15 Local Food in Rwanda and Useful Tips

kigali food rwanda

The culture of food in Rwanda is simple but is very unique as well compared to the rest of Africa. The food in Rwanda has evolved to include basic fruits, grains and meat, and much more.

The restaurants are multiverse and Rwanda provides a multinational approach to their food services. The Indian, Asian, French, and western specialized restaurants serve non-Rwanda foods as well. Here you will find a large portion of goods with relatively reasonable prices.

In addition to the ordinary restaurant service, you may get buffet-type restaurants where you will find a mix of foods.

The local food from Rwanda is a mix of important ingredients as well. You will usually find bananas, pulses, beans, cassava, plantains, and sweet potatoes in Foods in Rwanda.

Surprisingly, the Rwandan people limit their meat intake to once or twice a month. They choose potatoes and instead. Some enjoy fish as well.

What is the national dish of Rwanda? Rwanda cuisine is one of the best to understand local food in Eastern Africa. In fact, food is part of the Rwanda culture.

The food is great for easy steps to prepare them as well. Find fresh vegetables, meat, or fish and follow simple but smart ways and steps.

kigali food rwanda

Food in Rwanda- Popular Dishes

1- Agatogo

This food in Rwanda is another favorite for the locals. It is meat, fish, or vegetables with plantains, tomato, and garlic. The plantain makes this food a staple one. Agatogo is a plantain stew.

This food from Rwanda is rich in a variety of food types such as meat, fish, spices, and beef. if you are vegetarian, you will have a choice as well. Cok it without the meat. Then serve it with rice and fried bread.

2- Akabenzi 

If you love pork meat, then Akabenzi is your food in Rwanda. Food associated with Benz, the car brand, is simple dry meat that is garnished with coriander leaf.

Enjoy this Rwanda food with rice or potatoes.

foods of rwanda

3- Brochettes

This food in Rwanda is the local staple food. Some also consider it as a national dish. This is also one of the most popular in the country. You will be amazed at finding Brochettes anywhere at every corner in Kigali. You will as well find it in high-end restaurants.

Brochettes are beef or pork skewered with vegetables and onions and with local spices and cooked on a charcoal grill.

Enjoy this food in Rwanda alone or with Roast potatoes.

4- Groundnut

Groundnuts? Yes, Nuts are a snack and known as street foods of Rwanda as well. Groundnuts are prepared with honey and chilly and also are served with other foods as well.

CC image : Kachumbari , color edited

5- Kachumbari 

This food in Rwanda is for the vegetarians as well. Kachumbari is basically a mix of vegetables, sometimes served with spices. This Rwanda food contains tomatoes, onions, coriander, chili, and some lemon juice for flavor and health.

6- Ibihaza, Ibirayi

This food in Rwanda is a cooked pumpkin mixed with beans. Ibirayi means potato. Cut in half, the potatoes will be boiled in spices. Then this food in Rwanda will be fried in local butter. Enjoy these with some Brochettes.

Potatoes are much used in Rwanda. Ibirayi is a uniquely prepared French fries. First a unpeeled sliced potatoes stuffed with spices are boiled in water. Then these will be fried in oil till the color changes to brown and the potato becomes crispy.

7- Igisafuria

Whether some call it Igisafulya or Igisafuria, the term is a direct translation to the word pot. The food in Rwanda is made from chicken, spices and vegetables stewed in a single pot.

The process of Igisafuria is simple. First, fry chicken thighs with spinach and green plantains. Then enjoy it with green pepper or hot pepper.

8- Isombe

Isombe is mashed cassava leaves mixed with dried fish. Isobe is one of the most popular food in Rwanda. The food actually originated from central Africa, the Congo region.

This food in Rwanda is made of fresh vegetables and peanut butter as well. Isombe is a mix of cassava leaves pounded and boiled, and with spinach and eggplants.

Together with peanut butter a bit of oil the final food is presented on to boul of the plate. This food in Rwanda is a bit of paste and the locals enjoy it with bread or rice on the side. Some enjoy it alone as well.

This Rwanda food seems a bit different from what you are used to but this is much known food in Rwanda.


9- Mandazi

Mandazi is a dessert menu on the Foods in Rwanda list. It is also known as African doughnut due to how it is made. Except for their lesser sweet taste, these are the typical cakes you enjoy.

With honey or peanut butter or cinnamon toppings, Mandazi becomes a great dessert that you can enjoy on breakfast with some tea or coffee.

10- Matoke

Much known in Uganda and Rwanda food menus, Matoke is prepared from bananas, fried with onions, and seasoned with salt. The local spices create a unique taste for Matoke.

A bit wet, use a spoon and enjoy it with bread or rice.

11- Mizuzu

A banana chip? Yes, find it here in Rwanda. This food in Rwanda is famous and you will find it everywhere in the country.

Mizuzu is a sliced banana deep-fried until these changes color to a golden brown.

Some places serve them with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy it with honey.

Edited CC source: Sambaza

12- Sambaza

Sambaza is much related to Congo culture. The food must have shared the process from these neighboring countries. Sambaza is a unique food in Rwanda prepared from small fishes and is often used as a starter in big restaurants.

The fish battered in wheat flour then deep fried and is served with a lemon on the side. You enjoy Sambaza dipping with sauce and spices.

13- Ubugali

This Rwanda food is a local porridge made from cassava flour. This simple food is an affordable source of energy. The food is high in carbohydrates serving as energy sources.

The food is preferred due to a lack of fat and gluten. One serving contains 11.9 grams of fiber and 1.6 g protein. It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Image: Ugali Rwanda food based on CC

14- Ugali

If you plan a unique staple food made from maize and water forming a porridge, Ugali is the best food in Rwanda for you. Posho or Kawunga is an alternative name for this food. In some parts of Rwanda, they also use cassava flour to make Ugali.

15- Umutsima 

This Rwanda food is an alternative to the cake that you already know. A bit wet (not runny) and Umutsima porridge like the food in Rwanda unique and tasty.

Umutsima is prepared from cassava or corn and is even used to make wedding cakes.

This glutin free Rwanda dessert is what you need to taste while you are in Rwanda.

local source of food of rwanda
CC Source: Rwanda food local market, Color edited

Food Prices in Rwanda

5.5 $ per person per day.

Similar to any other African country, the food Food Prices in Rwanda differ from spot to spot. You will have alternatives based on your budget and needs, and the price could differ big as well.

The average food cost is about RWF 5500 or USD 5.6 per day. Many travelers like to live on a budget in Rwanda as well. ANd these could save at least half of the cost by choosing affordable food corners.

Breakfast is usually much cheaper. Especially, street food and small cafes and restaurants are much affordable. While bigger restaurants will cost you much more than the average.

Meal at a normal restaurantfrom 2000from 2.5
Meal at a mid-range restaurant2000-20,0002.5-20.5
Fast food like McDonald50005.12
Bottle Coke7500.77
Water 1.5 liters7500.77
A dozen Eggs14001.43
Tomato 1kg9000.9
Potato 1kg3500.35
Orange 1kg14001.43
Banana 1kg15000.15
Food in Rwanda cost list only an estimate

Cooking your Food in Rwanda

The best alternative to cheaper cost and even a much better quality of food is to cook for yourself. It seems an easy way out to eat at the restaurants but you will save hundreds if you do it for yourself.

Find meat, vegetables at the local store, and store it in your refrigerator. Many long-time visitors prefer to cook for themselves as well. Even if you are staying at the local hotels, you still can bring your electric cooker.

CC Source: Rwanda Buffet

You may need to buy your ingredients even the water in a larger amount at once so that you will get a relative discount. Some places offer a discount when you buy dozens of water or dozens of drinks.

Fruits and vegetables are sold in small sizes as well. You can still buy these for a one-time cookout. This flexible selling of the ingredients is to serve diverse economic groups. The affluent buy in kilos while the poor buy within the reach of the money they have at the time.

Food Delivery in Rwanda

Many places in Kigali give food delivery services. The few on the top are:

  • Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel– This is Rwanda’s recipe influenced place. Order online for your food delivery in Rwanda.
  • Meze Fresh– is a Mexican place. Order from their social.
  • Soleluna– The owner after getting a Rwandanese wife, decided to get a Rwadanese restaurant as well. This Italian place is one of the best to get a taste of Europe. YOu can get delivery service by clicking ‘order online’ on their website menu.
  • KG13 Masala St– is an Indian restaurant. Order from their social page.
  • Lavana– You don’t have to go far to go Mexican on your food. This food in Rwanda service has a Taco bar and pizza bar menus.
  • Asian Kitchen is another Asian alternative.
  • Sakae Japanese & Korean Restaurant– If you have a taste for Japanese and Korean exotic foods, then try Sakae. You can call or place an order through their website.
  • Zuri Hotels & Resorts Ltd- Looking for Indian? Zuri could be your choice. They have a delivery service as well.
  • Soy Asian Table– This is an Asian restaurant with good food in Rwanda. They have an easy menu and delivery service in Kigali as well.

Drinks in Rwanda

The known soft drinks are available throughout Rwanda. You will find tea and coffee in many places as well. Rwanda has its own version of African tea that is milky and sweet. the Tea that we know is also available in many places.

You may have to specify which type of tea that you are looking for. Coffee is another drink you will find in Rwada cafes. This culture might have been influenced by the COlonial past.

If you want to go alcoholic then the local beer is your choice. Relatively cheaper than the imported ones, the local beer is preferred by many. The price, however, varies from place to place. The reason for being a service charge, some hotels provide you twice the price of the beers.

You will find imported wines, from South Africa and from Europe. You may need to try this with the food in Rwanda. You may need to taste the banana wine made with local tradition. Similar to the rest of East African countries, Rwanda has its own millet-based clear alcohol that came from Uganda. Since it is so strong. this is not an everyday drink.

Can you drink the water in Rwanda?

Yes and No.

Tap water is debated for a long to be safe to drink in Rwanda. In fact, many locals use it for a drink, washcloths, and brushing their teeth. Despite the chlorine smell in the water, as it is also obvious in many eastern African countries, the water could still be used for a drink.

Unfortunately, even the US center for disease control travel advisory, recommends against drinking tap water in Rwanda. Therefore, we also advise drinking only bottled water while you are in Rwanda.


Food in Rwanda has evolved for a long and is one of the best in the region. In fact, the food is a balanced diet that includes meat, vegetables, and spices

Many visitors find the Rwanda food to be appealing and easy to get used to. The way you eat the foods is not that complicated. infact, you can eat most while you are working or on the road.

MOst Rwanda foods also have a good amount of protein in them. This is important because you will get enough amount of protein in a small portion of meal.

If you are staying in Rwanda for a long time, you may need to consider where you eat as well. Mostly, eating in mid or higher-end restaurants will be costly,. this means you may have to pay ten times what you be paying in small restaurants. The water or beer price differs as well.

The best way to enjoy food in Rwanda could be at the restaurants. However, you can also consider cooking at home. You will find fresh ingredients in supermarkets.

Most of the Rwanda food is either cooked or fried. Both are easy to do at home. If you have the urge for international foods in Rwanda you can still order it online and they will bring it to you at home.

In general, Rwanda is a place for international and local food. You will find menus from around the world. The local food is great as well. You will get a healthy alternative with useful minerals and protein.

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