Normally I wouldn’t dedicate an entire post to a restaurant. (Okay wait, maybe that’s a lie.) But having lunch at the Rock Restaurant on Zanzibar was one of the most unique dining experiences I’ve ever had.
For those who have been living under a rock (uh sorry, dad joke), the Rock is a tiny restaurant perched on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. You know, the one that you see all over Instagram.
But in order to dine at The Rock, first, you have to get to the restaurant.
If the tide’s out, you can simply walk to it. But when the tide’s in, you have to take a rowboat, which is what we did. Honestly it kind of just added to the ‘lunch-on-a-rock-in-the-middle-of-the-ocean’ experience.
Once you disembark from the dingy and climb up the steps, you realize the true appeal of The Rock Restaurant – the panoramic views of the astonishingly blue Zanzibar water. It’s probably the clearest water I’ve ever seen – so beautiful.
While we waited for our table, my French friend Vens (who had come all the way from Paris to vacation with me!) and I enjoyed a few cocktails on the back deck.
I was actually glad we had to wait to be seated – we had more time to soak up the views and our (very strong) rum-spiked cocktails.
When I read reviews about The Rock online, many visitors said to go for the experience, not the food. But I was pleasantly surprised – the food was delicious. I loved my meal of tandoori squid with coconut milk and Vens said the catch of the day was also tasty.
And okay yes, the food is a little pricey. But let’s not forget that you’re enjoying it on a tiny rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Worth it.
Side note – seafood lovers, you will be in heaven on Zanzibar. The seafood is super cheap and as Anthony Bourdain would say, ‘screamingly fresh’. Enjoy.
So if you’re ever in Zanzibar, I 100% recommend you check out The Rock. For the photo ops, at the very least.
More posts on Zanzibar you may find helpful:
The 9 Best Things to do in Stone Town, Zanzibar
Jambiani Beach: Where to Find the Real, Untouristy Zanzibar
The Ultimate One Week Zanzibar Itinerary
Important info about The Rock Restaurant and Zanzibar in general:
The Rock Restaurant is located in Paje, on the eastern coast of the island. It’s around an hour and a half away from Stone Town.
The Rock books up quickly so make a reservation in advance. You can make reservations online.
The Rock accepts credit cards, but I would have cash on hand just in case the credit card machine isn’t working (that happens a lot in East Africa). Plus, there are no ATMs outside of Stone Town – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Citizens from most western countries can get their visas on arrival for $50 on Zanzibar, payable by cash for credit – it costs $100 for US citzens. Learn more about visa information here.
Travelers to Tanzania must present proof of the yellow fever vaccination at the airport if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever – see countries with risk of yellow fever virus (YFV) transmission here.
The malaria risk on Zanzibar is low, so I didn’t take medication. However, some travelers decide to. See the recommended vaccines for Tanzania here.
Make sure to purchase travel insurance before your trip to Zanzibar. I’ve used World Nomads for years and highly recommend it.
Have you heard of The Rock Restaurant? Would you want to go there?
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8 thoughts on “Lunch at The Rock Restaurant on Zanzibar”
I’m surprised that the food is good there since it would have easily fell into that kind of places where you go only for the experience. And judging from your photos, the dishes served do look mouthwatering! I wonder how many people can fit into that restaurant, especially at lunch time where everyone wants to go there.
The food was surprisingly good! I would totally recommend going :)
‘Looks really interesting.
I’ve been to North Africa, South Africa, and West Africa, but I haven’t yet been to East Africa. I would definitely go to The Rock, if I were in the region!
Lovely photographs by the way! :D
Thanks so much, Victoria! Europe isn’t too far from Zanzibar, so that could be fun. Also I will be in Berlin from Sunday-Wednesday if you’re around!
This is definitely on my bucket list. Dying to visit Africa, Tanzania specifically! I’m a fairly new reader but I’m in love with your blog. :)
Thanks so much, Kayti! Your comment made my day :)
I am a friend of your Mom’s , and a neighbor of your Grandmother June’s on Westwood Parkway.
This is my first ‘visit’ to your blog and I am mesmerized by its content! Your photographs are gorgeous as well.
I would love to visit Zanzibar and try the Rock restaurant. You probably know Freddie Mercury was born there!
Over the past weekend, your Mom and Dad, June and Lou, my husband Dan and I,and many others attended the Hunt at the Spangler Farm in Metamora, followed by a wonderful brunch at the Huntsman club.
We met once at your Grandmothers home , and I look forward to seeing you again! Be well, be happy, and continue your present life as an adventurous wayfarer!
All Best, Mary Coe Ryan
P.S. I love my TIEKS as well! Best ballet flats ever and excellent for travel!
Hi Mary, thanks so much for visiting my blog! I do remember meeting :) Tieks are the best! And I´m sure you would LOVE Zanzibar :)
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