Be my Guide to Your East African City #1: What’s Your Favorite Restaurant?

Happy New Year, dear Reader! I hope you had a wonderful festive season and that this year brings you the fulfillment of your most heartfelt desires!

Towards the end of last year, I was asked to complete a questionnaire on Dar es Salaam that would be used as a city guide on an American fashion website. When I first saw the questionnaire, I wasn’t sure I knew Dar es Salaam well enough to give answers that would truly represent this city. Not to be easily dismayed, though, I consulted with friends and family (special thanks to Pamela Lwakabare of Highlight Tanzania :-)) and ended up with what I thought was a good reflection of Dar es Salaam as I knew it. This made me curious: what kind of information could be gleaned from having everyday residents of East African towns and cities responding to this same questionnaire? Of course, I immediately thought of sharing the questionnaire with you.

Because the questionnaire is long–18 questions–I thought it best not to post it here in its entirety (somehow, I feel I wouldn’t get too many responses that way ;-)). Instead, I’ll break it down for you into bite-sized pieces, asking you one question from the questionnaire, every Friday for the next 18 weeks. Sounds like a plan? I hope so. Let’s get started!

Question #1: In your East African town/city, what is your favorite restaurant?

To answer this question, leave me a comment below using the following format:

City/Town, Country:
Favorite Restaurant:
Why do you like this place?

If you’re curious to know my answer to this question, check out the first comment below. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

Until the next time,

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14 thoughts on “Be my Guide to Your East African City #1: What’s Your Favorite Restaurant?”

sorry to take up so much room, but i spend a fair amount of time in three east african cities and thought i may as well offer my opinions on all three. funny, though, i don’t live in any of these places. the small town of geita, tanzania (my home) is not a stalwart supporter of finer restaurants.

City/Town, Country: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Favorite Restaurant: Mediterraneo Hotel
Address/Location: uhmm… north of town on the beach
Why do you like this place? some of the best italian food i’ve had anywhere in east africa, while sitting just over the beach, and always with a nice breeze

City/Town, Country: Mwanza, Tanzania
Favorite Restaurant: Tunza Lodge
Address/Location: Ilemela Beach
Why do you like this place? relaxed, on the beach, large menu, good food, a great place to spend an entire afternoon with friends

City/Town, Country: Kigali, Rwanda
Favorite Restaurant: Heaven

Address/Location: Kiyovu, near the Mille Collines
Why do you like this place? huge outdoor / indoor terrace overlooking the city and a small but delicious menu, mutzig beer on draft — also this restaurant is socially aware and trying to aid in development

City/Town, Country: Arusha, Tanzania
Favorite Restaurant: Sazan Japanese

Address/Location: Nyerere Road opposite Kanisa Road junction.
Why do you like this place?: Excellent value for money, good sushi, and somewhat bizarre ambiance (they’ve sacrificed construction quality and focussed on food instead, which is an excellent tradeoff in my book).

City/Town, Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Favorite Restaurant: Medusa

Address/Location: Mpaka Road, Westlands
Website: (well, I didn’t find their website, so here’s one of several reviews!)
Why do you like this place? It’s very cosy, the two floors have a completely different feel to them (though both are very conducive to relaxed meal), the service is impeccable, and the food is EXQUISITE- continental, yet Mediterranean; a great balance of light and rich flavours, in just the right proportions!!! Plus, the wine per bottle is reasonable, and they have a fairly good selection.

City/Town, Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Favorite Restaurant: Brew Bistro and Lounge

Address/Location: 40 Piedmont Plaza Ngong Road
Why do you like this place? The atmosphere on the balcony patio is great. The bitings are reasonably priced and they have good happy hour specials. Inside at the restaurant the food is extraordinary and they have the best service in town. Plus they brew their own beer and have a lot of tasty options.

Hey Biche, as a girl that loves to eat out, I wish I could say that I had a favourite restaurant in Kampala, but I am afraid all of them have at one time or another shown inconsistence so now I am left with a list of restaurants that USED to be my favourite!! :-/

That said, if I really want to go out and eat in Kampala, some places still hold promise and mostly deliver: FAZE II on Nakasero Road (Indian Cuisine and some great roasts!), Cafe Roma in Muyenga (Italian cuisine), Sam’s Restaurant on Bombo Road (Continental and Indian), Mamba Point on Akii Bua Road (Italian, great decor!) and Le Chateau on Gabba road (Continental; pricier than most but great decor, good food and good service). To treat myself at lunch time I will usually opt for Cafe Pap on Parliament Avenue. Finally, one restaurant that has been highly recommended recently is located in the Protea Hotel on golf course road, and as soon as I have checked it out I will let you know what I think.

I hope this helps all the same 🙂

City/Town, Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Favorite Restaurant:Fogo Gaucho

Why do you like this place? It is a lovely brazilian steakhouse offering various types of meats,with all you can eat buffet at Kshs 1600 and a salad bar with all types of salads. Service is excellent as well.

City/Town, Country: Bujumbura, Burundi
Favorite Restaurant: Chez Michel II

Address/Location: Avenue Rukonwe
Why do you like this place?
Good service and the food is delicious. Relatively new (less than a year old), the restaurant doesn’t have a website

Hi All,

Thanks for your responses to this question, which now span 7 cities across all the countries of East Africa!

@JamesBrett – No worries about taking up “so much room”. The more cities covered the more interesting!

@Simbamangu – Welcome to ChickAboutTown! I did not know Arusha had a Japanese restaurant. I will look out for Sazan Japanese the next time I visit Arusha!

@Tks – Thanks for letting me know of a Nairobi restaurant that I had never heard of before. I checked out the reviews on EatOut and customers seem very pleased. You and I have a date there the next time I am in town? 😉

@Micah – Welcome to ChickAboutTown! Yet another recommendation of Brew Bistro? I have to visit it…soon! 🙂

@Vive – Great list of good Kampala restaurants! I’ve been to the restaurant at the Protea Hotel. I liked it a lot. I can still remember the Surf and Turf I ate there. DELICIOUS! 🙂

@Nkirdizzle – Thanks for sharing. From the website, Fogo Gaucho looks very much like Pampas at Panari. Are the two restaurants owned by the same company/person?

@Taish – Thanks for sharing. My brother recently came from a long business trip to Bujumbura, where he had express orders (from me) to eat out as much as often and give me feedback about what he’d experienced. He never mentioned Chez Michel II. Thanks for filling in the gaps! 😉


I am not very sure if they are affiliate companies, but come to think about it, they are very similar. There is also another Brazilian place in Kitengela I think as well.

City/Town, Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Favorite Restaurant: Le Rustique

Address/Location: General Mathenge Drive, off Peponi behind Westgate
Why do you like this place? Le Rustique is only open for dinner on Wednesdays, but is the most reliable and relaxing place in all of Nairobi for a great breakfast, brunch, or lunch. They have a great main-menu of sandwiches, crepes, breakfast, and antipasta, and a weekly rotating menu with a mix of starters, mains, and dessert. The staff are super friendly and the indoor / outdoor setting makes it great in any weather. There’s lots of great restaurants in Nairobi but if I could have only one, this would be it. (Medusa was great too, but word is they’ve recently closed down.)

Nkirdizzle–It seems Brazilian restaurants are all the rage in Nairobi then!

David–I have heard so much about Le Rustique over the years, but even though it existed when I lived in Nairobi, I never ate there. In fact, I never even saw it though I was in Westlands all the time. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to eat there some time soon. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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