African Street Food: 6 Underrated Foodie Destinations in Africa


Africa is the ultimate vacation destination for a variety of reasons, including a diverse and intriguing culinary scene. African street food comes in a mouth-watering variety with flavors from all over the world.

Some of the top street food destinations on the continent include Morocco, South Africa and Egypt. But there are a number of hidden spots that every food lover should visit. These unknown destinations offer authentic culinary experiences that you will not find anywhere else.

If your love for food drives your vacation experiences, here are Africa’s best kept secrets for foodies:

Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa is world-famous for its stunning beaches and rich historical and cultural scene. But this coastal city is also home to a vibrant culinary scene that reflects its multicultural heritage. The street food here blends influences from African, Indian and Arab backgrounds.

On your evening stroll around the city, you will come across countless vendors with streetside stoves. Here they prepare a variety of spicy, savory and decadent foods for every palette. Main components of the food include rice, coconut milk, different meats and spices.

Popular Swahili dishes include pilau and biryani – both are spiced rice dishes often served with meat. You will also find a variety of curries prepared in creamy, coconut milk. The city is also renowned for its Indian treats including samosas, kebabs and bhajias. You will also love the mshikaki, marinated meat grilled on skewers. Almost everything comes with a tangy sauce on the side.

The best places to experience this vibrant scene is in Old Town and Kibanda Street food markets.

Kampala, Uganda

Uganda is known for a variety of tourists attractions and activities. Whitewater rafting in the White Nile and hiking the glaciers of the Ruwenzori Mountains are among the top adventures here. But the country also has a bustling street food scene that the world is yet to explore.

The rolex is considered a cultural symbol of this landlocked nation. It consists of a layered flatbread with a filling of fried egg and a vegetable salad. There are countless varieties of this treat, some featuring fried fish, sausages or even meat fillings.

The streets of Kampala also have diverse grilled meats, typically marinated in spices before grilling. You will also find grilled bananas and cassava with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Ugandan pancakes are a delicacy and so are the crunchy, fried grasshoppers nsenene.

This African street food destination is one of the cheapest anywhere in Africa, making it ideal for budget vacations.

Zanzibar, Tanzania


The Zanzibar archipelago has some of the most beautiful tropical beaches in Africa. It a popular honeymoon destination and an adventure spot for thrill seekers. But another unknown attraction in Zanzibar is the amazing cuisine.

Just like Mombasa, Zanzibar draws its culinary influences from a blend of Indian, Arabian, Swahili and other influences. However, it has unique street foods that you will not find anywhere else. Zanzibar pizza is one of the most famous foods here. It is a stuffed crepe with a filling of vegetables or meat and a sauce of your choice.

As a coastal destination, it has a variety of seafood which are typically prepared as you watch. You will likely enjoy the fresh octopus cooked on skewers or in a coconut curry. If you love fillers, try the Zanzibar mix. It features deep fried mashed potatoes and bhajias in a tangy soup. These have a topping of cassava shavings, chili and coconut chutney.

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

On a trip to the Ivory Coast, you might want take a cultural tour, visit the scenic beaches and see its archeological marvels. But your tour would not be complete without sampling the food. It is a great off-the-radar location for trying out a variety of West African flavors.

Attieke is one of the iconic dishes – made using fermented cassava (similar to couscous) and served with fried chicken or grilled fish. It often comes with a side of chilli or spicy tomato sauce. You might also want to try aloco, fried plantains typically served with sauce.

Foutou is yet another delicacy, a starchy meal of plantains, cassava or yam, popularly served with okra stew or peanut sauce. Vendors love to season goat, beef and chicken with local spices and grill them to perfection. While you are here, you also have to try choukouya, the Ivorian beef jerky.

Asmara, Eritrea

Asmara, Eritrea is a great place to visit for its outstanding architecture. Thanks to a rich cultural heritage however, it also has amazing food. Nearly every meal has injera as its foundational piece. This is a huge, spongy flatbread made using a gluten-free grain known as teff. They serve various stews on this base. Everything is served in one massive metallic plate for everyone to dig in. injera is not just the base; it also serves as the spoon. You tear off a piece of it and scoop your desired stew.

The locals often serve injera with shiro or tibs. Shiro is a spicy stew consisting of ground lentils or chickpeas while tibs are pieces of grilled or sauteed meat. Another popular dish, fata, consists of pieces of bread topped with eggs, spicy tomatoes and onions.

A common breakfast meal here consists of fava beans garnished with onions and tomatoes. The beans are slow cooked in spicy seasoning. Due to influences from Italy, vendors here serve a variety of pastas with a local twist. Roasted corn on the cob, Eritrean coffee and Eritrean sweets are also popular on the streets.

Nairobi, Kenya


Nairobi is one of few capital cities in the world with a full-fledged national park within it. It is also famous for its variety of African street foods. A popular offering here is nyama choma, goat or beef seasoned with salt and roasted over an open flame.

Mutura, a traditional, grilled sausage made using spiced meat, is also a common sight on the streets. You might also love the skewered and grilled meat kebabs made from chicken and beef. Street vendors also sell samosas and roasted maize (corn on the cob).

Uncover the Diversity of the African Street Food Scene

Is a food tour on your list of things to do on vacation? The African street food scene is dynamic and diverse, with amazing variety for every palette. Whether you like it spicy, sweet and savory, or a bit of everything – it’s a land of plenty. And the best part is that you will not need to break the bank to enjoy any of these delicious treats. So go on, wander the streets of Africa and take a bite of its countless delights.

If your idea of a food vacation is all about extraordinary dining experiences, here are some amazing restaurants under the sea and other unlikely places.

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