"One of my favorite pass times is eating out" - Woody, Wild Things' CEO. There are some excellent restaurants in Tanzania these days. Of course in most places outside the major towns there is no western style food other than the cuisine of the hotel/lodge you're staying in, but in the towns with large expatriate or tourist business, there is a great deal of choice. Naturally the best towns are Dar es Salaam (expatriate) and Stonetown (tourist).
Dar es Salaam
For a comprehensive list of Restaurants in Dar es Salaam, refer to "The Dar Guide" - a monthly free magasine for Dar residents what you might find in your hotel.
Here's a list of mine or my friends favorites - and totally biased!
PS - I'm not a restaurant critic, I'm a restaurant appreciator
- Chinese - Sichuan Restaurant - City center - full of chinese, and a great selection of dishes. Beware of chillies!
- Calabash - Sea cliff apartments - deep fried brie. mmmmm
- Karambisi Cafe - Sea cliff - can't beat the location
- Q-Bar - Oysterbay - fast, good value, and tasty - anda good bar too!
- Shooter Grill - Kimweri Avenue - Steak, Ribs, Meat. All from South Africa. Lets not forget the seafood platter!
- Ethiopian - Addis in Dar - Regent Estate - excellent atmospheric setting, fantastically tasty food, and an experience you'll never forget. We love it!
- Fast Food - don't do fast food in Dar! (actually I wrote that before I wrote the rest of this page - unless its Savarios Pizza - 10 mins, or the Japanese take away in Mayfair Plaza) although many restaurants will do you a takeaway which you can order by phone :)
- Anghiti - Bagamoyo Road - smart, full of Indians, one of our favorites
- Copper Chimney - Bagamoyo Road - new, does other quisine too, but the Indian food is divine - cheaper than Anghiti, but outside
- Khana Kazana - Bagamoyo Road (yes, they're all next to each other) - popular, don't whatever you do try the pizza, but do have chicken with two mysterious sauces!
- Savarios - Old Bagamoyo Road - Fast, best pizza in town, with good main courses too. Seafood salad - high on seafood, low on salad - great!
- The Terrace - Slipway - Good location, good Italian. Well established.
- Mediteraneo - Kawe - on the beach, one of the best restaurant locations in Dar, but further out. Near to our house, so we're lucky. We eat here a lot :)
- Japanese: ( I love Japanese, so in order of quality...)
- Ashibe - Mayfair Plaza - Cheap and quick - my on the way home take out Sushi/Sashimi stopoff
- Azuma - Slipway - Great Sushi/Sashimi combination for a reasonable price. My everyday Sushi restaurant
- Osaka - Oysterbay - simply the best. Have a Teppenyaki. I don't care if you've lived in Korea or Japan, you'll be surprised indeed. Obviously start with platers of suahi and sashimi and let it melt in your mouth. I take all my visitors here without fail.
- Kilimanjaro Kempinski - City Center - Good and varied sushis and other Japanese dishes - I go here if other people are paying!
- Lebanese - Mayfair Plaza - authentic middle eastern food - great for vegitarians. Fast, lots, and good value
- Thai - Sawasdee - New Africa Hotel - great view over the harbour and port from the 8th floor. My wife was brought up on Thai food, and she says the green curries are excellent. Naturally, we're often there.
A Taxi driver should know all of these places. It should not cost you more than $25 from your hotel to any of these places, and normally about $10 if its close. Check a town map from your hotel for distances.
I Don't live in Stonetown, but have the fortune to go there occasionally. These are my favorites, but Stonetown is a dynamic, and booming town, so there may be other places that are excellent that Iu've not made it to - let me know if you find them!
- Kidude - 236 Hurumsi (formally Emmerson and Green) - good seafood pizza, and a nice cafe named after Bi Kidude - Zanzibar's most famous and the worlds oldest performing musician
- Baharia - Serana Hotel - a post hotel, and a posh restaurant. Reliable.
- Mercury's - After Freddy who was born in Stonetown - good location by the sea, good music too.
- Swahili House - Amazing. My Valentines or Honeymoon recommendation. Chorizo Quiche, Kudu carpacchio, Eland with Gorgonzola topping, lobster with bacon, spinach and Stilton - the best meal I've had in Tanzania - ever! Go there!
- Zanzibar Pizza - shame it's called that for the Italian market and not Zanzibar wrap/pancake which is much more suitable and original. Well worth trying in Forodhani gardens in the evening.
- Forodhani Gardens seafood market - I use to love this, as its seafood extravaganza, but old cynical me notes that its all precooked, so overdone when reheated, and that its not fine fresh seafood like I imagined when younger (and after a few beers). Smell all crustaceans first, because I'm sure some are yesterdays. You pay afterwards, so if its bad, don't pay for that bit. Don't be worried. In general most stuff is OK, and although it looks like a hygiene nightmare, experience shows it isn't. I've never been ill, and nor are tourists. Go for it anyway - its fun and and cultural/Zanzibar experience. Pig out.
- Zanzibar Fusion (Al Johari) - another top end restaurant. Quite pricey, but serving some good dishes.
Just because its not my list, that doesn't mean its not good, it just means i've not been there, or went there along time ago and can't remember to compare. I'm sure you'll discover other delights all over the Stonetown. Of course, you'll get totally lost in the maze! Enjoy.
Arusha isn't known for its restaurants, although things are improving. Many of the Hotels are out of town, and the traffic is so bad, you'd not want to venture out. Also, most people are only there for one night and get up early. I'm going there in the winter (your summer probably) and will update this page. I do know that for a multi day stay, E Unoto retreat serves mighty find food :).
Happy Eating - Woody