Outline :
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    6 minutes read
    Your Ultimate Guide To Street food in Tanzania and How To Make It

    Street food in Tanzania is among the things you shouldn’t miss when visiting. Whether you take a day trip to Zanzibar’s Stone Town or a boat to Pemba Island, trying a popular dish from the street food stalls is an unforgettable experience.

    Walking through the night market in Stone Town will bring you close to the heart of Tanzania’s culture. Many traditional food dishes in Zanzibar can be found as street food and are wholesome, hearty, and delicious. Another great thing about street food in Tanzania is that you can experience it anytime during the rainy or dry seasons.

    Now, without further ado, let’s break down the street food you can find in Tanzania.

    Street food in Tanzania: Your comprehensive guide

    Tanzania is a land of incredible diversity, with something to offer everyone. From the bustling city life of Dar es Salaam to the serene beaches of Zanzibar, there is something for everyone in Tanzania.

    And one of the best things about Tanzania is its food. Tanzanian cuisine is a delicious melting pot of Indian, Arab, and African flavors. There are plenty of street foods in Tanzania, so let’s look at some of the best ones!

    Chipsi mayai

    Street food in tanzania

    Chips mayai, a beloved Tanzanian street food, is a staple in various regions, particularly Stone Town and Zanzibar Island. This flavorful dish combines deep-fried chips with beaten egg, resulting in a delightful and satisfying breakfast option.

    With its simple yet delicious preparation, chips mayai offers a convenient and tasty way to start the day. Whether you take a quick bite on the go or savor it leisurely, this dish will tantalize your taste buds.

    Where To Buy: Darajani Market, Stone Town

    When To Eat: Breakfast

    1. How To Make Chips Mayai?

    – Already Cooked French Fries

    – Salt or salt alternative

    – Black Pepper or a substitute spice for taste

    – Cooking Oil

    – 1-2 Eggs

    2. Instructions

    • Cook a bag of french fries or buy some already premade
    • Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then mix in all the French fries.
    • Heat your cooking oil in a suitable pan and add the mixture. Cook until the bottom is golden, then flip and cook the other side.


    Tanzania - mishkaki 1 - your ultimate guide to street food in tanzania and how to make it

    Mishkaki, a favorite Tanzanian dish, is often served during special celebrations and events. These BBQ-flavored meat skewers are a delightful treat whether enjoyed at hotel restaurants or savored during a thrilling safari adventure.

    For an authentic culinary experience, consider visiting Mishkaki Mwendokasi, a renowned restaurant in Dar Es Salaam known for its deliciously flavored mishkaki. Indulge in the savory taste of these grilled meat delights for a memorable dining experience in Tanzania.

    Where To Buy: Mishkaki Mwendokasi, Dar Es Salaam

    When To Eat: Lunch – Dinner

    1. How To Make Mishkaki?

    – 1 lb beef of sirloin beef

    – 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste

    – 2 tbsp of cooking oil

    – 2 tbsp of vinegar/lemon juice
    – 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
    – 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

    – 1/2 teaspoon of spice mix (tandoori masala)

    – Combine all the ingredients (except beef) in a mixing bag. Shake well until well combined.

    – Cut the meat into cubes, add it to the mixing bag, and marinate for at least five hours.

    – Soak the wood skewers in water for around 20 minutes to ensure they don’t burn.

    – Preheat the grill, put the meat on the skewers, and then on the grill. Cook until your desired consistency is reached.

    Fish food galore

    Tanzania - fish food galore - your ultimate guide to street food in tanzania and how to make it

    Tanzania offers an array of delectable fish dishes, from classic fish and chips to exotic marine delicacies. Before strolling along the picturesque beaches, treat yourself to a plate of fresh fish in the afternoon.

    Islands such as Mnemba, Chumbe, and Pemba islands are renowned for serving exceptional seafood, providing a delightful culinary experience for visitors. Enjoy the flavors of the sea while basking in the beauty of Tanzania’s coastal scenery.

    Where To Buy: Fresh fish is available throughout the island and is one of the most common foods in Zanzibar.

    When To Eat: Eat nutritious fish throughout the day or as a midday snack.

    How To Make Tanzania Fish Curry?

    1. Ingredients

    – 9 oz salmon fillet, cut into cubes

    – 9 oz hake fillet, cut into cubes

    – 1 – 2 onions, diced into small pieces

    – 2 tbsp of curry powder

    – 1/2 tsp of chilli powder

    – 1 tsp of ground turmeric

    – 1/2 tsp of ground coriander

    – 2 tbsp of ginger and garlic paste

    – 6 tomatoes, diced

    – 1 pint of coconut cream or milk

    – 1 tbsp of tamarind paste

    – 1 handful of coriander leaves, diced


    Tanzania - mandazi 1 - your ultimate guide to street food in tanzania and how to make it

    For spice enthusiasts, ndizi nyama is an essential culinary adventure. This dish features meat and bananas immersed in a fiery sauce crafted from chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and various spices. Its exceptional taste profile promises a memorable dining experience that showcases Tanzania’s vibrant and diverse culinary landscape.

    Where To Buy: In eateries, vendors, and markets across Tanzania.

    When To Eat: During breakfast, accompanied by chai tea or coffee.

    How To Make Maandazi

    1. Ingredients

    – ½ tsp of salt

    – 1 whisked egg

    – 1 can of coconut milk

    – Cooking oil

    – 4 cups of all-purpose flour

    – ½ cup of sugar

    – 1 ½ tsp baking soda

    – 2 tsp of ground cardamom

    2. Instructions

    – Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a large bowl. Use your baking spatula to fold the egg and coconut milk until the dough forms and comes together.

    – Knead a small piece of dough on a floured surface until smooth, then divide it into sizable portions. Roll a sizeable dough into a about ¼-inch (6 ml) thick circle, then cut the circle into 8 triangles. Repeat until the dough is used up.

    – In a large pot, heat the oil to 350˚F (180˚C). Dip and fry the mandazi for about 3 minutes before flipping it. Drain on paper towels and serve.


    Street food in Tanzania is phenomenal. The traditional style is wholesome and can be made at home.

    Want to find out more about Tanzania and its street food? Easy Travel curates the best safari experiences, where you can watch millions of wildebeests migrate to Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masaai Mara while munching on delicious food. Contact our Tanzania experts to start planning!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. What are some staple foods in Tanzanian cuisine?

    In Tanzanian cuisine, staple foods include rice, ugali (a maize porridge), chapati (flatbread), and beans. These foods form the basis of many Tanzanian meals and are often accompanied by various meats, vegetables, and sauces.

    2. What are some famous street foods in Tanzania?

    Popular street foods in Tanzania include:

    • Nyama choma (grilled meat skewers).
    • Urojo soup (a tangy and spicy soup).
    • Zanzibar mix (a blend of various fried snacks).
    • Grilled sweet potatoes.
    • Boiled eggs.

    These foods are common in markets, street stalls, and roadside eateries nationwide.

    3. How are grilled sweet potatoes prepared in Tanzania?

    Grilled sweet potatoes in Tanzania are typically prepared by slicing them into thick rounds, skewering them, and grilling them over an open flame until they are tender and caramelized. They are often served hot and may be sprinkled with salt or other spices for added flavor.

    4. What is the Zanzibar mix?

    Zanzibar mix is a popular street food in Tanzania, particularly in Zanzibar. It consists of fried snacks such as samosas, bhajias (spiced potato fritters), cassava chips, and lentil fritters. Zanzibar mix is often served with chili sauce or coconut chutney for dipping.

    5. How is Nyama Choma prepared?

    Nyama choma, which translates to “grilled meat” in Swahili, is prepared by marinating meat (usually beef, goat, or chicken) in a mixture of spices and herbs and grilling it over an open flame until tender and flavorful. It is often served with ugali, chapati, or rice, along with a side of salad or vegetables.

    6. How is coconut chutney prepared?

    Coconut chutney, a beloved condiment in Tanzanian cuisine, combines grated coconut with a medley of spices and aromatics like chili peppers, garlic, and ginger. Through a harmonious blend of cumin and coriander, this chutney achieves a rich and flavorful profile that elevates any dish it accompanies.

    Whether served alongside crispy samosas, aromatic bhajis, or succulent grilled meat skewers, coconut chutney imparts a delightfully spicy and aromatic kick that enhances the overall dining experience. Its versatility extends beyond street foods, making it a cherished addition to various meals across Tanzania, enriching each bite with its unique taste and texture.

    7. What are some staple dishes in Tanzanian cuisine?

    Ugali, a thick maize porridge, is a ubiquitous staple in Tanzanian households, enjoyed for its comforting taste and filling nature. Chapati, a soft and flaky flatbread, adds a delicious carb element to meals and is perfect for soaking up savory sauces and stews.

    Nyama choma, succulent grilled meat infused with flavorful spices, is a favorite at social gatherings and street food stalls, offering a taste of Tanzania’s rich culinary heritage.

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

    Get In Touch

    Read more blogs like this:

    Got questions? We're here to help!