Saturday, June 10, 2023

Yummy: Malawi’s Best Street Food

When traveling in Malawi, you can be certain of finding delicious street food throughout the day even night hours.

Forget fancy eateries or Starbucks for your eats. Instead, look to see what the locals are eating because that is the only way to discover fantastic, flavorsome. Street food is flavorsome, funky and fresh and cuisine just does not get more authentic ready-to-eat food or drink sold at the streets or other public places, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor right on the street.

In fact, most Malawian families eat the slightest four times in a week Street food which makes it seem like they love their street food! It’s an important part of  Malawian culture.

Great of Malawi cuisine is focused around regular street food snacks, rather than around big dishes to eat at meal times. As such, a visit to Malawi is not complete without sampling some of these famous light bites!

Let’s take a look at a dozen of tastiest Malawi’s street food:

Chips and chicken


 Malawi seems to survive on chips. There are chips on the streets and chips in the shops. Go to fancy restaurants and they will offer you chips. Go to eateries frequented by tourists, and you will find chips. Procedure of preparing chips is; potatoes are cut to medium size and fried to a near perfect crisp golden yellow.


Malawi Roasted Mice 5687987
Source: Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The ‘recipe’ is simple: boil the mice, salt them, then cook over a fire until nearly bone dry. Young men and boys do most of the hunting; batches are strung onto long mouse sticks and sold in markets and roadside stalls. Commonly found mice are “Kapuku” known for their rather detrimental distinguishing behavioral feature – they hide out in groups of 25-50 in a single hole, making them the favorite jackpot for hunters.

Carlsberg Beer

Carlsberg green
Carlsberg green

Welcome to your Carlsberg years… Chances are if you’re reaching for a beer in Malawi, it’s going to be a Carlsberg. The company’s Malawi brewery opened in 1968 and was the first outside of Denmark.

Malawi Gin
Malawi Gin

Malawi Gin

It may not be the finest spirit you’ve ever tasted, not made with Juniper berries. After a long day on the bike, Malawi’s version of the classic G & T goes down real smooth.


Is a food with deep roots in Malawi’s history mostly consumed amongst the people of northern part of Malawi


768px Assorted dry fish Blantyre market Blantyre Malawi

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Arguably as the most popular fish species eaten on the streets of Malawi. It is cheap to buy in wholesale and therefore cheap for the consumer. Although not eaten on its own, usipa is nevertheless a good accompaniment to rice or soup.

Malanga Yams

These must be cooked to be safely eaten because natural substances in raw yams can cause illness. The most common cooking method in Malawi is by boiling, frying, or roasting the yam. On markets in Malawi, you can purchase your tasty yams whole or already mashed.

Joll Rice

This is the name of the Malawian dish that is similar to Spanish Paella. The dish consists of rice, tomato paste, onions, salt, spices, and chili peppers. Due to the tomato paste and palm oil, the dish is always red in color. As you can imagine joll rice is eaten by the bucket load as street food in Malawi.


Waakye, Kelewele & Fried Yaw
Waakye, Kelewele & Fried Yaw Source: Wikimedia Commons
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

As Malawi’s popular snack dish of fried plantains seasoned with spices that are commonly sold by street vendors, usually at night. It is sometimes served with rice and stew, peanuts, or alone as a dessert or a snack.

Koko porridge  

Very popular Malawian porridge that is eaten at any time of the day (not just for breakfast). It is a simple dish to prepare which makes it a great option when sampling the local street food!


Sometimes called Puff-Puff are the Malawian versions of doughnuts. They are made of dough containing flour, butter, salt, water, and eggs which is deep fried in vegetable oil until golden brown.


Goat tails that provide people with a very fattening street snack right across Malawi, but especially in Lilongwe.


Is a large ground corn dumpling that is usually eaten with soups in Malawi, but it can be found sold in markets all over the country.


Dish of cooked rice and beans, commonly prepared in the home but is also sold by roadside vendors. It is prepared by boiling the beans and rice together. It is a popular dish in Malawi and mostly eaten as a morning or lunchtime snack.


An alcoholic beverage made from fermented millet or sorghum in northern parts of Malawi. It can be served warm or cold. It is never found bottled or canned and is purchased directly from the household at which it was brewed.

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Tobias Kumwenda
Tobias Kumwenda
From passion to (aspiring) profession, this is what prompted me to enter this project: Travel and Hospitality Industry. The desire to work in contact with a world that has always intrigued and fascinated me.


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  1. Going to this country one is rest assured never to go hungry appears so when the pocket allows.

    Bravo RestaMag for sharing the vital information.

  2. I stumbled this website when I was searching for bizzare food stuff eaten in Africa meant for Master of Arts thesis paper.

    Thanks for great analysis


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