Best restaurants in Madagascar

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Western Madagascar

    Mad Zebu

    The ‘crazy zebu’ is the most incongruous find in dusty Belo, possibly in all Madagascar. Dishes seem to come straight out of a Michelin-starred restaurant (the chef trained in prestigious kitchens in Madagascar and Europe), with exquisite creations such as pan-fried shin of zebu, prawn medallions, or snapper fillet with peanuts, risotto and coconut sauce, all elaborately presented. Vegetarian options are available too. Save room for dessert. Everyone travelling between Morondava and the Parc National Bemaraha stops here and many companies reserve tables in advance – we suggest you do likewise or be prepared to wait. Around 11.30am is the lunchtime peak.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Antananarivo

    La Varangue

    One of the best addresses in the city for real gourmet cuisine, La Varangue serves an elaborate melange of French gastronomy and Malagasy flavours. Meals are served either in the beautiful dining room, with its low lighting and fabulous antique collection, or on the terrace, which overlooks a charming garden. Booking is advised. Highlights from the menu include quail stuffed with mushrooms or seafood en papillote with lemongrass scent. Admire the antique saxophones and cars on your way in.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Antananarivo

    Toko Telo

    Run by Landy, the teacher at Tana Kitchen cooking school with which this restaurant shares premises, Toko Telo is our pick to try expertly crafted Malagasy specialities. In addition to soups, there are pork, zebu, seafood and chicken mains, as well as sorbets (try the baobab flavour) and pastries. For a real local delicacy, try the zanadandy, fried local caterpillars.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Antananarivo

    Le Saka

    Striking the perfect balance between gastro French and straightforward local cooking, Le Saka is a Tana institution. The restaurant is housed in a gorgeous wooden house full of old black-and-white photos and local artwork. The chef whips up some mighty desserts using Malagasy chocolate. Make sure you finish your meal with a house rum or coconut punch. Booking essential. Eat inside or dine by the pool.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Antananarivo

    Nerone Ristorante Italiano

    Tana's best Italian restaurant is one of those places you'll find yourself coming back to time and again. Artful Italian cooking of pasta, pizza, meat and fish leave plenty of room for choice, the dining area is stylish and softly lit, and the service friendly. In fact, we can't think of a reason not to come here, and locals agree – it's become something of a meeting place for Tana's young and cool.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nosy Be

    La Table d’Alexandre

    For a decadent lunch on a day trip around the island, stop at Alexandre’s. The debonair French chef here serves exquisite cuisine in a dining room that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the set of Out of Africa: a gazebo perched on a low hill overlooking mangroves and Nosy Sakatia, decorated with traditional china and 19th-century paintings. Splendid.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Western Madagascar

    Chez Madame Chabaud

    Small, intimate and oh-so-delicious, Chez Madame Chabaud is a Majunga institution. Christiane (the original Madame Chabaud’s daughter) prepares a divine fusion cuisine mixing Malagasy, Creole and European influences that befit the city’s heritage. Try the camaron (large freshwater prawn) or the ouassous (a huge crayfish) and the mean cocktails.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Tamatave (Toamasina)

    La Véranda

    The refined restaurant and terrace at La Véranda is a popular choice for French expats and visitors thanks to its wide-ranging menu of well-turned-out European and Malagasy dishes at very reasonable prices. The three-course set menu (Ar15,000) changes daily and is far too tempting to settle for less. Eat inside or on the lovely colonial-style terrace.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Antananarivo

    Lokanga

    In a stunning setting whichever way you look – the 19th-century building or the city views from the terrace – Lokanga serves a mix of Malagasy and international dishes. Try the duck breast with pineapple reduction, seafood romazava or zebu chimichurri. Professional service rounds out a fine culinary experience.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Desert

    Pizza Liberta

    Arguably the best pizza in Madagascar's south, this fine little place, run by the amiable Luigi, does real thin-crust Italian pizzas, with all the usual ingredients, as well as some local surprises like zebu sausage. If you want an early lunch and a quick getaway, ring ahead, and he'll fire up the oven early.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in The Great Reef

    L'Estérel

    Our pick of the restaurants in Tuléar, Italian-run L'Estérel has a tranquil garden setting and a menu that includes some of the best Italian cooking in southern Madagascar – pasta, pizzas and salads you can trust – as well as the occasional French dish. Service is attentive without being in your face.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Morondava

    Bleu Soleil

    Winning the prize for the best beach views of any restaurant in Morondava, this breezy place serves everything from tagliatelle to zebu brochettes, grilled fish and a mean smoked-fish salad. Step down the stairs to recline with a drink.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Ifaty & Mangily

    Sur la Plage

    This sand-floor restaurant offers the best of this stretch of coast – feet in the sand, grilled fish fresh off the boat, expertly mixed punches and cocktails – bliss! It also does huge plates of pasta and seafood grills.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Île Sainte Marie

    Chez Samson

    Samson trained as a chef in the best kitchens of Madagascar and he decided early on that the remote and stunning location of his restaurant would be no obstacle to fine dining. You're therefore guaranteed to be treated to the most delicious (and fresh) seafood, salads and indulgent desserts, all beautifully presented and with views of the Baie d'Ampanihy. The restaurant also has a couple of basic but tidy bungalows (Ar50,000) if you'd like to spend the night in this wonderful corner of the island.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nosy Be

    Le Papillon

    Highly recommended by locals, Le Papillon is the place to eat (and be seen) in town. It is set in a beautiful, old, art-filled colonial house with a veranda in the heart of Hell-Ville. The Italian owner changes the menu according to the season and the fresh pasta and fish dishes are particularly good. Breakfast is also served. Papillon's sister restaurant Karibo is in Ambatoloaka.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Morondava

    Chez Maggie

    At Chez Maggies’s thatch-roof restaurant, you can’t fault the service, or the food. House specialities revolve around the grill: be it steak, jumbo shrimp or the catch of the day, everything comes out cooked to perfection. There's a sprinkling of Malagasy specialities as well. The bar has a wide selection of Scotch, whiskey and delicious homemade coconut rum.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Central Madagascar

    Sharon

    This cheap and cheerful eatery heaves with young locals every night of the week. It serves the best brochettes (kebabs) in town, cooked on a street-side BBQ (don't miss the peanut dipping sauce). The huge mi sao (a traditional dish that combines noodles or pasta with meat, prawns and soya sauce) is the house's other signature dish.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Diego Suarez (Antsiranana)

    Tsara Be Restaurant

    French cuisine with a touch of Madagascar, set off with a twist of Thai flavours, make this restaurant a crowd-pleaser. It's the sort of place where locals dress up and go to celebrate. There are dark-red walls, white tablecloths, good service and a wide range of cocktails and wines. The large interior has tables spilling out onto the street.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Central Madagascar

    Résidence du Betsileo

    The owner of this gently old-fashioned, small-town bistro is a maestro in the kitchen as he sizzles, boils and fries delicious and authentic French countryside meals with just a pop of Madagascar about them. People come from far and wide to eat here and the foie gras is popular. The bar is an enjoyable spot for a predinner aperitif.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Tamatave (Toamasina)

    Ocean 5O1

    Laid-back beach-shack restaurant with beautifully prepared and well-presented seafood dishes. However, you'll be so focused on the waves lapping the sands of the beach right in front of you that you probably won't even notice the splashes of thought that have gone into each dish. It's a short way north of the town centre.