Food & Restaurants in Maputo
The local cuisine is a mixture of African, Portuguese, Middle Eastern and Indian/Pakistani cuisine. All these different cuisines are served at various areas in the city.
Any number of small cafes serve simple dishes and juices that are affordable. Unless you are adventurous, stay away from most roadside stalls especially if they are serving meat. Safe roadside fare includes cashews (usually fire roasted without salt served in small paper cones), fried bean cakes called Bhajia, uncut and unwashed fruits (cut and wash yourself with bottled water), and soft-serve ice cream. Expect to pay between Mt 15 and 50 (US$0.60-$1.50).
The fruit from roadside stands is usually fine, especially if it has a hard peel, which most do (banana, mango, pineapple, tangerine, papaya etc.). They expect to sell the fruit by the kilogram, so be prepared for strange looks if you want just a couple of individual fruits. Prices change with what's in season, except for bananas, which are always available - a couple of bananas should set you back 5 or 10 MTn.
The smaller cafes will have egg sandwiches, fries, grilled chicken, small pastries, and simple hamburgers. Expect to pay between Mt 15 and 75 (US$0.60-$3).
Do not lose sight of your credit or debit cards or they may be cloned. Rather always pay cash at any restaurant.
- Cantinho do Brasil, Av. Vladimir Lenine 1057. Good Brazilian snacks and feijoada. A good place to enjoy a snack, good coffee and good internet.
- Gelati, Av. Julius Nyerere 794. Good ice cream, on its own or served with Crepes.
- Mercado Janeta (Corner of Av. Vlademir Lenine and Av. Mao Tse Tung). Many food stalls located inside the market with a standard roster of dishes, consisting of a lot of starch, a piece of meat, and a lot of sauce. For starch you can choose rice or, occasionally, xima; for meat, chicken or beef; popular sauce options include peanut curry and guisado, a kind of tomato stew. 40-60 Mt. Food is generally only served at lunch; at dinner a few places will be open but you'll be eating leftovers. If you want drinks, however, there are plenty of options at all hours.
- Zambezia, Av. Mao Tse Tung. Very good Zambezian chicken, with coconut milk and spices. Convenient to Fatima's.
- Twingo, Av. Vlademir Lenine. Broad and fairly inexpensive menu (the prato do dia is particularly cheap) with a good bakery.
- Gracianna In the Parque dos Continuadores, which is bound by Av. Mao Tse Tung, Av. Armando Tivane, and Av. Martires de Machava, one block west of Av. Julius Nyerere. Mozambican food, generally around 150 - 180 MTn. Quite tasty. Try the mucapata.
- Mamma Mia Also in the Parque dos Continuadores, right next to Gracianna. Mozambican and Italian dishes, all very tasty. Slightly more expensive than Gracianna.
- Mimmo's, two locations, one on Av. 24 de Julho and Av. Salvador Allende, the other on Av. Vlademir Lenine near Av. Agostinho Neto. Mostly Italian menu. Tuesday features half-price pizza (takeout only) and commensurately long waits.
- Chicken Piripiri near the corner of Avda. 24 de Julho and Avda. Nyerere serves grilled chicken and also very good prawns. Famous, and in a posh location; the chicken also costs twice as much as it would from a takeout joint.
- Mercado do Peixe The fresh fish market. Behind the Sasol Garage on Av. Marginal, you chose you own prawns, clams, crab, Grouper, Coral and Rock cod, Squid and a galaxy of other tropical fish still flapping at the market, then retire to one of the many small restaurants behind the stals where they are cooked beautifully. Everyone's favourite Sunday afternoon.
- Mundo's next to Avenida Hotel on Av. Julius Nyerere. Multiracial meeting place with bar and restaurant, including pizza. Lots of televisions tuned to sport from South African channels. Internet free for 30 mins. per day, after that for moderate charge.
- Restaurante Escorpiao, in the Feira Popular (in the Baixa district). Has a huge menu, a decent wine list (by Mozambican standards) and caters to moderate budgets. Not fancy, frequented by locals. Delicious arroz mariscos (seafood stew with rice). Soggiest vegetables in town; for better Portuguese-inspired fare, try Restaurante Cristal, Costa do Sol or Monte Alentejano.
- Waterfront, Av. 10 de Novembre, . Good, mainly seafood, restaurant on the seafront.
- Restaurante 1908, Av. Eduardo Mondlane/Av. Salvador Allende. Decent food in a very nice old building.
- Cristal, Av. 24 de Julho/Av. Tomas Nduda. Very popular with the Portuguese. A mostly expensive and mostly Portuguese menu. Try the accorda.
- Monte Alentejano, Av. Julius Nyerere. Another popular Portuguese place.
- Costa do Sol restaurant, Av. Marginal in Costa do Sol (5 km north of Maputo by the sea - take a taxi, they will wait and bring you back), . Icon over 70 years old. Average seafood in low-key atmosphere. Booking recommended at weekends and if you want an outdoors table. It's also possible to stay overnight as they have a few hotel rooms.
- Restaurant Sheik, Av. Mao Tse Tung. Part of the Sheik entertainment complex. Offers high-end Chinese and African cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. The disco below has dancing, drinks, and fun until the wee hours of the morning.
- Zambi, Av. 10 de Novembro (On the bay in the center of town, a few kilometers south of Club Naval). Modern, sleek eatery, good menu selection. Big terrace in the front overlooks the road to the bay, with an open kitchen dining room inside. Worth the money (which is still cheap by western standards!).
- Filini. Restaurant and bar, located in the Radisson Blu Maputo, offers exquisite Italian cuisine in a stylish atmosphere. Straight forward simply cooked Italian food. Friendly and fast-paced unpretentious service. Wide selection of wine.
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