Mozambique’s cuisine blends African, Indian and Portuguese influences, and is especially noted for its seafood as well as its use of coconut milk and piri-piri (chilli pepper).

Where to Eat

Roadside or market barracas (food stalls) serve plates of local food such as xima (a maize- or cassava-based staple) and sauce for about Mtc400 or less.

Most towns have a cafe, pastelaria or salão de chá serving coffee, pastries and inexpensive snacks and light meals such as omelettes, pregos (thin steak sandwiches) and burgers.

Restaurant prices and menu offerings are remarkably uniform throughout the country, ranging from about Mtc300 to Mtc500 for meals such as grilled fish or chicken served with rice or potatoes. Most restaurants also offer hearty Portuguese-style soups.

Markets in all larger towns sell an abundance of fresh tropical fruit along with a reasonably good selection of vegetables. High-quality meats from nearby South Africa are sold in delis and supermarkets.

Staples

  • Xima or upshwa A maize- or cassava-based staple, served with a sauce of beans, vegetables or fish. Rice sometimes takes the place of xima/upshwa.
  • Frango grelhado Cheap and easy to find, frango grelhado (grilled chicken) is usually served with chips or rice.

Specialities

  • matapa (cassava leaves cooked in a peanut sauce, often with prawns or other additions) in the south
  • galinha á Zambeziana (chicken with a sauce of lime juice, garlic, pepper and piri-piri) in Quelimane and Zambézia provinces
  • caril (curry) dishes
  • chamusas (samosas; triangular wedges of fried pastry, filled with meat or vegetables) and rissois de camarão (similar to chamusas but semicircular, and with a shrimp filling)
  • grilled prawns, lobster and crayfish, lulas (calamari) and other seafood
  • fresh bread rolls
  • peixe grelhada (grilled fish), which is delicious and served with rice or chips
  • prego (thin steak sandwich)