If you’re visiting Zambia for the food, look no further than Lusaka. As the country’s capital and largest city, here you’ll find all the unique flavors of the world — and Zambia — in one place. The city’s dining scene is surprisingly diverse and robust: you can get everything from Indian to ice cream, Thai to tenderloin steaks. Here are 15 of the best restaurants in Lusaka.
Web Source: LonelyPlanet.com.
This article originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
1. Mint Lounge
Mint Lounge has a casual, coffeeshop vibe and lovely outdoor seating area surrounded with beautiful, manicured plants. It offers a large selection of Western-style dishes like tortilla wraps, omelettes and pasta, but is known for its unique sandwiches and fresh smoothies. It’s great for a light, healthy lunch with friends.
2. Misty Jazz Café
Dining, music, and dancing: Misty Jazz offers all this and great ambiance. Smartly-dressed patrons nosh on international fusion dishes (everything from bouillabaisse to beef fillet), while grooving to the strains of live jazz. The lavishly decorated and trendy bar boasts an international wine list and selection of beers, ciders, spirits and luscious infused cocktails.
3. Chicago Bistro
Don’t be fooled by the name: you’ll still feel very much like you’re in Zambia in this popular, always-buzzing steakhouse. As much a hangout for locals as it is a restaurant, Chicago’s offers up top-quality steaks and drinks at a fraction of what you’d pay in a real Chicago steakhouse. The chefs here are known to be great on the grill.
4. Arabian Nights
This charming restaurant features slightly theatrical Middle Eastern décor and incredible dishes like impala steaks and Kenyan coriander lamb. It also offers some unexpected but tasty continental dishes like parmesan meatballs and braised oxtail. The restaurant makes its own ice cream and has live music every Friday night.
5. Plates Restaurant & Wine Bar
Conveniently located next to Arcades Shopping Centre, Plates has made quite a name for itself in the city. The Culinary Institute of America-trained chef makes elegant, imaginative dishes with high-quality ingredients like almond-crusted bream. The menu is mostly American and Mediterranean, and the restaurant has an extensive wine menu that the staff is happy to help you with. The décor is elegant but modern, and great for a business meeting or special occasion.
6. P’zazz at Zebra Crossing
This magical little restaurant is decorated with African artwork and woodcarvings, and offers pastries, sandwiches and wraps with surprising flavor combinations, like the carrot-and-marmalade muffins. The quirky décor compliments the neighboring art and handicrafts gallery perfectly.
7. Town Centre Market
If you want inexpensive, authentic Zambian food, look no further than the food stalls and kiosks at this market. Come here when you’re feeling adventurous — dogs roam the streets and vendors shout prices at you. But it’s worth it for the mouth-watering sausages and steaks grilled right in front of you and served up with vegetables and nshima (a fluffy cornmeal side dish).
8. Diane’s Korean Cuisine
This restaurant is truly a hole-in-the-wall, hidden behind a wall with only a barely legible sign to let you know it’s there. But it’s worth finding. The décor is minimal, with a modestly sized dining room and rather plain garden, but the food more than makes up for that. Diners can order Asian hotpots, authentic Korean dishes like bulgogi, or even the cook-at-the-table option where diners barbecue their own meats and vegetables on a grill.
9. Chit Chat
Chit Chat is a casual restaurant with garden seating. It’s one of the few places with Wi-Fi included with your meal, and many diners come here to eat and relax with their laptops and a coffee. The cuisine is continental with everything from tortilla wraps and Mexican dishes to pasta and steak.
Don’t be put off by the views of the shopping center parking lot: this is one of the most respected restaurants in Lusaka. The menu is dynamic, including gourmet burgers, pasta dishes, some traditional Zambian dishes and wraps. Every dish is beautifully plated and even common items have surprising twists.
“Eclectic” is the best word to describe Eviva. The menu ranges from Mediterranean to sushi, and features innovative cocktails as well. Located in the Rhodes Park neighborhood of Lusaka, Eviva offers a festive atmosphere, numerous seating areas (including an outdoor patio) and superb attention to detail in both the food and the service.
12. Four Seasons Bistro
Four Seasons has a meat-heavy European-themed menu that includes weekly rotating specials, and new dishes with every new season. Head chef and owner Jamey Townsend follows the modern trend of “sloe food,” sourcing all his ingredients within Zambia, or growing them organically in his own garden.
13. Bombay Lounge
Offering high-end Indian food in a classy setting, Bombay Lounge specializes in “Mangalorean” cuisine from Tamil Nadu and other areas of southern India. In addition to the restaurant, there’s also a casual pub and bar which offers a wide range of cocktails, wines, whiskies and Champagnes.
Chang is one of the few Thai-only restaurants in Lusaka’s dining scene. Actual Thai chefs serve up a menu of top-notch yet affordable Thai classics in a traditional environment. Located in Acacia Park (behind Arcades Shopping Center), Chang offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and a wide range of alcoholic beverages to complement a meal.
15. Sugarbush Cafe/Design House Cafe
Located at picturesque Sugarbush Farm on Leopard’s Hill Road, a short way from the center of Lusaka, this cafe is worth the drive. Diners can eat at picnic tables in the clean courtyard, or at family-style tables — or big comfy couches — inside the homey restaurant, where menus are scrawled on chalkboards. Pastries and breads are made on site, and produce comes from the café’s organic garden. Try one of the delicious pasta-and-wine pairings. It’s popular with expats and also for Sunday brunch, so book in advance or you might miss out.