The pint-sized Gulf archipelago of Bahrain is known for showing its visitors, and residents, a good time. Known for its trade, entertainment and culture, the nation gives a warm and welcoming vibe, attracting tourists and those who hop over the land border from Saudi Arabia for a fun weekend. Because of this, it has a burgeoning dining scene of world favourites and homegrown talents. From acclaimed regional names to celebrity chefs, these are the best restaurants in Bahrain.
Em Sherif Sea Cafe
For sumptuous Mediterranean-Levantine cuisine in a panoramic setting, head to Em Sherif Sea Cafe – an elegantly designed restaurant in Avenues Mall Bahrain. Diners can enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine in a beautiful and airy blue-and-white sea-inspired dining room, with ocean and skyline views to match. Guests can dine on all the classics, done perfectly, along with more creative seafood-inspired dishes, and there’s also a raw bar and a menu of pasta dishes. This is the perfect spot for a casual, yet elevated, lunch or dinner with friends in Bahrain.
The Avenues, Manama, Bahrain; @emsherifseacafe.bh
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Guests enter CUT by Wolfgang Puck by ascending a dramatic staircase from the more laid-back bar and lounge – stepping into a stylish take on a modern American steakhouse with airy interiors and a sweeping outdoor terrace. The latter features views of the Manama skyline, the bar and the hotel’s lush manicured garden making it a great spot for lunch and dinner. Typical of Puck, the menu features a wide selection of prime cuts, shellfish, and fresh whole fish.
The Four Seasons Bahrain Bay, Manama; fourseasons.com
Mirai Restaurant & Lounge, Manama
Mirai is widely regarded as the go-to spot for sushi on the island, a stalwart with Bahrain’s style set since 2002 and set in the vibrant Adilya district (known for its pedestrianised streets and cloisters of bars and restaurants). Mirai has certainly made waves, getting itself as number 31 on MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2022 thanks to its contemporary mix of authentic and inventive Japanese-inspired dishes and buzzing atmosphere. Signature crowd-pleasing dishes include tuna pizza, shrimp popcorn bao and a great selection of maki with everything from eel and tuna to shredded spicy crab.
Osama Bin Zaid Avenue, Manama, Bahrain; mirai-restaurant.com
New York City-born French-Mediterranean restaurant-cum-club Bagatelle continued its Gulf expansion last year with the opening of Bagatelle Bahrain (there are also outposts in Dubai and Riyadh). The late-night restaurant is housed in Manama’s elegant Royal Saray Resort and transports guests away from the Kingdom with its rich French-inspired decor like white tablecloths, panelled walls and sumptuous velvet booth seating. Make sure to book a table late, when the restaurant comes alive with an insatiable atmosphere and the music from live DJ sets.
Bushido by Buddha Bar
Part of the internationally known and acclaimed Buddha-Bar franchise, Bushido Restaurant is a sumptuous and eccentric Japanese lounge and restaurant with an outdoor terrace, moody dining room, teppanyaki room and sushi bar. Guests enter the restaurant via a bridge over a small moat lined with Samurai statues, entering a restaurant with seductive red and black interiors and plenty of Buddha Bar’s signature quirky Asian-themed deco. The menu features Pan-Asian cuisine including sushi and sashimi, soups, curries and grills.
Seef Area; bushido.com.bh
M by Mirai
As MENA’s 50 Best Mirai’s sister restaurant, Mirai is a must for foodies visiting the island and one of the best restaurants in Bahrain. The minimalist restaurant is located in the bustling Seef District and centres around a focal robata grill with counter seating, which pumps out contemporary Japanese cuisine (think spicy chicken wings, bao buns, robata and seaweed salads) to the moodily-lit restaurant. Elevate the experience with their signature tasting menu, or grab the express menu for a quick taster.
Seef Area; mirai-restaurant.com
The Merchant House is one of Bahrain’s coolest hotels and its rooftop terrace and restaurant Indigo lives up to the hotel’s hype – one of the best restaurants in Bahrain. Guests can take a seat in the greenery-filled terrace next to the hotel’s pool for an aperitif or light bite, or head into the main, brilliantly lit restaurant for fusion Mediterr-Asian cuisine like pasta, fresh fish crudo and rolls from the raw bar. The restaurant itself is filled with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows and has a bright white and floral aesthetic, complete with a gold-illuminated back bar, cementing itself as one of the most stylish restaurants in Bahrain.
The Merchant House, Manama; themerchanthouse.bh
Fusions By Tala
Fusions by Tala at the Gulf Hotel is led by one of MENA’s renowned female chefs, Tala Bashmi, a picturesque restaurant overlooking Manama’s skyline. The real point of difference here is that Tala herself hand-picks ingredients from local farmers ensuring the highest quality and freshness of her food, which is a contemporary take on traditional Bahraini food. While the menu fuses Middle Eastern cuisine with fine dining, the interiors are stripped back and modern and have a raw industrial-style vibe: hanging filament lights and plenty of greenery.
Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Adliya, Manama; gulfhotelbahrain.com
La Table Krug by Y
Dubbed Bahrain’s most exclusive fine dining experience, La Table Krug by Y is located at the swish Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, led by renowned foodie innovator Chef Yann Bernard Lejard. As the first of its kind in the Middle East, and the fourth of the La Table Krug restaurant concepts in the world, La Table Krug by Y transports guests to a France of times gone by, taking guests on a journey to the bucolic French countryside with its wholesome and rustic yet refined and contemporary dining experience. The dining room is intimate, the dress code is formal and the menu is as satisfying as it is creative – think hunks of sourdough with decadent saffron rosebud butter, wild mixed mushroom raviolo smothered in intense truffle sauce and salmon souffle with scallop mousseline, caviar and beurre blanc.
Al Seef District, Manama; ltkby.com
A historical monument-cum-cultural hub, The La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art is not short of things to do, and one of the best activities is to visit La Fontaine. As one of Bahrain’s most romantic restaurants, guests have to first navigate the cosy courtyards and winding corridors to get there, before stepping into a warm and welcoming dining room filled with natural light and serving Mediterranean fare, with a focus on Italian
Hoora Ave, Adliya, Manama; lafontaineartcentre.net
If memorable sky-high dining is at the top of a holiday bucket list, visit re/ Asian Cuisine. Set on the 50th floor of Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, re/ Asian Cuisine comes from celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and is one of the highest dining experiences in the Kingdom. Providing spectacular views across Bahrain Bay and Manama skyline diners can enjoy a menu that stars Puck’s signature modern approach to traditional Asian cuisine. The restaurant offers a “re”-evolution of cooking styles, flavours and techniques from China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and more.
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Manama; wolfgangpuck.com
Thanks to its eye-catching jaali partitions and brocade upholstered seating, Jashn is one of Manama’s best Indian restaurants, not to mention one of its most stylish. The menu focuses on Awadhi and Hyderabadi cuisine like Lucknow, chaats and regional desserts and a glass-enclosed open kitchen creates a vibrant atmosphere with chefs cooking over a tandoor oven.
Rasoi by Vineet
Vineet Bhatia is widely credited with bringing high-end Indian food to a global audience, and his masterful Indian cuisine can be enjoyed across the region, with restaurants in Riyadh, Dubai and Bahrain. Located in the Gulf Hotel Bahrain, Rasoi by Vineet is a modern interpretation of traditional Indian cuisine, with a show kitchen serving a range of innovative dishes.
Seasonal farm-to-table dishes originally masterminded by acclaimed chef Susy Massetti put Masso firmly on the foodie map in Bahrain, and it’s an ethos that’s been continued by the current executive chef, Steven Gilles. The chic restaurant draws in regular diners day in, day out and while the menu is modern Mediterranean, there’s a strong focus on hearty Italian dishes.
Maison Sushi, located at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq, delivers a relaxed lounge experience paired with creative French twists on traditional Japanese dishes. There’s an open kitchen so guests can watch the chefs at work, plus a swish sushi counter with a conveyor belt and the main dining room offers a seductive vibe with its mood lighting.
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq; restaurantsandbars.accor.com