Food of Bahrain - 20 Must-Try Bahraini Food & Where to Find Them

Famous for its lush date palms, Bahrain exhibits cultural diversity at its best. From portraying the fusion of Arab, Sumerian, British, Babylonian, Persian and British roots in its architecture, souvenir stores, and language to the most important element – food, Bahrain is a melting pot of authentic and inspired cuisine blended to provide the most satiating palette. Exploring every single delicacy might not be possible for someone on a foodcation (fancy, I know!) across the lands of Bahrain; hence, this blog will serve as a perfect guide to go knee-deep in tasting the culture of Bahrain – unapologetically!

Below is the list of 20 must-eat food of Bahrain and where to find them:

1. Halwa Bahraini

Bahrain Halwa
What’s better to begin your food adventure with a sweet delight? This traditional Bahraini sweet has a legacy that dates back more than 90 years ago and is a rich meld of corn starch, saffron, nuts and natural sweeteners like honey and even maple syrup in some places. 
Must Try Place: Roche Café & Restaurant             
Address:  Road 3816،, Manama, Bahrain               
Timings: Monday - Sunday: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM         
Phone: +973 1704 3111
Approximate Cost: BHD 3.600/kg – BHD 4.400/kg

 2. Machboos 

Machboos with Chicken
The intricate Bahraini fusion of Bahrat (a special spice blend) and Loomi (dried lime) infused in rice is known to be cooked to perfection to give a burst of flavour. It is cooked with chicken or meat and drizzled with saffron-fragranced rose water, making Machboos one of the most loved comfort food among the locals and tourists when served with the famous green chilli-based sauce, Daqoos.
 Must Try Place: Freej Bin Al Rashdan                     
 Address: Shop 29 - Street 147- Muharraq 224.                      
Timings: 7:00 AM – 11:30 PM                       
Phone: +973 7730 0300
Approximate Cost: BHD 1.88 – BHD 4.53

 3. Shawarma

This Arabian favourite needs no introduction! Making it one of the most popular street foods in Bahrain, Shawarma in Bahrain is ough to be a version of a hamburger. Fresh pita bread rolling around succulent chicken or beef and mixed with shredded veggies and tangy sauces makes Shawarma a definite try!
Must Try Place: Osam Bin Zaid Avenue or Adliya                     
Address: 6H8R+55F, Osama Bin Zaid Ave, Manama, Bahrain                      
Timings: Monday – Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM                                       
                    Thursday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM                                            
                    Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Approximate Cost: BHD 0.600 – BHD 1.500

 4. Biryani

A pot of Biryani from Ashas in Bahrain
This Indian delicacy is well-loved worldwide, and Bahrain is no exception. It has grown to have a wide variety of biryani, from Mughlai butter chicken biryani to Kerala bamboo biryani; name it, and you’ll find it in most traditional restaurants and street joints.
Must Try Place: Asha’s                          
Address: City Centre Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain                           
Timings: Saturday – Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM                                                 
                    Thursday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM                           
Menu: Asha’s

5. Sharbat Zafran

Sharbat Zaffran
Sharbat Zafran is a popular local drink that is infused with rich saffron and is best consumed chilled. It has Persian roots and is believed to have many health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, helping with depression and giving a dewy glow to the skin. What more can be asked for?
Must Try Place: Sharbet Saffron Restaurant                                    
Address: 5GJF+F7G, Salmabad, Bahrain                                    
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM                                                                     
Phone: +973 1718 1000

 6. Harees

A bowl of Harees from Bahrain
A Ramadan special, Harees is a delicious savoury porridge-like dish that is slow-cooked for over 8 hours until the mixture of wheat, lamb meat and clarified butter or ghee turns gooey in texture. It is loaded with health and flavours!
Must Try Place: Baharat Restaurant                      
Address: Al Seef District، Le Méridien Bahrain City Centre، Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Hwy, 55222, Bahrain                    
Timings: 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM                     
Phone: +973 1717 1441
Approximate Cost: BHD 1.800

 7. Aloo Basheer

Aloo Basheer from Bahrain
An ironic dish started and served by a Pakistani immigrant more than 60 years ago, Aloo Basheer is surely a special delicacy in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The soft, melt-in-mouth potato patties are drenched in the in-house spicy sauce and served with flavourful chickpeas, making it the perfect homestyle-cooked food that offers true comfort.
Must Try Place: Aloo Basheer(originator of the dish)                      
Address: Bab Al Bahrain Ave, Manama, Bahrain                    
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM, 4:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Approxiamte Cost: BHD 0.700 (6 pieces) – BHD 1.000 (12 pieces)

8. Ghoozi

Being the melting pot of cultures as Bahrain is, Iraqi culture is not too far when it comes to influencing the local food culture of Bahrain. By roots an Iraqi dish and now a local favourite, Ghoozi is a fancy yet simple dish with a variety of ingredients blended together to produce a simmering delight of flavours. It is prepared with roasted lamb stuffed with rice and spiced, minced meat and dappled with raisins and boiled eggs served on a bed of flavoured rice. Mouth-watering right?
Must Try Place: Bab AlBahrain                      
Address: ROAD 475, 304 Bab Al Bahrain Ave, Manama, Bahrain                      
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM                                         
                     Friday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM                     
Phone: +973 1729 8777

9. Samboosa

Yet another Indian local favourite, Samboosa is a perfect savoury and crispy compliment to your evening tea in Bahrain! Served in almost all the restaurants on this island, Samboosa is a triangle-shaped, stuffed pocket made of a thin dough sheet wrapped around a filling of choice ranging from cheese, chicken, meat, pizza-style, and not! And fry till golden brown. Make sure to grab this snack on your journey to explore the majestic Kingdom of Bahrain!
Must Try Place: Asha’s                          
Address: City Centre Bahrain, Manama, Bahrain                           
Timings: Saturday – Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM                                                  
                    Thursday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM                           
Menu: Asha’sApproximate Cost: Less than BHD 2.000

10. Thareed

Modern Thareed from Bahrain
Another Ramadan speciality, this dish holds religious sentiments in the hearts of the locals and is one of the main dishes served during the Iftar spread. It’s a homely meal comprising of an ambrosial stew comprising of veggies and meats served spread generally over a special crispy bread – Regag.
Must Try Place: Via Brasil Bahrain                                                        
Address: Building 65, Road 4003, Block 340, Juffair, Manama, Kingdom of، Manama, Bahrain                     
Timings: Tuesday – Sunday: 6:30 PM – 11:30 PM                                       
                     Monday: Closed                      
Phone: +973 6639 8787

11. Samak Safi

Samak Safi from Bahrain
Getting its name from the Safi fish found around the Island of Bahrain, this local speciality is popular among all fish lovers. marinated in a blend of turmeric, black pepper, dried coriander and sumac, the fish is fried till succulent from within and crispy from outside and is then served on a platter with basmati rice and fried eggplant and tomatoes. It's simply delicious!
Must Try Place: Naseef Restaurant                         
Address: Shop 13, Building، 16 Rd No 350, Manama, Bahrain                     
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM                     
Phone: +973 1720 8888

12. Balaleet

Balaleet from Bahrain
A breakfast favourite and easy on pockets, Balaleet is a local speciality made with sweet and spicy vermicelli pasta topped with a choice of fried or scrambled egg, it’s a burst of flavours in your mouth. 
Must Try Place: Jena Bakery                    
Address: Hamala, Bahrain                                
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

13. Kabab Bahraini

Kabab Bahraini
Not your regular kebabs! Yes, you heard it right! Bahraini kebabs are nothing like the regular charcoal meat tenders around the world. In fact, it’s a vegetarian delicacy with chickpea flour, authentic masalas, eggs and finely chopped tomato and onions as its key ingredients. These small bun-shaped patties are deep fried till golden and crispy and are a favourite to munch on with sweet and tangy tamarind sauce, especially during the month of Ramadan
Must Try Place: Takht Jamsheed                                    
Address: Gulf Hotel, Manama, Al Fateh Avenue, Manama, Bahrain                                           
Phone: +973 1771 3000  
Approximate Cost: BHD 2.000 – BHD 2.800

 14. Gahwa

Gahwa from Bahrain
What better than a cup of traditional Bahraini coffee after a long day of work or touring across the land? This warm mug is heaven for coffee lovers as the coffee is uniquely spiced and served with dates for a quick bite. Being one of the most popular drinks here, it can be found in most places, especially in the malls. So don’t forget to relax your body and mind with this divine mix in a mug!
Must Try Place: Haji's Traditional Café                      
Address: Road No 471, Bab Al Bahrain, Manama 304 Bahrain                       
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 5:30 AM – 9:00 PM                       
Phone: +973 1721 0647 
Approximate Cost: BHD 1.300

15. Ogaili

Ogaili Bahrain
Ogaili is a traditional Bahraini dessert made from two different kinds of flour - rice and wheat, sprinkled with icing sugar, and is a saffron-infused bundt-like cake. What is so unique about it is the fact that the pans in which they're baked are greased with a blend of tahini and sesame instead of normal oil or butter. Interesting, no?
Must Try Place: Lilou Artisan Patisserie                              
Address: Rd No 3815, Manama, Bahrain                              
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:15 PM – 7:00 PM                                                  
                    Saturday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM                              
Phone: +973 1771 5370

16. Macaroni Taybeen

Who doesn’t love a good old pot of macaroni? And if you ever find yourself craving one while vacationing in Bahrain, worry not; you won't be left disappointed! Make just like the classical warm pot of Macroni, mixing the pasta, minced meat, mixed veggies, and tomato paste and often topped off with Bechamel or cheese sauce, it’s simply finger-licking good and can be found in local shops and is a staple for cosy house gatherings.
Must Try Place: Vapiano City Centre Bahrain                                          
Address: Gate 6 Bahrain City Center Seef Area، Bahrain                                          
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM             
Menu: vapianobh.comPhone: +973 1749 1391

17.  Baid Tamat

Baid Tamat, Bahrain
It is unquestionably described as the most popular breakfast main dish by the locals, and rightfully so. Baid Tamat is a scrumptious mix of eggs(baid) and tomatoes(tamat) which are pan-fried together with aromatic spices and served best with fluffy Iranian bread and a side of baked beans. In layman’s language, it’s the soulful masala scrambled egg that every egg lover craves for!
 Must Try Place: The Orangery                        
Address: 382 Palace Boutique Hotel، Shaikh Isa Ave, Manama, Bahrain                                          
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 8:00 AM – 10:30 PM                                          
Phone: +973 1736 9696

18. Khobez Jebn

Khobez, Bahrain
A trip to Bahrain is incomplete without paying a visit to a local baker, or khabaz, as known locally, as these bakeries are where you’ll get to taste the authentic, freshly baked loaves of bread of Bahrain. One such bread is Khobez Jebn, a fluffy bread made with dough and splotched over with an in-house cheese spread, making it a delicious breakfast option without burning a hole in your pockets!
 Must Try Place: Red Croissant Bakery                    
Address: Shop 35, Road 4041 Building 1582, Bahrain                               
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM                                    
 Phone: +973 7708 0391 Approximate Cost: BHD 0.71

19. Keema

Keema, Bahrain
A popular savoury dish hailing from the Southern Asian lands, Keema has grown to be loved by both tourists and locals of Bahrain. Made with minced – lamb, chicken or beef and a mix of veggies like peas, potatoes, onions and tomatoes to add a texture, keema is slow cooked till the meat is succulent and has absorbed all the flavours and is served with a side of fried eggs all day long!
Must Try Place: Nirvana                    
Address: Building 173, Road 2803, Al Seef, Block 428 Al Seef District، Manama, Bahrain                                    
Timings: Tuesday – Sunday: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM                                                   
                     Monday: Closed                               
Phone: +973 1758 3318

20. Luqaimat

The perfect way to end any food journey is with something sweet – just how we started it, and the must-eat list for Bahrain cannot be completed without mentioning this star-sweet dish. Luqaimat is served year-round, is especially popular, and is sold in abundance during Ramadan. These sweet and tender balls are made with a blend of sugar, flour, saffron, a dash of cardamom and yeast. Nowadays, even available stuffings such as Nutella, pistachio sauce, lotus, etc., will satisfy your sweet tooth and keep you craving more!
 Must Try Place: Al luqaimat al thahabiya                                           
Address: 5J58+W8X, Rd No 822, Sitra, Bahrain                     
Timings: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM                                         
                    Thursday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM                      
Phone: +973 3548 0792
Approximate Cost: BHD 1.03
This was just a glimpse of what a massive and diverse feast Bahrain has to offer. So make sure to follow our food guide in mind when planning your vacation to this little island in the Persian gulf to make the most of your time around this paradise for foodies. It won’t disappoint you!

This post was published by Muskan Jaggi

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