Mozambique has a good choice of affordable restaurants, bars and nightlife in Maputo, Beira, popular historic towns, and the resorts along the Indian Ocean, although options in the rest of the country are a bit limited. Maputo in particular comes alive after dark, with pulsating DJ music, live performances and dance parties. Diverse cuisine, including African, Portuguese, Indian, and Pakistani, are served in eateries of all price levels from upscale hotels to local restaurants. Beira’s nightlife and restaurants are equally enticing, but the coastal resorts are geared toward visitors looking for a great night out after a fun day on the beach.
Bars and Pubbing in Mozambique
The Mozambique capital is the place for buzzing nightlife, with the walled enclave of Feira Popular the main district for clubs, pubs, discos, and bars. Musical styles range from pop and rock to traditional rhythms with open-air discos a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The trendiest hangout for young expats and tourists is Coconuts Live (Complexo Mini-Golfe, Av Marginal, Maputo), a Wednesday through Sunday night disco with a fashionable and relaxed lounge. For a different musical and culinary style featuring a Mozambican/Brazilian fusion of sounds and tastes, Sinatra’s (Av. Martires de Inhaminga, Maputo) opens at 9:00 p.m. and closes late.
Jazz is popular in Mozambique, with several venues including Chez Rango (Maputo main train station), one of Mapito’s best night haunts for its intimate surroundings and live bands every Saturday night. The rest of the week sees afro-jazz beats and customers’ choice of a huge selection of old jazz gramophone records. Africa Bar (2182, Av.24 de Juiho Baiza, Maputo) has a live jazz night every Thursday and is open Wednesday through Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Maputo’s pubs line seedy Rua do Bagamoyo, with Gypsy’s Bar (Rua do Bagamoyo, Maputo), the current favorite, although going with a group is recommended. Complexo Sheik Av Julius Nyerere, Maputo) is a decidedly upscale spot offering dancing until 5:00 a.m. in the company of the city’s elite.
Buzzing Beira has two claims to fame – its steamed prawns and crabs and its tawdry nightlife, with the latter represented at ear-splitting decibels by Complexo Monte Verde (Estrada Carlos Periera, Beira), the city’s most popular see-and-be-seen dance club. A new kid on the block is the Art Bar Café (Rua Costa Serrao, Beira), a Wednesday to Saturday late night club offering DJs after 11:00 p.m. until the early morning hours. For more refined surroundings, Kanga’s (Hotel Embaixador, Beira) is the place to mingle with the smart set and, for traditional entertainment, the Casa de Culture (opposite Hotel Embaixador, Beira), offers dance and theatre performances in Mozambique.
Dining and Cuisine in Mozambique
Mozambican cuisine is some of the most interesting in Africa due to the strong Portuguese influence over the 400 years of colonization. Seafood is the main ingredient along the coast, with maize-fed partridge cooked with Portuguese flair a favorite dish inland. Maputo offers diverse foods, including Mediterranean and Asian specialties, while the coastal tourism hubs have a wide selection of eateries from upscale hotel restaurants to beachside cafés. A Maputo institution, Restaurant Costa del Sol, (Av Marginal Costa del Sol, Maputo), is located just back from the beach and is famous for its fish.
Another waterside delight in Mozambique is Dock’s (Av Marginal E Maputo, Maputo), with an extensive seafood menu, Thursday jazz night and 2:00 a.m. bar, while Piri-Piri Chicken (Av 24 de Jilho E Maputo, Maputo) serves grilled chicken with (or without) the classic hot, spicy piri-piri dipping sauce. Classy Micasa( Av Juluis Nyerere, Maputo), with its subdued, candleli, ambiance offers meat, seafood and pasta and is the place for elegant dining. The old-world feel of Las Brassas Restaurant and Cigar Bar (Av Juluis Nyerere, Maputo) goes well with its traditional Portuguese cuisine.
Set in one of Pemba’s pretty plazas, Pastelaria Flor d’ Aveneda (town center, Pemba), is a long-established favorite for its informal, streetside tables, regional cuisine and vegetarian options, while Beira’s Pic-Nic (city center, Beira) is one of the best choices in Mozambique for large portions and a lengthy menu. Vilanculos has a number of good restaurants, as well, with the Complexo Ancora Seafood Restaurant (port waterfront, Vilanculos) serving delicious seafood dishes, apple pie desserts and New York-style pizzas, but for gourmet fare and exquisite fish, a visit to Casa Rex (city center, Vilanculos), an all-time local favorite, won’t disappoint. The best Vilanculos restaurants are found in guest houses and small hotels.