Due to colonization by Italy that took over 50 years, Eritrean cooking is largely influenced by Italian cuisine as well as traditional culinary elements from neighboring countries. Dining out is a pleasant experience, especially with the wide selection of restaurants that serve all kinds of cuisine, even Indian. Dishes to try include tsebhi, stew served with injera (flat bread), hilbet (paste made from lentil and faba beans) and kitcha fit-fit, (spiced, shredded and oiled bread served with yogurt and bebere as dip). Nights out in Asmara are quiet, but there are some nice nightclubs and bars in the downtown area.

Bars and Pubbing in Eritrea

Night owls will have plenty to do in Eritrea, especially in the capital where cinemas, movie houses, bars, clubs, and hip nightspots abound. Bar Zilli (Sematat Ave., Asmera) is a nice place to hangout and grab a drink, but if you are looking for a hip nightclub with exhilarating music, head to Mocambo (Adi Hawesha St., Asmera). Torino Hotel (Massawa Island) in Massawa is the go-to place for dancing on an airy roof terrace. Zara lounge (Sematat Ave., Asmera) in Asmera, on the other hand is perfect those who want a quieter, more relaxed evening.

Cinemas are extremely popular in Eritrea and a standard evening activity. Cinema Roma (Sematat Ave., Asmera) boats a cafeteria in its lobby and is a bit more upscale than the other two in town, Odeon Cinema (Bihat St.) and Cinema Impero (Harnet Ave.).

Dining and Cuisine in Eritrea

You can take pleasure in dining on a great selection of international fare when visiting Eritrea, especially in the main tourist towns. In Asmera, for example, there are plenty of restaurants serving delectable North African, Italian, Indian, and other cuisines. Hidmona (Expo Park, Tiravolo District, Asmera) serves traditional food and is also a popular live-music venue and café, along with Blue Nile Bar and Restaurant (Sematat Ave., Asmera) which has both Western-style and traditional dishes.

Those craving Italian can head to Casa Degli Italiani (175-15 St., Asmera), which boasts a courtyard setting perfect for a relaxing lunch or dinner. If you are yearning pasta and pizza, the famed Sun Pizza and Fast Food (Seraye St., Asmera) hits the spot. The best Indian food in town is served at the Roof Garden (BDHO Ave., Asmera), which is known for its tandoori and biriyani dishes.

While in Massawa, you can indulge in authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean. Sallam Restaurant (Massawa Island) offers superb specialties and other culinary surprises, along with other Adulis Seafood and Eritrea Restaurant.