Best restaurants in Malawi

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zomba

    Casa Rossa

    In an atmospheric old colonial house, this Italian-owned guesthouse restaurant serves the best pasta dishes this side of Naples, including unique local variations such as chambo and ginger ravioli. The ingredients come from the local market, and rich dishes such as ravioli filled with beef cooked in red wine, served with butter and rosemary, exude a passion for Italian cuisine.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lilongwe

    Ad Lib

    An adventurous extension of a hip Glaswegian diner chain, this popular local gathering spot has a covered street-front terrace and a jolly red-walled interior with a long bar. The menu gallops enthusiastically across a broad spectrum, including steaks, jerk chicken, fish and chips, wood-smoked meats, nachos, quesadillas, Angus-beef burger (recommended) and southern fried chicken popcorn.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Blantyre

    Casa Mia

    Don your smarts for dinner at this classy guesthouse restaurant. The wine-stacked interior, with its antique Cinzano prints, white tablecloths and expat clientele, is a pleasant environment for dishes ranging from steaks and carbonara to red wine–marinaded Karoo lamb and chambo Thermidor. Lunch on the breezy terrace is more casual.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mulanje

    Huntingdon House

    If you're driving between Blantyre and Mulanje, don't miss lunch or afternoon tea (minimum two people for tea, and do book ahead) at this historic guesthouse on a beautiful tea estate. Dishes such as Asian beef noodles and beetroot burgers are served on the veranda, as are teas including white nectar and green velvet from the surrounding fields.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Blantyre

    Mandala Cafe

    Sit on a breezy stone terrace in the grounds of Mandala House, or inside at this chilled cafe adorned with artworks and guidebooks. Regulars love the Italian cuisine, fillet steak, Thai chicken, freshly brewed coffee, iced tea and gelato. A real oasis.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lilongwe

    Koko Bean

    Soundtracked by world music, this breezy urban sanctuary is surrounded by lawns, thatched shelters and a bar overlooking a sprawling jungle gym – perfect for a family visit. Come for breakfasts from French toast to hearty 'hangover' omelettes, with a pot of tea or coffee; sandwiches, wraps and burgers; and pizzas with zingy toppings.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Blantyre

    L'Hostaria

    In an atmospheric old house with black-and-white floors and a large veranda overlooking a lawn, L'Hostaria offers Italian recipes and fresh produce that attract local expats in the know. Come for a relaxing evening and wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and steaks.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Blantyre

    21 Grill on Hanover

    Established in 1921, this historical restaurant is one of Malawi's more sophisticated eateries, occupying a library-like room with salmon-coloured seats and ornate carpets. The menu focuses on meat dishes, from South African Karoo lamb curry to flaming Jack Daniel's steak, but it also has a good selection of fish, pasta, salad and decadent desserts.

  • Restaurants in Blantyre

    Blue Elephant

    This is a great watering hole for carb-heavy grub such as chargrilled burgers and steaks, with booths inside and tables alfresco beneath an awning. From 5pm on Monday, get a curry and a Carlsberg for MK1750; from 5pm on Tuesday, buy one burger and get one free.

  • Restaurants in Lilongwe

    Mamma Mia

    With its vaguely old-world Italian ambience and outdoor terrace packed with mzungus (white people), Mamma Mia's wide-ranging menu features antipasti, steaks, seafood, homemade pasta and pizzas with homemade bases. To find it from Paul Kagame Rd (coming from Kamuzu Procession Rd), turn left at Royal Tires, follow the road round and take the first left, then it's on your right.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mzuzu

    Macondo Camp

    This Italian restaurant offers treats such as homemade pasta made daily, Parmesan flown from Italy and monthly live music on the stoep. Dishes include pizza, steaks, spring rolls and the ever-popular ravioli with blue cheese, which can be accompanied by a good selection of Italian and South African wines. It's at the namesake guesthouse northeast of central Mzuzu.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nkhata Bay

    Kaya Papaya

    Close to the harbour, with a big upstairs balcony overlooking the main street, Kaya Papaya has an appealing Afro-Asian-fusion chic that's matched by a menu of zesty salads, pizza and Thai fare such as green curry, chicken satay and stir-fries. If you're still hungry, try a banana pancake.

  • Restaurants in Lilongwe

    Woodlands Restaurant

    In the attractive setting of Woodlands Lilongwe, the lodge restaurant serves international dishes from pepper steak to chicken in a basket, but its Indian food is the best. Dishes such as the veggie Harabara kebab and the mixed-grill platter of chicken and lamb kebabs are hugely popular. Seating is in the cool dining room or outside terrace.

  • Restaurants in Blantyre

    Hong Kong Restaurant

    Like a slice of '50s Shanghai, Hong Kong is an atmospheric pagoda-style building with a red wooden ceiling festooned with lanterns, and walls enlivened by a golden-phoenix border. The food comes in generous portions, attracting a local following. Alongside the usual sweet-and-sour dishes and spring rolls, you’ll find chicken with peanuts and chilli, and fried chicken gizzards.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lilongwe

    Ama Khofi

    Follow your nose to this delightful Parisian-style garden-centre cafe with wrought-iron chairs, a bubbling fountain and leafy surrounds. The menu has salads, main courses such as beef burgers and roast-beef sandwiches, and homemade sweet treats that include cakes and ice cream.

  • Restaurants in Lilongwe

    Korea Garden Restaurant

    This tin-roofed, woodcarving-lined poolside affair is a sanctuary rich in plants and atmosphere. Despite the menu's unimpressive presentation, the Asian food is rather good. Choices range from Korean-style grub like chicken in sesame seeds and soy sauce to fried fish, fillet of beef medallion, and snacks such as samosas, spring rolls and honey buffalo wings.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cape Maclear

    Gecko Lounge

    At this lodge's stunning restaurant, grab a wicker chair on the terrace perched above the water. The kitchen is well known for its pizzas (from MK5300), which feature some interesting toppings such as kampango as well as the classics. Burgers, nachos, samosas and cocktails (MK3000) are also on the menu.

  • Restaurants in Zomba

    African Heritage

    This garden cafe has plenty of shaded seating, a menu of rolls, salads, wraps, burgers and burritos, and daily specials such as noodle stir-fry and masala potato chips. In this lively complex you might hear a local Christian singalong on the way in, or an aid worker's Skype confab about grain distribution at the next table.

  • Restaurants in Lilongwe

    Buchanan's Grill

    At this stylish and traditional steakhouse, you can sit in the old-world restaurant with a relaxing sports bar attached, or outside beside an ornamental pool overlooking manicured gardens.

  • Restaurants in Lilongwe

    Blue Ginger

    Soundtracked by a gurgling fountain, Blue Ginger serves some of Lilongwe's best Indian food (as well as Chinese), attracting local movers and shakers. Its slightly faded dining room is not worth the drive across town, but, if you're in the neighbourhood, the food is wonderfully fresh, subtly spiced and beautifully presented.