Reviews, pictures, contact and booking details for the best Latin American restaurants in Bahrain, part of the Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards.
Hot tamale! Latin American cuisine has many of our much-loved foods from Tex-Mex to the pearls of Peru. Dreaming of a night of tacos, empanadas and churros all while being entertained by a Mariachi band? Or do you go crazy for a chunky guacamole? Time Out has visited each and every restaurant 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.
Live music, a cosy ambience and the enthusiastic, traditionally-dressed staff make any dining experience at Margarita Mexicana a real treat. The food might be basic in its presentation, but it’s vibrant in flavour and is an authentic and impressive representation of Tex-Mex fare, particularly considering the reasonable prices for a five-star hotel venue. The menu caters to all degrees of Mexican cuisine aficionados, with options ranging from the classic to the exotic, and a dedicated section for Tex-Mex lovers includes dishes like chimichangas and fajitas. Also regularly on offer are special, limited edition menus which celebrate the vibrancy and variety of Mexico’s cuisine. No matter when you go, make sure you order the signature dish – the guacamole, which is made live at your table using huge avocados imported specially from Mexico. It’s rustic and delicious.
Last year’s Highly Commended Newcomer arrived on the scene to much fanfare, as it offers a unique taste of true southern American cuisine in the heart of Juffair. The wooden interiors and casual setting are more upscale than your regular spit-and-sawdust type venue, but Big Texas BBQ and Waffle House is still down-to-earth, thanks to a buzzing atmosphere, largely American crowd and nightly live music. Fourteen-hour applewood-smoked beef brisket, deep fried pickles and plenty of waffle varieties are just a few of the best-selling dishes you can expect to find at this US venue. And, since last year, the restaurant has also launched an excellent-value brunch and express lunch, which has gone down so well it's held on to its award.
Despite what people think, it’s not just about the atmosphere at this jovial Mexican restaurant, which many of the island’s diners would cite as their favourite. Yes, it gets rowdy thanks to the crowd-pleasing live music and karaoke opportunities and, yes, the décor is highly-themed and kitsch, but the food also adds to the occasion. With more than 60 classic Tex-Mex dishes on the menu, everyone can find something to their taste and while it’s on the stodgy side, it’s certainly good enough to complement the notably popular vibe. Just don’t forget to don your sombrero. And make sure you book in advance, especially on weekends when it’s often full.
Popular among Juffair residents and visitors, Bennigan’s offers a menu of great North American flavours, but with a unique Irish twist. This decades-old concept comes from the US and descended on the island back in 2001 with its gourmet burgers, chicken tenders and other US delights, alongside more Irish-inspired dishes (flagged on the menu by the appearance of a little shamrock). It’s the kind of place that challenges diners to eat a whopping one kilogram steak – a real Man v. Food hotspot on the island. And while the portions are all extremely generous, it’s more than about quantity here – the breakfast, lunch, dinner, bar and even delivery menus are filled with great American classics that always manage to hit the spot.
This casual little eatery has brought the flavours of Havana straight to the heart of Segaya, and while this certainly isn’t a fine-dining spot, Bongos offers great value for money and spot-on flavours through its range of traditional Cuban street snacks. And for bringing something very new to the island, we definitely commend it.
This vibrant, brightly-coloured Brazilian restaurant offers traditional churrasco and is most famous for its all-you-can-eat-and-drink style dining. Get unlimited grilled meats, served on giant skewers straight to the table, alongside fresh salads and free-flowing house beverages (vegetarians are catered for on request). The upbeat atmosphere and decent value is what wins it a place in the guide you're holding, and your plate and glass are never empty (unless you expressly tell your friendly servers to stop). It’s particularly great for big groups of celebrating friends.
It’s the simplicity of Burrito Loco that’s got us going crazy for it (geddit?). Just pick your fillings and toppings, then get them rolled up in a wrap, squished in tacos, or mixed up as a salad or bowl. Then simply enjoy the intermingling flavours, emphasised by fresh, quality produce.
This Adliya-based, Mexican stalwart is renowned for offering authentic, well prepared Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes that are consistent in quality and authenticity, thanks to the Mexican chef. While the atmosphere isn’t always as buzzing as in other similar restaurants, Casa Mexicana makes up for it with its cosy, intimate ambience, friendly and knowledgeable service and great food. Grab some pals, pop on a sombrero and enjoy the live tunes from the talented guitarist for a fun, low-key night out in Adliya.
Debuting this year on our annual Time Out Bahrain Restaurant Awards shortlist, and in this Eating Out Guide, is this roadside restaurant that serves up classic street-style Mexican bites. El Gringo is a casual venue, with few tables and chairs, but brightly graffitied, welcoming interiors and pleasant staff. It’s reasonably priced and offers everybody’s favourite Tex-Mex dishes, from tasty chicken enchiladas covered in mole (spicy chocolate) sauce to beef fajitas and perfectly crispy, crunchy churros with creamy chocolate dipping sauce. We like it a lot and we know you will, too.
Offering the ultimate in comforting, indulgent American cuisine, Ric’s Kountry Kitchen has managed to retain its popularity from its humble Juffair home for years. It’s known as being a “home away from home” for Bahrain’s American population, with everything from breakfast burritos to southern fried chicken and Cajun meatloaf on the menu. The quality isn’t outstanding, but the place is always lively, the service friendly and the reasonable prices keeps diners repeatedly coming back for more. For breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, head here for ginormous portions and, in the evenings, the bar fills up as live music kicks off, or sports games are aired, and revellers enjoy the rowdy vibe.
Urban American bistro The Foundry has had everyone talking in the few months since it opened. The founders of gourmet deli Sage & Sirloin have provided Bahrain's diners with an upmarket, quality restaurant with a reasonable price tag – something that this dining scene has been missing for a while now. Red brick walls, exposed steel beams and leather seats meet you at every corner – this industrial décor, reminiscent of a New York loft apartment, is just one of the reasons the venue is quickly becoming one of Bahrain’s hottest spots. As for the food, everything is made in-house – even the salmon is smoked on the premises – and it’s clear the kitchen team knows what it's doing. With a classy, lovely setting, great food, knowledgeable service and value for money, The Foundry is the kind of place you want to go back to time and time again. We’ve been waiting for a place like this to open.