Whenever I get a chance to pass through India or the Middle East, I always make a point to try to find somewhere that has some excellent biryani. Over the past few years, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in and out of Qatar’s capital city, Doha, which has some truly amazing food. So, that being said, what restaurants have the best biryani in Doha?
Biryani Express in Al Rayyan has some of the best biryani in the entire city. Unlike other restaurants that serve a variety of different Indian, Persian, and Middle Eastern food, Biryani Express focuses solely on various interpretations of biryani. Whether you like spicy, hot, or mild, you’ll find it here!
The hearty Indian dish that consists of basmati rice mixed with meat, spices, and other desert seasonings has long been a favorite of mine and is something that brings back fond memories of my childhood. Although Biryani Express is arguably my favorite, I’ve also had the pleasure of trying a number of other great biryani dishes at other spots in Doha. So, if you’re planning on visiting Qatar’s capital city anytime soon, definitely look into these awesome restaurants!
The Best Biryani Restaurants In Doha
The other day, I made a post outlining some of the best Persian-style buffets in Doha. Many of these buffets also happen to serve biryani. If you’re not a huge biryani fan, then you’ll find that most buffets have a fairly decent recipe.
However, if you’re looking for something that will truly blow you out of the water, then you’ll want to look into a nicer, more culturally relevant restaurant that specializes in authentic biryani (or at least Indian/Middle Eastern food). In my experience, smaller, family-owned establishments tend to have the best biryani. Once you start getting “fast-food biryani,” the quality isn’t as good.
I’ve found that cheap biryani tends to use a lower-quality spice that tastes too salty, lower-quality meats that are too fatty or chewy, and some don’t even use real basmati rice. Conversely, most of the smaller restaurants I’ve been to have had excellent biryani.
So, that being said, here are some of the top places to eat biryani in Doha!
1) Biryani Express
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, Biryani Express probably has the best biryani in the entire country of Qatar. In fact, the only time I’ve ever had anything better is the one time that a guide of mine brought me home to his family’s house to try his mother-in-law’s recipe.
Located in the Al Rayyan district, Biryani Express lets you pick the exact level of spice that you want (similar to many Thai restaurants). So whether you like it mild or you prefer mouth-watering heat, you’ll be able to pick your poison! For meat choices, they offer chicken, traditional Persian barbeque, and vegetarian options. You’ll also find appetizers as well as deserts and cake on their menu!
Amara primarily focuses on classic Punjabi dishes, and their biryani is easily one of the most popular items on the menu. If you’re vegetarian, they have some great veggie biryani, but other than that, their mutton biryani is quite addictive!
As far as the dine-in experience goes, the atmosphere is fun and vibrant. The servers are super friendly and accommodating, and are more than willing to offer great tips on other local attractions.
3) Indian Hyderabadi Spices Restaurant
Although Biryani is found throughout the Middle East and the western parts of Asia, most chefs agree that the dish originated in India. The Indian Hyderabadi Spices Restaurant is easily one of the best Indian restaurants in Doha and happens to have an amazing biryani recipe.
They’re definitely a smaller, family-owned establishment and they typically only serve a couple of different meats per day. Everything is prepared fresh the same day and you’ll never get leftover or previously frozen meats in your biryani. This, combined with the hot Rahjistani spices makes for supreme biryani!
4) Dalchini Restaurant And Bar
If you’re looking for high-end biryani, then Dalchini is the place to go. Unlike the Indian Hyderabadi Spices Restaurant (which is arguably a more middle-class establishment), Dalchini employs Michel-Star chef Alfred Prasad, who has dedicated his career to crafting exquisite Indian dishes.
The biryani here is some of the most expensive in the city of Doha; but if you have the coin, then I guarantee it’s an experience worth savoring. Additionally, if you’re looking for nightlife in Doha, the bar has an exceptional cocktail menu!
5) Spice And Sizzle
I know I’ve mentioned several Indian biryani joints on this list so far… However, if you’re looking for a Pakistani interpretation of biryani, then Spice and Sizzle has you covered. Like Dalchini, Spice and Sizzle is also a fine dining establishment. So, you may need to call ahead and make a reservation for your table.
As far as recipes go, though, Spice and Sizzle serves the following styles of biryani:
- Chilman biryani.
- Hyderabadi biryani.
- Nauratan biryani.
I’ve only had a chance to visit this place once, and I ended up ordering the Chilman biryani. If you’re looking for a mild/medium heat biryani, then this is a great option!
If you’re looking for a more fun dining experience, then Kebabbq has you covered! Technically speaking, it’s a kebab restaurant. However, all of the kebabs can be ordered with biryani, which means that you can choose between mutton, chicken, chicken tikka, or lamb biryani. All of the meats have that freshly grilled flavor that tastes like a home-cooked Indian BBQ meal.
I highly recommend the lamb biryani here! One of the cool things about Kebabbq is that they serve pre-packed lunch boxes as well. So, if you’re on the go and you need something quick to take with you in the cab or to your meetings, then you can order a large to-go plate hassle-free. They also do lunch specials as well!
As tempting as it may be to eat the Western food you’re used to in Doha, I strongly suggest that you take advantage and eat some of the local Middle Eastern/Indian dishes while you’re there. If you’ve never had proper biryani before, then Doha has some of the best biryani dishes you’ll find outside of India (plus most of the servers speak English as a second language)!