Whether you’re a freshman looking for eateries beyond the dining hall at GU-Q or a student here for your semester abroad, this is your guide for discovering delightful dining experiences around Georgetown Qatar. Education City is filled with a variety of lunch spots and cafes that are accessible and easy on your pocket.
Our first destination is none other than Papa John’s – the ultimate place for affordable and delectable pizzas. Established in 1984 in Indiana, USA, this pizza chain has gained significant popularity in Qatar particularly among the international population, especially students like me, due to its affordable prices. This go-to spot offers budget-friendly meals like Papa’s Lunch, priced at a mere 16 Qatari Riyal, which is less than $5 — a steal compared to most local pizza places in Qatar. As a Georgetown Student, Papa John’s is quite accessible, being only a 5-minute walk from the campus. The spicy chicken ranch pizza, a crowd favorite, consistently lives up to its reputation and is a must-try when you visit. It also comes in a vegetarian option. While their pizzas are really good, what makes it one of my favorites is the garlic dip they offer with every meal. It really is the cherry on top of a great pizza.
Tim Hortons is a go-to spot for all the coffee lovers in Georgetown. Being in the middle of our atrium, it is the perfect place to grab a coffee in between classes or during a study session in the library nearby. It offers a range of iced and hot coffee. Although I am not a coffee person, I have seen cups of Spanish latte and caramel macchiato around the campus. They also offer fun flavors like pistachio latte. I usually go for their coolers like the blueberry or passion fruit coolers that are refreshing.
What I enjoy the most at Tim Hortons is their range of bakery and sandwiches. They have a variety of donuts and croissants, including the zaatar croissants incorporating local flavors, and it is one of my favorites. They also have mini donut balls called Timbits that are great for eating on the go. But if you have a really strong sugar craving and want to try something new, I would suggest their nutella donuts or the lotus biscoff donut. They also have many sandwiches for both vegetarians and meat lovers.. My personal favorite is the buffalo chicken ciabatta.
If you want to go for an affordable coffee break in Education City or grab a quick bite before getting on the Metro, Extra Shot is your place. Extra shot is at the entrance of the National Library metro station, which is basically a 5-minute walk away from Georgetown. They sell a variety of coffee flavors roasted in Qatar such as West Arsi, gran galore.
However, this is my go-to place because of the Matcha they sell. For people who do not drink coffee like me, Extra Shot offers amazing matcha. They also have one of the best cookies in EC. And the best part is that the cookies are super cheap. They also have a range of other food items like mini pizzas or brownies. So if you are around GU-Q or just heading to the metro you can grab something from Extra Shot.
Another go to coffee spot in Georgetown is Casual. Established by former Georgetown students, this coffee shop started as one of the pop-ups in GU-Q but quickly became popular and has stayed as a permanent part of GU-Q since fall 2023. One of the most unique things about Casual is that all the special coffee blends are named after people at GU-Q. The menu includes coffee named after professors like Professor Kamrava and Professor Zarqa’s Latte. It also has drinks named after students like Jaski’s Latte, Fahad’s Americano and Maya’s Matcha. If you’re like me and not into coffee, Casual offers beverages like matcha. Compared to Extra Shot or Tim Hortons Casual is on the more expensive side. However, if you want to have a unique experience and unusual coffee flavors, Casual is the place to go to.
Zaatar w Zeit:
Zaatar w Zeit is Lebanese eatery and one of the popular choices for catering events at GU-Q. It offers a range of salads and wraps. As someone who’s typically not a fan of salads, this place has changed my perspective.
They have great chicken salads and dressings like tahini and include Middle Eastern salads like fattoush, which I would recommend if you’re traveling to Qatar for the first time. The menu caters to all, offering equally vegetarian and non-vegetarian wraps and delicious shawarma. However, what’s truly unique for me as an international student is the zaatar. As its name suggests, the place offers great zaatar, which is a spice mixture that includes herbs along with toasted sesame seeds and sumac whcih is lathered on bread with olive oil.
Exit 55 and Chickito:
If you’re in the mood for a burger, you’re in for a treat because Exit 55 and Chickito, two burger joints, are conveniently located side by side at the Student Centre 5 minutes away from GU-Q. Its prime location in Student Centre makes it a great place to grab a quick bite or just hang out with your friends. While Chickito offers a great selection of chicken burgers, including crispy chicken, Exit 55 adds beef burgers to the mix.
While Chickito has a variety of wings to offer, Exit 55 stands out with its great selection of fries. My personal favorite is their cheese fries, but you can explore other options like chili fries or dynamite shrimp for a mix-and-match experience.
Flat White is one of the most popular coffee places in Education City, and since it is located in the Student Centre it is only 5 minutes away from GU-Q. TThe convenient location makes it an ideal coffee place if you want to hang out with your friends after a gym session or are doing your groceries at the Student Centre. The cafe has one of the best aesthetics among all the cafes in Education City. While it is a little on the expensive side, Flat White offers a range of coffee and non-coffee beverages. I would recommend trying karak, which is a Qatari milk tea and is very similar to chai. If you are a fan of chai-latte at the Corp, you will enjoy some hot karak. The place also has a great variety in salads, wraps and cakes. Moreover, they offer a decent collection of books for you to read while having your food
Whether you are craving a great meal or just a coffee with your friends, with so many affordable choices close by, you wont have to go far. Education City is a food heaven you wouldn’t want to miss on. It’s sure to enrich your experience at Georgetown Qatar.