As the capital of Bahrain, it’s no surprise that buzzing Manama has something to offer almost every hungry foodie, from traditional Middle Eastern to Italian cuisines, and from adventurous street eats to high-end hotel dining. Whether you’re looking for a quick coffee overlooking the city or to enjoy a meal at any time of the day in one of the finest restaurants, this updated article lists Manama’s 10 must-try restaurants.
Courtesy Cafe Lilou
Brasserie, Cafe, Restaurant, French, $$$
Cafe Lilou | Image Courtesy of Zoe
With its comfortable and chic Parisian brasserie décor and its warm vibe, Cafe Lilou is the place to be. The café offers a range of good quality coffee as well as cakes and pastries. In addition, Café Lilou’s menu offers fresh salads such as the gaite parisienne, the bouchees vegaondes or Lilou’s own caesar salad. Café Lilou also offers freshly baked bread sandwiches such as the sandwich festif, le champs elysees and the mini cousin au boeuf which are all accompanied by either Lilou speciality milkshakes or coffees.
Cafe, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Australian, Italian
Located in building reminiscent of urban New York, Zoe Cafe and lounge provides a chilled atmosphere where guests can enjoy eclectic Mediterranean dishes such as the goat cheese exotica mix with fresh vegetables, wrapped with filo and exotic fruits, or the homemade crab cake with chili aioli fried and grilled with corn salsa and mixed greens. Along with its menu, Zoe’s provides a selection of international drinks from Australia, Italy and South Africa. On sunny days guests are able to enjoy their meals on Zoe’s rooftop while overlooking the beauty of Manama city.
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At Upstairs Downstairs’ charming location in the heart of Manama, guests can enjoy something different every day. Decorated in the style of a traditional English country house to create an intimate atmosphere, Upstairs Downstairs is the perfect place to enjoy the finest meal with a global touch while listening to live jazz. When it comes to the menu, Upstairs Downstairs has its all, from small bites like the battered calamari dipped in garlic, or the spinach and halloumi cheese salad. Try tasty main course options such as the spinach and ricotta cannelloni cooked in spicy tomato sauce, or the braised leg of lamb cooked with thyme, served with seasonal greens and mashed potatoes.
With a casual and classy environment, Camelot’s mission is to bring the finest cuisine from around the world to Manama. Camelot’s head chef Maria Kimsey crafts every meal with exquisite details, which brings an individuality to the menu. Divided into three global regions, the menu’s Asian section includes dishes such as the masala mansor dal, a variety of sushi rolls, and waygu rump steak. The Middle Eastern section provides hamour fillet, the halloumi delight or the lamb shank. When it comes to its European sections, Camelot offers authentic dishes like the sea bream, moules mariniere or the divine chicken breast. In addition, Camelot’s menu offers a selection of carefully chosen imported wine.
Originally located on the Exhibition Road in Manama, in 2010, Tea Club relocated to the waterfront lagoon part in the Amwaj Island. Since then, Tea Club has become an exclusive place to hang out. With its luxurious decoration, Tea Club offers its guests not only an elegant setting, but also a selection of world-class teas from countries as far-flung as Morocco, China and India. Also, Tea Club serves many dishes from the southern burger, chicken fajita wrap, to the marinara seafood pasta, assorted with variety of international desserts.
With three different restaurants in Bahrain, Rice Bowl offers an exotic Indian and Chinese cuisine experience. With its marble floor and neutral décor, guest can enjoy the best of both countries. When coming to Rice Bowl, guests can start with either an Indian appetizer like the samosa potato, or something heartier like the hot Shanghai beef soup. Then, for the main course, options include the Indian curry bowls, battered chicken murg makhani, murg kormar or savoury Chinese dishes such as the kon pao chicken, beef oyster sauce or, for vegetarian guests, the ever-green Buddha’s delight dish.
If you’re looking for a casual lunch or dinner in a cool place with a Middle Eastern vibe with shisha on tap, then Aroma Cafe offers just that. Aroma offers the best dishes from both the East and West, including classics like margarita and four cheese pizza, indulgent beef or chicken burgers, and Middle Eastern dishes such as zaatar, hallooni or the charcoal grill kebab, accompanied with the traditional western cheese cake or the Arab um ali pastry.
Dedicated to bringing the finest of Japanese cuisine and culture to Bahrain, Maki is a contemporary fusion of Japanese cuisine that attempts to break boundaries by mixing ingredients from France, Italy, America and the Mediterranean. Each recipe is creatively crafted as a Maki speciality, such as the Alaska-baked crab leg dipped in garlic butter sauce, or the braised smoke short ribs served with oolong tea. In addition to its speciality dishes, Maki’s sushi rolls are served in a variation of authentic Japanese ingredients such as the besma sushi, the ebi tempura bite, or the shirom rolls.
Founded by Nadeem Usman Dhadhuk and considered to be one of the best Pakistani restaurants in Bahrain, Desi Dastarkhawn brings the finest traditional Desi recipes from the Pakistani city of Karachi to Bahrain. Each dish is crafted by the head chef Muhammad Mushtaq. The bun kebab, bihari, chicken masala and katakat dishes have established the reputation of Desi Dastarkhawn among Manama’s residents. Whether dining in or ordering to deliver, Desi Dastarkhawn menu has almost everything for everyone, from its breakfast items such as the halwa puri and the tawa partha to the chef’s special, which offers a different menu four days of the week.
With three different locations around Bahrain, Veranda’s fresh setting is where guests can enjoy the best shisha in town. In addition, Veranda’s menu offers meals with an international touch: try country breakfast consisting of crispy bacon and eggs served with grilled tomatoes and beef sausages. Its Mediterranean items include the hummus beiruti, baba ghanouj with halloumi or fattoush. For a more substantial meal, try Veranda’s traditional recipes such as the chicken a la king, cajun schnitzel or the beef stroganoff.