Maputo, also known as the “city of Acacias” or the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.” At the beginning of the 1990s, this would have been considered a bad joke. Two decades of hardcore communist rule and then a civil war had left its mark. Infrastructure collapse, decay and hopelessness. Then like a phoenix, this gem of early 20th century and 1960s architecture and a melting pot of Latin, African and Asian influences has revived and is prospering with unprecedented investment. In many ways, similar to Rio in vibe and way of life, it is a city I enjoy visiting. And when one visits, one eats! Our favourite Top 5 restaurants in Maputo are in no particular order:
Our list of the Top 5 restaurants in Maputo is as follows;
1. Clube Naval Restaurant, Avenida Marginal, Maputo. As the name suggests, this institution is a private club which you can access for a small fee and enjoy all the facilities including bar, swimming pool, wifi access and so on. Slightly dated and worn which adds to a certain ambiance and period feel with spectacular views of the bay. Enjoy cocktails, sundowners and seafood platters.
2. Zambi Restaurant, Avenida 10 de Novembro 8, Maputo. Rated number 1 on TripAdvisor, this restaurant never disappoints with consistently high levels of service and quality of food, essentially fish and seafood. It has an outdoor patio, dotted with coconut trees framing the Indian Ocean. One of the more expensive meals you will have in Maputo but worth every penny.
3. Costa do Sol, Avenida Marginal, Maputo. Since the 1930s, the art-deco establishment had become an institution surviving a revolution and a civil war. Unfortunately, I have just been informed, it has closed its doors with the building looking dilapidated. This is a great shame and i hope sincerely that it reopens soon.
3. Again!! Sagres Shellfish Restaurant, Avenida Marginal 4272, Maputo. A beachfront restaurant with patio or beach tables. Known for generous portions of seafood, Portuguese wines, and very reasonable prices. A very hands on proprietor keeps the place running smoothly. The vibe is vibrant! and anyone familiar with frequenting a seafront Lisbon restaurant on Friday night will feel right at home here.
4. MarNaBrassa, Avenida Marginal, Maputo. Another seafront restaurant with beautiful views. The fish and sea food dishes are well prepared and it also offers good choices of meat and steaks. Prices are on the high side but you will not be disappointed by the quality.
5. Polana Hotel Restaurants, Avenida Julius Nyerere 1380, Maputo. If you visit Maputo, you cannot but visit the Polana. An institution of the city, much like the Raffles in Singapore and the Mount Nelson in Cape Town. It has various dining options. The Delagoa restaurant, fine dining French cuisine mostly frequented by the business community. The Varanda Restaurant overlooking the swimming pool and the broad sweep of Maputo Bay which offers regular buffets (probably the best value in the Polana.) Aquarius Sushi Bar which also has regular live music. If you cant make it for dining or don’t have the budget, you should treat yourself to a cocktail or sundowner on the terrace or at the bar.
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