Food and drink in Zanzibar

Restaurants

In Zanzibar Town, and increasingly most other main resort areas, there are several good restaurants catering specifically for visitors, specialising in local dishes, seafood or curries; mains usually cost between US$7 and US$15, but there are also smarter restaurants, where prices are a little higher, and restaurants where less-elaborate meals and snacks cost around US$5–7.

In Zanzibar Town and other urban conglomerations there are also some small eating-houses that cater mainly to local people, where you can eat for around US$2–3. They usually only have one or two types of food available, such as stew and rice, but they also serve chapattis, samosas and other snacks.

Cafés and bars

In Zanzibar Town, many places serve drinks as well as food, although at busy times you may be required to buy a meal rather than have a drink on its own. You can buy international and Tanzanian brands of fizzy drink, plus local and imported beers. Prices vary greatly according to where you drink: a bottle of Coke from a shop or small backstreet café costs US$1, but may cost four times this in a smarter café or restaurant. A bottle of local beer (including Safari, Tusker or Kilimanjaro) costs US$1.50 in a local bar, and at least double this in smarter places.

At larger hotels and restaurants in Zanzibar Town or on the coast you can also buy imported beers, wines (mostly from South Africa) and spirits.

Self-catering

If you plan to provide for yourself in Zanzibar Town, there are several shops selling locally produced bread and cakes, plus a reasonable choice of food in tins and packets imported from Kenya and beyond. Zanzibar Town has a market that’s good for fruit and vegetables, plus fresh meat and fish if you have a means of cooking it. Other towns have small markets where you can buy meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, and shops with a limited but adequate supply of tinned food.

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