The way to go on savoring some of the most delicious and authentic Zanzibari cuisines is to hit Stone Town’s local restaurants and Zanzibar coffee house. Stone Town happens to be the hub for travellers and most of them dine out for an immersive Zanzibar culinary experience which infuses flavors from Swahili Coast, Persian, Arabic, Indian and European using local ingredients to create some of the most delicious meals in Africa. Stone Town’s dining places are a foodies’ dream and as locals, we have compiled some of the best restaurants that prepare and serve the best meals in inviting, and delightful places:
Rooftop Tea House Restaurant
Located on the rooftop terrace of a former palace which currently operates as the Emerson Spice Hotel at the central area of Stone Town. The Rooftop Tea House Restaurant offers beautiful views over the photogenic Stone Town cityscape and ocean waters further across. The charming atmosphere of the location is perfect for watching sundowners and enjoying cocktails as you watch the sun sink over the horizon. Their tasting menu includes five dishes that are mainly well-prepared seafood. It’s best to arrive by 6:00PM for spectacular sights in the evening. Bathe your hands in fragrant rosewater while listening to live taarab music for a one-of-a-kind, atmospheric dining experience when the food is served at 7:00PM. Be sure to make reservations in advance as it fills up on most evenings.
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 12Noon – 10:00PM
Location: Tharia St, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island (Free guided walk by Tima Tours guide)
Zanzibar Coffee House
The Zanzibar Coffee House is the perfect spot for brunches. Located on the ground floor and the team takes pride in serving excellent coffee in the form of tasty expresso, savory cappuccino and other coffee creations. Their head barista, Asmah Juma, leads the team and she is also the first to win the Tanzanian Championship in 2009. In addition to coffee, the café serves aromatic & tasty Swahili delicacies and also a selection of cakes, muffins, wraps, mini-pizza and muesli served up with fresh home-made yoghurt or milk. The café also makes sweet fruit jams in house.
Opening Hours: Daily: 8:30am – 6:00PM
Location: Market St, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island
Livingstone Beach Restaurant
An ideal restaurant to have some lunch, chilled fresh juices and evening drinks while enjoying the location right-on the sandy beach on Stone Town’s seafront. Livingstone Beach Restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating areas where tables are placed under the shade of the wide leaves of the palms, so guests can enjoy the food while drilling their toes in the white-powdery soft white-sand and enjoying the stunning views of the ocean waters and activities. In the evening, local musicians perform a variety of music genres from taarab, jazz, reggae… The restaurant is located adjacent to Forodhani Gardens in the former British Consulate and is named after Dr. Livingstone where he was brought back after he died, so former friends and locals could say their last farewells to the former famous and world-renowned explorer who had resided in Stone Town.
Opening Hours: Daily: 11:00AM – 12Midnight
Location: Shangani Seafront, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island
The local’s favorite restaurant and visitors alike for authentic Swahili dishes prepared in true Zanzibari style. Lukmaan Restaurant serves up local cuisines in buffet-style for both lunch and dinner. The charm of the restaurant and wooden tables with enough seats are awesome, and the variety of food is delicious and fresh. The seafood is worth trying, especially the rich octopus curry with pilau rice or even better is the fish biryani, paired with a refreshing glass of fresh sugarcane mint juice. Lukmaan Restaurant is located conveniently at the heart of Stone Town within walking distance from all sides of the city, however it is advisable that you get there by 6:00PM for dinners and an ideal spot to watch the cooking, and savour some of the best of Zanzibari cuisine.
Opening Hours: Daily: 12:30pm – 10:00PM
Location: The Mkunazini Baobab tree on the New Mkunanzibi Rd, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island
6 Degrees South Bar and Grill
An ideal place to hangout in the evening at the waterfront area while enjoying city-slicker vibes, drinks and good food. 6 Degrees South Bar and Grill is an imaginative and quirky space that allows diners to enjoy the sea breeze and spectacular views of the Indian Ocean from three terraces. The bar and grill area are nicely situated on the Shangani strip, perfect for enjoying ‘Sundowner Cocktails’. There is an extensive drinks menu and ‘All Day Menu’ at the bar & grill place. If you are on holiday in Zanzibar and fancy a cool vibey spot to hangout to enjoy an upbeat ambiance, you will be amazed by 6 Degrees South Bar & Grill options.
Opening Hours: Daily: 10:00AM – 1:00AM
Location: Shangani Waterfront, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island