Eating and Drinking
Breakfast can sometimes be nothing more than a chapati and and a cup of tea or can can be a huge plate full of matoke and a sauce.
Mkate - Bread. Most loaves of bread in Uganda are white and are very sweet. In a few supermarkets it is possible to buy salt bread or even brown.
Uji - Porridge. Don't think of a bloke in a kilt or a bloke with a daft hat and a mop of white hair, Ugandan porridge is a thin drinking porridge made from either maize flour or millet, sweetened with sugar or honey.
Katogo- A breakfast dish of Matoke cooked together with either meat offal beans or greens
Kikomando- A dirt cheap veggie breaki option. A bowl full of beans in sauce with added sliced pieces of chapati.
Kabalagala – A mixture of sweet bananas and cassava flour fried in burger shapes
Binyebwa – Groundnuts roasted and ground and baked with tomatoes till it becomes a thick sauce, usually served with matoke or sweet potatoes.
Bijanjalo - Beans
Coawo– Peas/ cow peas
Agiira– Paste made of peas
Lapena– pigeon peas usually cooked together with G nut paste
Malakwang – Greens cooked together with ground sesame seeds to make a thick sauce.
Dek ngor – Split peas ground and also cooked together with ground sesame seeds. A northern dish but my favourite meal from the whole of Uganda.
Moo yang - The butter nut oil that is often smothering dishes like Dek ngor in Acholiland.
Eboo / Egobe / Ikote - Greens cooked in peanut and sismsim sauce
Dodo- Another type of "greens".
Malewa- bamboo shoots, only found in the east of Uganda so treat yourself while you are in Mbale.
FOODS If you ask in a restaurant what food is available you will probably be told the staples on offer as oposed to the sauces to acompany the "foods". Most people will ask for a mixture of foods a plate will arrive with a mixture of Matoke,sweet potato, yam, irish, muogo, posho, and possibly kalo
Matooke- Green banana peeled, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed for hours.
Lumonde - Sweet potato
Irish - Potatoes (spuds U like)
Muogo - Casava. Often you see Muogo being sold on the street deep fried sometimes coated in batter and deep fried.
Kaungu/Posho - Maize meal porridge known as Ugali/Sima/Sadza elsewhere in Africa
Atapa/Kalo - Cassava and millet porridge.
Chapati – Flat bread fried on a griddle, a thicker less dry version of the Indian bread of the same name. Lately I have come across more places that spice up their chapati by adding grated carrot, onion and even ginger, almost a complete meal in itself.
French chapati – a chapati in an egg batter à la French toast.
Muchomo – roasted meat
Ssenene – grasshoppers. Ugandans go mad for these little insects that appear during the rainy season.
Mamba – crocodile Not available everywhere but a few places sell this local delicacy that for cultural reasons seems to be more popular with men.
Morikonyi (variuos spellings) – Cows leg soup.
Kamulalii / pilipili - As well as the usual condiments like salt and sometimes tomato ketchup on a restaurant table there will probably be some kind of chilli. This can be either an off the supermarket shelf chilli sauce, chilli powder, a home made sauce of ground chillies in oil or my favourite is what looks like a jar of honey on the table but is in fact a really hot chilli oil. A teaspoon full of this helps the matoke go down. In some up-country restaurants I've come across whole branches of a chilli plant sticking out of the thatched roof for customers to help themselves.
Eshabwe - Ugandan Mayonaise made from ghee and salted water then whisked till it turns white.
Gonja - Roasted banana
Chaps - Similar to a burger covered in batter and fried. Not to be mistaken with chips.
Egg roll - Boiled egg rolled in mashed potato dipped in batter and fried.
Njugu, Amaido, Fuul - various local words for roasted pea nuts or G nuts as they are called in the local African English. Its not uncommon for a hwaker to sell boiled peanuts in their shells as you are sitting outside a bar supping a cold Nile. this is my preferd way of eating peanuts, I can't resist them.
Maji/Maiai - Eggs. Any time of day you can find some young lad hawking boiled eggs
Simsim - Roasted seasame seeds served in packets or rolls of paper sometimes sold together with roasted G nuts.
Bhajia - deep fried spiced besan/gram flour squeezed from aplastic bag into hot to make a crispy worm-like snack.
Tea - Best drink of the day. More often than not tea is made by boiling a slices of ginger in water before Majani tea leaves are added.
Coffee/kawa – Surprisingly its not so easy to get a decent cup of coffee in a country that grows so much of it.
Juice - passion batunda is the juice of choice.
Bongo – Natural yoghurt, Vanilla flavoured yoghurt is also available usually in packets.
Beer beer we want more beer.
get the f***ing beer in.
Ugandans love a beer and unlike their near neighbours in Kenya they like it cold. After a hot sticky day walking around Kampala what could be more refreshing than a cold bottle of "Nile Special".
There are 2 main bottled beer brewers in UG. Nile breweries who are based in Jinja and Uganda breweries who do their stuff in Port Bell.
Nile produce Nile Special, Chairman ESB, Club and Eagle. It is possible to take a tour of the Nile breweries plant just over the river from Jinja, something I have yet to do but its pencilled for my next trip there.
Uganda Breweries produce Bell, Senator, Pilsner and Guinness.
Favorite Dish: Since I origianly wrote this tip several other brands have apeared on the market. Check out what Nile have to offer here.
East African brewers vcan be found here
Uganda is predominantely agriciltural country and the food is good, to me it's much better than in Kenya. There are number of restaurants, all around, offering different kind of food for different prices, some are cheap, some average and some very expensive. Besides restaurants there is junk food too, not exactly Mcd kind but sort of domestic version.
The cheapest food can be found in so-called road restaurants, offering chapats (look alike to tortilla), which cost approximately 0,20 euros a piece. The next are, to mine opinion, kind of junk food restaurants, offering sausages and grilled meat. In such a restaurants average lunch cost from less than one up to 2 or 3 euros.
There are standard domestic restaurants with very good food where average lunch costs about 5 euros. Finaly, there are very expensive restaurants offering Italian, French, Indian or other cuisine, where average lunch costs from 15 up to 50 euros.
Favorite Dish: What to eat when in Ugandan restaurants. Cannot say much about because I ordered those dishes I could recognize food. To me the best was grilled chicken with chips and white coloured vegetables in a shape of sticks. I liked it better than chips. Lamb meat isn't that soft as we used on it in Europe. Sausages are pretty good but again not as good as am used on it. There are various kind of soups but I didn't dare to eat them.
Ugandans like to eat something what might be considerate as fast food:
- matooke is baked green banana, very popular food among the locals
- sumbusa is kind of pie with meat or vegetable, most oftenly with rise
- chapat looks alike to tortilla but smaller, also filled with other stuff
- mandazi is kind of donuts, local eat it for the breakfast.
Might be very helpful if you get to know whites who already spend some time here, or even better, if they live in Uganda. Their advices regarding habbits, restaurants, clubs etc., could save your time and money. I was lucky to met Dutch guy who live in Kampala several years and got from him some good tips and advices.
According to him, Carnivors is one of the most expensive restaurants in Uganda but it is too much touristy and offers less than one can get in some other restaurants for more affordable price. I followed his advice and never visited Carnivors.
He invited me to "Le Chateau", Belgian restaurant which is situated in the Gaba Road. There is nice terrace and the atmosphere looks alike to most of a good European restaurants. My friend speaks good French so I let him to order food for both of us. It was delicious steak made in brown coloured sauce, best food I had in my two weeks stay. He ordered bottle of red French wine, which was very good. The dinner cost us 35.000 shilling for each, which is less than the usual price I used to pay in Mammamia or Rock Garden.
Favorite Dish: In two week time I was in a couple of other restaurants, most frequently at those in Nile Avenue, right where Speke hotel is. Khyber Pass offers authentic Indian cuisine but I didn't like it much, besides, it is pretty much expensive. Rock Garden makes very good grilled tilapia, which was my favourite food, and the service is excellent. Finaly, there is Mammamia too, which is supposed to be the Italian restaurant. Cannot complain much but it is far of being Italian cuisine, except for "spaghetti, aglio, olio e peperoncino", which was good. Other food I had there was "Italian" made in Ugandan way. When I ordered calamari (squids), couldn't finish it and almost the same goes for grilled tilapia. Once I tried pizza too, but it wasn't pizza.
Was in couple of local restaurants but unfortunately didn't catch the names, except for Bancafe which I visited regularly. Bancafe offers inexpensive but the best breakfast in Kampala. Many guest from nearby Grand Imperial prefer to have breakfast here, rather than in the hotel. Besides, it is the only place in Kampala, along with Speke hotel, where you can get espresso. In other local restaurants I had grilled chicken or sausages and it wasn't bad at all. The best grilled chicken I had in a night bar at Ntinda, on the outskirts of Kampala.
Food Court is situated on the third floor of garden city mall. It is essentially a fastfood joint where you will find kiosks offering all kind of food. You have the south indian udupi, chinese, persian, burgers, juice stalls and african grill. The price is cheap and the place is open from morning 11 to evening 10:30. Overall a nice place to enjoy cheap food...
Krua Thai is a Thai restaurant in Kololo. Open only for dinner, this restaurant is one of the best in the city and offers authentic thai dishes. It is an open restaurant, well decorated and the staff is pleasant. The food is amazing, one of my favourite restaurants in the city.
Fang-Fang is the best chinese restaurant in the city. There are two restaurants in Kampala. One of them is an open garden restaurant and the other one is a closed one. The food and ambience is both wonderful and you can find lots of chinese girls around waiting to serve you.
They also organise parties in both these places and the restaurant has got outdoor catering as well.
Athithi is one of the best restaurant in Kampala, situated in Nakasero. This is an open restauran facing a garden housed in a small compund. The food is delicious and the service up to the mark. The place can also be used for parties and other functions and they also do outdoor caterings.
Nawab is on the top floor of the Garden City. It is a nice place to spent time either for a elaborate dinner or for some nice time with friends. The restaurant is open ( covered only on the top) or you can also use the terrace. What I like the most here is the non vegetarian Indian food. The service is nice and the staff cordial.
This restaurant is in Kololo. It is a Punjabi Indian speciality restaurant. It is an open restaurant and the food is delicious. There is also a bar attached indoors and ample space on the terrace and outside to hold parties. The restaurant also has a small hall, where programs can be arranged.
We visited here on the last night of our trip and after spending a week in hostels or camping, it was strange to eat in such an upmarket restaurant.
Situated in the centre of Kampala, this restaurant takes you away from Uganda and transports you straight to Asia!
I could explain how great the food was, how amazing the service or how I felt like a millionaire going there but instead I just will mention the one thing that made our last meal in Uganda complete.
After asking if we were celebrating anything on arrival, we said it was our last night. At the end of the meal an intricutely and perfect carved whole melon, filled with fresh fruit and baring the message 'sorry to see you go' arrived on our table with a musical ensamble from the waiters. It was amazing and we never got a photo of it. They ended our holiday perfectly
It's located right next to Al's Bar and is really the perfect place to start an evening. Don't expect any fast service -we arrived at around 7:30pm and left at 10:30 after having two courses and many Nile specials!
The restuarant serves a variety of food including the infamous 'Game meat of the day' that one of my friends had - to this day we have no idea if it was alligator, buffalo or something else! The same happened for the soup of the day - when we asked what it was the waiter replied 'whatever the chef decides.'
Honestly the food is nothing special, the service was lousy, but the atmosphere just feels "Ugandan" and was somehow very entertaining to eat there. It will always be a talking point whenever I meet up with my friends to reminisce about the trip.
Favorite Dish: Game meat of the day Or Pork Surprise!
Rock Garden cafe is open every night offering you a la Carte menu, but on thursday night takes place "The great Mengolian night".
In this night you can choose the meat, vegetables, rice... give it to the cook, and he'll cook it in front of you in just some minutes. And you can order as much and as many times as you want.
I strongly recommend to check my tip about this place in nightlife tips... for not having "surprises" while having dinner here....
This is one of the most "exclusive" restaurants in Kampala.
It's a Thai restaurant, where you are offered a great variety of Thai dishes.
The most remarkable is the relaxed you feel there, and the decoration.
If you're hungry and don't want to spend too much money but have a dinner of quality this is your place.
It's a chinese restaurant located dowtown in Kampala, in the business area.
You can have dinner open-air and enjoy the nice temperatures that Kampala has, or inside in one of several saloon that they have.
There are more than 100 hundred dishes, you can go as many night as you want, and don't feel bored of having always the same for dinner.
Favorite Dish: Great variety of dishes.
If you want to stay in a luxurious hotel in Kampala, here it is. The Sheraton is located in some...more
Ternan Avenue, Entebbe, KM, UG
Good for: Solo
I have enjoyed staying in this hotel for 4 nights. Rooms are really spacious and well furnished....more
More Regions in Uganda