Where To Eat In Pingwe, Zanzibar.

After a few days in Stone Town, we were excited to make the short bus ride across the island to Pingwe on Zanzibars’ East coast where the birthday celebration for our friend Z would continue for the next 4 nights!

Pingwe is home to a handful of hotels and guesthouses. We stayed at the brand new Shanuo Beach Bungalows which was great, and all the restaurants below are just a short walk along the beach from there.



I probably spent as much time at Upendo, a hip boutique hotel, beach bar and restaurant, as I did at Shanuo! I found the service to be very attentive, and friendly, and their menu was large enough, and varied enough, that we didn’t tire of eating there even though I was there for at least one meal (and a good chunk of R&R time) each day.

My favourite dish from the menu was probably  the “Try It All” appetiser platter with Pili Pili Chips (potatoes fried until golden and coated in salt and chilli) Octopus “Salad” (panfried octopus in local spices) Vegetable Samosa, Pakora and Crab Balls (flaked crab meat and potato croquettes) with a selection of dips ($24 and easily enough for a group of 4-6 as a snack, or 2-3 as a meal)


They also had a good selection of both lightly spiced, coconut based Zanzibari curries and Indian Curries, a selection of Mezze (with plenty of vegetarian options) and locally caught seafood, as well as a nice range of burgers and salads.

Expect to spend around $15 for a main course and a beer (rising to $40 if you were to have the more expensive seafood and wine or a cocktail) I dont think we ever had a bill of more than $50/60 even when we spent a long and lazy afternoon there, snacking and drinking cocktails.


Another attractive boutique hotel and restaurant, Baladin serves delicious Italian food, including a great selection of home made pasta, and freshly grilled seafood.

Our group of 20 went there for Zaras main birthday celebration, the team arranged a wonderful selection of antipasti for us to enjoy on the beach, before we moved into the restaurant “proper” for platters of local seafood, including what was undoubtedly the best octopus of the trip! Do try their own label range of beers and soft drinks. The cocktails were also a notch up from the norm, and their wine list was reasonably priced and had a decent selection to choose from

We enjoyed it so much that we went back the next day for a *slightly* hungover lunch where the chef very kindly accommodated my request for a simple arrabiata pasta with extra octopus on top (it really was good!)and arrabiata with chicken for my friend.

Service from Julius and his team was some of the best we received on the island

Expect to spend $30 on a 2 course meal with 1/2 a bottle of wine, a bowl of seafood pasta is less than $10.

The Rock

Every Instagram Influencers dream, The Rock is located on a rocky outcrop, accessible only by boat at high tide. Such a striking location comes at a cost, The Rock was far and away the most expensive meal of our trip, not least as it was priced in USD and not Tanzanian shillings

The menu is. bit of a mish mash of dishes, with appetisers like Fish Carpaccio with Coconut ($19) or Sweet & Sour Beef Salad ($17) with a large choice of pasta such as Spaghetti with Crab & Tomato ($20) or Aubergine Ravioli ($19) and grilled meats including Swahili style Chicken Skewers with Lyonnaise Potatoes ($23) and Grilled Beef Tenderloin ($30) as well as Grilled Lobster ($36 for 500g) or Squid in Coconut ($25)


Wines start at $7 a glass or $20 a bottle rising to $330 for a bottle of Dom Perignon.

Whilst we enjoyed ourselves at The Rock, I would recommend going for sunset drinks instead of a full blown meal. Baladin does far better Italian food and Upendo is far better value for money (with the added bonus that it is facing “The Rock” so you have a lovely view to enjoy as well)

There are other places to eat on Pingwe beach, but with service as friendly as it was at Upendo and Baladin, I honestly wasn’t inclined to explore further!

Have you been to Pingwe? Where were your favourite places to eat? Let me know in the comments



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