by Sofeeyah Lloyd
Spending all day at a convention can really work up an appetite. Luckily, being the capital, there are many excellent restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi. In fact, the city is known for its diverse array of different cuisines. Even those with a short lunch or coffee break shouldn’t miss the opportunity to sample some of the exciting options near the convention center.
From Middle Eastern treats and European-style cafes to Asian specialties and traditional African favorites, you have many tempting choices in Lilongwe. These are some of our favorites — all have at least 4.0 stars from customer reviews and are within a 10-minute drive from the convention center.
Pizza, shisha, and cocktails come together marvelously at Cafe 92, a bustling bar and restaurant located just a seven-minute drive from the convention center in the Onion Complex of Area Four. With a large patio for outside seating and live music on the weekends, this is one of the best restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, for getting social and meeting new friends. Moderately priced Continental Cuisine is on the menu at Cafe 92, meaning gourmet burgers, salads, and specials like the chicken mushroom pizza, which have earned it 4.4 stars in reader reviews.
Orchid Cafe & Restaurant
The majesty and flavors of ancient Iran await you at Orchid Cafe, one of the top restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, for sampling authentic Middle-Eastern Cuisine. With a tastefully decorated dining room as well as a lush garden for enjoying meals al fresco, it’s also one of the nicest places in the city to enjoy the early evening weather. Orchid Cafe is known for its elaborate handmade cocktails, and since it’s just four minutes from the convention center in Area 10, it’s the perfect destination for a refresher after a day doing business. Customer reviews give it 4.5 stars.
Grab a cappuccino and a scone in between presentations at the Lark Cafe, a European-style coffee house with healthy eats and a great dark roast. Located just eight minutes from the convention center in the Bay of Area 43, it’s a great place to refuel with a fresh chicken salad or other light lunch. A large peaceful garden makes for relaxing, and the wide assortment of baked goods — everything from cupcakes to brownies — ensures your coffee will always have a companion. Customers give Lark Cafe a solid 4.5 stars.
Indian curries and Malawian cuisine are a match made in heaven, and Flavours Cafe is here to prove that to you. One of the top restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, according to readers’ reviews, it’s a favorite eating place for local government workers because it’s both affordable and high quality. With a large, tree-shaded outdoor patio and a spicy delicious menu that includes many vegetarian options, it’s a crowd-pleaser located just a three-minute drive (or a 15-minute walk) from the convention center.
If there’s one restaurant in Lilongwe, Malawi, to go to for the best local African coffee, Maravi Gardens is it. This simple, unassuming, traditionally built eco-hut is set amid a lush garden setting where you can enjoy that steaming cup of Joe surrounded by nature. Located just six minutes from the convention center on Kenyatta Road near the wildlife center, Maravi Gardens also serves an assortment of breakfast specials, Asian-style fresh bowls, pizza boards, and artisanal plates based on global cuisine. Reader reviews give this uniquely local restaurant 4.5 stars.
Sana Food Court
This massive food court not only contains some of the best restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, for trying local goodies but is also home to Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, pizza, burgers, and even Italian eats here. Located just seven minutes from the convention center, Sana Food Court is a great place to grab a quick bite and explore the flavors of real authentic Malawian cuisine, even if you only have a couple of minutes. An outdoor patio makes for communal seating, and the low price point here will have you coming back for more.
Traditional Korean and Japanese food is served at this clean, modern, and relaxed cafe and restaurant located just 10 minutes from the convention center on Mandala Road in Area 3. Besides a great selection of sushi rolls and Asian-style soups, Cafe Ras also offers a nice light cafe menu that includes house-made bread and pastries as well as coffee and tea. A top pick among restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, for those that want something light and healthy, it has earned a solid 4.9 stars from customer reviews.
Salads, wraps, sandwiches, and other fresh and healthy fare are what awaits visitors to Urban Cafe, located just seven minutes from the convention center in Area 10. The large lush outside patio also makes it one of the best restaurants in Lilongwe, Malawi, for simply escaping between meetings for a coffee in the open air. The Urban Cafe hosts local live musical acts several nights of the week, meaning it’s also a great place to wind down after a full day of making deals. This is a local favorite, and customers give it 4.3 stars.
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