Continuing our series of dining in Africa, we look at the Namibian capital, Windhoek. More and more visitors are becoming aware of the unique attractions of Namibia as a safari destination. Coupled (as with many other African cities) with an increase in economic activity due to mining exploration and direct flights from Europe, Windhoek is prospering. This increased prosperity brings more choice. Nowhere is too far to travel in this small (and clean) city of 330,000 but be warned when you go out to eat, vegetarianism is not common! Meat and seafood are the principal dishes. In no particular order our top 5 restaurants are:
1. JOE’S BEER HOUSE; 160 Nelson Mandela Avenue. Vegetarians stay away! Like Carnivore in Nairobi and elsewhere, meat and especially game meat is the menu. Kudu, springbok, zebra are the specialties. Popular with tourists and locals alike. The decor is best described as an African bush lodge transported to the city.
2. GATHEMANN’S; 175 Independence Avenue .A long established German restaurant in an old, colonial era building in the centre of town. One of Namibia’s top chefs Urs Gamma has been presiding over Gathemann’s for the last twenty years and cooks local ingredients in the German tradition.
3. NICE Restaurant and Bar; 2 Mozart Street . Or the Namibian Institute of Culinary Excellence. Do not be put off by the staid title. Situated in rather hip and contemporary surroundings which hold a selection of private dining rooms, lounges and courtyards, aspiring Namibian chefs cook contemporary Namibian dishes with Mediterranean and Asian influences.
4. AM WEINBERG RESTAURANT; 13 Jan Jonker Road. Formerly a vineyard with one of Namibia’s oldest colonial buildings (1901), the restaurant was opened in 2004. It enjoys from its terrace, magnificent views over the Klein Windhoek valley. The style of food is again, German derived but utilising the freshest local ingredients. Highly recommended.
5. O PORTUGA; 321 Sam Nujoma Drive. As the name suggests, the food is Portuguese inspired combining with local influences especially from Angola. Probably one of the best restaurants in town for fish dishes as well as vegetarian options. The decor is pure Portugese. Situated on the airport road not far from Am Weinberg. Popular with locals which is always a good sign.
Top 5 restaurants in Windhoek by Nicolas Edwards