Food & Drinks

Uganda has a diverse menu of cuisines including English, Arab and Asian and Italian cousines especially in the international restaurants some using home-grown local produce including plantains, sweet potatoes, corn, beans and cassava. It’s easy to eat cheaply almost anywhere in the country. International restaurants can be found in larger towns, with Indian, Chinese and Italian being the most popular.

African cousines are also served in some big restaurants with Ethiopian restaurants being the most common. Traditional food stuffs include corn bread that is mostly used including in major institutions like prisons, schools, army and police where it is served with beans. Others include; millet bread that is liked in the east, north and western parts of the country, Banana mash (matooke) that is enjoyed with luwombo (meat or vegetable stew prepared in banana leaves) source in the central region. Chicken or meat such as beef, goat or mutton is also served as source in most restaurants. Game meat can be found on menus in some restaurants and at safari lodges but is a very rare sighting. Fish including the tiger fish, mukene, mputa and tilapia are popular.
Vegetarians may struggle outside of major towns, but Uganda’s Indian and Chinese restaurants generally offer a selection of vegetarian dishes. Traditional desserts include mandazi, a doughnut often served with cinnamon or sugar. Some imported food stuffs like tinned meat and fish are sold in super markets country wide. Drinks include the local ones like milk and all its products, soda, several brands of juice, millet and maize porridge as well as alcoholic drinks sold in the bars and pubs. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruits peeled.

There are a variety of local brews, including; toonto and ajono which are made from fermented banana juice mixed with sorghum flour and a mixture of fermented millet and sorghum flour and water respectively. These are common in remote areas are often enjoyed on functions such s introduction or funeral rites.

White ants and grasshoppers are seasonal food stuffs often fried and vended on streets, sold in supermarkets and also enjoyed in upcountry areas.

Tipping wasn’t a common practice but with the booming of the tourism industry, it is now commonly practiced especially in urban restaurants and up country safari lodges.
Regional drinks served include; Tea mainly served as spiced chai masala tea, especially in rural areas while up market hotels serve it as espresso, cappuccino, and African tea.
Beer is also served in all bars both in the rural and urban areas with common brands being Nile Special, Bell and Moonberg).

Wine mainly South African wines are also on offer, but these aren’t always well stored.
Waragi, a strong local gin made from millet is enjoyed in rural areas while Uganda waragi and other brands like V&A are used by the middle class and big spenders in urban areas.
The legally accepted age to purchase or drink an alcoholic drink is 18 years and above, below that, it is illegal to drink.

Water Sanitation

All water should be regarded as being a potential health risk. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilized. Several food stuffs like bananas, maize, cassava, beans, sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, millet among others are grown and sold in the local markets.

Cooked food in good restaurants is good for your health but you need to mind about the standard of such restaurants as you may get food poisoning from poor quality restaurants. Also do not try the roadside roasted meat as sometimes it may not be well roasted and may bring you stomach problems

In some upcountry areas, milk from cows is drunk unboiled but this is not good for foreigners as you may not be used to such and may lead to infections. Make sure that whatever food or drink you are taking is sterilized or well cooked.

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