As someone whose job is to welcome students to the beautiful city of Kampala, Uganda in the heart of East Africa, I’ve noticed one common shock that newcomers experience when adjusting to life here: most people are surprised that there is so much amazing food!
If you are a foodie and are considering coming to this city, here is a list of the best restaurants in Kampala!
|The options are seemingly endless; I’ve lived here for months and am still finding new restaurants and types of cuisine to enjoy!|
Coffee: Endiro and 1000 Cups Coffee
|Coffee-lovers in Kampala are sure to be satisfied! There are plenty of delicious coffee options and loads of trendy cafes to choose from.|
Kampala has no shortage of amazing coffee shops, but a couple stand out for their drinks and atmosphere. If you are in the city centre, check out 1000 Cups Coffee just across from the Buganda Road Craft Market. This coffee shop serves up beans from across the East African region and their outdoor seating area is decorated with traditional masks.
Close to Acacia Mall you’ll find Endiro Coffee… if you can spot it. Endiro is hidden within a leafy green garden, with just their sign peaking out the top to direct you inside. Despite being in the middle of a busy area, you’ll feel at peace studying beneath the trees and flowers of this quaint coffee shop. Their coffee menu is vast and creative- try anything from a gingerbread latte to African coffee. Sample their homemade baked goods or their filling sandwiches on freshly baked multigrain bread.
Brunch: Prunes and Cafe Javas
|Try a breakfast combo at Cafe Javas, with includes pancakes, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, baked beans, fresh juice, and a coffee for only 20,000 ush (about $6 USD)!|
Brunch lovers can rejoice in Kampala, where eggs are fresh, produce is plentiful, and the juice is fresh squeezed. Processed foods are much less common in Uganda than in Western culture, so you can typically expect your breads and croissants to be freshly baked. Visit a bustling Cafe Javas, the popular Ugandan chain featuring many Western dishes, for classic breakfast options ranging from pancakes, to waffles, to sausage and eggs.
For a more relaxed environment with interesting takes on classic dishes, visit Prunes in Kololo. The majority of seating is sprawled throughout Prunes’ large yard, shaded by leafy trees, decorated with blooming flowers, and completed by a huge children’s play area in the corner. There is limited seating inside for those rainy days, but dieters beware- you’ll be staring at their glass cases full of baked goods, including their famous cupcakes. For brunch, try the Popeye, a fresh take on eggs benedict with spinach and avocado, or the caramel banana french toast.
Other fun facts about Prunes: it’s one of the only spots in Kampala that sells used books and on Saturdays they have a farmers market in their parking lot.
Japanese: Miso Garden
If you are looking to fill your sushi craving, head over to Miso Garden in Kololo. This open-air restaurant is surrounded by a tranquil garden, so order a pot of tea and relax. Their menu has a range of Asian options, from Korean BBQ to ramen, but their sushi is their strong suit. Sample a Popcorn Roll, their famous veggie roll with crispy topping, or a bento box if you want to try a variety.
Indian Food: Great Indian Dhaba and Khana Khazana
|With such a large Indian population living in Kampala, it's not surprising there are an abundance of amazing Indian restaurants here!|
If you are a lover of Indian food, you’re in luck! Kampala is known for its incredible Indian cuisine, with some visitors saying it’s the best they have ever tasted. My two favourite spots in the city for Indian are Great Indian Dhaba and Khana Khazana in Kololo.
Great Indian Dhaba is the more relaxed of the two options, with an eccentric outdoor garden that lights up at night. Sample their Indian Street Snacks menu for a diversity of savoury and sweet treats, or order one of their amazing curries.
For a more upscale choice, check out Khana Khazana, an open-air restaurant with luxurious decor and a fountain. Their curries are top notch and they have a huge variety of authentic dishes. Long wait times are common here, but settle in with a glass of wine and some naan bread and you’ll be a happy customer.
Mexican: Que Pasa
Although Kampala has several great options for Mexican that may tie in quality of food, Que Pasa wins for overall experience. This restaurant in Kissimenti has a fun vibe, with a lively patio, quirky indoor decor, and good music mixes. They offer up a creative mix of taco options, huge burritos, and homemade guacamole and salsas. Their drink menu is extensive, making Que Pasa a favourite amongst expats and locals alike for weekend drinks.
One stop shop: Cafesserie
|Located in Acacia Mall, Cafesserie is a great pit stop after shopping or a movie night!|
If you’re looking for a variety of choices, from burgers to pasta to salads, Cafesserie in Acacia Mall offers a diverse menu made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Modelled after a french cafe, Cafesserie has a large patio and a beautifully decorated inside. They serve up espresso and freshly baked pastries all day, and offer a modest breakfast menu. Their lunch sandwiches and delicious dinner plates are their best offer, alongside mouthwatering decadent desserts.
Kampala has no shortage of delicious pizzas and you can expect homemade dough, thin crust, and fresh toppings. Olives, a relaxed restaurant in Naguru, wins in this category for their creative variety of pies. Their pizza menu is shaped as a wheel, so if you can’t decide, give it a spin and try out something new. The Paneer Pizza is an unexpected favourite, with housemade garlic sauce, vegetables, and grilled paneer.
Ice Cream: Patisserie
Head to the Patisserie location in Acacia Mall to sample their spread of homemade ice cream. Flavours range from fresh fruits, to tiramisu, to creme caramel. The smell of their fresh baked waffles cones will bring you in and the variety of their flavours will keep you coming back to try them all.
Kampala has no shortage of amazing food options, and they expand far beyond those listed here. To try out more, you’ll have to come explore for yourself!
Learn about our study and intern abroad program in Kampala below!