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The Best Restaurants in Zanzibar, Tanzania
The Spice Island, Zanzibar, is known for its flavorful dishes and vibrant, colorful decor— both of which reflect a blend of Swahili, Indian and Arab-style influence.
The East African island offers delicious food at affordable prices, with most menus including seafood, vegan, and halal options. Here are some of the best restaurants Zanzibar has to offer.
Emerson Spice Tea House Restaurant is located on the rooftop of the second-tallest building in Stone Town, the Emerson Hotel, which was formerly the palace of a nineteenth-century Swahili sultan. Diners can enjoy rich, bright decor and stunning views of the city as they feast upon authentic Zanzibari cuisine.Try the coconut chili king fish baked in banana leaves.
Stone Town restaurant Lukmaan, received awards for the Best Local Dining Experience at both the 2018 and 2019 Zanzibar Tourism Awards. The restaurant serves Swahili-style cuisine in an open-air dining room. Try the octopus curry and calamari.
Located in Stone Town, Ma Shaa Allah Café offers African and Indian cuisine via a buffet or regular menu option. Their menu also includes an array of fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes, and lassis. Try the barbecue lamb or the murg tika masala.
Fadhil is a small hidden gem located in Zanzibar’s Jambiani area. Locals and tourists alike visit the restaurant for its amazing quick bites and modest prices. Try the peanut crusted fish.
Stone Town Café is a local family-owned and operated café and bed and breakfast. It’s 111-years-old and still owned by the same Swahili family who built it. Try the chicken or beef mishkaki, a popular East African kebab.
Bin Jabir offers African cuisine at its Matemwe Beach location. There are many fresh seafood options, including a daily catch of the day. Be sure to bring your appetite as the restaurant offers very large portions. Try the meal the restaurant’s menu describes as simply “local food,” a fish and banana dish.
As one of Zanzibar’s most popular and scenic restaurants, this list would be incomplete without The Rock. The restaurant sits atop a large rock in the Indian Ocean, close to the Zanzibar coastline in Pingwe. Patrons can walk to the restaurant from the shore when the tide is low. Otherwise, the restaurant has its own boat to bring diners over. A reservation is required to dine. Try the shareable Rock Special- lobster, cigal, king prawns, octopus, and calamari.