Holiday Out – Tasty Tanzanian Food (Not your typical Holiday Inn)

By Mark Wiens 15 Comments
Welcome to Holiday Out!
Welcome to Holiday Out!

Holiday Out is a local Tanzanian food restaurant in downtown Dar Es Salaam, located on Garden Ave. across from the Southern Sun Hotel (it was formerly the Holiday Inn – but that has since moved to another newer location).

My only wish is that they’d have a Holiday Out to accompany every Holiday Inn around the world!

You can’t book a room at Holiday Out, and I can say with quite certainty, they have absolutely zero affiliation with Holiday Inn.

Probably the only common factor they share with Holiday Inn is the fact that they “serve” people – they’re in the hospitality industry.

Holiday Out is a local Dar Es Salaam dining establishment, kind of like a lunchtime canteen for hungry office workers (and others) searching for tasty Tanzanian food at affordable prices.

The dining room at Holiday Out
The dining room at Holiday Out

We showed up at noon, hoping to beat the main rush, which we did. The restaurant is pretty large, probably housing about 20 or so plastic Coca-Cola tables and a mess of the classic plastic chairs, all sheltered by a mabati (tin) roofed structure.

Lunchtime in Tanzania usually begins at about 1 pm, so we initially beat the rush, but as we were dining, Holiday Out Dar Es Salaam really began to pick up.

To order at Holiday Out you simply walk up to the front of the restaurant, order and pay for what you want from the Mama who controls the cash, and she’ll hand you a little token, indicating that you’ve paid and the order you put in.

Hand the token to a server and he or she will dish out your meal on a giant metal platter.

Plantain with meat, beans, and mchicha
Plantain with meat, beans, and mchicha

I was in the mood to eat a popular Tanzanian food known as ndizi na nyama, or plantain bananas mixed with meat.

The plantain bananas are un-sweet, so they actually taste more like a starchy potato than a sweet banana. To make ndizi na nyama, the plantain bananas are are stewed along with chunks of meat, in this case beef.

Ndizi Na Nyama
Ndizi Na Nyama

My plate of ndizi na nyama also came with a side of beans (maharagwe), and a green vegetable, in this case mchicha (a popular staple vegetable that tastes a lot like spinach and is very typical for Tanzanian food).

Price – 2,000 TZS ($1.20)

Wali wa samaki and the works
Wali wa samaki and the works

One of the great things about having a wife, is that I not only get to eat my own meal, but I normally have the pleasure of eating about 1/2 of my wife’s meal as well!

Ying got the wali wa samaki, or rice with fish, and in this case the fish was a small deep fried mackerel. This same kind of mackerel is also an extremely common Thai street food fish – only it would be served with nam prik, and no beans or mchicha.

A great Tanzanian meal!
A great Tanzanian meal!

While my plate of ndizi na nyama was pretty good, and filling, I’ve got to say that the wali wa samaki won the contest. Holiday Out makes a delicious plate of fish and rice.

Along with the big scoop of rice and deep fried mackerel, the plate came along with a side of beans, mchicha, some kind of tomato sauce, a little spicy pickle, and a little side of kachumbari.

Price – 3,000 TZS ($1.80)

Holiday Out serves delicious Tanzanian food in a friendly environment. It’s a great place to experience local cuisine when you’re in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania!


View Dar Es Salaam in a larger map

15 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • sankar singh

    3 hours ago

    amazing content writing nice food blog along with picrues,Blogging is hard because of the grind required to stay interesting and relevant.
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  • Louise

    4 years ago

    This looks delicious! And that’s hilarious you say you get to eat half of your wife’s meal – my husband always says that about me too!

  • Sylvia

    7 years ago

    Food looks very nice and the price is amazing for what I can see on the pictures! We do the same with my partner when we travel and get to taste a local food. Each of us takes a different dish and then we share it. It’s also good if you hesitate between two dishes, like that you can taste them both. 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Thanks Sylvia, it helps to travel as a pair, when it comes to food!

  • Raj Kumar Jonnal

    7 years ago

    I’ve heard a lot about Thanzania, but did not get any opportunity to visit there. The food mentioned in the post are mouth watering. Yes, it is true that we don’t get these things to taste here.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Raj, the food is great, hope you get a chance to visit in the future!

  • Anderson Brown

    7 years ago

    I always wanted to visit Thanzania, one of the places in Africa people talk about all the time. It seems you had a great time there! Great photos and fun post to read. Thanks!

  • Shereen

    7 years ago

    The Holiday Out looks like it has some delicious food. I totally agree. It would be really cool if each Holiday Inn around the world had a Holiday Out restaurant across the street that offered ethnic cultural food to that country.

  • Raymond Waruhari

    7 years ago

    One thing that I like about Tanzania menus is that there is always beens to go with every meal.

  • Naomi

    7 years ago

    …are there a lot of Finnish tourists or expats that come by, or is that sign for ‘Tervetuloa’ in the second pic some kind of dish? 😉

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Naomi, I didn’t even notice that, or know about that, thanks for pointing it out! I have no idea either… I know there are quite a few Finnish people that live in Dar, but not sure if too many tourists eat there!? Good observation!

  • Paul

    7 years ago

    Every time we watch one of your videos my wife says “why doesn’t he let Ying get something to eat too?” Hahaha. I only get 1/2 of my wife’s meal if I give her 1/2 of mine!

    That food looks amazing. What’s the red chunky sauce in the smallest section of the fish plate? Is it hot pepper?

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Paul, yes Ying does get to eat plenty as well! The red sauce is like a tomato chili sauce, really good!