As a foodie my trips always include lots of eating! Activities revolving around food rank very high on my itinerary because food for me is a major gateway to understanding a culture. Trip advisor was my best friend when deciding where to eat in Kigali, and it directed me to great places. Kigali’s restaurant scene is small but vibrant with a fair number of trendy restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.
Below is a list of the places I ate at.
Whenever I asked what Rwandese food I should try, Brochettes were always mentioned. Brochettes are skewered barbecued meat basted with a tomato sauce and are similar to mishikakis. We went to Millenium bar which is a humble no frills local bar with plastic tables and an outside kitchen. We ordered goat and fish brochettes that came with fries and roasted bananas. The Goat was a bit chewy but still had great flavour and the fish which was my favourite was perfectly flaky and moist. Fries in Rwanda are served with mayonnaise and white onions; a combination I loved. You cannot visit Rwanda without having tried brochettes.
Watch the video below to see the brochettes we had.
A small little restaurant nestled in one of Kigali’s suburbs, the place is quiet, has a lovely garden and is a good spot to isolate oneself. The tapas selection here is worthy and service is exceptional with the wait staff being really warm and friendly. I had the Spanish omelette which had the right amount of potato to egg ratio and was a cloud of deliciousness. I also had the potatoes with a sweet tomato sauce and the Spanish meatballs which were incredibly juicy. The prices at Casa Keza were very reasonable with each tapas dish averaging around 4 dollars, which is a bargain compared to the prices in Nairobi.
Inzora Rooftop Café
The café is Nestled within a massive bookshop that’s perched on a hill and provides amazing views of the city. This is a trendy little café filled with young muzungus – the ones who come to Africa for life changing experiences, all decked with their Mac books typing away or discussing rather loudly their next adventure on the continent. I had a life changing tea known as Lemon verbena to the point I bought the tea leaves to bring back home (Ive since planted the shrub so I can have continued supply at home). The tea is extremely fragrant and has a lemony floral taste that made my insides glee. I’m told that the coffee here is decent and I noticed most patrons having iced coffee. The biting’s were ok but nothing outstanding; the grilled cheese sandwich, lemon cookie and scone were good enough but id advice you stick to drinks. This is a great place to work or have a coffee over a chat and might I add, the WIFI speeds here are fast.
Meze Fresh specializes in Mexican food with Burritos being their most popular item. The restaurant has a casual feel and when indoors feels a bit like dungeon with little light but thankfully, they have an outdoor deck upstairs that looks onto a road. You assemble your burrito with a selection of quality toppings that include meat,vegetables and an array of sauces. My burrito ended up being gigantic and it was juicy, had multiple flavours and very filling. I also tried the burrito bowl and nachos which were good but the burrito is the better option. I would go as far as saying that Meze Fresh has the best Burritos in East Africa.
Fork is one of the many restaurants located within the Kigali Heights mall, and is a buffet style restaurant that serves Ugandan food . The serving portions are huge with a wide selection of dishes.This is a great option if you want a taste of Uganda.
The food in Kigali was great! Looking back I ate at popular upmarket restaurants and not enough local joints so I feel like I didnt get to experience enough what locals eat (We were such tourists!). Despite this, the restaurants I visited were great in terms of food and the service even better; Rwandese are really gentle warm people. The influence of expats within the restaurant industry is very apparent with majority of the places i visited being foreign owned. Kigali is a growing city on all fronts and with the restaurant scene being part of this growth, the city could rise to be the foodie hub in the region.