The standard of food in Madagascar might surprise you. There is a plethora of fresh ingredients to choose from that are locally sourced, Forget the rumors that rice takes over every plate here, the Zebu (beef) is a must try and if you find yourself by the coast the fresh seafood is not surprisingly most common on the menu.
While you might not have the time to try every single restaurant in Madagascar, here is my personal top 4 restaurants you cannot miss while traveling our beautiful island.
1. La Varangue
One of the finer restaurants the city has to offer, mixing French cuisine with local Madagascan flavors. The setting itself has a calm feel to it as you can sit on the terrace and drink one of the many fine wines on offer whilst staring at the beautiful Madagascan skyline.
Take a stroll around the beautiful garden and even enjoy your meal there. The ambience alone makes it no surprise that it appears in the top 4 restaurants in Madagascar list with antiques filling the inside and cuckoo clocks lining the walls.
When you have taken in the surroundings, the tuna tartare is a popular dish that will leave you wanting more. Try a Madagascan Zebu fillet, cooked to perfection with potato bake. Then indulge with one of La Varangue’s famous desserts, try a Creme Brule with vanilla from Madagascar. Be warned, the restaurant is understandably a very popular choice for diners so making a reservation ahead of time is strongly advised.
La Varangue Restaurant
17, rue Printsy Ratsimamanga
+261 20 22 273 97
2. Le Relais De La Reine
If you intend to venture outside of the busy city and experience some of the real Madagascar, the scenery alone make Le Relais an experience worth travelling for.
Surrounded by beautiful carved out mountains and carved formations, whilst overlooking simple yet stunning gardens, this restaurant and hotel is located in the Isalo region of the island.
Another French style restaurant with Madagascan fusion, the chance to eat on the terrace and take in the beautiful surroundings is not to be missed. There is a hint of the exotic in the menu with such touches as crocodile mousse, ginger duck and baba with rum being offered, you will find yourself experimenting with flavors you have never combined before. The wines are typically French, south African Spanish and Madagascan.
Le Relais de la Reine Restaurant
+261 32 46 496 23
3. The Pily Pily Restaurant
If the previous two restaurants featured on my top 4 restaurants in Madagascar list have been all about fine dining, then Pily Pily restaurant is all about the setting and experience.
The Pily Pily restaurant is set on an island that connects two beaches and in turn has stunning views of the crystal-clear waters. The views are of course stunning, and is a perfect choice for a romantic evening.
Seafood is the specialty of the house and shrimps in coconut are a popular dish. If you are vegetarian they can prepare dishes specially to cater for your needs so just ask about this on entry.
There are also huge lobsters freshly caught off the coast. Booking is an absolute must as this is no hidden gem, the reputation of the setting and the food has become well known. Take a moment in your traveling to enjoy the sound of the ocean as you take in its tastes whilst staring at its beauty from above.
The Pily Pily Restaurant
Andilana Beach Resort, Rte. de l’Ouest, Nosy Be, Diana, 111, Madagascar
One of the nicer places in Ambatoloaka, this restaurant offers French-Italian cuisine run by an Luca from Italy.
The local fresh ingredients are prominent on this menu that focuses on seafood and pasta as you watch the street life pass you from your seat. This place doesn’t have the ambience and stunning settings of the above but offers a more affordable option for those who want to experience a restaurant with something a little different.
The inventive menu includes popular dishes like grouper, squid ink ravioli and Madagascan Oysters. With serious thought put into presentation you get the sense that the restaurant puts a lot of love into their food.
Once you are done why not order the dessert platter which includes chocolate and coconut pie, fruit cold nougat and more.
It is no surprise that people visiting Madagascar seek this place out and often. You will hear of people returning again and again whilst enjoying their trip, the tentative staff recognizing returning customers and recommending dishes based on their previous choices.
Ambatoloaka, Nosy Be 207, Madagascar
+261 32 53 678 73
Website doesn’t seem to be up and running.
You can’t say I didn’t tell you that Madagascar has some incredible restaurants, with settings you will not find at home.
Go for the view, stay for the food, stay a little longer for dessert, take your time and enjoy your food, after all you are on vacation.
With most of these restaurants don’t forget to book in advance, some of them are in quite remote locations so you really don’t want to travel all that way only to find there are no tables available. Enjoy!