When I arrived in Kigali in mid-2010, the only places to get bakery basics like baguettes and bread that I knew of were Simba and Nakumatt. True, I never did venture far from town in search of a loaf of bready goodness, but I wasn’t so convinced that, if I did, I’d be met with anything better. So I stuck with my two trusty bread providers close to home and was sometimes satisfied with somewhat fresh bread.
Fast forward four years and Kigali has grown into a mini bakery mecca! New places seem to be opening all the time, well-stocked with lots of different varieties of bread as well as pastries and, most important of all, decadent chocolatey things and other cakey goods.
Whether you’re looking for some good bread, a birthday cake, or just a little treat for yourself, one of the bakeries below will have what you crave.
Hours: Daily 6:30am – 8pm
Phone: 0787 613 233
More Info: Brioche (Kacyiru) on Eating in Kigali
This is Kigali’s new fancy cake store and bakery. The newish place has quickly multiplied and now has three locations well distributed around the city – one across from Simba in Town, another at the KBC ‘mall’, and the last is up near Gacuriro across from Woodlands. This is very good news because Brioche is a very good place. They’re expensive but the quality is probably the best and most consistent in town. It’ll be interesting to see how well they’re able to keep this high standard as they’re spreading their talent across three locations,but so far, so good.
For me, Brioche is all about cake. They’re mousse-type cakes with fruity and chocolate choices but they also do the best piece of chocolate cake in town. They’re truly indulgent and they’ll cost you (Rwf 4,000+ per piece) but they’re the best you’ll find in Kigali and worth it once in awhile. They’ve also do sandwiches on their delicious, crunchy bread and they’ve recently introduced a very good burger and spaghetti bolognaise. But their cakes and breads are really the main focus and I think they’re the best in town.
Try: The chocolate bomb. Deliciously decadent mousse cake covered in cocoa. It might give you diabetes.
Hours: Daily 7am – 9pm
Phone: 0789 410 583
Bbrood is another bakery that has spread across Kigali fairly quickly. This Dutch bakery has a couple of branches in The Netherlands, one in Kampala (or maybe more?), and at three (that I know of) in Kigali. Their first store was opened inside the Sawa Citi supermarket) and they’ve since taken on the strategy of opening up as a team in gas stations with coffee to go, groceries, and the bakery. They do simple sandwiches, chicken pasties, samosas, and a few different kinds of bread including those seedy, crunchy, healthy-tasting ones. I find the bread to be pretty dense but if that’s the way you like it then Brood is a great choice. The best part with them teaming up with Sawa Citi is that there’s always an excellent choice of cheese to go with your bread.
Try: Their chicken pies are deliciously flaky and not something I’ve seen elsewhere in Kigali.
Nakumatt’s bakery is pretty extensive with plenty of rolls and other bread to choose from plus a decent selection of savory treats. You can’t really count on the bread being fresh here so always give their buns a gentle squeeze before committing. Good advice in general, really. The cakes look really good but they’re weirdly tasteless, so beware. Some of the pastries and cookies are pretty good, though.
Try: I really like their mystery meat sandwiches. But I also really like mystery meat. The bread is soft, they stick onions, lettuce, and tomatoes on there, and they’re cheap. Good food on the run.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am – 10pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0789 184 448
More Info: Rz Manna on Eating in Kigali
This Korean bakery opened in 2013 and has become very popular thanks to their good food and super friendly service and atmosphere. They have a chalkboard sign listing what time their freshest breads are due to come out of the oven but they also have a fairly huge selection of other items. Everything from doughnuts to chocolate cake to baguettes to strawberry tarts. They’ve got a good mix of cakes, sweet, and savory pastries along with hot and cold coffee drinks and smoothies. They’re pretty pricey but their selection alone makes them worth a stop.
Try: They have an eggy custard thing (in the photo) that looks weird but tastes really great.
Hours: Daily, 7am – 11pm
Phone: 0252 570 566
More Info: Simba Cafe on Eating in Kigali
Simba isn’t the most flashy supermarket in town but I’m a fan of their bakery. They’re close to home so I’ll often end up here looking for break and it’s usually really fresh and tasty and for a good price. They don’t have a huge variety but what they do have is done well. Beware of accidentally ending up with sweet breads instead of salty ones, though. A sandwich nightmare, I tell you!
Umubano / Laico / Novotel
Phone: 0252 593 500
Hours: Daily, 6am – 9pm
More Info: Umubano Bakery on Eating in Kigali
Just what is this hotel called, anyway? I’m going to call it Novotel, just because I always have. So… Novotel is one of my favourite bakeries in town. It’s small but they do cheap sandwiches, yummy pastries, and they have a good selection of bread for prices are among the cheapest in town. A strawberry tart is half the price and almost twice the size as those found at Rz Manna, for example.
Try: Their chocolate, coffee, and vanilla eclairs are really tasty. They don’t skimp on the filling.
Woodlands is on the complete other side of town from me and the only reason I ever venture inside is when I’m on an emergency hunt for tortillas and corn chips. They rarely let me down. The last time I was there I noticed that a fairly large bakery section has sprung up, complete with yummy bbread-baking-smell. It’s one of the newest bakery additions to the city and it offers up the usual Nakumatt and Simba type supermarket breads and pastries. nothing too exciting except they also seem to stock Rz Manna cakes. Unless they completely ripped off the exact design, which I suppose is possible.