India is the closest major country to Qatar and the city of Doha is home to a number of Indian immigrants, Indian-based businesses, and enterprises that do business in India. As you can probably surmise, this means that Doha is one of the best cities in the world to find high-quality, authentic Indian cuisine in! The only question is, where is the best Indian food in Doha?
Chingari is arguably the best Indian restaurant in the entire city of Doha, and probably the best in the entire Middle East. The vibe here is like no other and the food is better than most of the Indian food I’ve had in India itself! There’s a reason why Chingari is among Doha’s top-rated Indian restaurants.
Although Chingari is definitely my favorite, it’s by no means the only good Indian restaurant in Doha. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of dining at a number of small family establishments and large, luxurious restaurants. So, in order to help you find the best Indian food in Doha, I decided to make a conclusive list of the best Indian cuisine the city has to offer!
The Best Indian Restaurants In Doha
Growing up with an Indian stepmother, I had the pleasure of eating some truly great Indian food during my teenage years and early-20s. From home-cooked chicken tikka masala to super-spicy lamb biryani, I ate some of the best Indian dishes of my life when I was young.
The few Indian restaurants I tried eating out at in the United States were a bit… disappointing. It wasn’t until my first visit to Qatar that I was willing to try eating out at an Indian restaurant again. All I can say is that the Indian food I found in Doha is unlike anything I ate in the U.S!
In Doha, Indian cuisine is taken very seriously, and it shows in every aspect. From the food itself to the atmosphere and service, I haven’t found very many “bad” Indian joints in Doha. However, over the past year, I put together a short list of the best Indian restaurants in Doha to make your next trip easier.
The moment you walk through the front entrance of Chingari, you know you’re in for a special experience. It feels as if you’re walking through the entrance of an ancient cave, out of which the scent of delicious Indian spices constantly wafts out. Inside, the vibe is like visiting a Rajistani desert castle, and it feels like you just took a trip back in time.
As far as the food goes, I’ll start by saying that Chingari has some of the best Indian biryani in Qatar. The basmati rice is perfectly cooked and seasoned, the plating and presentation are immaculate, and they even have a number of authentic Indian desserts and cakes for dessert!
2) Saffron Lounge
Saffron Lounge (not to be confused with Saffron Thai Restaurant I wrote about here) is another excellent Indian food restaurant in Doha. Located near the famous Intercontinental Hotel, Saffron Lounge quickly rose in popularity thanks to the contribution of celebrity chef, Vineet Bhatia.
His modern, contemporary interpretation of classic Indian dishes has made Saffron one of the top-rated Indian food restaurants in the entire country, and some of Qatar’s wealthiest businessmen and celebrities often eat here. Given the exclusive nature of the restaurant, you may have to call ahead and make a reservation. However, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
I apologize if I’ve been scaring you off with all of the expensive, high-end Indian restaurants on this list… I always like to start off by putting my best foot forward. If you’re looking for authentic, delicious Indian food that’s more wallet-friendly, then I definitely recommend checking out Indiegrill.
I wrote about it the other day in my list of Doha’s best buffet restaurants, and in my opinion, it’s the best Indian buffet in Doha. Given that it’s a buffet, make sure that you come hungry (otherwise, it’ll just be a waste of money). They have some truly delicious chicken tikka and lamb skewers, and their biryani is also fairly decent as well. Last but not least, they have sweet Indian yogurt-based deserts if you still have room after your meal!
4) Sarhad Restaurant
Just because Qatar is one of the world’s wealthiest countries doesn’t mean that you can’t find good food at an affordable price. While Indigrill is definitely the best Indian buffet in Doha, Sarhad is probably the best small, family-style Indian restaurant in Doha.
Here, the plating and seating aren’t fancy. Your food won’t be sculpted like a work of art, and you won’t feel like you’re in an ancient Indian palace. However, you will eat like a king! At Sarhad Restaurant, they serve classic Indian dishes that are made from authentic family recipes. The food is piled high on your plate, and I guarantee that you’ll never leave hungry.
5) Taj Rasoi
Located in the Ras Abu Aboud Doha Marriott Hotel, Taj Rasoi serves up authentic Indian cuisine at a fair price. The food is a bit more expensive than somewhere like Sarhad, but it’s a good bit more affordable than Saffron Lounge. As far as the quality of the food goes, it’s incredible and comparable to many of Doha’s fine-dining Indian food!
Head Chef Ali was there the last time that I visited and I had the pleasure of speaking with him briefly. It turns out that almost all of the items on the menu came from recipes passed down from his grandmother in India! Aside from the quality of the food, the ambiance is very pleasant, warm, and dimly lit, which makes it perfect for a quiet dinner date.
Whether you’re looking for high-end Indian or an affordable Indian buffet, Doha has a number of great options to choose from. While my list is by no means conclusive, I can personally vouch for the quality of food and the service at the restaurants listed above. If you still have room for dessert after your Indian meal, then definitely check out my list of the best bakeries and pastry shops in Doha here!