One of the important things you can’t ignore when you’re in Arusha is your sense of taste. The bustling city features a wide variety of cuisines, but once you have experienced the Tanzanian cuisine right here in the safari capital of the country, you’ll be mesmerized by its charm and you will want to try more of the dishes.
The city of Arusha is situated at the foothills of Mount Meru and surrounded by a variety of fascinating national parks.
The moment you enter the city and experience the welcoming feel, the laid-back atmosphere and the calming sunshine on your skin, you will start craving the local cuisine before embarking on your safari adventure.
Arusha boasts a wide variety of delicacies prepared with fresh and local produce, and when accompanied by local beers and you’ve got a meal of a lifetime for yourself. If you really want to have a taste of the variety of foods in Arusha, explore its array of restaurants and café – you will discover the perfect way to enjoy Tanzanian cuisine.
Foods in Arusha
Local foods in Arusha include fresh meat, fruits and vegetables as well as chicken, and a range of delicious stews prepared with fresh ingredients – natural herbs and spices.
If you truly want to experience the city, you’ll need to dive in and discover foods that are prepared in a local style. Most of the ingredients were grown in a local garden and are assembled into hearty dishes.
The most popular food is Ugali – a thick porridge prepared from maize flour and it’s served in almost all local restaurants or street food joints in the city. Grilled chicken, fries, goat ribs and bananas are also popular dishes you can enjoy. Ugali is usually served with green vegetables such as sukumawiki and mchicha, makande – beans and maize stew or ngogwe (eggplant).
In the mornings, the locals prefer eating deep-fried bananas (ndizi choma), sweet potato or boiled cassava, taken along with their chai (tea). Another common food is called Chapati, thin and flat bread made prepared with wheat flour, and it’s usually eaten for breakfast or dinner.
The East African food called mandazi, usually made from wheat flour is also common. You’ll find several mama vendors selling grilled corn (mahindi choma) on the streets, they are delicious and yummy. Nyama Choma ( barbecued meat) is also a popular East African delicacy and it’s served with a plate of chips, Zanzibar pizza, and naan in local restaurants and joints in Arusha.
Apart from the traditional Tanzanian foods, you’ll find African, Italian, Indian and intercontinental dishes served at some of the restaurants in the city.
Places to eat in Arusha
There are several restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Tanzanian foods, other African foods, as well as Indian, Mediterranean, and Chinese foods in Arusha.
You’ll also find a variety of restaurants serving intercontinental dishes as well. Let’s take a look at several places where you can eat delicious meals in Arusha.
Khan’s is a popular spot for delicious grilled-barbecue in Arusha. Here you’ll find a variety of skewered and grilled meat served with salad.
The BBQ spot is an auto-spare shop during the day but at night, the scene changes and it becomes a place known for BBQ. This is the best place to experience the city like a local.
The Fig and Olive
The Fig and Olive is a Mediterranean restaurant, with a beautiful surrounding. Music is played at night outside where most of the dining takes place. However, you can eat inside if you are not comfortable staying out or when the weather is not welcoming. Kebab entrees are typical in this restaurant.
For your most delicious Indian curries, Vama Restaurant offers a modern and relaxed dining atmosphere for delicious Indian foods . All dishes are prepared using fresh ingredients, selected spices and blended with natural herbs by renowned chefs.
Fifi's Restaurant features delicious dishes for breakfast lunch and dinner, and it’s the best place to get tasty milkshakes in Arusha. It offers you freshly baked cakes, pastries, and variety of blended juices, coffee, and Italian Soda.
Abyssinia is a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with a unique ambiance, perfect for group dining with friends. There is no need for cutleries in this restaurant, just wash your hands and eat. The restaurant serves a variety of vegetable dishes, meats, and flatbread in a combo platter for groups to share.
Blues & Chutney Café
For the most delicious cakes and freshest salads, Blues & Chutney is the best place to visit. The café serves guests freshly filled baguettes, homemade cakes, hot breakfasts, biscuits and treats for afternoon teas.
Le Patio has a fountain and a garden in its L shape form; it features a kitchen, dining room and outdoor bar. Thinking of a group gathering or an intimate date, Le Patio is the ideal place to visit for the best hamburger in town.
Sandwiches and pizzas are served. The restaurant is excellent for dinner where a wide range of wine and liquor selection can accompany a meal.
The Blue Heron
The Blue Heron is located just across the Haillie Sellassie Road, some distance from Le Patio. It is an outdoor eatery built for comfortable and quaint. Hang out for your lunch or visit for some wide selection of sweets, sandwiches, and omelets. You can only come to the Blue Heron for your breakfast and lunch.
Spices & Herbs Ethiopian Restaurant
Spices & Herbs Ethiopian Restaurant serves delicious Ethiopian dishes and several local Tanzanian foods. The favorite is a soft flatbread made from teff grain called Injera, served with vegetable or meat sauces. The restaurant has an expansive menu that is centered around vegetarian and meat dishes. Special treats include yedinich wot (Potato stew), yeassa wot (Fish stew), yefasolia wot (Split pea and string bean stew) or yebeg tibs (Fried lamb with Ethiopian butter, onions green peppers, and rosemary).
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