Gaborone is hardly an exciting place to dine – and the city bears the brunt of South African culinary predominance more than others. However, if you keep your expectations in check, there are a few intriguing nooks and crannies that pique your palate’s curiosity.
- White box food (sold all over the government district on weekdays). Lunch might be as easy as rice and vegetables (P10) or rice, vegetables, and meat (P10) (P20). Delicious and satisfying.
- Cafe Khwest (in the main mall, above Spar). Nice choice for a leisurely lunch overlooking the street’s bustle while munching into a spaghetti, burger, or salad. In the nights, it transforms into a bar. Mains are around P50.
- Deli’s – (located in the Craft Center in Broadhurst Mall) One of the greatest lunch spots in the city. Genuine Italian cuisine. Products imported. Pastas and pizzas that are out of this world. Beef lasagne in particular – P55 for a substantial piece.
- Fresh Cafe – (Middlestar Mall) Pleasant lunch spot, pricey coffee, and free internet. Numerous expats.
- Funyama Holdings Chinese Restaurant (in Marua Pula mall). Genuine and reasonably priced Chinese restaurant has a large menu that includes delectables such as Crispy Pork Intestines with Hot Dry Chili. Additionally, it includes more traditional ‘beef in black bean sauce’ meals. The Devil Soup, priced at P10, and the noodle plates, priced at P30, provide exceptional value.+267 3957254.
- Bull & Bush – (down a track north of Sebone Road, just east of the railway line – GPS 24.6395S 25.9105E). The bar and restaurant provides a variety of meat-centric meals — and does it very well.
- Par 5 Indian Restaurant (in Gaborone Golf Club next to Gaborone Sun Hotel), +267 3912299. Uncomplicated south Asian cuisine with a variety of meat and vegetable dishes, as well as various daals. With indoor and outdoor dining, this is a lovely location overlooking the golf course. Mondays are closed. P40-60 for the mains.
- Beef Baron, a restaurant located at the Grand Palm Walmont hotel. Lunch and supper are included. Perhaps Gaborone’s most costly restaurant, the Beef Baron provides delicious and colossal meat dishes – including some game – but cow meat is king. Desserts are also delicious (inc. the lovely malva pudding). Although there are no windows, the atmosphere is rather pleasant for a hotel restaurant. Mains begin at P120.
- Chutney’s – Chutney’s (Located next to OK Foods on the Western Bypass, also called the OK Foods Mall). Excellent Indian cuisine as well – particularly southern Indian fare such as dosas. Not much in the way of ambience, but excellent cuisine.
- Caravela – (off Kgasa Road (GPS 24.6618S 25.9209E)). One of the city’s few suburban home eateries. Menu is nominally Portuguese, with an excellent range of seafood and Mozambican beer. The outside patio area provides a lovely atmosphere. Dinner is served seven evenings a week. The food is a bit hit or miss, and the pricing are expat-friendly, but it’s worth a try.
- Sanitas – (located about 2 KM southeast of Fairgrounds Mall. Turn beside Naledi Motors (beside mall) and follow signs) A well-kept secret. Actually a garden center, but with a huge café open six days a week for breakfast, lunch, and brunch (Closed Monday). Additionally, there is a children’s playground.
- News Café, Village district (At the Mondior Summit Hotel). 6:30-22:30.News Café is popular with both inside and outside customers. It is conveniently positioned for people staying at the Mondior Summit. The menu focuses on foods prepared in the “European manner,” but with some unusual twists. However, the establishment really excels in the cocktail sector. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the music is often turned up loudly despite the lack of a dance floor; thus, if you wish to strike up a discussion, sit outdoors. Although the staff is young and somewhat inexperienced, the service is often extremely decent. Prices are somewhat more than standard food in Gaborone, but so is the quality.
- Pavilion Restaurant (In Fairgrounds business park), +267 365 1600.Pleasant, albeit rather corporate, environment for a civilized lunch.
- Gold Coin (in Africa Mall). lunch & dinner. The Mandarin on the sign makes it clear that this is a Chinese restaurant with a few Thai foods on the menu and Bangkok posters on the walls. Even yet, if you’re seeking coconut milk with your curry, this is your only alternative. P30 for a straightforward noodle meal. P70 for a green curry accompanied with rice.
Inside Riverwalk Mall
- Primi Piatti. A fashionable branch of the South African network of Italian restaurants. A diverse selection of meats, pizzas, and pastas. Mains range from P80 to P120+ for a large piece of beef – but the quality is among the city’s finest. The Riverwalk Mall is home to this location. Wifi is free.
- Spurs (Riverwalk). Try the A grade beef at Riverwalk.
- Embassy – Excellent Indian cuisine – situated in the Riverwalk Shopping Center. Nota bene: meal preparation may take up to an hour, more so if a big group is present. Mains are around P60.
- Abyssinia Ethiopian Cafe – Botswana’s sole Ethiopian restaurant. This eatery provides reasonably priced injera with all the fixings on Fridays and Sundays for P80. Additionally, it serves excellent coffee and is more clean and quiet than Equatorial Coffee across the street. Evenings are closed Sunday-Thursday.
- Obama Restaurant (in Tlokweng), +267 73 222 300. lunch & dinner.Local eatery that is both pleasant and reasonably priced. This location is also a wedding venue and has a small children’s playground and garden. For P45, the rump steak and chips are perhaps the finest deal in town. However, no alcohol is supplied; however, you are welcome to bring your own.
- The Moghul, 171 Tlokweng Road (inside Oasis Motel), +267 397 5346. Under a thatched canopy and located behind the Oasis Motel, this restaurant dishes up delectable Indian and Pakistani cuisine. However, maybe as a result of its hotel setting, the pricing are a tad high and the portion sizes are underwhelming. Takeaway and delivery services are available. Prices range from P50 for a vegetable curry to P80 for a Rogan Josh.
- Cafe Dijo, (in Kgale Mall, the small mall next to Game City). Wireless Internet access is free, as is excellent coffee and delectable and healthful cuisine. On a slow Saturday morning, this is an exceptional spot for catching up on e-mail or talking with friends. Expats frequent this establishment.
Chain restaurants with multiple outlets
- Nando’s Chicken – Nando’s is a little spicy, but the chicken is much superior than anything you’ll get at a KFC. A dinner costs around 50 Pula (chicken, soda, chips). One is now under development in the Main Mall, near to Orange, in the African Mall, Game City Mall, BBS Mall, and Riverwalk Mall. For a more authentic flavor than the commercial Nando’s, try Barcelos, which is located just across from Nando’s in the African mall. You will not be dissatisfied.
- Pie Time – Pies are flaky dough filled with meat or vegetables (called Patties in some other parts of the world). A pie costs around 5.50 Pula and a soda costs approximately 6.75 Pula. Numerous fillings. Located in the Main Mall and the African Mall.
- Debonairs. P55 cheapest pizza from a famous pizza business that also offers delivery.
- Cherry Pepper, 6 Nakedi Road (in Botswana Craft), +267 7631 4797.breakfast & lunch. Setswana cuisine adapted to European tastes. Lunch is a great choice. Every day, they provide three different meals for P25-P35, which is a wonderful deal. On Wednesdays, try the sautéed goat, and on Fridays, try the fried breem.