11 of Kigali's Top Vegetarian Restaurants
Turambe Shoppe in Kigali | Courtesy of Turambe Shoppe
Kigali, a city often known for brochettes (grilled meat on a stick), akabenz (roasted and marinated pork), and other meat dishes, is not the world’s most vegetarian-friendly spot. However, recent years have seen several fantastic restaurants open up that cater to a vegetarian demographic. These restaurants make fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, pizzas and more, and their vegetarian offerings would make even the most virulent meat lover satisfied. Read on for 11 of Kigali’s best restaurants with delicious vegetarian options.
Inzora Rooftop Cafe
Cafe, Vegetarian, Coffee, $$$
In addition to offering some of Kigali’s best coffee and baked goods, Inzora Rooftop Cafe also offers a grilled cheese and yogurt with passionfruit and homemade granola that would please any vegetarian eater. The cafe is located in the back of Ikirezi, Kigali’s main bookstore, and also possesses one of Kigali’s best views. Check them out on Friday afternoon and evenings when they host a cocktail and wine hour with well-crafted cheese boards.
Restaurant, Bar, Italian, Vegetarian
Located inside the Radisson Blu hotel and next to the Kigali Convention Centre, Filini is known for some of the city’s best Italian cuisine. Many of the pasta, pizza, and salad dishes are fresh and vegetarian, rendering the spot one of excellent for a luxurious Sunday lunch or dinner with friends.
Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant
Restaurant, Ethiopian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
One of Kigali’s best Ethiopian restaurants, Habesha’s vegetarian offerings never fail to disappoint. The injera is perfectly cooked, and the sprawling garden provides a lovely place to sit, relax, and enjoy the food. Try their massive vegetarian sharing platter.
Cafe, Restaurant, Vegetarian, Vegan, Asian
Known for its fresh salad and sandwich offerings, Turambe Shoppe is more than just a restaurant. Nutrition services and counselling are offered by their registered dietician, and the cafe whips up delicious vegetarian selections on the daily. Choose between the delicious Asian chopped salad, vegan lentil soup, or roasted garlic hummus, and take joy in the fact that Turambe only uses organic lettuce. They are one of the only restaurants in Rwanda specifically sensitive to food allergies, and their nutritional and balanced offerings have recently expanded to include breakfast.
Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian, Vegan
Meze Fresh, Kigali’s first and only Mexican food joint, is still a fan favorite among residents and visitors alike. The build-it-yourself taco, burrito, and salad bar is a vegetarian dream come true, and their mango salsa, guacamole, and homemade tortilla chips are out of this world. Grab a reasonably priced beer, and bring your food upstairs for a great view and casual hangout with friends.
Restaurant, Vegetarian, Spanish, Tapas, $$$
This buzzing tapas spot is the place to be in Kigali for sangria and other Spanish treats. Try the eggplant fries drizzled in cane honey and house salad that comes from their cute and colorful garden, in addition to a bevy of other vegetarian-friendly options. The partially-covered outdoor seating area makes for a lovely place to while away an afternoon or evening.
Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian
As one of Kigali’s finest dining establishments in the evenings, Brachetto’s lunchtime buffet is one of the city’s best secrets. Endless supplies of creative salads, quiches, cheese, breads, and more, Brachetto’s overloading lunch tables are a treat for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. If ordering off of the menu instead, check out their Capri sandwich, made up on balsamic-soaked tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella. It’s one of Kigali’s closest approximations to the Italian countryside, and it’s an absolute treat.
Zaaffran Indian Restaurant
Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, $$$
Kigali’s Indian food offerings in Kigali are fantastic, and Zaaffran is often considered the best of the best. Zaaffran offers up some of the city’s best curries, naan, mango lassi, paneer, and more in a cute and well-decorated subterranean setting. Their large rooms are a perfect spot for group dinners, and their vegetarian selection is one of the best in the city. Try the palak paneer, stuffed paneer, garlic naan, and dal makhani.
Food and Go
Cafe, Healthy, Vegetarian, $$$
One of Kigali’s newest offerings, Food and Go is actually in the entry way of the WAKA gym. Offering healthy and fresh takeaway salads, sandwiches, and smoothies, Food and Go is quickly becoming a vegetarian-friendly Kigali staple. Check out any of their salad offerings that include quinoa and orange sweet potato, or their green detox smoothie alongside a tasty blueberry and chia seed muffin.
Cafe, Restaurant, Vegetarian, $$$
Located on the rooftop of the Kigali Public Library, Shokola offers sweeping city views, an excellent and vegetarian-friendly lunch buffet and menu items, and countless music and storytelling events. Don’t hesitate to try a salad or baked good, and settle back into their comfortable chairs for a good afternoon of work.
Restaurant, Korean, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Though this may come as a surprise, Kigali has some fantastic Korean food options. The best of the best can be found at Monmartse, a small garden-side restaurant located behind the Rwandan Development Board. Monmartse comes through with superb bibimbap and banchan (small, vegetable-oriented, side dishes). Their large portions and larger tables make this place excellent for big groups and hungry vegetarians.