Bankafe: The best esspresso in Kampala
For those who are coffee adicted, like I am, this is very important tip. Bancafe is one of a few places in Kampala with pretty good esspresso. Comparing with other drinks, coffee is very expensive. While the bottle of imported Kenyan Tusker beer, even in the nightbars, costs only 300 shillings, esspresso cost 800.
Favorite Dish: Bancafe offers very good and inexpensive breakfasts too. Ham and eggs costs 3.000 shillings only and it is something more than one euro.
Khyber Pass: Authentic Indian cuisine
Never before I was in the Indian restaurant, no particular reason for that. Khyber Pass is located inside the complex of Speke hotel, my favourite place in Kampala where I spent most of my time. One of my evenings I decided to have dinner on its terrace.
Favorite Dish: Instead of guessing from menu what is this or that, I ordered grilled tilapia for the main dish. Before it was ready, the weitres brought me some Indian specialities, small sendwiches with something and it wasn't bad. I ordered bottle of white wine, imported from South Africa, but it wasn't kind of wine am used to drink. Actually, it is far from the quality of wines coming from the Mediterranean basin. I paid 35.000 shillings and it is pretty expensive.
Mama Mia: Good Italian restaurant, but no more than that
"Mama mia" is supposed to be Italian restaurant, but except for the name and high prices it has nothing to do with the Italian cuisine. The terrace ambient is pretty much poor and looks more like osteria, rather than restaurant......
Chapatas & bananas: Fast food in Ugandan way
In Ugandan type of restaurants, called "eat and take away", you'll spend from 3.000 to 6.000 shillings for a lunch. It is like 1,5 up to 3 euros. The most common dish is grilled chicken or sausages with chips.
There are number of other types of restaurants like Italian, Belgian, Chinese, Thai, Indian etc, where lunch costs from 10.000 up to 60.000 or more (from 5 to 30 euros).
In case one wants to spend less than mentioned above, should eat local food offering in numerous stalls around. Chapata looks alike to tortilla but smaller, usualy stuffing with rise, meat or other ingrediants. It cost from 200 up to 500 shillings only.
Haandi: Best Indian in East Africa
This could well be one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to anywhere not just in East Africa. The food here is really excellent never had a duff meal at this place in fact my mouth is watering now thinking about their Dum Aloo Kasmiri.
The restaurant can easily be missed as it’s situated in a nondescript office block at the quiet end of Kampala road. They have an open kitchen so watching the chefs making the naan bread in front of you can help you pass the time before the popadoms arrive. On one visit not so long ago there seemed to be an awfully lot of food left that I was unable to eat, and the staff were quite happy to pack up what was left and put into rather natty containers for me to take home and have for breakie the next day.
Favorite Dish: I'm am slowly working my way through the veggie dishes which are all excellent, but will have to wait till the new year to go back to Kampala to try some more.
CITY BAR: STEAK & ALE
City Bar has great steak, salads and cold beers. It’s a little dark and most people walk right past this outdoor patio of a restaurant. They are missing out. Starters are scrumptious and the service is friendly. The also show live sports and have the largest bar in Kampala. You can get good quality wines, cold beers and any sort of cocktail you can think of to accompany your meal. The real star here is the steaks. Come a little early or stop by during the day and reserve a table and a steak. They do run out!
(Please note: this fabulous place has now been reported closed by another VT Member. A real shame)
Favorite Dish: A warm chef’s salad, steak with pepper sauce and an ice cold Nile beer or red wine.
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Antonio's: Breakfast available till lunch
I found Antonio's well handy. If I ever missed breakfast in the gaff where I was staying, which were most mornings (and really wasn't worth having anyway) I'd pile into Antonio’s for the good choice of breakfast dishes. Most times I would end up having the Mexican breakfast, beans, chapati, Spanish omelette, juice, tea or coffee.
While I was there the price of the breakfasts were bumped up to 3,500 from 3,000 Ugs except for the “economy breakfast “ which made an appearance at 2,800 Ugs.
Favorite Dish: I only ever ate breakfast from this place but the same deal works at lunchtime as well. You just choose one of the meals set out in the glass cabinet at the counter, which makes it nice and easy for when you are still hung over from the night before, just point your shaking finger at the dish that most appeals.
RANCHERS BUTCHER SHOP & GRILL: SURF & TURF
This is how restaurants should be. Ranchers will sell you premium cheeses, meats, seafood and wines for you to take home. You can also eat here and enjoy it all. You see the meat or fish before its cooked, and then you actually watch it being cooked! Fantastic. They also have a very delicious salad bar that comes with most meals. Ranchers is actually based inside the Garden City Shopping Mall, but you still sit in an ‘outside’ area and enjoy great service, moutwatering food and a few cold Nile beers. Bon Appétit!
Favorite Dish: Fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and a good bottle of red wine (pictured).
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Govinda's: Pure Veggie
Proper Hare Krishna joint this. Nice atmosphere to eat in excellent food.
This place seems to get better. I spent far too much time eating here. Buffet lunch is excellent loads of pure vegetarian dishes plus chas for 8,000 UGX. On Sundays the meal will cost you 10,000 UGX as they throw in dhokla and a desert usually Gulab Jamu!
Had a shock last time I went to Govinda's in Jan 2013. The price of a thali has almost doubled since I was last here. 15,000 and 17,000 on a Sunday!
Favorite Dish: The full thali with paneer, 3 veg dishes, farsan, papad, chapati, rice, butter milk and some Gulab jamu to finish off, Yummmmm!
Dolphin: Best samosas in town!
Dolphin is a small unpretentious place not a million miles from the Equatoria hotel. It is mainly used by local Indians who come in for a Panjabi samosa and a cup of tea and walk away with the latest Bollywood video and a fix of pan. It is one of my favourite Indian restaurants in Kampala the reason I like this place is due to the fact that the veggie biryani excellent and you are left alone to your meal and not fussed over like you tend to be on some of the upmarket restaurants.
Favorite Dish: Veg biriani. Mixed bhajia. Panjabi Samosa
The Kabalagala Man: Eeeh, Macarena!
Not a restaurant but a snack seller in the street.
If you have spent any amount of time in Uganda's fine capital you will have come across the spotlessly white 4- wheel drive vehicle with white seats parked by the sid eof the road with the back door open and a young chappie selling Kabalagala out of the back. Like an ice cream van in the UK might play a nursery rhyme, in UG the Kabalagala man plays 'Macarena'
For years it was an old boy selling the burger sized cassava and banana based snacks form this car but since his death one of his sons has taken over the business and can be found in various spots around the capital.
Favorite Dish: Kabalagala what else!
Fang Fang: The Best Chinese Food Ever !!
The food at Fang Fang is fabulous. It used to be at the Greenland Bank Building but has since moved and is in a beautiful place now. There are private rooms for larger groups and the waitstaff is excellent. You can also choose to sit outside which is atop the roof so you can overlook the city. Very romantic setting. It is always the restaraunt of choice with our group when going to Kampala. especially after being in villages for a month. What a treat. You will not be disapointed. Prices are not expensive especially for what you get. They made us a beuatiful watermelon bowl filled with fruit complimentary to our large group. Was a nice touch.
Favorite Dish: Sweet and sour chicken. Almond Chicken, the veggie special and actually there isn't anything except maybe octopus and millet, that I don't like. The ice cream is tasty too.
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Mum's: Nothing like my mum's cooking
Top meal I had here. There was a real good choice of meals me being a Veggie so very awkward to please I was presented with a vast choice of meals all available.
My default meal in an Indian is usually saag paneer and that's what I plumped for with a huge garlic naan. Excellent value, good service, tasty food.
Only problem if any was that my chair was a tad too low for the table I was eating from.
Ngabi: Top Cuppa!
Uganda grows a lot of coffee, almost anywhere in the country over a certain altitude it’s not unusual to see berries reddening on coffee bushes. So it is surprising that when ordering a coffee in a local café/hoteli you will be probably be given a cup of hot water or a mixture of hot water and milk or even in some cases a cup of tea to which you are suppose to add Nescafe coffee powder that is also provided.
For all coffee addicts like me, if you wanted your fix of caffeine you had to head to one of the better hotel restaurants such as the Speke Hotel and then pay over the odds for a decent cuppa. One exception to this is 1,000 cups on Buganda Street.
Another and more affordable alternative is the Ngabi Restaurant in Cooper Complex. The poster on the wall advertises a wide range of ‘proper’ coffee with some strangely Teutonic sounding names.
The coffee here is very good and a fraction of what you would pay for something similar at the Speke. I always plumped for an Espresso which varied in price whoever served me, I queried the price on a few occasions but one waitress insisted it was 1,000 and another insisted it was 1,500. They do have one of those magnificent oversized Italian made coffee machines from where the coffee decants making all the right noises. I asked the manageress one day what coffee she used she didn’t know from where in UG the coffee came but did say it was 100% Arabica.
Hot Loaf Bakery: Use your loaf
Hot Loaf Bakery is possibly the best bakers in the capital. I quite often popped in to The Hot Loaf and bought a vegetable samosa or a veg pizza, the latter a lot smaller and more expensive than it is from the branches up country.
There are 2 branches of Hot Loaf Bakery that I know of in Kampala, one on Ben Kiwanuka st and another not far from Nakasero Market on Dastur Street.