The Top 14 Dishes For Foodies in Zanzibar – Updated 2021
A trip to the breathtaking Zanzibar archipelago offers travellers a chance to see the world from a different lens. Forgetting their daily lives, tourists can immerse themselves into the beautiful culture of the region, interacting with locals, taking part in cultural activities, exploring ancient ruins, relaxing at the pristine beaches, watching the stunning flora and fauna, learning about the history of the region, and enjoying the delicious food that the spice island has to offer! Zanzibar is a paradise for foodies, as the cuisine is influenced by Portugese, Turkish, Arabic, Indian, African, and Swahili tastes, and includes delicious and aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, pepper, ginger, vanilla, lemongrass, and nutmeg! In 2021, here are the top dishes that foodies can enjoy in Zanzibar.
Zanzibar Pizza is one of the most popular street foods that tourists can try. Made with a thin dough, meat or fish, onion, peppers, cheese, fried egg, chilli sauce, mayonnaise, and tomato sauce, this pizza is flavorful and unique!
Ugali & Nyama Choma
Ugali is the national dish of Tanzania, and is often eaten with Nyama Choma. The bread is made with maize flour and water, and is eaten with soup, stew, beans, vegetables, fish, or Nyama Choma, a Swahili dish which includes a tender barbecue of lamb, chicken, goat, or beef, marinated in lemon juice, turmeric, and curry powder, and roasted over hot coals. Many eateries and street food stalls allow tourists to watch their food being made so the experience is memorable!
A popular dish at the famous Forodhani Night Food Market, Mshikaki consists of marinated meat skewers which are slowly cooked over open coals. Tourists can choose goat, beed, or mutton, and watch their food being grilled.
Chipsi Mayai is Swahili for “chips and eggs”. The delicious dish contains french fries, eggs, tomato sauce, vegetables, and sauteed potatoes!
Urojo Soup is a lovely dish made with mango, ginger, lime, and tamarind. One can easily find it at a street food market where they can taste it before dinner!
An Indian inspired dish, biryani consists of spiced rice which are often eaten with meat, vegetables, or chutney (sauce). The spicy rice is prepared with many aromatic spices such as clove, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Also known as Pweza wa Nazi, Octopus curry is a must have in Zanzibar. Made with delicious spices such as turmeric and coriander, and creamy coconut gravy, the dish is a unique way to enjoy seafood in Zanzibar.
Samosa is one of the best snacks that Zanzibar has to offer. These deep fried triangles are filled with meat, vegetables, or potatoes, and flavored with a blend of spices that give them a rich, Indian influenced taste that one can never forget!
For foodies who have a sweet tooth, Mandazi is a top dish to try during the trip. The sweet doughnuts are deep fried and topped with sugar or syrup!
Coconut Bean Soup
Another delicious soup that foodies must try during their trip is coconut bean soup, a creamy dish made with coconut milk, beans, shredded coconut, and tomatoes, and then served after being seasoned with spices.
Deep Fried Cassava
Muhogo, or deep fried cassava, is a popular street food that foodies must try in Zanzibar. The dish includes coconut milk, green chillies, garlic, and onions, and is often served with beef stew. Muhogo is a popular food in Stone Town.
Foodies can try another traditional soup called Mtori. The stew contains meat, milk or cream, potatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, tomato, coconut milk, carrots, herbs, and most importantly, plantains, which make the soup delicious.
Zanzibar is known for its pristine and heavenly beaches. Tourists can enjoy fresh seafood at the beaches, or go for fancier options such as shrimp and lobster at top tier restaurants. At the beach, locals can use traditional recipes to make fresh and delicious grilled fish, flavored with an aromatic blend of local spices!
Street vendors in Zanzibar can offer the excellent snack to foodies. Known as “Zanzibar chocolate”, the inexpensive snack consists of a sesame bar made with toasted sesame seeds and rich honey. The sweet dish is great for foodies in 2021!