Stone Town has plenty of restaurants and I picked these for either the food, ambiance or the view. Read on…
- Hurumzi on Emerson: Rooftop Tea House Restaurant
Tucked away within the town, it is housed in one of the old restored buildings. A steep staircase takes you to this rooftop restaurant which in my opinion offers the best panoramic view that looks into the ocean, rooftops and beyond.
I think it’s the highest among the rooftop restaurants in town. Tourists usually start the evening by watching the sunset before moving on to a 3 course dinner, with seating on the floor and a cuisine serving traditional dishes. It seats approximately 30 people and if you don’t have a booking for the evening you won’t get a table! If you’re not keen on the evening meal, walk in (or rather climb up!) for a light lunch which is what we did.
2. Abyssinian Maritim: Ethiopian Restaurant
This restaurant serves traditional Ethiopian cuisine and is well worth a visit.
Here you dine in true Ethiopian style: ‘eat with your fingers’ and sharing the same plate, which is a traditional symbol of friendship and loyalty.They offer a variety of vegetarian dishes as well. Ask the waiter and he will recommend what to eat.
3. The Serena Inn: Masahani Bar
If you are there at sunset, you will find everyone lined up, focusing their cameras to get the best sunset shots!
The Serena has a fantastic spot right on the beach (though this is a town beach, so not really one for swimming) and is a great place to watch the Stone Town sunsets. It is a lovely spot with a cool sea-breeze blowing and a relaxed air. On the day we visited they had a group of Taarab musicians playing on the terrace during the sunset. The Masahani Bar serves a variety of cocktails and snacks.
4. Stone Town Cafe
It’s one of the few places to have a leisurely breakfast before the rest of the town wakes up. The cafe opens by 8.00am and offers you a generous pot of coffee and a continental breakfast to start your day.
It’s centrally located and is housed in one of the old restored buildings of the town. Lunch and dinner are served here as well and the Arabic cuisine is worth a try.
5. Dreamers Island
This place I recommend for the experience of a floating restaurant in the Indian Ocean, it’s on a boat which is anchored just off the shore in Stone Town.
It takes 5 minutes by boat to get there which the restaurant organizes to get people too and fro. It’s another great place to watch the sunset with a view of the town’s seafront along with a nice sea breeze blowing. Food and drinks are served on board, though it’s a limited menu.