A McDonald’s Copycat in Bahrain & It’s Good

Jasmis Bahrain

During our trip to the Mid East Gulf States, Kim, Lucas and I visited four countries.

After a quick stop in Abu Dhabi, UAE, we headed off to Bahrain. We had an amazing time in there thanks to Papa John’s, where we met our new friend Fadhel who was nice enough to show us around.

During our day with Fadhel I had commented about how we visit McDonald’s in new countries to see what kind of local items might show up on the menu.

Soon after, he pointed out another fast food burger shop which was something like Bahrain’s version of McDonald’s.

The restaurant is called Jasmi’s. According to their website’s company profile, there are over 21 Jasmi’s in Bahrain. (I’m not sure if that means there are 22 locations  or 200!)

Like McDonald’s, Jasmis Bahrain primarily sells burgers. They also have a golden logo (set on a red background) although it isn’t arches. How original… (After looking a bit further at the logo, maybe Jasmi’s was also trying to imitate In-N-Out by making the J into an arrow.)

I was hoping to try Jasmi’s but Fadhel suggested trying out a local place for lunch so how could I turn down that plan for fast food? Luckily, there happened to be a Jasmi’s at the airport (like two spots down from McD’s) so I gave it a try there.

Jasmi’s sells a variety of burgers as well as roast beef, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, salads, kids meals and even breakfast.

I ordered a double cheeseburger meal and wondered how it would compare to McD’s.

Although Jasmi’s has a red and yellowish-gold color scheme, I wondered why my drink cup was a dark blue. The wrapper for my burger was also a bit different- white with red and green words on it.

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After unwrapping my burger, I felt it looked almost identical to a McDonald’s burger although it did come with a seeded bun.

When I bit in I can’t say that the burger itself looked so appealing but it was actually pretty good. I also noticed how cheesy the burger seemed to be. I can’t recall specifics about the burger’s taste but I do remember being a bit surprised, maybe even impressed.

I’m not saying Jasmi’s comes close to Shake Shack or In-N-Out but Jasmi’s made a pretty solid fast food burger.

Let’s not forget about the fries…

Again, the fries look almost identical to McDonald’s. I guess unless a different variety was used- crinkle, waffle, wedges etc., why wouldn’t they?

As for the taste, Jasmi’s fries won over Lucas’ McDonald’s fries. I will say that his Happy Meal was ordered and opened some time before I got my food. Based on that, comparing barely warm McD’s fries to just ordered fries from Jasmi’s is not a fair comparison.

Overall, Jasmi’s did a very good job imitating McDonald’s, possibly putting out an even better product.

I forgot to mention, both McDonald’s and Jasmi’s were busy so I’m not sure that locals prefer one place to the other.

Have you come across a McDonald’s (or other fast food) copycat restaurant while traveling around the world? If so, please share the name of the restaurant and country it was spotted in.

If you’re interested, you can check out Jasmi’s full menu here.

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