A house somewhere in Zanzibar!: Village lunch on spice tour
While on the Spice Tour (see my Things to Do tip) we stopped for lunch in a local village. As you see from the photo, the setting was pretty basic, and we sat on the floor surrounding the plastic “table” cloth. The meal was also basic (vegetable curry, boiled rice, bread) but absolutely delicious – one of the tastiest meals we had on the island. However I have to say that I paid for it later that day with frequent visits to the bathroom! Nevertheless it was worth it ;-)
Earlier in the tour we stopped at a roadside stall where we enjoyed coffee, doughnuts and fresh pineapple. Both this and the lunch were included in the $10 cost of the tour, making it excellent value.
Blue Sea Restaurant & Bar: Nungwi Scattered Beachhuts
Along Nungwi's beach front there are lots and lots of scattered Wooden restaurant buildings serving everything from woodfired pizzas, pastas to african delicacies and more. This is just one. I went to a few. Cant remember which ones. But they were all nice. Just watch out for the cats that sometimes jump you laps at some!
Favorite Dish: There was one that had woodfired pizza. Yummo. Much enjoyed....
Serena Hotel: A special place for a treat
This is the smartest hotel in town, and although we didn’t stay here we did come here to eat, as I had a birthday while we staying in Stone Town and this was an obvious choice for a celebration meal. The restaurant is located right at the water’s edge, giving great views out to sea (even after dark the lights are lovely and dhows can be seen drifting past) and the menu combines international and local cuisine. For my birthday dinner therefore I enjoyed a starter of potato dumplings with a spicy lime chutney, a main course Swahili dish called Kuku wa Kupaka (chicken cooked in a coconut sauce, which we both loved for both its taste and the name!), and a dessert of crème brulée.
Before dinner we had cocktails in the bar, which overlooks the elegant swimming pool and sea beyond, and looks west towards the sunset.
Chavda Hotel: Rooftop dining
We had a couple of dinners in the rooftop restaurant of this old hotel, centrally located in the middle of Stone Town. Prices were reasonable, the seafood curries spicy and the views over the roofs of the old quarter picturesque. Unlike some other Stone Town hotels, the Chavda serves alcohol, so we could wash down our curry with a cold beer or two. We were happy enough with the Chavda to choose it for our last evening’s meal in Zanzibar; however I’ve read more recent reviews that suggest it’s gone downhill a little since our visit so you may want to check it out for a light lunch before committing to a larger meal – and bill!
I don’t seem to have taken any photos here, but there are a couple on the website below which look just as I remember it.
Nungwi Village Beach Resort Restaurant: Great location on the beach
Great views to the ocean; Extensive menu; Efficient wait staff and very reasonably priced.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Ndogo Ndogo was my personal favorite. It's a local zanzibari chicken curry served with steamed rice.
If you are a fan of ginger, Kuku Tangawezi is recommended.
- Food and Dining
Mercury's: For a view befitting a "queen"!
Dedicated to Freddie Mercury who was born in Zanzibar as Farookh Bulsara in 1946 to Persian immigrant parents, this restaurant is right on the waterfront in Stonetown.
Great location, extensive menu including some cocktails with interesting names and lovely zanzibari open decor. But be prepared to wait for upto an hour for your food because this place is always very busy.
We watched tourists getting on and off Chapwani Island ferry boats. You can also spot numerous dhows and bigger boats sailing through the harbor as your enjoy your meal at Mercury's. Definetly worth a visit for the view!
Favorite Dish: Local seafood specialty curry
- Food and Dining
Blue Oyster Hotel: Dining with a view of the Indian Ocean
This is the Blue Oyster Hotel's restaurant - also open to people not residing in the hotel. The restaurant is simple and nice, with a view of the Indian ocean.
The food is especially tasty, spicy, and is 'homemade' so it is authentic Zanzibari cuisine. The seafood is great here - freshly caught by the fishermen (so it is no surprise that sometimes cerain items are not available).
Favorite Dish: Lobster, and the PiriPiri chicken dishes were great!
Mercury's: Queen at the beach
At the beach of Stone Town you can find a special bar and restaurant, Mercury's, named after Freddy Mercury, the flamboyant singer of the rock-group Queen.
He was born in Stone Town as Farok Bulsara. In Mercury's you can find pictures of him and Queen and buy T-shirts.
Mercury's is a lovely place at the beach. Several times we spent our lunchbreak here, because of the cool seabreeze in the roofed open-air bar in combination with the perfect view at the beach, the blue ocean and the tiny islands just in front of the coast.
Favorite Dish: The salads are delicious. There is a salad with the name Freddie's choice, telling it was his favourite. Maybe, maybe not. Farok left the island as little kid and never came back.
- Sailing and Boating
THE OLD FORT RESTAURANT (STONE TOWN): HISTORIC ENTERTAINMENT
This restaurant and entertainment venue is located inside the Old Arab Fort. Open everyday between 8am and 10pm, they have a large menu serving local and international food. They have a special 'Night At The Fort' every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 7-10pm. The night includes a special Buffet Barbeque with a variety of seafood, meats, salads and fresh fruit (plenty to eat for vegetarians),
'A Night At The Fort' offers Zanzibarian entertainment. Tickets are sold at the front office and are $10 for BBQ and show and $5 just for the show only
Please note: They are closed daytimes throughout Ramadan.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Kizidi Restaurant: Marvellous seaview with nice seafood
After our dolphintour we had our lunch in Kidizi Restaurant, a nice roofed open air restaurant. Because of the sea-breeze the temperature was bearable. The view at the ocean and the bay were marvellous.
We took all the time for our lunch and our drinks, before going back in the steaming heat of the inland. There were changing rooms and showers. The in the guide mentioned phone-service was out of order.
Favorite Dish: We had fish with the local coconut sauce for lunch.
- Sailing and Boating
open air markets
Youve gota try the food at these open air markets , the seafood is fresh of the boats and cooked in front of you theres also a variety of other grilled foods etc its excellent.
Favorite Dish: try the char grilled octupus its the best.
Forodhani Gardens –: The Best Seafood Ever!
One of the most amazing sites to behold in Zanzibar are the Forodhani Garden vendors at the waterfront. The garden has a carnival-like atmosphere with a frenzy of people buying and selling food and curios to the light of gas lamps and flaming woks. There are dozens of stalls set up with tables full of grilled seafood. There are stacks of kingfish, tuna, barracuda, white shark, red snapper, blue marlin, small prawns, large prawns, lobster, mussels, and clams all on kabobs. Behind the kabobs are piles of crab claws, calamari, octopus tentacles, cassava, breadfruit, falafel, chips, salad, nan bread, and chapatti. We chose our kabobs from the spread where they were immediately put back on the grill to warm. We were ushered behind the stall to a bench where children were stringing raw chunks of fish onto skewers. We ate our feast on paper plates with small toothpicks. Two minor inconveniences were getting hassled every few minutes about what to drink and arguing over the final price. We overlooked these inconveniences as this was the best and cheapest seafood meal we have ever had.
- Budget Travel
Dhow Palace Rooftop Restaurant: Dining over Stone Town
This is a restaurant situated on the roof of the Dhow Palace Hotel, in the middle of Stone Town. Especially nice at dusk, with the view of Stone Town beneath you and enjoying a nice, cool sea breeze.
The food is varied, from seafood to indian dishes - and very tasty!
PS: No alcohol is served at this restaurant in compliance with Muslim beliefs!
Forodhani Gardens - food stalls: The best barbecue in (Stone) town!
Enjoy octopus, shark, king fish, chicken, and more. Every night in Forodhani Gardens large tables of food are put up and the stallholders all have a barbecue grill on the top. You choose your dish and they heat it up. They will put a 'curry' sauce on, but not too much! It is more of a hot pepper sauce. Prices are negotiable, but watch out. Some tables will try and charge you 10 times what the next table will ask for the same thing. Negotiate a price for one piece, then a lower price for 2 and so on. If there is a tourist cruise ship in the harbour, a lot more table appear and they prices can be just the same as an indoor restaurant. Find someone who will give you reasonable prices and stay with them. Small pieces of meat or a kebab stick should be about 500-700 shillings. It is recommended not to eat shellfish in low tourist season. If you ask you can find the man who brings you cold beers to you for 1000 shillings each. This is an event in itself and not to be missed!
Favorite Dish: Octopus with some spicy sauce!
- Budget Travel
- Food and Dining
Stone Town - try the sunset grill, above the sunset bar, which as it implies is a great place to watch the sunset. They do steaks and all other kinds of food. Or try Sweat Eazy - they have thai and african on the menu and the food is fantastic!
Nungwi - the Sea blue cafe does a seafood bbq for 4000 shillings which is pretty good but not very big portions, the restaurant next door does better food and it has sky tv!
Favorite Dish: Seafood is good but also the thai food at Sweet Eazy especially with all the Zanzibar spices on it, pretty hot!
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