Restaurants in Tanzania: Your Ultimate Guide to Dining in the Land of Kilimanjaro
Are you ready to explore the delicious world of Tanzanian cuisine? This informative and friendly guide will take you on a culinary journey through Tanzania’s best restaurants. From street food to fine dining, Tanzania has something to offer every palate. So, let’s dive in and explore the amazing world of Tanzanian gastronomy!
Introduction to Tanzanian Cuisine
Tanzanian cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors, reflecting the country’s diverse culture and rich history. Influenced by Bantu, Arab, Indian, and European culinary traditions, Tanzanian food is a mix of spicy, tangy, and savory flavors. You can expect to find dishes made with local ingredients such as maize, rice, plantains, beans, and a variety of meats and fish.
Top Destinations for Foodies in Tanzania
1. Dar es Salaam
As Tanzania’s largest city and economic hub, Dar es Salaam boasts a vibrant food scene that caters to diverse tastes. Here are some of the must-visit restaurants in the city:
a. The Waterfront
Located along the beautiful Indian Ocean coastline, The Waterfront is a fine dining restaurant offering a fusion of international and local flavors. Enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean as you savor dishes like grilled prawns in coconut curry, or sample the traditional Tanzanian favorite, Ugali.
b. Mamboz Corner BBQ
For an authentic street food experience, head to Mamboz Corner BBQ, famous for its delicious nyama choma (grilled meat). Choose from a variety of meats like goat, beef, or chicken, and enjoy it with a side of refreshing kachumbari salad.
Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, is known for its unique blend of African, Arab, and Indian culinary influences. Don’t miss these culinary gems:
a. Forodhani Gardens
Every evening, Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town transforms into a bustling food market. Sample mouthwatering seafood, Zanzibar pizza, and sugarcane juice as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
b. Emerson Spice
Set in a beautifully restored historic building, Emerson Spice offers an unforgettable dining experience. Indulge in a delicious Swahili tasting menu featuring dishes like date and lime soup, coconut-crusted fish, and saffron rice.
Arusha, the gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit, is also home to a diverse culinary scene. Check out these top picks:
a. Blue Heron
This garden restaurant offers a tranquil setting where you can enjoy international and local dishes. Try their wood-fired pizzas, or go for the Tanzanian-style beef stew with chapati.
b. Khan’s BBQ
Khan’s BBQ is a popular spot for tasty and affordable grilled meats, served with a variety of sauces and sides like naan bread and rice.
Traditional Tanzanian Dishes to Try
When dining in Tanzania, don’t miss the opportunity to try these delicious local dishes:
A staple in Tanzanian cuisine, Ugali is a thick porridge made from maize flour and water. It is often served as a side dish and is used to scoop up meat, vegetables, or stews.
2. Nyama Choma
This popular Tanzanian dish consists of grilled meat, typically goat or chicken, served with a side of vegetables, salad, or ugali. Nyama choma is best enjoyed at local barbecue joints or street food stalls.
Chapati, a type of unleavened bread, is a staple in Tanzanian cuisine. It is often served with meat, vegetables, or lentils, and is used to scoop up food or soak up flavorful sauces.
Pilau is a flavorful rice dish cooked with a blend of spices, including cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. It is often served with meat, fish, or vegetables and is popular during festive occasions.
5. Ndizi Nyama
This traditional Tanzanian dish features bananas or plantains cooked with meat, usually beef or chicken, in a rich tomato-based sauce. Ndizi nyama is often served with rice or chapati.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options in Tanzania
While Tanzanian cuisine is predominantly meat-based, there are still plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. Many restaurants offer vegetable curries, lentil dishes, and salads. Additionally, Indian restaurants are common in Tanzania and offer a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as dosas, samosas, and vegetable curries.
Tips for Dining Out in Tanzania
1. When eating with your hands, always use your right hand, as the left hand is considered unclean in Tanzanian culture.
2. Tipping is not compulsory in Tanzania, but it is appreciated. A tip of 5-10% is considered appropriate for good service.
3. Be aware that “Tanzanian time” is a real thing! Service at restaurants can be slow, so be prepared to wait for your food. Relax, enjoy the atmosphere, and practice patience.
With its diverse culinary scene and rich cultural history, Tanzania is a food lover’s paradise. Whether you’re sampling street food at bustling markets, enjoying a fine dining experience with stunning views, or exploring the country’s traditional dishes, your taste buds are in for a treat. So, grab your appetite and embark on a delicious adventure through the Land of Kilimanjaro!