side, the customer service is guaranteed top-notch!
Mohamed Khalifa rated the restaurant 4/5 in Zomato saying: "I tried Barahat Al Wakra for the first time and it was an excellent experience because of the service provided by Raj (crew personnel), who showed and explained to us the menu in a nice and professional way. Their food was new to my taste buds because I don't eat Indian food regularly. As for the ambiance, I love it that the restaurant faces the sea -- an ideal place to relax and chill."
From hot buffalo wings to quesadillas to nachos, this American-themed dine-in hotspot proves that there's more to just burgers and fries. And unlike its fellows, you can mix and match a variety of different finger treats for as low as 38 QR in Bennigans. The potato skins and fried cheese are our personal favorites!
Asmaaehab4 writes in Zomato: "This place has a very special place in my childhood. I went back today and I really enjoyed the entire time that I was there. I ordered the America Burger and it was so yummy! Their nachos and pasta also came in an unimaginably-massive serving! Overall, I really recommend this restaurant."
Being the most affordable restaurant in this round-up, Al Koufa offers its loyal customers reasonable prices without sacrificing quality. Still on the run is the unbeatable karak and chapati tandem, but what makes them stand out are their specialties -- lamb kidney being the most intriguing and notable!
Most customers are happy with Al Koufa's menu, and Zomato subscriber Priya Khanna is no different: "Really really good food and affordable prices!!! The kebabs are soft, rightly marinated and cooked to perfection!!! You pay by the skewers so there is a minimal wastage on food, which is great!!!"
Are you on the lookout for savory pizza and pasta? Look no more! Mercato Antico may be costly at first glance, but when you immerse yourself with its fancy interior, you'd realize that half of the price that you're going to pay is for the restaurant's endless instagrammable corners and spots! Aside from their mouth-watering Italian menu, Mercato's customer service is also unmatched as they address forums in Zomato on a regular basis -- whether the review is positive or not-so-great, they still respond to people's queries with flying colors!
A commenter by the name of dalhaz writes on TripAdvisor: "One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Qatar. Food is great! I tried all their items on the menu! The one that I tried today was the Rib Eye Steak -- which tastes bizarre! The only thing I don't like is that sometimes the order takes time! But as they say, good things come when you wait! Definitely worth a try!"
Dessert joints are quickly sprouting across Qatar, and Souq Al Wakrah has a strong representative -- the tiny corner of Arnag! Serving burgers and fries, this nicely-decorated restaurant serves the usuals (burgers and fries), but what stands out the most from the menu are their cakes and milkshakes! A typical foodie might say that the prices are a little bit high, but with the extra-mindfulness that the crew put in to make every serving presentable, what is there to worry about?
Food reviewer Crave and Confess writes in Zomato: "Finally visited this lovely little place. It has a homely vibe to it. The servers are helpful and service is mostly quick. However those round tables are not comfortable for a big group. But we will definitely go back for the fries and burgers!"
Have you been to Souq Al Wakrah? Besides eating out, what are other things that you can do in this little gem away from Doha? Let us know in the comments section below -- and forget to like and share this article!
(Cover photo courtesy of asergeev.com)
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