International travelers are always impressed by the culinary surprises in Burundi. You can expect great produce from the country’s rich volcanic soil, along with fresh catches from the great Lake Tanganyika. Culinary influences range from European to South Asian, and inevitably, East African. South Asian contributions include curried dishes, a side of beans and traditional rice. Many restaurants also offer French-inspired, European fare. Eating out is always enjoyable, as there are plenty of restaurants especially in main cities like Bujumbura.
Bars and Pubbing in Burundi
There are a number of bars and clubs throughout the capital and in areas where there are hotels. Le Safran (Av. Kunkiko 38, Bujumbura) is a lovely buffet with a cozy bar that offers lively evening entertainment every Friday. Happy hour is from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. More raucous crowds can be found in bars along Av de l’Universite, where the younger tourists and locals hangout. Coeur d’Afrique (Quartier Asiatique, Bujumbura) is a cabaret style club with an open roof, offering live performances on weekend nights.
Chez Ruhara (Ave France, Bujumbura) is one of the best places to go to for some great evening entertainment in Burundi. It is a mix of an underground rave and a jazz club that plays all kinds of international and African tunes. Along Lake Tanganyika are fantastic pubs like Eden du Lac (Ave de la Plage, Bujumbura), a hip garden bar that also offers good dining.
While some clubs only get going on the weekends, Havana Club (Blvd de l’Uprona Town Centre, Bujumbura) is the night spot to hit any day of the week. If it’s quality live music you are looking for, head to Le Braisiére (Blvd de l’Indépendence, Bujumbura) in Hotel Cyrano, which features local bands every Saturday night.
Dining and Cuisine in Burundi
Bujumbura is home to many dining options, from traditional African to funky European diners, the best in the areas of Kiriri and Rohero. If you are craving classic Burundian dishes, head to Le Plaisir (Avenue de l’Amitié, Bujumbura), which specializes in traditional local fare. It gets packed during the lunch hours, but the food is a real treat. Be sure to order a Sangala fish garnished with onions and stewed beef. L’Archipel (Blvd de la Liberté, Bujumbura) is another worthwhile African restaurant offering reasonably priced food and a great outdoor ambiance. It is particularly lively on weekends when the restaurant brings in DJs that crank the rock music all night.
When in Rohero, you should visit Chez Andre (Chaussée Prince Louis Rwagasore), a fancy spot set in an exquisite decked-out mansion. Shanghai (Avenue Muyinga, Bujumbura) serves classic Chinese fare. If Indian food is what your palate desires, try Tandoor (BV Uprona, Bujumbura).
If you want a quiet dining experience with superb views of the city, reserve a table at Belvedere (Avenue de Belvedere), as well as other restaurants along Lake Tanganyika. Restaurant Chez Vaya (Kiriri, Bujumbura) also has panoramic views of the town and traditional Greek cuisine.