Reviews, pictures and contact and booking details for the best bars for food in Bahrain, part of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
Want a snack with that beverage? Forget drinks, some bars are worth going to for the food alone. No time for boring bites, delectable small dishes are absolutely necessary for these places to excel. Time Out has visited each and every outlet to put them through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
Firstly, the views from the 50th floor are stunning in this award-winning bar. Then add to that the chic ambience, the creative beverage menu and sophisticated Wolfgang Puck food, which boasts a medley of Asian fusion flavours (bite-sized from neighbouring re Asian Cuisine | Wolfgang Puck, our Restaurant of the Year 2015 and Best Asian 2016), and you have a serious contender in the bar food category. In terms of pure taste there is nowhere better in Bahrain; delicate and subtly flavoured crystal dumplings, explosive Wagyu beef “bao buns”, the sweetness of stir fried lamb – everything is exquisitely cooked. Portions are small and the prices are high, but the quality of the food makes a visit to the Blue Moon Lounge worth the expense.
Gastropub food was a relatively new concept in Bahrain when this down-to-earth venue was reinvented two years ago. Since then, the team at this cosy British-style pub has introduced insanely succulent burgers, an awesome po’boy and even deep fried Mars Bars, using top-notch ingredients and unique flavour combinations. And now it's supporting Bahrain’s music scene with regular performances by local bands. Kudos. It’s an excellent place to visit for chilled-out folk who simply love good food and good company.
Regular drinks deals and the sultry sounds of a live singer attract punters to this Seef-based sky bar, which offers dramatic views through floor-to-ceiling windows from the 28th floor. The bar bites menu might be small, but it’s concise and its gourmet offerings pack in plenty of flavour. In particular, it attracts meat lovers, thanks to items such as succulent steaks and juicy lamb chops. Just make sure you look smart, as a dress code applies here.
Take a culinary journey through the Mediterranean with the menu at Art Rotana’s vast nightspot Cellar 59. Tapas-style portions of dishes from Spain to Italy and Lebanon to Greece are well presented and beautifully flavoured. You can also order platters of cheese and cold cuts here, or just head over for Wednesday's well-priced cheese and grape night (BD15++ for three hours of unlimited drinks and food). Grab a bar stool, cosy up in the lounge area or one of the intimate booths that surround the cavernous space. It doesn’t get too full too often, but the vibe is always buzzing thanks to the resident DJ.
Amwaj Island’s version of Cheers (where everybody knows your name), Corners is a down-to-earth local that has an eclectic menu of international favourites, from burgers to sushi, curries to salads. Regular drinks deals and discounted food platters drive down costs, while a quiz night, sports screenings and pub games entice you to stay. It’s casual and comfortable, perfect for a mid-week meet-up, and that’s why we like it. Overall, Corners offers a decent setting for a reasonably priced, low-key night out.
There’s plenty to like about this lounge, located just beneath Wolfgang Puck’s notable steakhouse, Cut. Firstly, the outdoor terrace overlooks the burgeoning Manama skyline and Bahrain Bay, while inside the smartly-decorated venue offers comfy leather armchairs and a gentle, sophisticated atmosphere. It’s an elegant place, perfect for pre- or post-dinner drinks, but also a destination in its own right, thanks to muted screens showing popular matches, as well as a well-stocked bar and delicious food. The menu offers a small selection of what you can find upstairs, plus more besides. It’s not cheap and it’s not an everyday sort of place, but it is a great spot if you’re looking to impress. Oh, and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried their jumbo lump crab rolls. Trust us.
From crispy calamari to herb-crusted salmon, casual burgers to the obligatory nachos, the American-inspired bar menu at Downtown Lounge is a real crowd-pleaser. As are the spacious, vibrant interiors and regular beverage deals that makes the after-hours more affordable. Add to all that the funky resident band that croons through party favourites, from Motown to R&B and contemporary chart-toppers, and you’re in for a good night out.
Don’t be fooled by the name – you won’t just get Spanish tapas at this beautiful, nautically-inspired seaside venue; you’ll get a raft of eclectic flavours from around the world in portions perfect for sharing with friends and family. Tapas effortlessly transcends the “bar food” label and provides a dining experience of real quality – the menu offers everything from zingy bruschetta to fresh seafood options and rustic mezze plates. While you enjoy the food, you can also kick back to Cuban tunes by the live band and, when the weather is cooler, relax on the terrace which has some of the best sea views on the island.
Sophisticated interiors, a buzzing vibe, professional and friendly staff, and a great menu of Asian-fusion dishes is what awaits you at The Ritz-Carlton’s poolside Thai Lounge. A great, glittering gold dragon spans the length of the bar, emphasising the chic atmosphere, and regular deals on drinks and food attracts classy diners in the evenings. The selection of well-cooked Thai mains is limited to the classics, however, it’s the variety of sushi options that steals the show, the signature being the now-perennial unicorn rolls. Servers are attentive and professional, offering timely advice and checking in to make sure you’re comfortable. And while the upscale indoors and its squidgy couches are lovely, sitting outside, overlooking the immaculate pools and beaches, is this venue’s main draw.
Cobbled streets and a bright red telephone box greet you at The Warbler, one of Bahrain’s most famous British pubs. It’s a massive place, with plenty of little nooks for friends to chill out in and while away the evening with its menu of great British classics. It’s most noted for its pies, but you’ll find most pub grub favourites here and then some. We’re talking nachos, fried brie, chicken wings and even lobster thermidor – you certainly won’t go hungry. After your meal you can shake off the calories on the dancefloor to the resident band. It might not have all the bustle of a London pub, but it’s not a bad substitute.
On the scale of sports bars in Juffair, Time Café is seriously impressive. Opening back in April 2016, the vast venue is modern, spacious and buzzing all throughout the week, largely thanks to the live music. But you’ll also find all your favourite matches screening on the numerous TVs and you can even book yourself a private viewing suite, while you order from the extensive, familiar food and beverage menus. Chicken wings and burgers, chunky chips and mozzarella sticks – you name it, they’ve got it, and everything is well priced.
Jalapeño cheese balls, crab Rangoon, beef cho cho – let’s face it, we’ve all had some of Trader Vic’s notable island tidbits and bar bites. For sharing plates and creative beverages, this Polynesian-themed stalwart is wildly popular, and for good reason. The menu is eclectic, offering everything from curry to steak in the restaurant and spring rolls to lobster sandwiches in the bar. The standards don’t tend to change, and the same goes for service, and it’s been the same for years.