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Character Cafés

Written on 09/21/2017
Liz O'reilly

With balmy weather for many months of the year, it’s no surprise that Bahrain has a thriving café culture with much of it, like the dining scene, centred around Adliya’s Block 338 where you will often find street entertainment, art displays, live music and markets.

This area is home to some of the island’s best-loved cafés such as the artisan Café Lilou, Al Bindaira Café, Café Amsterdam (which is more a full-blown restaurant), and My Café to name but a few. Take the time to walk the pedestrianised area, check out the artworks at Al Riwaq, which also has its own very good eatery, and enjoy the general ambiance of the location.

But it’s not just in Adliya that you will find great cafés. In fact, there’s a coffee house or tea shop on virtually every other corner. Head out of town and you will find traditional offerings in the heart of Manama and Muharraq souqs, while at Amwaj, The Lagoon is bursting with great casual dining options such as Ali Baba and Primavera Cafés, as well as upmarket patisseries and delicatessens and a plethora of quick-service outlets and international chains such as Costa Coffee. Lighthouse Café, tucked away opposite Choueifat School at the entrance to Amwaj Islands is a hidden gem with great sea views.

Travel to the other side of the island and take in Hopscotch Rustic Kitchen, in Saar, Melissa’s Emporium, off the Budaiya Highway, which offers a range of South African goods, or Gringo at Hamala, with its mural-covered walls making for a fun dining experience.

Juffair is home to the original Dome Café which, with its popular terrace is an ideal spot for people watching and, of course, each of the malls has a wide range of café options such as Aroma Café at Seef Mall and Innovation Coffee House at the Galleria in Zinj.

Other hotels too offer their share of café outlets such as Café Delices at The Gulf Hotel, the Ritz Gourmet Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton, Senses Lounge at Al Areen Palace and Spa and Bay View Lounge at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay – so much more than cafés with their delightful ambiance and truly sinful sweets and the ideal spots for a special afternoon tea.

Then, of course, there are the regular favourites. Wherever you go, you’re never far from a Costa or Starbucks, Derby Coffee or Caribou which are scattered across the Kingdom.