You must try these foods when you visit Tanzania
Tanzania food

Tanzania is a destination full of hidden treasures that cater to the desires of enthusiastic tourists from across the globe. Amongst these wonders, one can find the awe-inspiring Mt Kilimanjaro, an iconic symbol of Tanzania’s majestic beauty. Additionally, the renowned Serengeti National Park presents a captivating experience, allowing visitors to witness extraordinary wildlife in its natural habitat. Furthermore, the untouched beaches of Zanzibar beckon travellers with their pristine allure and unspoiled charm. While these prominent attractions often steal the spotlight, there is one aspect of Tanzania that often goes unnoticed by many travellers – its rich and diverse cuisine. Although not ostentatious or extravagant in presentation, the food in Tanzania possesses an extraordinary ability to satiate the palate and tantalize the senses with its incredible flavours. Each dish, infused with traditional spices and fresh ingredients, radiates a delightful and satisfying essence that is sure to leave visitors craving for more. During your stay in Tanzania, it is highly recommended to explore the culinary delights that this vibrant country has to offer. Allow yourself to indulge in the following five remarkable meals, as they exemplify the essence of Tanzanian gastronomy:

Thus, as you embark on your remarkable journey through Tanzania, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the country’s culinary marvels. These five tantalizing meals will undoubtedly offer you a remarkable dining experience that perfectly complements the breathtaking beauty and vibrant culture of this extraordinary destination. Bon appétit!

Chips Mayai

Chipsi Mayai, a popular comfort food in Tanzania, translates to “chips and eggs” in Swahili. This dish, essentially a french fries omelette, showcases its beauty in its simplicity. The french fries in Tanzania stand out from those in the West as they are made with freshly hand-cut and peeled potatoes, fried to a crispy yellow perfection. Eateries and outdoor food stands commonly sell chipsi mayai, where locals savor it with toothpicks and a drizzle of ketchup. Indeed, a breakfast fit for champions!

Chips Mayai

Nyama Choma

Nyama Choma, which means “grilled meat” in English, is typically made with goat meat. The meat is usually cut from the carcass and placed directly on the grill in front of you, ensuring its freshness. Slowly cooked over hot coals, the meat develops a delicious smoky flavour. Known for its chewy texture, gamey taste, and rich flavour, Nyama Choma is a stark contrast to the tender steaks commonly consumed in the Western world. The goats used for this dish are not coddled on a farm and the meat is not aged, catering to the locals’ preferences. Nyama Choma is best enjoyed in the company of friends, as a single plate can take up to 45 minutes to an hour to cook. It is common for a group to gather, enjoy some drinks, and engage in conversation while waiting for the goat to cook. Sharing a meal of grilled goat and beer with friends on a sunny afternoon proves to be a delightful way to spend time in Africa. Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with this iconic Tanzanian dish. ‘Nyama Choma’, meaning ‘roasted meat’ in Swahili, is a succulent barbecued meat delicacy, often featuring beef, chicken, goat, or fish. The meat is expertly marinated, grilled to perfection, and served with a side of Ugali or crispy plantain chips. A carnivorous delight that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Nyama Choma


Ugali is a widely consumed staple food in Tanzania known for its simplicity in preparation and cost-efficiency. A mixture of maize flour and water is slowly cooked until forming a thick, doughy texture, which is then allowed to set before consumption. To give a rough idea, it can be described as a combination of polenta and mashed potatoes. The proper way to eat Ugali is by breaking off a piece, rolling it into a small ball in your hand, and then dipping it into the main dish before popping it into your mouth. This versatile food can be paired with a variety of dishes, but is commonly enjoyed with nyama choma or mchuzi, a type of soup or stew. While it may seem unusual at first, once accustomed, it can become quite addicting. Be prepared for its unique taste and texture. A staple dish of Tanzania, Ugali, a filling maize meal porridge, accompanied by Sukuma Wiki, a delicious collard greens dish, is a combination that epitomizes simplicity and wholesomeness. The contrasting textures and flavors of these two components harmoniously unite to create a truly satisfying experience.


Mshikaki consists of marinated meat pieces skewered and cooked slowly over open coals, offering a noticeably unique and enjoyable flavor compared to Western-style barbecued meat. This African street food is highly popular and often found outside nightclubs and open-air bars, attracting crowds late into the night. The stalls selling Mshikaki are particularly busy in the early morning. While various meats are available, goat, beef, and mutton are the most sought after. The slow grilling process may require some patience, but the resulting delicious flavor makes it worthwhile. It is recommended to order at least five or six skewers, as one or two will likely leave you wanting more.


A fragrant rice dish cooked with an aromatic blend of spices such as cumin, cardamom, and cloves, ‘Pilau’ just like Jollof rice from West Africa embodies the essence of Tanzanian comfort food. The flavoursome rice is typically cooked with meat or vegetables and is enjoyed alongside a refreshing side salad or a dollop of yoghurt. A hearty and flavoursome meal that will transport you to the heart of Tanzania’s culinary heritage.

PilauZanzibar pizza

Highly popular on Zanzibar Island, this unique dish known as “pizza” is a culinary delight in Tanzania. It is made with a thin sheet of dough that is filled with onions, peppers, meat, a raw egg, and sometimes a slice of cheese. The ingredients are wrapped up into a sandwich-sized pocket and fried in oil on a pan. The end result is a crispy, chewy, oversized square dumpling bursting with flavour. There are even dessert versions available, such as chocolate and banana. During my first visit to Tanzania, I indulged in this dish almost every day, but the impact on my waistline prompted me to cut back. However, you must try this dish at least once, or perhaps multiple times. While Tanzanian cuisine may not be the first thing that comes to mind, the food here is sure to surprise you in the best way possible. Be adventurous and try new dishes, as they are not only fresh and safe but also incredibly delicious. Enjoy exploring the flavours of Tanzania!

Zanzibar Pizza


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