ExpatOwned Restaurants beyond the Tourist Trail in Manama Bahrain

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Manama in Bahrain, located in the Middle East, has become a hub for expats seeking gastronomic enrichment. Despite the congested tourist areas, there are still hidden culinary gems waiting to be discovered on the restaurant scene. These expat-owned establishments not only offer a taste of home, but they also foster a sense of community among expats and locals alike.

Resources for Expats

Expatriates have played a vital role in shaping Manama’s culinary landscape. From quaint bistros to hole-in-the-wall eateries, each establishment provides a unique dining experience that reflects the creativity of its expat chef. Here are some must-visit restaurants in Manama’s expat-owned restaurant scene:

Kharak District Restaurants

  • The Blackened Bistro:
  • A fusion restaurant that blends Manamense and international cuisines, serving unique dishes like octopus blackened with honey and thyme or lamb chops with trufflejam.
  • Al Balqisa:
  • A charming restaurant offering traditional Bahraini dishes such as machboo, harboos and sheikh al-majid’s spices.
  • The Fusion Kitchen:
  • A cozy bistro specializing in international cuisine with a strong focus on Italian and Spanish dishes.

Al-Asharah Neighborhood Restaurants

  • Sanri Restaurant:
  • A modern Japanese restaurant that offers a unique dining experience in a minimalistic setting with an emphasis on fresh ingredients.
  • The Mood Bar:
  • A cozy bar and lounge with a guitarist performing live every night, and a great selection of international cocktails.
  • The Clove Restaurant:
  • A fusion restaurant that combines Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern flavors in creative dishes such as duck in spicy honey and chili sauce or Greek grilled lamb with rosemary butter.

Othman Restaurants

  • Mr. Othman’s Seafood:
  • A casual restaurant that offers a large variety of fresh seafood, grilled to perfection, and served with a variety of dipping sauces.
  • Othman Flower:
  • A romantic restaurant that specializes in fusion cuisine, including dishes such as duck confit with foie gras.

Insights and Experiences

Many expats have formed deep connections through their love of food. These establishments have become more than just places for a meal; they are meeting points for expats who share a passion for gastronomic exploration. Here are some personal stories:

  • “I missed my mom’s home cooked meals when I first arrived, but I found solace in a small Thai restaurant in Adiyat Marina. It brought back memories of our family dinners, and I made some great friends along the way,” says Jane Doe, an expat living in Manama.
  • “When I first arrived in Bahrain, I struggled to find a place that felt like home. That is until I stumbled upon a charming Italian restaurant in Al-Asharah. It reminded me of my childhood and introduced me to a group of friendly expats who have become my best friends,” says John Smith, an expat living in Manama.

From Appetizers to Desserts

The culinary diversity of Manama in Bahrain is truly astonishing. From traditional favorites to innovative fusion creations, there is something for everyone. Expat chefs have brought a whole new level of creativity and expertise to the local culinary scene, offering unique dining experiences:

  • Starters: Start your meal with dishes like spicy meze platter, fish croquettes, baba ghanoush, samosas, or stuffed grape leaves.
  • Mains: Savor dishes such as chicken ravioli with truffle cream sauce or braised lamb shanks with za’atar spices, among many others.
  • Desserts: Indulge in sweet treats like the iconic Bahraini ghabia, a ball-shaped cake made with coconut, or figure-eight cake.

Join the Culinary Conversation

We encourage readers to share their own hidden restaurants and memorable dining experiences in Manama in Bahrain. Embark on your own culinary journey, explore the unique and diverse flavors that make up Manama’s expat dining scene, and make your favorite spots a regular visit.


Expat-owned restaurants in Manama in Bahrain play a crucial role in the local dining scene, enriching the culinary landscape with an array of diverse flavors and cultural influences. By exploring these hidden gems, expats in Manama can not only find a taste of home but also foster meaningful connections and community.