Grocery Stores in Kigali

Grocery Stores in Kigali

Even if you’ve only been here for a short while, chances are pretty good that you’ve already discovered stumbled onto several good grocery stores in Kigali by accident. The city is certainly a lot better stocked these days than it was when I arrived in 2010 and the pickings aren’t quite as slim as they once were.

Kigali has grown like crazy in five years and the choice for supermarkets has expanded as has the selection of food that’s available. There really aren’t too many things that can’t be found at one of the stores around town (tahini and chocolate chips have both finally made it here!), including imported items as long as you’re willing to pay for them. Sure, you might have to hop around town a bit to find all of the ingredients for a complete meal, but it’s nice to have that option!

Below is a mostly complete list of grocery stores in Kigali. I’m missing a few pieces of info and there are still a couple of places I want to add, but I’ll sneak those extra bits of info in later. But really, these 20+ options should keep you busy!

Alimentations

Alimentatins, Kigali

Hours: Various

Lets start with small and local. Most areas of Kigali will have a handful of small shops called ‘alimentations’ scattered around the neighbourhood. They’re basically your local corner stores and are usually pretty small, locally run and provide you with all of the daily needs of any thirsty muzungu like milk, water, and Fanta. Many will also do some home cooking and you can often find warm chapatis, meatballs, boiled eggs, samosas, ikiviguto, and occasionally a small selection of fresh fruit. They’re cheap and it’s nice to be able to get to know your alimentation owner rather than always dealing with the larger, faceless stores.

Drymon Limited

Drymon Limited, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7am – 7pm, Sunday, 7am – 1pm
Phone: 0785 748 389
Email: drymonrwanda@gmail.com

Drymon is less a traditional grocery store and more a weird warehouse space tucked away in an industrial valley in Kicukiro. It’s the reincarnation of Benalko which used to be located in town but has been torn down to make space for yet more empty office towers. I’d always heard rumours that Benalko had moved and changed names but, not being one to wander too often into the industrial areas of Kicukiro, I never verified this. However I’ve finally seen this place with my own eyes! Drymon is nothing flashy with only a small sign on a closed red gate to give it away as being there but it’s a great place for good deals on interesting items.

Inside you’ll find a large warehouse-y space full of goods stacked on wooden pallets. They don’t seem to have put much thought into decorating, but I’m guessing that means lower prices for the customer! This is a wholesale shop and it’s where Frulep and lots of other supermarkets and restaurants but their stuff so I’m going to guess that the prices here are good. Since it was the holidays when I visited, supplies were pretty limited but they do have a good selection of frozen fish and they’re one of the only places in town to buy dog food (it’s Rwf 57,000 for a 15kg bag though). They’ve got a selection of appliances, dishes, chocolate, and lots of other seemingly random things and I’m told that they restock three times a month.

Kime

Kime, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7am – 7pm, Sunday, 7am – 1pm

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 110 Each
Nescafe (100g) – 3,200
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,300

‘Kime’. Anyone know what that means? Unusual name aside, it’s a decent-sized supermarket with all of the basics, a small produce section, a meat counter, a bakery, and an ok selection of frozen fish. They also have about 5 or 6 different varieties of boxed wine if you’re classy like me and looking for questionable booze. They’re conveniently located near the Nyarugenge market and La Galette is nearby which means that you could bang out a shopping trip of fresh produce, basics at Kime, and then stop by La Galette for all of your imported goods needs.

Eastgate Supermarket

Eastgate Supermarket, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7:30am – 9pm, Closed Sunday

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,000
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Nescafe (100g) – 3,200
Tin of Tomatoes – 850

This supermarket is a low key chain with at least three locations around town. I’m pretty sure there’s one over in Kicukiro but I have to add it still. Eastgate Supermarket is one that few people have ever heard of and fewer still have been to but they’re a decent choice for cheap basics. I quite like the one in the Nyarugenge market building because there’s a fruit and veg market in the basement of the same building so I can get a lot of essentials for a good price in one place. They’ve got a pretty decent biscuits selection and I even spotted white chocolate-covered Oreos here. Other than that little gem, items here are pretty standard and it’s small so don’t come here expecting to do a full shop.

Frulep

Frulep, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 8pm, Closed Sunday

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,100
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 700 (for 6)
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,100

This place is located a bit out of the centre of town on the road heading out towards Sonatubes and it’s one of the best spots for ‘in the know’ Kigalians. It’s a smallish supermarket with all of the basics – some fruit and veggies, meat and dairy – but where it stands out is the imported surprises you find here.  It seems like all of the items are well-selected and every other thing on the shelf seems to be something that you can’t find elsewhere.

This is also one of, if not the best places in town to buy cheese and dairy. They have several fridges dedicated to cheesy goodness and when I can’t locate a certain type of cheese elsewhere, I’ll come and here and I’m rarely disappointed. They also have a pretty good selection of fruit and veg in a separate building next door. Frulep, like La Galette, is one of the shops that I’ll make a special trip out to and always be happy that I did.

German Butchery

German Butchery, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7am – 8pm, Sunday, 7am – 7pm

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,100
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 900 (for 6)
Nescafe (100g) – 3,000
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,20

Many of the supermarkets around town that carry a decent selection of meat will get their supplies from the German Butchery. Now the German Butchery has it’s very own location and it’s got an awesome selection of meat and it’s right by my house. Score for me! The store itself is quite small and is taken up mostly by the meat counter and the cash register with a few shelves of the usual items like pop, cereal, milk, eggs, gouda, and canned goods. But the main attraction here is the meat! It’s one of the few places in town with a good selection of pork products and the chicken and beef on display looked pretty sexy. They also have a small selection of frozen fish.

La Gallette (MTN Centre)

La Galette, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 9pm, Sunday, 8:30am – 9pm
Phone: 0787 313 664

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,100
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 900 (for six)
Nescafe (100g) – 3,500
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,500

Though not as wonderfully awesome as its sister store in Muhima which s a bit bigger, the MTN Centre La Galette is still stocked with lots of cheesy goodness, imported wonders, homemade ice cream, and a good meat counter. Unlike the Nakumatts which are spaced about a kilometre apart in town, the La Galette people have managed to put their two stores on opposite sides of Kigali so that people on the Nyarutarama side of town don’t have to make the trek across the city. Being located inside the MTN Centre also means you can bank, go to the pharmacy, get a pedicure, shop for souvenirs, and then grab a coffee or lunch on the top floor. Because who doesn’t want to roll all of those things into one super productive day out?

La Gallette (Muhima)

La Galette, Kigali

Hours: Daily, 7:30am – 7:30pm

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 1,000 (for 6)
Nescafe (100g) – 2,700
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,200

Not only do La Gallette have two stores for your shopping pleasure, they’re also both home to a German Butchery meat counter which means their stores have lots of treats in… store. Er. La Gallette is pricey but they always have a great selection of things that can be hard to find in other places. Their sauces and canned goods sections are well-stocked. While it’s a great place to come for meat (they’ll even cook up a whole rotisserie chicken for you with prior notice), their fresh fruit and veggie sections could be better. They also sell their own ice cream which s pretty good and there’s a large big booze section along with a small bakery. As with with Frulep, they’re another good place to try when there seems to be a cheese drought on in the rest of the city. The Muhima location has a nice little cafe attached and they always seem to be playing some football game which makes it a popular place.

La Sierra

La Sierra, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Friday, 7am – 8pm, Saturday, 7am – 5pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0788 601 295

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,200
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 400
Nescafe (100g) – 3,000

There’s really no way around it… this place is expensive. Rwf 400 for a small bottle of water? That’s offensive. Its annoying too since it seems to be the place I stop into a lot when I’m on my way through town to pick up random little bits. They do have a whole section of yummy homemade cakes, pastries, mini pizzas, and samosas and stuff. Their beef and cheese burritos are great and not too expensive, as Kigali burritos go. Their tuna sandwich is my go-to for an on the run lunch and is pretty good. The owners/people who work here are friendly so, while I feel like they’re ripping me off, they do it with a smile, so it’s not so bad.

Made in Italy

Madie in Italy, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 7pm, Closed Sunday
Phone: 0783 430 982

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 900
Nescafe (100g) 3,000

Made in Italy is a funny little place that I never think of going to. They have a good selection of interesting items, but not enough things to make it worth a special trip. Unless, of course, you’re looking for ice cream and then you should for sure go out of your way to get the gelato here. The problem is that they seem to only have it in stock some of the time which never seems to coincide with any of my trips there. This makes me sad and bitter. Along with the usual basics like pop and milk they also carry a good selection of wine, lots of pasta, plenty of varieties of olive oil, different types of pesto, picked things, and packages of Italian cold cuts.

MaxMix Groceries

MaxMix Groceries, Kigali

Hours – Daily, 8am – Midnight

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Nescafe (100g) 3,000

I’d guess that this is Kigali’s newest supermarket. It’s got a flashy, professional-looking exterior that piqued my curiosity and it has a few surprises inside. It’s the only place in Kigali I’ve ever seen frozen strawberries (for a whopping 10,800) and they’ve also got some frozen seafood surprises including mussels (Rwf 22,300 for a smallish bag), and huge crayfish for around Rwf 9,000 a piece. I also noticed tins of fois gras for Rwf 9,900. All of these items are pretty unusual for Kigali and, while the prices of these items are pretty nuts, it’s nice to see Kigali food options slowly expanding. MaxMix is otherwise a pretty standard grocery store with the usual basics.

Nakumatt (UTC)

Nakumatt, Kigali, Rwanda

Hours: Daily, 24 Hours (Opens at 1pm on Umuganda)
Phone: 0788 308 056
Email: nakumattrwanda@nakumatt.net

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 820
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 280
Eggs – 900
Nescafe (100g) – 3,100
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,300

Even if you live on the complete opposite side of the city, you’ll probably find yourself shopping at one of Kigali’s two Nakumatt stores from time to time. No muzungu can resist the gravitational pull of this large supermarket. If groceries aren’t what you’re after, why not buy an appliance of some sort? Or a couch? Or shoes? Or a rake? Yes, it’s a convenient place to shop, but it’s expensive. Every time I leave this place I’m surprised at how much I’ve spent. Even if I stay away from Western imports I somehow manage to spend a lot.

Their fresh produce has been improving lately though their once wonderful tomatoes have taken a turn for the worse these days. The best part about buying produce here is the occasional surprises you can’t get elsewhere in town like blueberries (expensive), grapes (crazy expensive), imported lemons and limes, celery, and kiwi fruit among other things. They have a pretty substantial bakery but their bread isn’t always the freshest. However they’ve recently pimped out their baking supplies section and it’s the only place in town I know of where you can buy chocolate chips and jars of pre-made icing. As far as I know, their meat section is affiliated with German Butchery and they always have nice cuts and a good selection. The chicken is pricey, but good. Try the pili pili sausages that are hanging in the meat section – they look scary but I’m currently addicted to their spicy goodness.

Nakumatt also has an unusually large selection of sauces – jars of pasta and pesto sauce, different dipping sauces, chicken wing sauce (they have Frank’s!), and Asian sauces that seem to come and go. Although you’ll pay dearly, it’s often the only place to find certain things. Plus you’ll often find strange surprises like chia seeds, hammocks, grape seed oil, and good two-for-one deals in the bins at the front of the store. When fully stocked their cheese section is one of the better ones in town.

If nothing else, head to Nakumatt to socialise… you’ll probably bump into at least 17 people here that you know each time you come.

Nakumatt (KCT)

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 8pm, Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Phone: 0788 666 606

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Eggs – 100 each
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Nescafe (100g) 3,500

Why they decided to build this second Nakumatt around 1km away from the first one, I will never know. But, there it stands at the bottom of the Kigali City Tower. I’ve heard rumours that the UTC building will be demolished at some point so perhaps the new Nakumatt makes sense. Plus I can’t imagine a lot of other businesses in town able to pay what I’ve heard is insane rent inside the tower. But confusingness (yes, that’s a word) aside, this Nakumatt is much like it’s twin except the veggies are crappy here and the meat and bread sections don’t seem to have as much stuff. If something is out of stock at the other store, this one will often have what I’m looking for so it’s worth popping over here if you’re searching for something specific. Plus the cinema is upstairs so I tend to shop here when I’m looking for candy to smuggle into the movie theatre.

Patel Supermarket

Patel Supermarket, Grocery Stores in Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:30am – 8:30pm / Sunday, 10:30am – 7pm
Phone: 0788 734 456
Email: jaminpatel1972@yahoo.co.in

This place is super small and probably has no right calling itself a ‘supermarket’ but it’s well known as the best place to come for Indian spices and other goodies, so it gets a mention. It’s a cramped little shop but I often find things here that I’ve been scouring the city for. Like tins of tuna that don’t cost the earth and light mayonaise. If you want to experiment with Indian cooking then make a stop here both for spices and a good selection of grains and other goodies.

Sawa Citi (Kimihurura)

Sawa Citi, Kimihurura, Kigali

Hours: Sunday to Wednesday, 6am – 9:30pm, Thursday to Saturday, 11am – 11pm
Phone: 0788 316 000

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,000
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,700

This was my favourite supermarket for a while, shortly after it opened a few years ago. It has a bright, airy, supermarket-y feel and you used to be able to find some pretty sweet things here. Everything from Ben & Jerry’s (albeit for around Rwf 9,000) to affordable frozen salmon, to Old El Paso taco kits. These days the pickings are a lot more slim and the prices are always sneaking up. Their cheese fridge isn’t as well-stocked as it once was and their section for imported goodies also seems to be getting smaller and smaller. So, Sawa Citi is slowly turning into a run of the mill place without all of those surprise finds that I used to love so much. But it’s still worth a trip mostly because of their frozen section which sometimes has some good things (like ribs!) and, more importantly, there’s a Broood bakery located inside. They’ve also weirdly dedicated a large section of the store to appliances and electronics so if you fancy buying a stereo system along with your milk, this is the place.

Sawa Citi (Remera)

Sawa Citi, Grocery Stores, Kigali

Hours: Daily, 7am – Midnight

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,000
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 300 each
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,100

This Sawa Citi is similar to its sister store in Kimihurura, just with a convenient location for people living more on the Remera side of town. As with the other store there’s a Broood and you’ll occasionally find some interesting items, but it’s no longer a place like Frulep or La Galette for when you’re looking for special imported goodies or the cheese motherload. The Remera branch is smaller and without too many electronics.

Sharama Supermarket

Sharama Supermarket
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 8pm, Sunday, 10am – 2pm
Phone: 0788 666 606

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 100 each
Nescafe (100g) 3,500

This place is a relative of the Sharma Supermarket near UTC but, either someone sucks at making signs, or they wanted a different name from the other place that’s still very similar. I’m going to go with the theory that they had a sign maker who wanted to add an extra ‘a’ just to mess with people. Life can be so cruel. Sharama Supermarket is a strange little place with an odd selection of items outside (from buckets to children’s bikes to furniture) and a selection of the usual grocery basics inside. As with Sharma, they’ve got a good selection of grains and spices.

Sharma

Sharma, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 9pm, Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Phone: 0788 442 279

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 950
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 100 each
Nescafe (100g) 3,500

Located a bit up the hill in front of the UTC Centre, this place is located well and makes an easy stop if you can’t find what you’re after at Nakumatt or Simba. They’re small but have a good selection of dried beans and peas, rice, spices, and grains. They seem to be about half food and half random plastic stuff like plastic food containers, plastic tubs and buckets, and various other pastic-y items. They have a small selection of fruit and eggs at the front of the store but that’s about it for fresh produce. They don’t do baguettes but they do have a few other cooked goodies and their vegetable samosas are the best in town. This is also the place to come for your tahini needs.

Simba (Town)

Simba, Kigali

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,000
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 350
Eggs – 100 each
Nescafe (100g) – 2,950

As with Nakumatt, Simba tries to go beyond just groceries which leaves it with an odd combination of veggies in one aisle and electronics in the next. Throw in a random selection of toys and clothes all crammed into a relatively small space and who knows what you’ll end up coming out of there with. Simba has a pretty good fruit and veggie selection and I find the quality to usually be on par with the Nakumatt at UTC. I’m always amazed at how cheap a huge bag of fruit and veggies can seem.

Their bread is also a lot fresher than Nakumatt’s and their prices are a bit cheaper, too. Their selection of Western goodies isn’t as extensive but if you want good bread and fresh produce (and possibly want to pick up toys or a piano as well) check them out. But Simba smells kind of weird and their chocolate is almost always white and chalky like it’s super old so stay away from that. There’s a good and cheap cafe attached too but food can take forever so be warned.

Simba (Kimihurura)

Simba Kimihurura, Grocery Stores in Kigali

I’m not 100% sure this is truly located in Kimihurura but it’s close enough. It’s sort of in the no-man’s land between Kacyiru, Kimihuruura, and the turnoff to Nyarutarama near RDB. That means it’s a central location… too bad it’s such a weirdly disappointing supermarket. Though it gives the impression of a normal place, this Simba is much smaller than the other location and seems to pride itself on being filled with strange, useless things. Well… not useless, but not edible. They have an inordinate amount of space set aside for cleaning supplies, for example. It’s just a strange selection where you think you have a lot of things on offer, but the reality is that you’re being tricked somehow. This branch also has a popular cafe and the food here comes out a lot quicker than at the other location.

SMC

SMC, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 9pm, Sunday, 9am – 4pm
Phone: 0781 575 969

Inyange Water (500 ml) – Rwf 300

I only heard about SMC very recently and I’ve been only once to check it out for this article. So I am, by no means, an SMC aficionado. But some people are and totally swear by this little store. Apparently it’s a wholesaler and many of the larger grocery stores in Kigali will buy from here so you can find some good prices. The store is small and certainly not flashy but they’ve got a good selection of cheese, frozen things, and a whole back room devoted to booze. I’m told that they import some of the city’s best wines so, while the wine might appear to be expensive, it’s also of a high quality. I’m also told that Brachetto gets their wine from SMC so if you like the wine you find at Brachetto, stop by SMC so see if you can pick up a bottle or four.

Super One Food

Super One Food, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 7:30am – 10pm, Sunday, 9am – 9pm

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,000
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 100 each
Nescafe (100g) 3,000

This small store is pretty much the only nearby option for people living in Kacyiru and it’s an ok stop for the usual Kigali grocery store goodies, but it’s not very large and it doesn’t have much beyond the basics. It does, weirdly, have a good variety of rice and grains for sale along with an entire wall o’ booze. They also have a few cooked things for sale at the cash register like meatballs and samosas and I always find the staff here nice and friendly.

T-2000

T2000 Supermarket, Kigali

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8am – 9:30pm, Sunday, 9am – 8pm
Phone: 0784 793 330

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 850
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 200
Nescafe (100g) – 3,200
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,500

This place doesn’t sell a huge selection of groceries but they do have a selection of canned goods, alcohol, soft drinks and juice, and other non-perishables. Plus they have a couple isles of mysterious Chinese items. Everything from Chinese wine to noodles to ‘Cock Soup’ (though, to be fair, I haven’t seen that soup in a while). Mainly, T-2000 is an important store to know for all of your cheap Chinese product needs – needs that must not be left unsatisfied. They’ve got all kinds of wonderful plastic things such as washing tubs, tupperware, and shelves. They’ve got dishes galore, a few dodgy-looking bicycles, picture frames, bed sheets, kitchen stuff, and lots and lots of random crap. A must for any discerning shopper.

Woodlands

Woodlands, Kigali

Hours: Daily, 24 Hours
Phone: 0785 223 273

Inyange Milk (1 L) – Rwf 1,100
Inyange Water (500 ml) – 300
Eggs – 150 each
Tin of Tomatoes – 1,300

Woodlands is located in Nyarutarama, a few minutes drive past the MTN Centre up the hill heading towards Gacuriro. It’s a nicely laid out place with a good variety of stuff including fresh fruit and veggies (that looked like they were good quality), some cakes and cookies, cheese, alcohol, and the usual stuff you can find in every supermarket. Strangely, they also had a selection of refrigerators for sale in case you happened to walk in there with Rwf 400,000 to spare. Makes a nice impulse buy to bring home to the housemates. Woodlands has been around for years and it seems to have waves of awesomeness. Sometimes they have tortillas and that makes it worth a trip out there. But I haven’t seen those in a while which makes me sad. They have improved their bakery and to-go foods lately and they’re a good place to stop for a samosa or meatball to take away.

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About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.