Breakfast like a king, they say. Well, the island has no dearth of breakfast spots, and certainly not of those that serve an authentic Bahraini breakie. Trust rich Arabic flavours to jolt you out of a lazy stupor and fuel you up for a busy weekday or a chilled-out weekend. So, Shakshuka, Nakhi, Aloo Chab or Nashif; it’ll be hard to pick a favourite that’ll really have you ‘rise and shine’. Don’t forget to wash all this down with a cheery cup of Chai Haleeb or Qahwa. Here are our top spots for an authentic Bahraini breakfast, along with their Instagram accounts so you don’t have to dig too much!
They refer to this joint when they say ‘old is gold’. Its doors opened a century ago, when Naseef quickly gained popularity for its unique Iraqi ice cream. Besides an eclectic selection of dishes, the Bahraini breakfast platters are hot favourites for the uninitiated as well as those who crave familiar, comforting goodness.
For a more upmarket breakfast experience that offers a perfectly balanced fusion between traditional flavours with a stylish, contemporary twist, Lumee it is. Lumee is slang for lemon in Arabic, and at this chic eatery the ambiance and flavours reflect that – young, hip and tangy. The menu is bursting with Middle Eastern staples that are interjected with a fresh but harmonious variation. Medjool Date Pancakes, or Arabic Coffee Affogato, anyone? @lumeestreet
This elegant café-restaurant is steeped in history; literally. You’ll find it inside the statuesque Bahrain National Museum. Ponder upon Bahrain’s varied and rich heritage with an Egg and Cheese Falazi roll, or let it soak into the senses with a hearty breakfast thali comprising the works – keema, spicy potatoes, Bahraini Kebabs, eggs and foul medames. All this with a rejuvenating seaside view to boot. @darseencafebh
The menu at Raazji underpins the palpable culture and erudite ethos of the Sheikh Ebrahim center in Muharraq, within which it nestles. The façade sports tradition, while the interiors are more modern, claiming to bring ‘the taste of Bahrain in every bite’. What guests have appreciated is the Raazji Special Breakfast; a full-fledged local breakfast platter replete with all the mouth-watering fare that Bahrain has to offer. @raazjii
This eatery that started out as an extension of its founder, Chef Roaya Saleh’s home, catapulted her into the culinary spotlight for dishes that are a paean to fresh, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. If you are looking to start the day with food that is a contemporary nod to the island’s quintessential ingredients and flavour combinations, this is your go-to, because mama knows best! @villamamas
The bright seating and décor of this much-loved venue are rivalled only by the colourful coolers available here (think tall glasses of rose and saffron elixirs to cool you down after a stroll or run around the park). Sink your teeth into authentic Bahraini fare served on traditionally woven circular mats and keep a look out for whimsical accessories dotting the place, including the lamps that hang from the wooded ceiling. Bestsellers include the Mahyawa and Cheese Tanoor Bread and Balaleet. @freej_bin_rashdan
Colloquially called Haji Gahwa, here is a favourite of the prince and the pauper. Set in an unassuming little alleyway of Manama, where guests can soak in old-world charm – sepia-splotched pictures of Bahrain by-gone share wall space with air-conditioning ducts and retro wall fans. Furrowed brows and hardy hands constantly work the glowing furn that churns out pillowy bread to wipe clean any remnants of a hearty breakfast from unassuming melamine plates. Michelin-starred chefs haven’t missed a visit to Haji’s while in Bahrain; why should you? @hajiscafe
When you come upon a clearing of sorts in the otherwise narrow-laned Manama Souq, you’ll find Danet Altawawish. Not too well-known among the hoi polloi, it’s a place for tasty, traditional Bahraini fare. The venue is reminiscent of a vintage photo gallery and service of the morning meal starts as early as 5am, coming in piping hot to stir the soul and senses. @altawawish
This venue hidden inside Manama Souq has the feels of an informal meal at a Bahraini friend’s ancestral home. The place is full of kitsch and quirky paraphernalia, but the breakfast is the real deal - simple and satiating, including staple crowd pleasers. There’s also a little corner where you can snap up selfies in traditional attire for, you know, the sake of the ‘gram. @alqarya_bh
No frills; full fun – that’s Emmawash for you. Here is where you can leave your mark – literally – on the walls of the restaurant while you sip on mint tea and wait for your order to be brought out. This restaurant does justice to true-blue carnivores – the taste of the chicken liver, kheema, nashif, lentil curry and freshly baked bread will stay with you long after breakfast hours. @emmawash_bh