Updated on March 3, 2016
Tourist food on Zanzibar
If you are staying somewhere outside of Stonetown, close to the beach, your best options for food are at one the resorts or restaurants aimed at tourists. There is usually a menu with enough options for vegetarians and definitely for seafood lovers. Fish, meat and curries are often served with a choice of potato fries, sweet potato wedges, white rice, (steamed or curried) vegetables and/or salad. Salads usually contain a mix of cucumber, tomato, onion and/or cabbage. (Since the water is generally safe to drink, it is also safe to eat salads.)
The curries we tried were very good and come in two main flavors: with or without coconut, and some variations depending on the spices. They are spiced with local spices and are generally mild. (You can add salt, lime, chili sauce and tomato ketchup by yourself, to make it more ‘tasty’.) I prefer the ones with coconut, because they are more creamy. (Note that it is not ‘pure’ coconut cream; the cans I found in the supermarket contained several artificial ingredients.) There are many types of curries: vegetable (usually paprika, tomato, carrot, eggplant and/or potato, or with spinach), fish, calamari, octopus, prawns, crab, beans or peas. Curries with beef or chicken are less common. Because it is an island, it makes more sense to eat fish and seafood. The fish and seafood curries may or may not have vegetables added to them. (Pork is nowhere for sale, because islam is the main religion on the island.)
The curries are best eaten with (white) rice, that also comes in different flavors: with spices, with coconut, with chili, with vegetables, but mostly as plain white rice. It is also common to eat chapati with your curry. Chapati is a type of bread made of flour, salt, water and vegetable oil, then fried in a bit of vegetable oil.
These are some of the curries we ate:
Some of the non-curry dishes we ate: