Thu, 31 August 2017
The crown jewel of Bahrain’s dining scene, undoubtedly, is located in the vicinity of Adliya. It is chock-a-block with bistros, gourmet restaurants, casual and fast-food eateries, bars, pubs and classy lounges. Besides all the great venues, it is also brimming with a myriad of quirky art installations and murals, with several cultural shows on display during the cooler months.
Whether you are looking to impress business associates at a fancy standalone or grab a quick bite, Adliya has restaurants which cater to every budget and purpose.
Sample premium cuisine in the chicest eateries in the upper echelons of the dining district, Block 338, which is a relatively diminutive neighbourhood with an impressive array of top-notch venues.
It is home to always-buzzing Lanterns Restaurant and Lounge, Café Italia, Oliveto, the castle-themed Camelot, Salad Boutique, La Ventana and the timehonoured Upstairs Downstairs.
Stroll to Meisei and Akiko for contemporary Japanese, My Café for a continental menu, or Torino and The Foundry for delectable meat dishes. Bossa Nova serves prime cuts in a Brazillian churrascaria style. Café Amsterdam and La Vinoteca Barcelona serve European and Spanish cuisine respectively. Authentic Mediterranean food can also be had at the Santorini-themed Nicole’s Restaurant and Lounge and Florence La Maison Méditerranéenne.
Umami, Houseboat and Masaya sit confidently across the enclave of favourites. Additionally, you will find turn of the century reminiscent Parisian brasserie Café Lilou, the always-buzzing Coco’s, and Thailand or Monsoon for those seeking an Oriental repast. With its art exhibits and a cool little café, Al Riwaq Gallery is a trendy attraction for millennials.
Restaurants with rooftop seating are fairly popular, especially during the cooler months, and some notable establishments with terraces are The Meat Company, Passion Restaurant and Hash House.
Some recent additions include Calexico, whipping up contemporary cal-mex dishes and innovative cocktails, dessert specialists Cine Café, Attic for Greek treats and Slider Station, a bustling building outlined with cool, lush greenery.
For whopping burger meals, Blaze Burgers and More, Motorox Café and Jan Burger deserve a mention because of the sheer volume of fans that flock through their doors each day.
When in Bahrain, sampling local eats is imperative. ‘Shawarma Alley’ or the Osama Bin Zaid Avenue is a crowded street peppered with Arabic grill joints, where you get to witness meat being shaved off a vertical spit and swiftly wrapped into Arabic bread drizzled in tahina and other condiments. The most ordered items include malghoum, shawarma and vegetarian delight, falafel, made with ground chickpeas. Grilled lamb, beef, fish and chicken are also available. Fresh juices such as avocado, orange and pineapple, among others, make for refreshing sippers in the summer heat.
If you head straight over the crossroads, a cluster of diverse eateries awaits. Hardees, Habara Snacks and Fish, KFC, Kudu and La Chocolat dish out quick bites and fast food. A stone’s throw away is The Urban Dhaba for Indian street food, Fuddruckers, Caribou Coffee and a newly launched branch of McDonalds.
Not too far from here is a lane speckled with casual dining restaurants. There are also a couple of modest shisha cafes including Solidare and Caruoca. For Mexican food with a vivacious atmosphere, head to Casa Mexicana or Senor Pacos; get your fix of Asian fare from David’s Stir Fry; Cico’s for Italian; India Gate and Clay Oven for Indian and Brazil Rodizio and Grill for authentic Brazilian cuisine.
Quieter watering holes such as Mansouri Mansions, Cyprus Taverna and Old Beams enjoy a cult following.
Exiting Osama Bin Zaid Avenue, you come across another area packed with restaurants with plenty of shisha cafes, like Maggie’s, Al Bindaira Café, Arizona, Extrovert, Veranda and the renowned Don Vito’s Café. Opposite Maggie’s is the tiny Burger Town, which serves a speciality burger with camel meat. Authentic Thai eats can be had at Banana Leaf and Baan Saeng Thai.
Gallery 21, a fairly new restaurant complex, is home to Asia de Cuba, Gallery Café, Genwa Lounge and the Cigar Lounge. Whimsical displays and art pieces can be found at every corner here.
Within the area is also the multi-outlet The Gulf Hotel, with 18 dining venues, including one by a Michellinstarred chef. Several visits will be needed just to appreciate the full scope of the venues on offer. It has Zahle for Lebanese, Takht Jamsheed for Iranian, Sato for Japanese, Royal Thai, Rasoi by Vineet for Indian, Margarita Mexicana for Mexican, La Pergola for Italian, Fusions, China Garden and Al Waha for international cuisine. Café Delices serves up a delicious Bahraini breakfast and snacks, while Sherlock Holmes is great for a casual drink with your dear ones or a fun brunch.