advertisement

Given the tourist numbers, there is a surprising dearth of good restaurants in Arusha, but if you feel like Italian, Albero's (Haile Selassie Rd.; tel. 027/254-8987 or 0762/24-8779) is pretty authentic. The chef-owner, Raffaele Nacarlo, is Italian, and the alfresco dining arrangements are very pleasant; pasta portions are huge and pizzas, made in a traditional wood-burning oven, are the best in Arusha. Owned by a Kenyan-Australian couple, Stiggy's Thai Restaurant (Old Moshi Rd.; tel. 0754/37-5535) is somewhat of an institution in Arusha, serving Pacific Asian cuisine in a relaxed bar-style atmosphere; Stiggy and Thelma also have a Mexican outlet in the Nduoro Complex. If you're looking for a light meal while curio shopping in Arusha center, try The Patisserie , or Jambo Coffee House or nearby Café Bamboo (tel. 027/250-6451), both on Boma Road. Both are open Monday through Saturday from around 8am to 9pm; Café Bamboo is also open Sunday mornings. Via Via (tel. 0754/38-4992), located on the grounds behind the German Boma, offers a pleasant enough setting if you're in the area (closed Mon). If you like browsing for supper options, Sokoine Road offers a choice of Indian restaurants, as well as a Greek (Greek Hut) and Chinese (Shangai) option.

If you're looking for more of a fine-dining experience, book at Redds, the a la carte restaurant at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, or, better still, the intimate candle-lit terrace at Onsea House, where celebrated chef Axel serves up gourmet four-course meals with recommended wines for $50 per person.

Snacks on Safari -- If you're planning a serious road trip, or just browsing for crafts in Arusha and feel like a light meal, the best place to stock up is at The Patisserie, on Sokoine Road, near the Clock Tower (tel. 0754/28-8771 or 0754/250-2757). It's not going to win any prizes for cozy cafe-style atmosphere, but this no-nonsense Indian-owned bakery has the most delicious snacks in town -- stock up on samosas (various fillings), crispy pies (love the chicken), banana chips (addictive), and "spicy mix" (a traditional Indian snack), or order custom-made sandwiches, made with freshly baked bread or rolls, to pick up before you leave the following day. There's also an inexpensive Internet cafe attached (pity about the terrible coffee). For those with more adventurous tastes, the best road-trip snack is biltong, delicious, nutritious strips of dried beef or game. Biltong dates back to the great 19th-century road trip of the Afrikaans Voortrekkers, who, desperate to escape the dominance of their new English masters in the Cape, set off north in their ox-wagons to colonize southern Africa. You can purchase biltong (ask for it to be carved) from Meat King on Goliondo Road (tel. 078/449-0211).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.