The cuisine of Rwanda is based on local staple foods produced by subsistence agriculture such as bananas, plantains (known as ibitoke), pulses, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava (manioc). Many Rwandans do not eat meat more than a few times a month. For those who live near lakes and have access to fish, tilapia is popular. The potato, thought to have been introduced to Rwanda by German and Belgian colonialists, is very popular. Ugali (or bugali) is a paste made from cassava or maize and water to form a porridge-like consistency that is eaten throughout East Africa. Isombe is made from mashed cassava leaves and served with dried fish. Lunch is usually a buffet known as melange, consisting of the above staples and possibly meat. Brochettes are the most popular food when eating out in the evening, usually made from goat but sometimes tripe, beef or fish. In rural areas, many bars have a brochette seller responsible for tending and slaughtering the goats, skewering and barbecuing the meat, and serving it with grilled bananas. Milk, particularly in a fermented form called ikivuguto, is a common drink throughout the country. Other drinks include a traditional beer called urwagwa, made from sorghum or bananas, which features in traditional rituals and ceremonies. Commercial beers brewed in Rwanda include Primus, Mützig, Turbo King, Amstel Light and Skol.
For more information please see the Food & Dining section of our business directory.
Dining out can be an enjoyable, yet adventurous experience in Musanze. From the small local shops selling traditional samosas and African tea to the first pizza parlor in town, this city offers an assortment of interesting delicacies to satisfy your palate. However, don’t go out to eat in a hurry, because the restaurant staff sure won’t be! A typical meal at any restaurant can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours! So, sit back, relax, and enjoy a large Primus “akonje” (“cold”) while you wait for your tasty Rwandan cuisine!
For more information on dining out in Musanze please see the Restaurant section of our business directory.
The Fresh Food Market is a lively place and a good introduction to the colorful culture of the Rwandan people. Exotic fruits and vegetables, savory meats, and a wide selection of grains can be found in this bustling location. However, the market can be an intimidating place for the unsuspecting tourist that does not know specific types or prices of food, but it need not be! With this guide you will be able to navigate your way through the market just like a native Rwandan!
Avocado: 100 RWF
Bananas (the small and sweet kind): 200-300 RWF per bunch
Bananas (Matoke): 170-200 RWF per kilo
Beans: 800 RWF per kilo
Bell Peppers: 100-200 RWF per pile (4 peppers in a pile)
Cabbage: 100 RWF per head
Carrots: 50 RWF per bunch
Cassava: 400 RWF per pile (4-5 in a pile)
Corn: 200-250 RWF per kilo
Garlic: 500 RWF per bunch
Green Beans: 300 RWF per kilo
Idodo (greens): 200-400 RWF for 10 bunches (depending on the size of the bunch)
Japanese Plums (Tree Tomatoes): 300 RWF per pile (4 in a pile)
Lemon/Lime: 200 RWF per pile (4 in a pile)
Purple Onions: 100-200 RWF for a bunch
Yellow Onions: 200 RWF per bunch
Passion Fruit: 200 RWF in a pile (4 in a pile)
Papaya: 300-500 RWF per pile (4 in a pile)
Peanuts: 900 RWF per kilo
Peas: 800 per kilo
Pili Pili Peppers: 50 RWF per bunch (about 3 peppers)
Pineapple: 250-300 RWF
Potatoes: 160-200 RWF per kilo
Pumpkins: 500-700 RWF each
Rice: 680-700 RWF per kilo
Sorghum: 200-250 RWF per kilo
Tomato: 200 RWF per pile (4 in a pile)
Wheat: 400 RWF per kilo
Yams: 400 RWF per pile (4-5 in a pile)