The Tanzanian coast attracted traders, fishermen and explorers from the Far East, Persia and the Arabian Peninsula for thousands of years, spicing up local cuisine. Modern Tanzania offers a variation of cooking styles with thousands of good restaurants in all the major cities and towns.
But dishes in Dar es Salaam and other Tanzanian tourist resorts are not restricted to traditional Tanzanian delights.
Along the coast, rice and green vegetables (mchicha) or fish and meat are popular. It is characterised with spicy foods and the use of coconut milk. Such foods are; Pilau (wild rice/mixed rice), Bagia, Biryani, Kabab, Kashata (coconut or groundnuts rolls) and Sambusa (Samosa).
Towards the interior people eat cooked or steamed green bananas (matoke) or maize and meal eaten with relish such as beans.
Wine, beer and soft drinks can be purchased all over Tanzania. There also various beers, wines and spirits produced in Tanzania. These include Kilimanjaro beer, the South African Castle Lager, Safarai beer, Serengeti beer, banana wine and Konyagi. Konyagi is a spirit made from sugar cane with a big kick. It is cheap, and mixed with a soft drink of your choice one will even get over the strange taste.
The most widely enjoyed native drink is sweet tea called Chai, which is usually drunk with breakfast.
Kahawa (coffee) is commonly drunk in the evenings, when the sun is cool.
Other local alcoholic drinks are made of different types of grain, or banana, sugar cane, honey, bamboo juice or palm juice. It is often left overnight or several nights to ferment. Best to leave it to one sip if you are offered.
Do not drink tap water in Tanzania. Mineral water is widely available and inexpensive.