Zanzibar Local Cuisine - Must Try Food on your Holiday

As the world's leading producer of cloves, it's no surprise that Zanzibar is nicknamed the Spice Island. This popular island off the coast of Tanzania is home to some of the most delicious and flavourful food you'll ever taste. From Zanzibar’s famous pizza to kebabs, seafood and soup, there's something for everyone to enjoy. And don't even get us started on the desserts! Here are some of the must-try dishes when you're on holiday in 


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The first dish on our list is Zanzibar pizza. You can find this dish all over the island, but it's especially popular in Stone Town. The Zanzibar pizza is a delicious and unique dish that has its roots in the East African island of Zanzibar. The pizza is made with a thin, flatbread crust that is topped with a variety of toppings, including meats, vegetables, and spices. The history of the Zanzibar pizza dates back to the 18th century, when the first pizzas were introduced to the island by Italian traders. The pizzas quickly became popular among the locals, who began to experiment with different toppings and ingredients.  

Next up is ugali, a delicious side dish made with cornmeal, water, and spices. This dish is usually served alongside grilled meat or fish, and it's the perfect way to add some extra flavor to your meal. The popularity of ugali in Zanzibar can be attributed to its affordability and versatility. Ugali can be made with just a few ingredients, and it can be easily adaptable to different tastes. For example, some people like to add spices or vegetables to their ugali, while others prefer it plain. 

For something a little more adventurous, try the kebabs, mishkaki, or urojo soup. The kebabs are skewers of grilled meat that are often served with a dipping sauce, while the mishkaki is a type of kebab made with chicken or beef. The urojo soup is a spicy soup made with tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. If you're looking for something truly authentic, don't miss out on these dishes! 

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If you're a fan of seafood, then you'll be in heaven when you visit Zanzibar. The Spice Island is renowned for its delicious seafood, with plenty of fish and shellfish on offer. Some of the must-try seafood dishes when you're in Zanzibar include: 

  • Samaki wa kanga, a grilled fish dish that's usually made with tuna or swordfish. The fish is marinated in a mix of spices before being grilled over hot coals. It's often served with a coconut milk sauce and steamed rice.  
  • Crab curry - as you might expect, crab is one of the most popular seafood items on the menu in Zanzibar. This curry dish is made with fresh crab meat and a variety of spices, giving it a delicious and fragrant flavour.  
  • Grilled prawns - another popular seafood dish, grilled prawns are often served as a starter or main course. The prawns are marinated in a spice mix before being cooked over hot coals. They're usually served with a dipping sauce on the side. 

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And last but not least, we have the desserts. Zanzibar is home to some of the most delicious sweets you'll ever taste. From sticky date pudding to coconut ice cream, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t leave the island before trying Zanzibar’s famous dessert, the spice cake. Made with cinnamon, chocolate, nutmeg and locally-grown cloves, this aromatic cake is so popular because it combines perfectly the island’s favourite spices. So be sure to save room for dessert when you're in Zanzibar!  

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