Mzuri Sana (Very Good) – Stone Town’s Chinese Run Local Restaurant

By Mark Wiens 8 Comments
Sitting down for breakfast at Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Sitting down for breakfast at Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar

On my last day in Stone Town, right before jumping on a dalla dalla to the northern village of Nungwi, I needed a big breakfast.

Right across the street from Passing Show Hotel (another stunning restaurant), a Stone Town taxi driver had told me there was a great restaurant, owned by a Chinese lady that served local Tanzanian and Zanzibar food favorites.

A local food restaurant owned by a Chinese lady?

I knew I had to eat there.

A crispy chapati
A crispy chapati

The restaurant, just a five minute walk from the Zanzibar ferry port, is called Mzuri Sana – meaning “Very Good” in Kiswahili.

I walked in the restaurant to see exactly the good signs I was looking for – a bunch of men pointing at different dishes, and the food being scooped onto plates in large portions.

On the red plastic Coca-Cola tables and plastic chairs, eaters (mostly men at this time) grabbed seats and were chowing down to start the day.

The Chinese owner was busy serving as fast as possible, dishing up the goodness.

Though it was just 8 am, everything looked good, but I had to choose.

For starters I got a chapati, a super flaky crispy kind, not like the fluffy chapatis I ate in Delhi – both kinds good!

Beef and onions at Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Beef and onions at Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar

The beef with carrots and onions also looked wonderful, so I got that.

The bite sized chunks of beef were incredibly tender, spiced with salt and black pepper, and not at all greasy (to my liking).

Green vegetable
Green vegetable

Next to my pile of beef, I ordered the green vegetable, which I don’t think was mchichi (the common local Tanzanian spinach), but it was some kind of green leafy spinach like vegetable (to me it tasted more like sukuma wiki in Kenyan food).

Mixing some beef and onions in with the green veg and wrapping it in a bite of chapati, I was a very satisfied breakfast diner.

Fish tail soup
Fish tail soup

As my final dish, I ordered a fish tail soup.

The fish tail was still full of meat, and the soup was plain and soothing, mostly about the fish than the broth. It made a good breakfast soup because it was light on flavor and just good fish meat.

Don't miss Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Don’t miss Mzuri Sana restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Apart from the Chinese characters written on the sign, and the Chinese owner who can often be found dishing out Tanzanian food behind the counter, Mzuri Sana is a very local Stone Town restaurant, and the food is good and hearty.

Open hours: I think they are open from about 7 am – 9 pm daily, or until they sell out everything
Prices: All this food, including 2 cups of chai, cost us just 6,000 TZS ($3.63)
How to get there: From the Zanzibar ferry terminal, walk away from the harbor on Malawi Road. In a few hundred meters, opposite Zenji Hotel and Passing Show Hotel restaurant, you’ll spot Mzuri Sana on your left hand side.

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8 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    Awesome info. Thanks for writing!!

  • Vishal

    5 years ago

    keep it up man.

  • Joe

    10 years ago

    Hey mark these videos are cool don’t stop making them , But you have such a huge Malaysian fan base that want you to go back there and make more videos in places like penang and petaling jaya also its very close to bangkok so i hope to see more malaysian vids in 2014 , Happy new year and where are you now ?

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Joe, cool, thank you so much, and I’d love to spend some more time in Malaysia. I’m in the US right now for the next few months with family for the holidays. Hope you’re doing well!

  • Damien

    10 years ago

    The beef looks like cardboard – dry as and over cooked – no point food on a food blog just because the food is cheap

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Damien, just because the beef wasn’t greasy, doesn’t mean it was dry. I loved it!

  • Tom @ Waegook Tom

    10 years ago

    This looks soooo good! Zanzibar is a place I’ve wanted to go to for a while now, and your photos are making me want to go even more! Especially the beef and onions.