Food in Madagascar
Eating in a “hotely” is the cheapest method to acquire a meal. A plate of rice, laoka (a side dish served with rice in Madagascar) such as chicken, beans, or pig, and rice water costs approximately MGA1300. A small glass of handmade yoghurt is available for an additional MGA200.
Bananas (of which there are hundreds) and rice cakes (Malagasy ‘bread’) are ubiquitous’street food.’ Coffee is delicious, and it’s typically prepared by the cup and served with sweetened condensed milk.
At the bigger towns, steak-frites is offered in restaurants.
Supermarkets – Tana is home to the Jumbo Score supermarket chain. Although this Western-style store is well-stocked, the high costs reflect the need of importing almost everything. There are a lot of Casino (a French supermarket) branded items, but there’s also a lot of local food (veg, spices etc., far cheaper from any the street markets). Shoprite is a somewhat less expensive, though often smaller, option.
Drinks in Madagascar
Because there is no safe tap water, bring bottled water, which is generally readily available. The only other choice is ranon’apango, or rice water (RAN-oo-na-PANG-oo) (water used to cook rice, which will therefore have been boiled). When visiting remote regions, it’s very essential to prepare beforehand. It’s a good idea to bring some chlorine pills with you in case the local water is unfit to drink.
Roadside drink stalls, shops, and taverns abound throughout cities. Most offer bottled water, Fanta, Coca-Cola, and Madagascar’s Three Horses Beer, among other beverages (“THB”). You may also sample the bubblegum-flavored ‘Bonbon Anglais,’ which is similar to Inka Cola from South America, but it may be marketed as ‘limonade,’ leading you to believe it is lemonade.
Many flavors of home-brewed rum and crème de coco are also available.