Best restaurants in Zanzibar Island

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Zanzibar Coffee House

    The top spot in Zanzibar for a serious cup of genuine East African Rift Valley coffee is undoubtedly this charming cafe. Alongside espressos and cappuccinos are milkshakes, crêpes, salads, sandwiches and toasted bruschetta. Tours of the roasting area can be arranged. Upstairs are eight guestrooms, decorated in traditional Zanzibar style.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Michamvi Peninsula

    The Rock

    Zanzibar's most photogenic restaurant is perched on a coral outcrop in a stunning location surrounded by sea. At low tide you can walk to it; at other times (maybe after a long lunch) boats are provided. Of course, you're paying for the location, but the food is good and unsurprisingly includes prawns, lobster, crab, fish and other seafood.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Paje

    Mr Kahawa

    After a hard morning's kitesurfing, or maybe after a hard night's partying, this is the place for a top-notch espresso or cappuccino, accompanied by a sweet pancake, savoury wrap, panini, juice or salad. It's cool, stylish and in a fantastic position on the beach, so is understandably popular, meaning service can be a little slow at busy times.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Emerson on Hurumzi Rooftop Teahouse

    Part of the well-known Emerson on Hurumzi hotel, the rooftop teahouse restaurant is open to nonguests. The food is excellent, and the view simply stunning. Lunch is served from noon to 4pm, or come early for sunset drinks followed by three-course dinners that feature vintage Zanzibari recipes. There's often a live taarab music performance too. Reservations are usually required.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Emerson Spice Rooftop Teahouse

    Perched on top of the Emerson Spice hotel, the 'teahouse' (open-sided room) offers 360-degree views and some of the finest food in Stone Town. Many guests come for pre-dinner sundowner cocktails before enjoying five courses of Zanzibar specialities. Mains are mostly seafood-based, such as lemongrass calamari or prawns with grilled mango. Reservations are essential.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Monsoon Restaurant

    Something slightly different: Monsoon has traditional-style dining, so you eat at low tables lounging on cushions (shoes off at the door, naturally). The menu is well-prepared Swahili cuisine with a modern twist. It's very atmospheric, further enhanced by the gentle backdrop of live taarab music on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. There's also conventional table seating on the terrace outside.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Lukmaan Restaurant

    Probably the best local restaurant for quality Zanzibari food. There's no menu: just make your way inside to the 1950s counter and see what's on offer. Servings are enormous and include various biryanis, fried fish, coconut curries and freshly made naan.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Sambusa Two Tables Restaurant

    This simple place did indeed start with just two small tables, but now caters for larger numbers – although it's still in the family house. Here's the routine: visit first to ask what's on offer; if you like it make a reservation, then come along later to sample numerous Zanzibari dishes.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    House of Spices

    With its lantern-lit rooftop terrace this Mediterranean restaurant has well-executed seafood and wood-fired pizzas. Fish dishes come with a choice of five spiced sauces, there's a good wine list and you can round off your meal with a special spiced digestif. For a lighter evening, there's also a tapas bar. A bonus is the attached small and stylish guesthouse.

  • Restaurants in Paje

    Kinazi Upepo

    In a wooden cabin with great views of the beach and ocean, this local place offers all the favourites – pizza, burgers, curries, seafood grills – plus Thai and sushi specials, in a straightforward and slightly old-fashioned ambience.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Archipelago Café-Restaurant

    This local restaurant is tucked away on the lane that leads to the beach from the bottom of Kenyatta Rd, with a terrace next to the spot where traditional dhows are built. Tasty breakfasts are served until 11am, followed by an assortment of seafood curries, grills and pilaus. There's no alcohol, so fill up on excellent juices and smoothies.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Luis Yoghurt Parlour

    It's not just yoghurt here. As well as creamy lassis (yoghurt drinks) and snacks, Madam Blanche Luis cooks up Goan specialities such as coconut crab curry – all served with freshly made naan, fruit smoothies or spiced tea in small and understated surroundings. The restaurant is sometimes unexpectedly closed, so call in during the day if you're planning to come for dinner.

  • Restaurants in Mangapwani

    Mangapwani Serena Beach Club

    Mangapwani Serena Beach Club is a restaurant in a delightful setting with tables and safari chairs on small decks under the trees overlooking the beach. Meals are mainly seafood, while other options include grilled chicken and 'designer sandwiches'. This place is mainly set up as a day-trip destination for guests of the Serena Hotel in Zanzibar Town, but it's open to everyone.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    La Taverna

    Bringing a dash of Italian brio to Zanzibar Town, La Taverna has a warm terracotta-tiled interior with the requisite checked tablecloths and an outside terrace screened from the main road. Seafood takes pride of place with dishes like calamari fritti and grilled lobster, alongside regional dishes such as Milanese cutlets and ever-popular pasta and pizza standards.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Tapería

    Come to eat, drink or both. There are well-prepared tapas, pizzas and Spanish-favoured snacks, plus beers, a range of wines and other drinks, including some tempting nonalcoholic concoctions, and an open-air terrace overlooking busy Kenyatta Rd. The adjoining deli has freshly baked breads and gourmet sandwiches. Entry is off Gizenga St, around the back of the post office.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Abyssinian Maritim

    Sit on the airy terrace underneath the pergola of exuberant bougainvillea and wait for enormous platters of tibs (grilled meat), injera (flatbread) and other specialities at this great little Ethiopian place. Spectacular multicoloured fruit smoothies, tej (honey beer) and freshly ground coffee complete the feast.

  • Restaurants in Kendwa

    Kendwa Coffee House

    This locally run cafe serves beers, juices, coffee and meals on a small garden terrace. Service and ambience is delightfully relaxed. There's also a couple of rooms (double US$35), but they open onto the terrace so aren't at all secluded. It's located on the dirt road that runs behind the hotels at the southern end of the beach.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Café Foro

    This waterfront kiosk in Forodhani Gardens serves a simple menu of grilled chicken and fish, kebabs and wraps. Outside seating makes it perfect for people-watching and the nearby children's play area makes it a handy family pit stop. Later in the evening it's popular with locals and visitors for postprandial coffee.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Abyssinian's Steakhouse

    This restaurant is named for the enthusiastic Ethiopian owner and offers, of course, steak plus cuisines from around the world – Africa, Arabia, India and Europe – sometimes on the same plate. It leads to a few unexpected combinations (Abyssinian spring rolls anyone?), but it works.

  • Restaurants in Zanzibar Town

    Stone Town Café

    Great little place with seating inside or outside under potted palms overlooking the street. The menu includes all-day breakfasts, milkshakes, freshly baked cakes, veggie wraps and good coffee. Upstairs is the Stone Town Café B&B.