In Matemwe, you’ll find a surprising array of places to eat out.
If you like gourmet food, try a dinner at Matemwe Beach, right next door. They have a new chef, but if he keeps up the standard of his predecessor you’ll never be disappointed. For those on a tighter budget, try Mohammed Bungalows (10-minute walk down the beach). It’s a great fish and chips place with big portions at a reasonable price (i.e. less than $10 per head.). For pizza and pasta lovers, the Italian-owned Villa Kiva, offers classical dishes. It’s priced somewhere between the former two. In the evening, don’t miss out on Matemwe’s — modest but charming — nightlife. Seles Bungalows is a place that, over the past decade, has made its mark on the island. Enjoy an amazing selection of drinks, or ask Khalid for a cocktail. Check the bill twice before you pay.
Zanzibar town offers limitless dine-out options.
Our all-time favourite is Lukemann, just a two-minute walk from the Slave Market. They offer excellent local cuisine at a very reasonable price. You can have a 3 course meal for less than $10. Try their octopus soup, squid in coconut sauce, and a glass of tamarind juice. While in other places you can expect to wait 30 minutes for your food, here the wait is much shorter. If your plan is to celebrate or treat someone special, try Monsoon near the harbour. You’ll be seated on the floor, but the food is generally very good. Be prepared to pay $25+ per head. Credit cards accepted.
If you are not a fan of Swahili cuisine, you will also find a curry house (Shangani St/Kenyatta Avenue) and a Chinese restaurant (off Suicide Alley – this is not a joke). Not too bad. Not fantastic. Mercury and Livingstone are two pubs that pay tribute to the late Zanzibari celebrities, David Livingstone and Freddie Mercury. Renovations on the former have taken away some of its charm, but it’s still worth checking out. Anytime after sunset, you should visit Forodhani Gardens near The House of Wonders. You’ll find dozens of seafood stalls with their fresh catch of the day, including a wide selection of crustaceans, squid and octopus. Spectacular view and freshness guaranteed. Expect a surprising price premium.
For gourmet coffee you may want to try Msumbi Cafe. It’s freshly roasted, and there’s a wide selection of the finest African beans. For cake lovers, Zanzibar Coffee House is the place to be. Not cheap, but tasty!
*Tipping is expected. Anything between 5-10% will do the job.