The Best International Restaurants in Bahrain

Enjoy live grills at Brasa de Brazil
Enjoy live grills at Brasa de Brazil | © Brasa de Brazil

Visit our selection of the best international restaurants on the island to enjoy unique flavours and exclusive dining experiences from around the world.

Bahrain is a melting pot of cultures with people of different nationalities living together. Americans, Australians, Britishers, Canadians, Ethiopians, French, South Asians and other Middle Easterners call the island home and so, you can find some great restaurants here that cater to a variety of palettes. From biryanis to American burgers and Italian pasta, the kingdom serves it all.

1. Brasa de Brazil

Bar, Restaurant, Brazilian

Brasa de Brazil3
© Brasa de Brazil

Located at the Park Regis Lotus Hotel, this authentic Brazilian steakhouse offers an exclusive churrascaria experience – Portuguese for ‘live grill’. A wide selection of meats such as chicken, beef, lamb, deer, and ostrich are served alongside seafood. There is a system where diners must turn their wooden markers to the green side so the ‘gauchos’ – servers dressed as cowboys – can bring the meat cooked on the live grill in the kitchen but carved at the table; when they’ve had enough or want to take a break, they must turn their markers to the red side. An extensive salad bar also featuring rice, soups and other hot dishes like pao de queijo – cheese bread, a diners’ favourite – is available. All this coupled with a posh interior with mood lighting and wooden floors and ceilings make this restaurant a great place for a meat feast over drinks.

2. Cico’s Italian Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian

Cicos food 2
© Cico's Italian Restaurant

Established in 1978, this award-winning trattoria-style restaurant has remained Bahrain’s Italian favourite for generations. Serving consistently good food and offering an authentic, welcoming atmosphere, it’s a great place for an intimate family dinner, a meal with close friends or even a special evening with your better half. The interior is unpretentious with its checkered tile floors and whitewashed walls adorned with artwork and photos of loyal customers from over the years. The menu features northern and southern Italian classics such as penne Arrabiata, Margherita pizza, and gelato. All this coupled with warm and friendly service, makes diners return for more.

3. David’s Stir Fry Crazy

Restaurant, Chinese

Peking Duck, Chinas most famous dish.
© Hywit Dimyadi / Shutterstock

Serving authentic Chinese culinary delights, this restaurant was established by a husband and wife duo who wanted to bring home-cooked comfort food to diners. It has two branches in Riffa (the first) and Adliya, and both are different in terms of ambience but offer the same bold flavours. The roast Peking duck here is a favourite, as is the frog legs platter. A variety of other vegetarian, seafood and chicken starters and mains are also available. Service is on point and, in keeping with the restaurants ‘flaming wok to your table’ concept, there are no delays with the food being served as soon as it’s prepared. The owner usually manages the front of the house, chatting with diners from time to time.

4. Al Wasmiya Village Restaurant

Restaurant, Pakistani, Indian

Mutton Gosht Biryani from India.
© Pl / Shutterstock

Established in 1992, Al Wasmiya Group started off serving kebabs and other grilled food and soon attracted a fan following. Spurred on by the success, they introduced Al Wasmiya Village Restaurant, equally loved by the island’s diners. Located in Manama, it specialises in Pakistani and Indian cuisine. A rustic interior with a village-style set up and servers dressed in traditional gear make the dining experience so much more enjoyable. The biryani served here is said to be the best in Bahrain and is a delicious, value for money catering option too – one biryani clay pot can easily feed a group of 20 to 25.

5. Meisei

Bar, Restaurant, Japanese, Fusion

Meisei food
© Meisei

Tucked away in Adliya, this spot is the ideal place to explore modern Japanese cuisine. There are three floors including the rooftop bar where you can unwind with drinks and great music. The restaurant’s stylish interior and mood lighting make it the perfect venue for a romantic dinner. Diners can also sit at the robatayaki (Japanese barbeque) grill on the ground floor, watching the chef in action while dining; the robatayaki menu includes a selection of vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes. The menu also features staples like sushi – arguably the best in town – tempura and edamame and other creative mains. Though finding a parking spot in this area is usually tough as it’s a restaurant hub, bustling with eager diners throughout the week, Meisei has its own parking space right in front of the outlet.

6. Kosebasi Turkish Artisan Grill

Restaurant, Turkish, Middle Eastern

Traditional turkish baked dish pide. Turkish pizza pide with meat filling.
© utkudemirsoy / Shutterstock

Located in city centre Bahrain, this kebab haven is a Turkish delight, to say the least; everything from its décor and colours through to its hospitality exudes an East Mediterranean vibe. The menu is extensive and, apart from a wide selection of grilled food, also features other traditional dishes like pide (Turkish pizza), mezze (appetisers) such as muhammara (dip made from red pepper, walnut, bread crumbs and spices) and dolma (rice and vegetable-stuffed vine leaves), specialties such as manti (dumplings stuffed with lamb and spices and topped with garlic yogurt sauce), salads, soups, and other creative mains. For dessert, kunefe is a must-try; a cheesy delight, it’s best washed down with black tea, usually served on the house. Friendly service and a lively ambience make this an ideal place for a weekend dinner with family.

7. Lantern's Lounge and Restaurant

Restaurant, Indian

Lanterns Lounge and Restaurant
© Lantern's Lounge and Restaurant

Tucked away in Adliya, this restaurant offers a complete Indian dining experience; authentic flavours, generous hospitality and a rural-style set up that transports you to a roadside dhaba (small-time restaurant). The Adliya branch has three distinct areas – the truck bar, the courtyard garden lounge, and dining room. During the hotter months, the garden lounge’s chilled water air conditioning system offers respite and so, diners can enjoy an al fresco experience while tucking into a range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The grills served here very different from local Bahraini grills – spicier. You can also select from a wide selection of rice dishes and Indian bread – naan, kulcha, tandoori roti – and use them to mop up rich gravies and curries. A variety of desserts including gulab jamun (dumplings in sugar syrup) and jalebi with rabri (spiral sweet topped with cream) are also served. The atmosphere is always lively and the vibe casual, making it an ideal place to dine with family and friends.

8. Bennigan’s

Gastropub, Restaurant, Irish, American

Hamburger and dark beer in vintage style.
© Ruslan Mitin / Shutterstock

Said to be an American restaurant with an Irish twist, this pub-style venue is the ideal weekend hang-out with its lively atmosphere and casual vibe. The food is great as are the drinks, and the menu features pub grub: appetisers such as quesadillas, chicken wings and strips, potato skins and onion rings, beer battered fish and chips, and burgers and sandwiches. The restaurant is open for breakfast too – American classics from waffles and pancakes through to eggs, bacon and hash browns are available and Irish staples such as black pudding and crusty soda bread toast are also served. There is a second, bigger branch at Amwaj Islands, which hosts live bands every day.

9. Banana Leaf

Restaurant, Thai

Pad thai.
© wing f chen / Shutterstock

Tucked away in Gudaibiya, this humble restaurant offers an authentic Thai dining experience similar to eating at family-run joint or food cart in Thailand. You can’t miss it with its bright green signage and waterfall windows – it’s a small place with friendly servers. The menu features staples such as pad thai alongside mango and sticky rice, but there is a wide selection of other traditional vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes too. The menu descriptions are in English, making it easy for diners to understand what to order. That being said, the servers are always ready to recommend dishes. Most of the food is spicy but you can ask for less heat.

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