Culinary culture in Manama, Bahrain

Peeping out of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain is a country with bountiful culture – its own and that of the large ex-pat population. For food lovers, the location of the ‘kingdom of two seas’ and the nationalities settled here make it a particularly interesting spot to visit.

Japanese dish

Preparation – booking and budgeting

Alongside fantastic and flavoursome local produce like dates, bananas, citrus fruits, pomegranates and mangoes, Bahrain boasts some outstanding restaurants and if you’re lucky enough to visit the country’s capital – Manama – you should take some time to plan your eating out schedule in advance. The top restaurants here can get very busy, so booking before you travel will serve you well if you set your heart on visiting any of the most popular eateries.

To help budget for your trip it’s also worth checking out the current exchange rate, which you can do online with Travelex here in Bahrain. You can also reserve your currency online and pick it up in Bahrain, should you need to top up your spending money.


With its position between two seas it is perhaps not surprising that Bahrain has earned quite a reputation for its fish and any food lover worth their weight in sea salt is likely to want to check out some of the area’s seafood. This is served in different guises at restaurants that span a cosmopolitan spectrum of cuisines, but Japanese is a particular favourite in the capital Manama.

Winners of the TimeOut Best Restaurant award for Bahrain in 2012, Maki Bahrain serve top rated cuisine. Located at the top of the city’s World Trade Center, at night you can take in an awesome view of the lights and enjoy some sensational sashimi. Maki are by no means the only Japanese enthusiasts round these parts though – Bushido and Mirai are also regularly name-checked for fantastic food and service.

Bahrain is a relatively safe holiday location, but it can, on occasion, be a little bit dangerous if you don’t know what to expect. Make sure you have a look over this Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice for travel and living abroad in Bahrain.

Healthy or not?

When it comes to eating out, sushi is often cited as a healthier option and healthy food is readily available in Manama. You’ll find it in plentiful supply at Masso at the Palace Hotel, which is another eatery that consistently receives rave reviews. On the menu here is a mix of European food – in particular Italian and there’s a focus on organic food too.

If indulgence is the name of the game, then you’ll want to check out Bahrain’s famous Friday brunches availably widely in the city’s luxury hotels and perhaps head to one of the less health-conscious but high taste aware eateries such as Legendz Steakhouse or Lilo – where the French patisserie-style cakes are a work of art.


What say you?