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    Oct 2013 · Mary Fitzpatrick

    Since its founding about a decade ago, Bigg Bites (formerly Big Bite, and also appearing on its own advertising as...

    Since its founding about a decade ago, Bigg Bites (formerly Big Bite, and also appearing on its own advertising as Bigg Bytes and several other variations) has become an Arusha institution, with a loyal base of fans ranging from budget backpackers to well-heeled locals. Its main drawing point is its well-prepared northern Indian cuisine, featuring tandoori dishes, a wide range of vegetarian choices and refreshing lassis (a yoghurt-based drink that comes in sweet and salty variants).

    Located in the heart of Arusha’s central business district, close to the chaotic central bus stand, Bigg Bites is decidedly underwhelming at first glance. It is easy, in fact, to bypass it completely, mistaking it for one of the many other run-down shops lining the narrow streets. Once inside, however, the welcome is warm. Artfully folded and brightly colored paper napkins decorate the restaurant’s half-dozen tables, tablecloths are clean and each place well-set. All dishes are individually prepared, with particular attention given to proper spicing. The restaurant, which is currently operated by Rahoul, the original owner’s son, has long put the emphasis on quality, and the strategy has paid off.

    The restroom is located around the corner; staff will escort you, and the walk there offers another glimpse of local life, past sidewalk tailors with their foot-pedal sewing machines, a small bike shop and a local grill.

    While Bigg Bites is not for everyone, it is well worth trying if you are seeking to get a glimpse of local life. It also offers good value for money, with generous portions at reasonable prices (about US$8-12 for a meal). If the restaurant’s location is too much in the thick of things for your tastes, Bigg Bites also has a thriving take-away business, and will deliver almost anywhere in Arusha (and sometimes beyond). The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily except Tuesday.

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