Café Italia No round-up of favourite pizzerias would be complete without a mention of Café Italia. It’s one of the originals and still, very definitely, one of the best. Though they will make you a half and half so you get to try two different recipes, we’d highly recommend the pescatore, a delicious thin crust and heavy on the seafood with plenty of garlic. Take a tip from us though, they’ll ask you if you want it spicy, be careful what you answer. We said just a little and got a more than generous helping of green chillis on top. Open daily during Ramadan sunset-11.30pm Adliya (17 744 774) and depending on mall hours, Seef Mall (17 582 823).
Cucina Italiana Great wood-oven pizza under the watchful eye of Don Corleone – it’s an offer you can’t refuse. We particularly like the manzo e funghi – champignon mushrooms, beef salami, smoked beef, tomato and mozzarella. And the deserts are to die for. Open daily during Ramadan 6pm-1am, Al Safir Hotel, Juffair (17 001 317).
Gusto All white décor with pale wood and glass, Gusto gets points for looking funky and having not only the traditional wood-fired oven but also importing Italian beech wood to get a really authentic flavour. Add to this pizzas described by a colleague as ‘amazeballs’ – apparently the maruzzella, beef mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, rocket and parmesan, and the diavola, tomato sauce, spicy pepperoni, green chillis and mozzarella, are the two to try. Closed during Ramadan, open over Eid noon-11pm. Palm Court, Budaiya Highway (17 695 556).
La Pergola It would be hard to find fault with any of the Gulf Hotel’s food offerings so it’s no surprise that La Pergola, as well as Italian fine dining, offers mouth-wateringly good pizza. They're closed for refurbishment during the Holy Month and relaunching after Ramadand with a new menu so we can't recommend anything but we're sure it'll all be good. Closed during Ramadan more details on Adliya (17 746 419).
Le Chocolat Admittedly, pizza’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this Seef institution – that would be cakes, lots of lovely cakes. But Le Chocolat also has a great pizza menu and turns out pies which are some of the best in Bahrain. We’re particularly fond of the both the seafood and the standard pepperoni and, of course, if you still have room, there’s all those lovely cakes for dessert. Open daily during Ramadan 10am-midnight. Seef (17 582 259).
Masso Open less than a year but already a huge favourite, the classic South European décor and ambiance will tell you that this is a great place to have pizza. They’re launching a new menu so we can’t really recommend anything and, to be fair, every time we’ve been there’s been so much else on offer we’ve left the pizzas alone. But those who’ve tried them assure us they’re good, very, very good. Closed during Ramadan, open over Eid noon-3pm & 7pm-2am. Adliya (17 721 061).
Medzo To be honest, Medzo looks a bit bright and impersonal during the day but it really comes into its own in the evening and you certainly can’t fault the food. We’d recommend the frutti de mare with sautéed prawns, black mussels, clams, baby octopus, calamari and tomatoes with garlic and basil, it’s one of the most popular things on the menu and smells absolutely magical. Closed during Ramadan, open over Eid 12.30-3.30pm & 7pm-11pm. InterContinental Regency Bahrain, (17 227 777).
Nino’s Tucked into the back of Al Aali mall in Seef, this is among a bunch of eateries that would be easy to miss if you’re not looking for them. In terms of pizza, this would be a big mistake because the Americano at Nino’s does the business. The crust’s thin enough to be crunchy but rich enough to be tasty even once you’ve munched your way through the topping and the provolone and pepperoni topping will put a smile on your face. Open daily during Ramadan 5.50pm-3am (last orders 2.30pm). Seef (17 566 555).
Prego The ever-popular Italian at the Royal Golf Club is known for its pizzas, all home cooked in the wood stone oven. Apart from the standard margherita, the house favourite is the mafiosa – beef salami, garlic, chili, onions and black olives. With a name like that it would be rude not to. Open daily during Ramadan sunset-11.30pm. Riffa Views (17 751 263).
Skyw@lk Tucked away inside the Marriott Executive Apartments in Juffair, Skyw@lk Café is open all day throughout the Holy Month and a man who knows tells us the tandoori chicken pizza – with tender marinated chicken breast and yoghurt - is the most popular thing on the menu – guess all those diners can’t be wrong. Open daily during Ramadan 6.30am-11.30pm. Juffair (17 363 999).
This is not something you’d expect to see every day but pass by the newly-launched Vapiano in Bahrain City and you may catch pizza maker Moatez in a quiet moment and find him practising his dough-spinning skills.
His talents might not, yet, earn him a place in the pizza acrobatics section of the Pizza World Cup (yes there is one) but it’s certainly an eye catching performance that adds a certain something to an already interesting venue which has introduced a new-to-Bahrain ‘no-waiter’ concept where diners are given a plastic card as they arrive which is then swiped at the counter when they order their food to calculate the bill when they’re ready to leave.
Vapiano’s big, bright and airy, despite there being no windows, and the whole food preparation area is open so you can see exactly what’s being done to your lunch.
At the side there’s a glass-walled ‘pasta factory’ where 11 different types of pasta, including wholewheat, are made on the premises.
Moving round to the front counter you’ll see separate stations for pasta, salads and pizza and antipasti – all clearly set out under an overhead chalk frieze which took four people six days to complete.
The pizzas are created using flour specially mixed for Vapiano and imported from Germany and the dough is made with no milk or other dairy, so the bases are 100-per-cent vegetarian.
It’s formed into balls ready for when customers place an order and, over busy periods, Moatez can be stretching up to five bases all at the same time – no dough spinning then.Vapiano is proving a big draw with people waiting up to 45 minutes for a table and there’s no phone number for bookings – you simply have to pitch up and wait your turn. It's worth it.