Zambia has a lot to offer when it comes to food and it is certainly more varied than the traditional “nshima”, a local dish made from maize flour and water. The country has some of the best and most tender beef in the world and a vast farming land that provides a great variety of organic fruits and fresh vegetables. When eating out, being away from home, the expat community can also find a wide range of international restaurants for almost any palate: Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese or Thai. Besides, most of the urban centers in Zambia offer many of the major international franchise restaurants and fast-food chains to please any mouth or crave. During the weekend, it is also common to be invited to braais and even spit roasts on Sundays!
New comers may dig for the best information on eating out in Zambia through international travel guides, but let us take you to an experienced food tasting tour through Lusaka.
If you have been in the capital city long, you might remember the days when Rhapsody’s was the place where all expats gathered. This top-notch Restaurant continues to offer the finest cuisine in Lusaka and still boasts an amazing outdoor bar. This is definitely a restaurant and bar that needs to be rediscovered by our expat friends. The staff at Rhapsody’s put their hearts and souls into their service, food and cocktails, which have maintained the standards and have earned the Restaurant the PMR Diamond Arrow award for the best executive Restaurant in Zambia for 11 out of its 13 year existence. Try their “Signature” Espetadas, Steaks and Platters. The Restaurant also has the vibrant “outside bar which hosts live entertainment on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
What can we say about O’Hagan’s, other than it is the ONLY REAL PUB in Lusaka? This stunning Irish Jewel tucked away in the Woodlands Shopping Mall offers the coldest, freshest draught beer in the land. It is the best Sports Pub around and is probably the best Live Music venue in the city. O’Hagan’s offers a wide range of hearty “Pub Grub” with extremely generous portion sizes. Great value for money. As the Irish would say “There are no strangers here, only friends who have never met”.
Oh, by the way, if you want to visit on a live music night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday), you really have to book a table – otherwise it’s standing room only.
Feel like a steak? Climb to The Tower at Protea Hotel by Marriot in Arcades. Great steak and burger by the pool on the rooftop or sit down in a restaurant with a good vibe and nicely cooked meat: The Hussar Grill at East park Mall, the quintessential dining retreat in Lusaka. Drawing on over 50 years of grill room tradition, The Hussar Grill is synonymous with award-winning specialty steaks, superb service and warm ambiance.
From carefully aged, perfectly grilled steaks, to hog ribs that literally fall off the bone, The Hussar Grill’s reputation stems from a half century’s heritage combined with a real passion for people and commitment to serving only the finest Class-A grain-fed beef and game. Plus, they don’t charge corkage, ever.
For nice big coffees and eternal served lunches (from 12h until 18h!) The Roan and Sable is your place. They are serving now a new menu!
If you are feeling more exquisite, Latitude 15 offers an attractive Chef’s menu for the most demanding palates. The hotel itself is a celebration of creativity with local art positively oozing character and a passion for Africa, which in turn is reflected in the adventurous dishes!
When missing European flavours, pass through La Bottega, the new Italian restaurant in Woodlands that offers homely baked pizzas and pastries with great coffee. The best taste from Italy while contributing with the Bauleni In and Out of the Ghetto project.
Set in a beautiful stylish barn style decor that is both casual and glamorous, The Horse Shoe is perfect for all occasions. They are specialized in local prime beef, which they personally age to tender perfection. This restaurant set with unique decoration has something for everyone, whether you are looking for a perfectly cooked steak, succulent grilled prawns or a delicious vegetarian burger. To pair with your meal, ask for their great selection of wine and whiskey menus. Perfect for celebrations, corporate dinners and casual Sunday family lunches overlooking the polo field with grazing horses.
Famous for their cheese cake, Mango Madness Smoothie and amazing salads, if you are in the search of healthy-organic produce, Mint Lounge is your place. Their menu is fresh, healthy and always tasty. Perfect for breakfast and lunch meetings with their central location and quick service.
Set in a nice garden, Taste by Rootz supports local produce by making with love breakfast, lunch and tea. A perfect place also for social gatherings and events, such as hen Parties, Mother’s Day, baby showers or corporate reunions.
A day dedicated to eating in a great location should be at Lilayi Lodge. Great gardens and a pool to enjoy a full relaxed day out of the city.
For local flavours your option should definitely be Chuma Grill Restaurant and Bar at Radisson Blu Lusaka. Modern and contemporary Chuma Grill will spoil you with delicious African – fusion and International cuisine. Every morning they start with their famous Super Breakfast buffet, from 06:30 until 10:30. The Executive Chef prepares various amazing menu options that you can order for lunch and dinner. Lunch is served from 12:00 to 14:30 and dinner is served from 18:00 to 22:00. Snacks are served at the bar throughout the day.
Franchises, such as KFC, are all over the city for quicker-cheaper options.
And hey, if you feel like cooking yourself, pass by Mange-Tout Cooking School. Learn how to cook a great dish with wine by the hand of Izzy, who will be part of an assured fun and tasty evening.
Of course, for the best wine to accompany your meals, stop by The Wine Shop. The biggest variety of wines from all over the world!