The island of Zanzibar is one of those wonderfully exotic names which conjures up mystery, spices and tropical heat. It is all those things and more. In 2013, it is likely to be your beach destination of choice if you have been on safari in mainland Tanzania or even Kenya. There exist many all inclusive beach resorts on the island but for those who are more adventurous, there is an historic, tropical island to discover and meals to eat! Our team has compiled a list of five restaurants which are gastronomically good or are in interesting locations. In no particular order:
1. Mercury’s Bar & Restaurant, Stone Town. Named after the eponymous band leader of Queen, this seafood restaurant is the only one in town with a seaside location (mainly views of the harbour). The food is more wholesome than gastronomic but the atmosphere and cold drinks more than make up for it.
2. Mangapwani Beach Grill and Restaurant. Located on the less developed north west coast of Zanzibar near the historically interesting Mangapwani Slave Caves, this is a great place to chill out whilst waiting for your grilled seafood on the beach. If you can imagine sipping a fresh cocktail on a white tropical beach with clear blue water, you have arrived at this destination!
3. The Rock. Located on the south east of the island, on the Michamwi Pingwe peninsula, about 45 minutes from Stone Town. In a short space of time, this restaurant has become an iconic destinations for travellers to Zanzibar. As the name suggests, this thatched restaurant is perched on a rocky outcrop, walkable at low tide and reached by boat at high tide. Excellent seafood but also surprisingly good pasta and more international dishes. Comparatively expensive for Zanzibar but worth every penny.
4. Mtoni Marine’s Restaurant and Sports Bar. This beach side restaurant is located just outside of Stone Town and is a short stroll to the Mtoni Palace. It has a causal atmosphere and is frequented by locals and tourists but it is always a pleasure to dine on a beach by candlelight with your toes in the soft white sand. Highly recommended.
5. Terrace Seafood Restaurant at Zanzibar Serena Hotel. Gastronomically speaking, one of the best on the island. The restaurant is located on the roof terrace overlooking the bay in Stone Town and features an excellent selection of freshly-caught sea food. Expect to pay nearer international prices but you will not be let down by the quality nor the location.
Top 5 restaurants in Zanzibar by Nicolas Edwards