Best restaurants in Zambia, Malawi & Mozambique

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lusaka

    Sugarbush Cafe

    This picture-postcard idyllic cafe is worth every kwacha of the journey it takes to get here. Chill out for an afternoon at one of the picnic tables munching on homemade bread and pastries, salads made with organic homegrown vegetables, and expertly prepared sandwiches, pasta and meat dishes, as well as a glass of wine, or Pimms by the jug. Its breakfasts and coffee are also quality, while every Sunday from noon to 3pm is a special roast rump of beef and Yorkshire pudding meal (ZMW150) – reservations recommended. There are regular events here, so check its Facebook page for what's coming up. It's on the same premises as the also highly recommended Lightfoot Zambia shop It's past the turnoff for Kilimanjaro Lodge; count on around ZMW100 taxi trip here.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mozambique

    Restaurante Maúa

    Tap any local with taste buds and they'll probably tell you that this place – one of several restaurants in the Feira Popular complex – serves the best food in Chimoio, possibly even central Mozambique. The menu leans heavily towards Mozambican flavours, with excellent tiger prawns, piri-piri chicken, steak and matapa (cassava leaves sauteed with cashews and coconut milk). The atmosphere and temperature are both pleasantly chilled. The Feria Popular is a walled compound on the main EN6 road about 15 minutes' walk from the city centre. Arrive early – it gets busy.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Zambia

    Courtyard Cafe

    A part of the boutique Mukwa Lodge, this attached restaurant is hands down Kitwe's best place to eat. Its menu is split between Portuguese and Indian, and both are authentic and exquisite. Its classy decor comprises flagstone floor, heavy wood furniture, French doors onto the garden, plenty of windows and exposed red brick. The lodge is in the process of shifting its restaurant across the road to 17 Mpezeni Ave, most likely to be named Cardamom. If you're heading to Chingola, also keep an eye out for its new restaurant there called Cumin, which is scheduled to open 2017.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Southern Malawi

    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. You can see for miles from the veranda, making Casa Rossa a popular choice among local aid workers and others in the know. It's great for breakfast and a decent cup of coffee, too.

  • 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. The lively atmosphere and nightly entertainment will probably make you want to linger over an Irish or Amarula coffee.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mozambique

    Biques

    Biques (pronounced beaks) is a sight for sore eyes if you've just emerged bleary-eyed from the bush. Perched on a rise overlooking a windswept scoop of Macuti Beach, it's long been revered by overlanders for its pizza oven, triple-decker club sandwiches and sweet chocolate brownies. Wash your meal down with a frosty beer (served in a real beer glass). There are few better places in Mozambique to sit and watch the sunset as you contemplate the journey behind – or ahead.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Livingstone

    Da Canton

    While all the Italian food here is tasty and authentic, it's the homemade gelato that has locals raving. The Italian owner makes all 18 flavours, including all the classics and some original concoctions. Most pastas are homemade, as is its mozzarella and tomato sauce for its good-valued pizzas. There's a good drinks menu too, including Prosecco, Negronis, Bellini and Americanos. It's set in a large thatched-roof building. On Saturday nights there's usually cultural performances.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Malawi

    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. The Sunday braai (barbecue; 12.30pm to 4pm) is popular. Kids eat free and adults pay MK4950 for the generous buffet.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mozambique

    Tutto D'Italy

    Top of the list of 'weird epiphanies in Beira' is this fabulous Italian restaurant hidden (there's no sign) in a children's park on the cusp of the Ponta Gêa neighbourhood. All the Italian favourites – antipasti, veal, octopus and pasta dishes – are served here, and all taste as though they've been teleported from Rome or Naples. The wine list is equally impressive, and the restaurant also does some good Portuguese-Mozambican standards.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Malawi

    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. It's signposted from the M2 just north of Thyolo.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Livingstone

    Cafe Zambezi

    Head straight through to the courtyard, sunny by day and candlelit by night. Bursting with local flavour, the broad menu covers local favourites of goat meat, smoky crocodile tail and mopane (woodland) caterpillars. Authentic wood-fired pizzas are a winner or sink your teeth into impala or eggplant-and-haloumi burgers. Its old school front coffee shop is a good breakfast spot too. There's also a budget lodge out the back.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Malawi

    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. There's a playground to keep the kids happy, a selection of tourist leaflets and magazines to browse, and super-fast wi-fi.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Northern Mozambique

    Hotel Milénio Restaurant

    Equipped with a chef from Mumbai, this sleek restaurant at Hotel Milénio knocks out the best Indian food in northern Mozambique, with excellent meat and vegetarian dishes. Recommended is the lamb biriyani, the bhuna and the chicken tikka. All come with lashings of rice and/or naan. Equally spicy are some finely seasoned Mozambican standards. No alcohol served.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Mozambique

    Café del Río

    When Tete's heat has melted you to a runny pulp, revive your spirits at Cafe del Rio, a beautiful thatched restaurant furnished like an upmarket African safari lodge that catches gorgeous sunsets over the Zambezi. You can easily while away a whole evening here playing chess, smoking cigars, knocking back cocktails and enjoying steak and the local speciality, pende fish.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Northern Mozambique

    Rickshaws Cafe

    The new kids on the block have nabbed a beautiful sunset location on the island's western side where you can sit alfresco and relish food from a menu that mixes Mozambican favourites with fish tacos, pizza, brownies and burgers. It's American run, and the name harks back to a method of transport once popular on the island. There's accommodation available on site.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Pemba

    Locanda Italiana

    Something of a vision in the quiet, well-worn streets of the baixa, this Italian-run restaurant serves up al dente pasta (the ragú is excellent) and wood-fired-oven pizzas in the flower-embellished courtyard of a restored building. If you're looking for a day off root vegetables and chicken piri-piri, this is the place to go.

  • 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 Livingstone

    Olga's Italian Corner

    Olga’s does authentic wood-fired thin-crust pizzas, as well as delicious homemade pasta classics all served under a large thatched roof. Great options for vegetarians include the lasagne with its crispy blackened edge served in the dish. All profits go to a community centre to help disadvantaged youth.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Northern Mozambique

    Karibu

    This excellent new restaurant in Stone Town specialises in the island's seafood bounty. Tuna, prawns, marlin and lobster are all done to perfection here, overseen by the hands-on Portuguese owner. Choose from the chalkboard menu and sit alfresco in front of artfully arranged antiques in the window.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Malawi

    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.