, a nation not usually known for a foodie culture, is quickly expanding its offerings. Tasty traditional and international cuisines are procurable throughout the country
, as chefs and restaurants make their mark. In addition to the traditional brochettes (grilled meat on a stick), akabenz (marinated and roasted pork), and vegetable stews, artisanal ice cream, delectable sushi, mouthwatering pizzas, and more are now also available. Get ready to be hungry, and read on for 12 of Rwanda’s top restaurants.
Restaurant, African, $$$
Home to upscale Rwandan cuisine, Repub Lounge is the perfect place to sample brochettes (grilled meat, vegetables, or fish on a stick), misuzu (sweet plantains), and general grilled meat offerings. Try the delectable Liboke chicken or fish, a banana-leaf cooked meal that is one of their hallmark offerings.
Restaurant, Sushi, Vegetarian, $$$
Though a landlocked nation, Rwanda finally has a fantastic sushi restaurant to add to its list. Kiseki, located in the Kimihurura neighborhood of Kigali, supplies the city’s sushi lovers with fresh nigiri, creative rolls, and, at lunch time, sushi burritos. Additionally, their sake list is easily the best in the city.
Restaurant, Belgian, $$$
Offering an eclectic mix of Belgian and French cuisine inspired by local Rwandan ingredients, Poivre Noir takes fine dining in Kigali to the next level. Known for creative burgers, steaks, and starters, don’t miss their indulgent desserts or thoughtful wine selection.
Cafe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Located minutes away from Lake Kivu’s lakeshore in Gisenyi, Calafia Cafe produces some of Rwanda’s best quality casual dining. The homemade pesto and hummus, accompanied by freshly baked bread, is heavenly. Come for happy hour cocktails and the California-inspired vibes, and stay for the fresh and healthy offerings.
Restaurant, Tapas, Vegetarian, $$$
This buzzing tapas spot is the place to be in Kigali for sangria and other Spanish treats. Try the eggplant fries drizzled in cane honey and house salad that comes from their cute and colorful garden. The partially-covered outdoor seating area makes for a lovely place to while away an afternoon or evening.
Panorama Ten to Two
Bar, Barbeque, African, $$$
Located in the lively Nyamirambo neighborhood, this restaurant provides some of Kigali’s best views in addition to cold beer, excellent brochettes, and a local specialty – ‘big fish’. In Kigali, ‘big fish’ refers to a large tilapia grilled with onions and spices, and Panorama Ten to Two serves one of the best big fishes around. One fish is generally enough to feed two or three people.
Zaaffran Indian Restaurant
Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Indian food in Kigali is, undeniably, superb. Zaaffran offers up some of the city’s best curries, naan, mango lassi, paneer, and more in a cute and well-decorated subterranean setting. Their large rooms are a perfect spot for group dinners.
Restaurant, Japanese, Vegetarian, $$$
This simple little Japanese restaurant in the Kacyiru neighborhood of Kigali has remained popular since its opening in 2015. Serving donburi bowls and ramen noodles, their ingredients are deliciously homemade and fresh. Try their kaarage chicken donburi bowl, one of their signature dishes.
Restaurant, Korean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Offering up the city’s best Korean food, Monmartse comes through with superb bibimbap and banchan (small, usually vegetable-oriented, side dishes), as well as tasty do-it-yourself Korean barbecue. Their large portions and larger tables make this place excellent for big groups.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
With a vast menu, lofty ceilings, and a bright blue pool overlooking one of Kigali’s many cityscapes, The Hut’s quality is what manages to distinguish it from the hordes of Kigali restaurants. Try their lamb burger, pasta dishes, avocado fries, and pizzas, before diving into their cocktail list.
Located in Remera, near Rwanda’s national stadium in Kigali, Come Again is known for one thing and one thing only: the city’s best Akabenz. Akabenz, marinated and roasted pig, is one of Rwanda’s most traditional foodie claims to fame. This dish at Come Again is the favorite of both locals and expats alike, and this crowded restaurant always comes through with the best.
Filini Italian Restaurant and Bar
Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, $$$
Located inside the Radisson Blu hotel and next to the Kigali Convention Centre, Filini caters to Kigali’s business community and politicians. Purveyors of some of the city’s best Italian cuisine, the gnocchi, pizzas, and salads are fresh and made with high quality ingredients. Perfect for a luxurious Sunday lunch or dinner with friends, Filini is quite the treat.