Top 10 places for foodies in Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a melting pot of diverse cultures embracing African, Arab, Persian, Ottaman, Indian and European influences. It offers visitors an endless array of experiences with its history and heritage. Not least, its fantastic cuisine. In this piece, we dare you to sample some of the most exciting dishes the island can offer. Here are ten restaurants not to miss on the island:
1. The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar
Perched on top of a rock, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, The Rock is one of the most renowned and iconic restaurants globally.Born out of the local village’s (Michamvi on the south east coast) abandoned fishing outpost, its reputation is built not on its location, but also for its appealing menu and excellent chefs. The Italian inspired menu is packed with fresh locally sourced seafoods, traditional favourites with infusions of Swahil itaste and aromas.
Book in advance on their website www.therockrestaurantzanzibar.com
2. Emerson Spice, Stone Town
Located on the roof of Tea House, Emerson spice serves lobster on green papaya salad; kingfish baked bananas and Tambi prawns. A lovely location with views across the rooftops of Stone Town.
3. Upendo, Michamvi
Upendo is a luxurious resort located in the Michamvi area. It’s restaurant has an excellent reputation and is famous for prawns, lobster, and other fish recipes. It is a good place for sea food aficionados.
If you’re looking for a mix of European-style dishes sprinkled with doses of authentic Zanzibar cuisine, then visit Loulou. With its Belgian-inspired menu, it brings to the table some of the best tastes to be found on the island, from chocolate mousse, Belge steaks,and the fantastic classical waffles.
5. Forodhani Gardens, Stone Town.
Not to be missed with its aromas and great choices of seafood, the Forodhani Gardens is an iconic stopover for both local sand visitors. Situated on the oceanfront, this massive food garden offers street food, everything from pilau, chapatti to grilled lobster and chicken, Zanzibar Pizza, Zanzibar mix and other local favourites.
6. La Taverna
Catering to almost exclusively foreigners,La Taverna in Zanzibar is an excellent place for well-cooked Italian recipes,home-made plates of pasta and crispy pizzas. They make everything from fresh ingredients and even import some from the mother country, Italy. The menu is packed with everything Italian including Pizzas, Panini, Bolognese. They also offer a variety of Zanzibar pizza.
7. House of Spices, Stone Town
As if a testament of the islands’ famed spice history, the House of Spices is one of the most popular restaurants in Stone Town. At one time, the building housing the restaurant was a spice packaging factory and the House of Spices occupies one of the main floors that spices were dried. Other rooms in the building have been used to package the spices, and this explains the powerful spice aroma in the entire building.
8. Abyssinian Maritim, Stone Town
Abyssinian Maritim is an Ethiopian restaurant that caters for Ethiopian cuisine. It is located in the heart of Stone Town. Guests can be seen eating with their fingers.
9. Luukman Restaurant, Stone Town
One of the original restaurants with a strong local flavour. There is no official menu. Just stroll to the counter and see what is on offer. Luukmaan is a favourite with locals with a strong appeal to foreigners wishing to avoid the touristy places and their prices.
10. Zanzibar Coffee house
A favourite haunt for a serious cup of coffee serving espressos, milkshakes and cappuccinos.