Where to eat in Tanzania? More than 44 percent of Tanzania is made up of game reserves and national parks which can only mean one thing for the culinary scene: incredible views. Oh yeah, and the food’s pretty incredible too, with a lot of fresh seafood and Indian influences. After a long day of safaris, kick back at one of these cafes and restaurants approved by “Lonely Planet.”
Archipelago is reputedly the busiest restaurant in Zanzibar and since chef Masoud Salim was born and raised in the neighborhood, he knows just what to do with local ingredients, presenting them in simple but creative dishes like the spiced tea, or the swordfish and curry. The restaurant also offers gorgeous views of the beach and harbor.
This unassuming spot in Zanzibar has an all-vegetarian menu that is mostly Indian inspired, featuring authentic meals like thalis — a style of eating in which small, round bowls are placed around the table and shared, usually filled with rice, dal, vegetables, yogurt, chutney, roti and more.
If you’re looking for authentic Zanzibari food and experience, look no further than this family-run establishment set in an actual home. The name says it all: this is literally two tables in the back of a house. Bring your appetite and sense of adventure because this will be a multi-course meal that you don’t have much say in. The family just cooks up the best dishes possible with the freshest, seasonal ingredients.
This is a well-trafficked local’s favorite in Dar es Salaam with a very unique setup: there are two counters, one for grilling and one on which you’ll find trays of various curries and other dishes. You can pick and choose items and make your own combinations. The restaurant is known for its well-marinated kebabs.
Another Zanzibar favorite, Monsoon offers the true Swahili experience with floor-cushion dining, stunning décor and live Taraab music. Its cocktails are not to be missed, with fresh juice squeezed upon request. The dishes are vibrant and generously sized. Its known for its seafood, such as octopus cooked in fresh coconut sauce or tuna vegetable kebabs with mango-papaya salsa.
This oceanfront restaurant and grill in Zanzibar is named after native son and Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury. It’s a favorite among those looking for a cocktail at sunset. The restaurant puts on a beach bonfire every night and features live music Wednesday through Sunday evenings. The chef serves up super-fresh seafood in simple ways that highlight the ingredients. Most dishes are just a variation of grilled or steamed seafood accompanied by fresh vegetables.
This is the perfect place in Iringa to stop off for picnic supplies before a safari. This restaurant offers sandwiches to go, along with a variety of Indian and British snacks such as sausages with chips, beans on toast, cheese chapatti (an Indian flatbread) and doughnuts. If you decide to dine in, space is tight and you dine on plastic tables, but the hot food is delicious and generously portioned. Try the samosas or toasties.
This quirky little spot in Arusha is an auto spare parts store by day and a laid-back, busy barbecue restaurant by night. And it really is serve-yourself, back-yard barbecue style, with plates piled high with grilled and skewered meats, salads and more. The menu changes nightly.
The owners of Patwas in Tanga, Tanzania, are extremely helpful to expats and visitors, and offer up refreshing snacks and treats like kebabs, samosas, egg-chop and curries, plus delicious lassi (a yogurt-based drink) in flavors including lemon, mango, papaya and pineapple.
You’ll feel good after eating here not only because the fare is light, but also because proceeds from the restaurant go to a church project. Coffee Shop in Moshi has charming garden seating, great coffee and delicious homemade treats such as cakes and yogurt.