Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Tanzanian Cuisine: A Journey Through Local Flavors is a vibrant tapestry of flavors, cultures, and traditions. This East African country boasts a diverse culinary heritage that reflects the influences of various ethnic groups, including the Bantu, Arabs, and Indians. This article will explore Tanzanian cuisine’s unique dishes, staple foods, and regional variations.

Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania
Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Tanzanian Cuisine: A Journey Through Local Flavors

Tanzanian cuisine reflects the country’s rich cultural history and country’s diversity. It combines various flavors, textures, and cooking techniques, creating a unique and delightful culinary experience.


Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania
Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

The Influence of Tanzanian Culture

Tanzanian cuisine has been shaped by centuries of history, including the spice trade, Arab influences, and the Bantu migration. The blend of these influences has resulted in a cuisine that is both familiar and exotic, creating a culinary adventure for anyone who explores it.

Staple Foods in Tanzanian Cuisine | Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Tanzanian cuisine relies heavily on staple foods such as maize, rice, cassava, and plantains. These ingredients form the foundation of many traditional dishes and are used to create hearty and satisfying meals.

Regional Variations

One of the most intriguing aspects of Tanzanian cuisine is its regional variations. Each region offers distinct dishes and flavors, from the coastal areas to the highlands, showcasing the country’s diversity.

Popular Tanzanian Dishes Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Some of the must-try Tanzanian dishes include:

  • Pilau: A fragrant rice dish with spices, meat, and vegetables.

  • Nyama Choma: Grilled meat, a Tanzanian barbecue specialty.

  • Mishkaki: Skewered and marinated meat, a popular street food.

  • Kisamvu: A spinach dish often served with coconut milk.

  • Mandazi: Sweet, deep-fried doughnut-like pastries.

Spices and Flavors | Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Tanzanian cuisine is known for its bold use of spices and flavors. Common spices include cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon, which add depth and complexity to dishes. Coconut, tamarind, and hot peppers also give Tanzanian food a unique taste.

Dining Etiquette in Tanzania

In Tanzanian culture, meals are a time for gathering and socializing. Traditional dining often involves sitting on the floor and eating with your hands. Sharing a meal is a sign of hospitality and connection.

Street Food in Tanzania

Tanzania’s bustling cities offer a wiTanzania’sf street food. From samosas to roasted maize, the streets are filled with the tantalizing aroma of local delicacies.

Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania
Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

The Role of Ugali

Ugali, a starchy porridge made from maize or cassava, is a Tanzanian staple and a dietary cornerstone. It is often served as an accompaniment to various dishes and is a source of comfort and sustenance for many Tanzanians.

Seafood Delights

Tanzania’s coastal regions offer a bounty of seafood, from fresh fish to prawns and lobster. These delicacies are often prepared with aromatic spices and coconut milk.


Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania
Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Tanzanian cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, making it accessible to those with dietary preferences—dishes like coconut bean soup and plantain stew delight plant-based eaters.

Beverages and Drinks

Tanzania is known for its high-quality tea and coffee. You can savor a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea while enjoying the scenic views of the country.

Food Festivals in Tanzania

Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania
Tanzania Food: 15 Dishes to Try in Tanzania

Tanzanians celebrate their culinary heritage through various food festivals. These events offer a glimpse into the nation’s diverse food culture. Tanzanian Desserts

End your Tanzanian culinary journey with delectable desserts like kashata (coconut candy) and kaimati (sweet, fried dough balls).

Spending Plan

In Tanzania, many vacation packages and safari itineraries include breakfast, lunch, and dinner as part of the total cost of the safari. Make sure to speak with your tour operator if you’re unsure about the meals you should get.

Please remember that additional drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included in the all-inclusive packages and will be paid for separately. If travelers suspect they might get hungry between meals, they are advised to pack extra snacks.

The hotel or lodge will serve delicious meals at on-site national park restaurants during your safari. A dedicated mountain cook who prepares delectable meals for the climbing party will be assigned if you’re climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

When traveling in Tanzania, Keyou’rer’s specific dietary needs are considered. Gluten-free travelers may have difficulty locating bread options, for example, but rice and ugali are both readily available gluten-free options. Also, vegan and vegetarian travelers have often commented on how easily and accommodating they found Tanzanian dishes to be.

Cost of food

Unless you only dine at pricey restaurants, food in Tanzania is typically relatively reasonably priced. There are inexpensive, moderately priced, and expensive restaurants to select from, just as at home. Expensive dining establishments that serve visitors, possess skilled chefs, and have an extensive menu will undoubtedly cost more than a neighborhood restaurant. But remember that some of these top-notch, chef-directed restaurants are inside resort hotels and lodges, where your reservation for an all-inclusive stay may already be confirmed! Your safari package likely includes five-star dining experiences.

Luxury dish

Aim for a posh dinner at one of the best-rated eateries in Arusha or Dar es Salaam, and plan on spending between $50 and $80 per person. These meals are typically served with South African or European wines and usually include a prime cut of steak, fresh fish, or perhaps imported items from Europe (such as gourmet cheeses and mushrooms).

Top Restaurants

When planning a meal, visitors to Tanzania’s well-known tourist destinaTanzania’sld include the following eateries on their list:

Machweo Restaurant at Arusha Onsea House ($$$$)

This custom hotel offers a peaceful setting with a lovely garden and a romantic ambiance outside Arusha’s downtown. Chef Axel Janssens Arusha has gained recognition for his inventive and delectable dishes and is in charge of Machweo Restaurant. Under his direction, the restaurant has become Arusha’s best fine dining establishmeArusha’sow Chilli Gran Melia Arusha ($$$)

The Gran Melia’s most recent venture is Melia’s Facility, which also has locations in exotic Zanzibar in the heart of the Serengeti. This expansive, opulent hotel welcomes inside guests and external visitors to its many restaurants. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor oversees the Indian-inspired restaurant Yellow Chilli, which ensuring delicious and authentic food. Diners would think they have discovered a little piece of India in stunning Tanzania.

The George’s Tavern

Check out George’s TaGeorge’s filling and reasoGeorge’s siced dinners. This neighborhood staple offers some of the most incredible pizza in Arusha and traditional Greek food in an outdoor dining area.

Akemi Revolving Restaurant ($$$) in Dar es Salaam

Try Akemi Revolving Restaurant for a distinctive dining experience in Dar es Salaam. Patrons slowly turn 360 degrees as they eat to get a whole bird’s eye perspective of Tanzania’s bird’s city. Even though Tanzania is for the view, the cuisine is delicious! Akemi Revolving Restaurant offers a wide variety of delectable foods, including Indian and Italian cuisine and fresh seafood, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy Restaurant at Serena Hotel ($$$$)

The Jahazi Restaurant in Central Dar es Salaam, housed in the prestigious Serena Hotel, is renowned for offering the greatest and freshest seafood. The meal is excellent and produced by skilled chefs, even though the menu is more expensive. This is a fine dining experience.
($$ – $$$) Slipway Hotel – Waterfront Restaurant

The Waterfront Restaurant serves delicious food and offers a stunning view of the Indian Ocean for its patrons. Offering both more upscale alternatives like fresh seafood dishes and popular international options like burgers and fries, this restaurant is among the best-rated in all of Dar es Salaam. There is something for everyone to enjoy here. Stay late to enjoy your time at the Waterfront, as they also provide a fantastic array of drinks from their bar and lounge and have live music events on the weekends.

Moshi Mimosa Dining ($$)

At Mimosa, one of Moshi’s best restaurants, diners may find traditional European fare and Tanzanian twists on favorites like macaroni and cheese! They also have a children’s menu if you are traveling with children. Trekking teams and children at Mimosa Restaurant celebrate a successful climb of Kilimanjaro with a round of celebratory beers.

Kaka’s Restaurant & Bar ($ – $$)

In Swahili, “kaka” means “brother,” and this being “both” od pub “ill make”you feel right at home. Regrettably, there is a false impression that food from East Africa or Swahili is flavorless and that the local diet is usually subpar.

For a laid-back, enjoyable night out in Moshi town, this neighborhood pub offers fantastic “nyama choma” and other grilled dishes,” which are”naturally paired with a generous helping of chips and an excellent assortment of alcoholic beverages.

Union Coffee Cafe ($$)

Union Cafe has some of the most excellent coffee in town. Their ground coffee or bags of freshly roasted beans are excellent souvenirs, and they roast their coffee, harvested right on Mount Kilimanjaro’s slopes!

Savor a delicious lunch or supper here, but don’t forget to save space for dessert. Their cake and treat displays are pretty irresistible. Enjoy a tasty cappuccino and linger to catch up with friends and family—the cafe also has free wifi.


Tanzanian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and traditions. Its rich history and cultural influences make it a unique and delightful culinary experience for food enthusiasts. Whether you savor the street food of Dar es Salaam or enjoy a traditional meal in a local home, Tanzanian cuisine offers a diverse and satisfying journey for your taste buds.


  1. What is the signature dish of Tanzanian cuisine? Tanzanian cuisine is renowned for its Pilau, a fragrant rice dish with a medley of spices, meat, and vegetables.
  2. Is Tanzanian cuisine spicy? Yes, Tanzanian cuisine often incorporates spices like cardamom, cumin, and hot peppers, giving it a spicy kick.
  3. Can vegetarians and vegans find suitable options in Tanzanian cuisine? Tanzanian cuisine includes various vegetarian and vegan dishes, making it inclusive of all dietary preferences.
  4. What is the traditional way of dining in Tanzania? Traditional Tanzanian dining often involves sitting on the floor and eating with your hands, emphasizing communal sharing.
  5. What are some famous Tanzanian beverages? Tanzania is known for its high-quality tea and coffee, a must-try for beverage enthusiasts.


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