Dhow Cafe is the ultimate chill spot in the city. You can admire the gorgeous views of Maputo Bay from the cafe’s garden while sitting in Dhow boats transformed into comfortable sofas. Tucked away at the end of a residential street, the beautiful cafe is open from brunch until just after sunset, offering a relaxed environment where dark wooden furniture, white decorative cloths, and eclectic artwork create an atmosphere reminiscent of Bali. With a Greek couple as owners, the menu offers traditional Greek cuisine with a local twist. Favorites include the feta-honey samosas, strawberry cake and homemade bubbly ginger iced tea. Dhow Cafe’s veranda and pool area is the perfect location to watch the sunset. There’s also a shop selling art, furniture, jewelry, and decoration from all corners of the world.
Dhow Cafe, Rua de Marracuene 4, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 21 492115
Campo di Mare
Located on the premises of Club Maritimo, right near the water, this excellent Italian seafood restaurant with a Mozambican twist offers ocean as well as city views. Campo di Mare is popular for business lunches during weekdays and family lunches during weekends, with menu highlights including tuna tartar, spaghetti with clams, tuna steak, grilled prawns, crab fusilli and passion fruit cheesecake for dessert. The service is polite and fast. There’s an outside deck as well as an inside seating area, decorated with sculptures from the local artist Goncalo Mabunda, who creates art made of old weapons.
Campo di Mare (Club Maritimo), Avenida Marginal 5714, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 84 684 4374
A Nossa Tasca
This Portuguese restaurant is the place to go if you’re craving meat, a highlight being the ‘espetadas’ (grilled chunks of beef dramatically presented on long spears hanging at your table). If you want to give your meal a Southern African twist, order it with xima (a type of porridge made with corn flour) and add piri piri sauce. Don’t miss out on the passion fruit mousse for dessert. The wooden tables and modern lighting give the restaurant a contemporary, stylish feel, suitable for enjoyment with friends, family and colleagues. A Nossa Tasca is open for lunch and dinner.
A Nossa Tasca, Avenida Julius Nyerere, 245, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 84 450 6174
Under the palm trees and near the ocean, Zambi offers the best fine dining in town. If weather permits, ask to be seated on the outside, shaded terrace to watch the fishing boats pass by. The recently renovated indoor dining room offers a spacious alternative for those windy Maputo evenings. The Portuguese fusion menu includes picanha (steak cut the Brazilian way) with a slice of orange, lobster, and grilled tiger prawns. Make sure to stick around for the beautifully presented desserts, which include petite gateau, cashew nut tart, and the all-time favorite, Amarula (an African coffee liquor) ice cream.
Zambi, Avenida 10 de Novembro 8, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 84 339 2624
A landmark in Maputo, Piri Piri has been offering the city’s iconic grilled piri-piri chicken for decades, including during the country’s civil war. The juicy chicken is grilled to perfection and the piri piri sauce is excellent in its simplicity. Always busy, the restaurant is unpretentious and great value for money. If you don’t fancy their signature chicken dish, try the crab matapa or the clams and you won’t be disappointed. Sit outside to watch the local crowds go by.
Piri Piri, Avenida 24 de Julho 1232, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 82 487 1210
Sagres is a family-friendly, laid-back Portuguese restaurant located right on the beach. You can ask to sit outside to enjoy the view and ocean breeze. The highlights of the menu are the seafood platters, which include large prawns, grilled squid, calamari, and lobster. The platters are so large that you’ll find it difficult to finish. Sagres serves an incredibly tasty crab curry, just be prepared for things to get messy while hammering your crab shell. The restaurant is popular for Sunday lunch and offers the most diverse international beer selection in town.
Maresqueira Sagres, Avenida Marginal 4272, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 21 395 201
Txhapo Txhapo’s regularly changing menu is short but sweet, presenting a different selection of products to other Maputo restaurants: it’s the best place for burgers (the pulled pork burger is not to be missed) and with a variety of salads, quiches and freshly squeezed juice, it’s a great option for vegetarians and those looking for a healthier option. The desserts are exquisite (think salted caramel and petit gateau), and they serve a killer caipirinha.
Txhapo Txhapo, Avenida Eduardo Mondlane 173, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 84 541 9820
At Tree House, you can lunch and dine al fresco under a huge mafura, a tree native to Mozambique whose seeds provide a substance used for soap and candles. The atmosphere at the outside restaurant is tranquil, especially at night when twinkling lights brighten up the place. The food is simple with skewered meats dominating the menu. Alternatively, the grilled mixed seafood platter is delicious and the picanha is well made, with a side order of beans, fried bananas and farofa (toasted cassava flour used to accentuate the taste of the meat). Tree House has an impressive selection of gin, which makes for some great G&Ts.
Kalus Esplanada is not for those looking for a classy fine-dining experience but if you want the best meat in town at an affordable and local setting, look no further. At the counter, you order your meat by weight, with a choice of salad, French fries, or xima on the side. Take a seat, order a drink and watch your food being grilled on the spot at the massive outside BBQ. Alternatively, play some pool until your meal is ready to be served. The picanha is divine, as are the sausages. It’s a great place to hang out on a Sunday for lunch but be on time, or risk all the good stuff being gone.
Located inside the lush and peaceful Parque dos Continuadores, where Maputo’s largest art and craft market is located, Mamma Mia offers a great selection of Italian and local dishes. Ice cream and pastas are homemade, including the popular gnocchi. Mamma Mia has the best pizzas in town but if you are looking to try a local dish, go for the matapa or the delicious crab curry. Let your kids play and run around safely in the park while you finish your meal with a cappuccino.
Mamma Mia, Avenida Martires da Machava, Maputo, Mozambique, +258 82 616 4320