Lesotho’s gastronomy is known in southern Africa as the rainbow cuisine due to its variety of polyglot influences. Malaysian, Dutch, British, and Indian culinary practices characterize its distinct flavors, and French wines accompany meals to the delight of European visitors. Everything from high-end restaurants to street-side diners can be found in the capital, along with a great choice of hotel restaurants and independent eateries. Seafood, freshwater fish and meat-heavy dishes are favorites, and desserts show a strong Indian flavor. Nightlife is the most prevalent in the capital, with a small selection of bars, pubs and clubs to choose from.

Bars and Pubbing in Lesotho

It's no surprise that Maseru’s nightlife doesn’t rival that of South Africa’s main cities, but it’s there if you’re willing to seek it out. Two of the five-star hotels in the capital boast discos and even casinos, providing good options for those looking for a night on the town. Maseru Club (United Nations Road, Maseru) is the upscale sports and "gentleman’s bar." Its officially, but loosely enforced "members only" distinction, is crammed with expats and businessmen.

The Good Times Café (city center, Maseru) is basically the only Maseru bar outside of the hotels that also serves food, and is a popular hangout for expats and visitors in Lesotho. For a cool cocktail lounge, the Leifo Bar (Hilton Hotel, Maseru) comes highly recommended with its unusually modern décor and choice of exotic drinks. For a few beverages and good food, hotel bars are the best choice, with sandwiches and burgers available in the evening. Later on, most visitors will head to Coconut (Thabong, Maseru) to dance the night away.

If hotel bars are too staid for your tastes, a red-hot Saturday night experience can be had at Ho Tsoma Bar (Lesotho Sun Hotel, Maseru), the liveliest place in town. If you’re looking to experiment with the local beers, Mapolankeng (city center, Maseru) is the beer garden of choice. Expats say Maluti beer is the best of the bunch, although there are plenty more brews to choose from at this friendly hangout.

Dining and Cuisine in Lesotho

The capital has no shortage of eateries, covering all budgets due to its large number of AID workers and NGO employees. A good place to start and an all-time favorite with the expat community is Rendezvous(Kingsway, Maseru), which serves international dishes in a pretty garden café. The venue boasts a comprehensive traditional menu and cloth napkins, a bit of a rarity in Lesotho. Regal (Level 1, Basotho Hat, Maseru), with its relaxed ambience and tasteful décor, is a vegetarian’s delight, but also serves a few meat-rich curries and Chinese favorites.

Mimmo’s Italian Deli (city center, Maseru), set in an attractive old building with a charming terrace for summer diners, boasts a genuine wood-fire pizza oven. The Mediterranee Restaurant (LNDC Center, Maseru) offers casual indoor or outdoor dining, with a menu that includes grills and burgers. For upscale surroundings and food, the Lehaha Grill (Sun Hotel, Maseru) has a sophisticated atmosphere and an a la carte menu, as well as three-course specials and a great lunchtime buffet. For snacks and great coffee, Times Caffe (LNDC Center, Maseru) is the "it" place, although the menu is reputedly unreliable.