Top Ugandan Food Restaurants in Kampala
Uganda is well known for its local food and African food restaurants that serve tasty dishes freshly made and served. Uganda is an agricultural state with perfect weather that consists of reliable rainfall all year round in different parts of the country making it a food basket as farmers are able to plant and harvest food throughout the year. A visit to Uganda is almost incomplete without trying the local cuisine because it offers one a glimpse into the tasty Ugandan local food.
Kampala has a number of local food restaurants that one can visit and try. The number of restaurants one can visit is dependent on the time one has while on their Uganda safari because there are plenty of restaurants to visit. The restaurants are situated in different locations around the city and we share details on them below;
Ray’s African Restaurant
Located at the Garden city mall in Kampala, Ray’s African restaurant is the perfect place to have lunch or dinner in the city. Garden city mall is located in the heart of Kampala city making it very accessible for visitors and the restaurant is situated right next to Capital shoppers’ supermarket at the mall. The restaurant serves different types of Ugandan local foods that usually include “matooke” which is one of the common foods eaten by Ugandans and its basically mashed green bananas. The green bananas are prepared using a traditional method that involves steaming the green bananas in banana leaves, mashing them with hands when fully cooked and then placing them back on the fire to achieve an aroma that comes from the banana leaves. If looking for a taste of Uganda we definitely recommend ordering “matooke” from Ray’s African restaurant.
The restaurant in addition has other foods that include sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, sauces or soups like beans, pasted peanuts, goat’s meat, beef stew and chicken stew. The restaurant therefore offers a number of options to pick from if one chooses to have a meal there. Ray’s African restaurant has a great location with a spacious reception area that features a colorful interior and a comfortable lounge area where you meet the staff that are always ready to attend to you in the main eating area upstairs. The restaurant is a moderately spaced and privately owned restaurant so one shouldn’t expect a big modern area however expect tasty Ugandan local cuisine made by the best cooks in Kampala.
Jikoni Restaurant Kampala
Jikoni restaurant is a great option for one looking for a spacious local food restaurant in Kampala as it has ample parking space, an indoor and outdoor sitting area, a large buffet style serving area and a reception area. Jikoni restaurant’s menu consists of “matooke”, cassava, sweet potatoes, pumpkin which is known as “Nsujju” in Luganda one of Uganda’s local dialect, yams, posho which is a maize meal that Ugandans also like to have on their meals and different stews/soups. The soups and stews at Jikoni restaurant range from chicken stew to beef stew to fish in ground nuts sauce to peas sauce and beans. The stews are usually served in steamed banana leaves depicting a traditional method of serving food in Uganda that dates back to the ancient African society times.
Jikoni restaurant has a perfect ambiance and if one is looking for a less crowded African restaurant in Kampala and is located on Clement Hill road next to Uganda media center. The ambiance is also relaxing, quiet and surrounded by green plants making it a cool spot to have lunch on a rather hot day. Jikoni restaurant gives a taste of Ugandan fresh fruits so be sure to order a fruit bowl for dessert, it will be worth it. If you are up for it you can also order a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Omera restaurant is a local food restaurant that serves traditional Eastern and Northern Uganda cuisine. This restaurant is a great option while in Kampala as it gives you a taste of local tasty dishes that hail from the northern and eastern part of Uganda. The food is very tasty as the local cuisine from northern and eastern Uganda mainly consists of pasted ground peanuts, dry fish and green vegetables but is prepared using different methods making the Omera restaurant menu unique.
Omera restaurant also serves Ugandan dishes that include cassava, sweet potatoes, “matooke”, “Kalo” which is a delicacy for the people of northern Uganda and other foods like beef stew, fried beans, and chicken stew. The restaurant is located along Kanjokya Street, Plot 80 and has an African inspired interior making it great for having a meal amidst a quiet and calm ambiance. Omera has an extensive menu so one can order fresh juices, soda, coffee or drinking water to go with their meal. Most restaurants in Kampala city serve food from other parts of Uganda (western, central and south-western Uganda) so Omera restaurant is a great option to try Ugandan food from the Northern and eastern parts of the country.
2K restaurant is one of the most famous local food restaurants in Kampala. The franchise has different restaurant locations making it easy for people from different parts of the city to dine. The restaurant locations include the 2K restaurant along Buxton road right opposite Mega Standard Supermarket in downtown Kampala, 2K restaurant at Bakuli along Nakulabye road and 2K restaurant branch located along Hoima road.
The restaurants serve local Ugandan food that includes “matooke”, “Kalo”, pumpkin (known as “Nsujju” in Luganda local language, sweet potatoes, yams and cassava. The restaurants are well known for having the best “Luwombo” in Kampala. Luwombo is a traditional Ugandan meal that originates from central Buganda and is a traditional meal for the “baganda” people from central Uganda. Luwombo is usually served at family functions, traditional wedding ceremonies and on special occasions in Buganda. Luwombo is prepared by a traditional method of using steamed banana leaves to cook meat like beef, chicken or goat’s meat, basically the meat is covered in banana leaves and steamed on low heat using firewood or charcoal. At 2K restaurant one can therefore order beef Luwombo, chicken Luwombo or goat’s meat Luwombo.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does Ugandan food cost?
Ugandan food at the restaurants mentioned above ranges from Ugx. 15,000 to Ugx, 60,000. In US dollars the range is $4 – $16.
Can I order for Ugandan food while at my hotel in Kampala?
Yes, you can order for Ugandan food from the comfort of your hotel in Kampala using an online delivery food app called Jumia Food the app is available on App Store for iPhone users and Play store for android users. The payment options for Jumia food include visa and master card, cash on delivery or using MTN mobile money.
What is the tipping culture at restaurants in Kampala?
Uganda’s restaurant culture is different and it is not a must to tip however we greatly encourage it as a form of appreciation to the waiting staff at the places one chooses to eat. 10 – 20 % of your total meal can make for a good tip while on your dining experience.