The African Bagel Company has been taken over by new owners and is now called J. Lynn’s.
The African Bagel company is one of those places that most foreigners in Kigali will stumble upon eventually. Actually, considering that it’s tucked down a side street way out in Kicukiro behind a tall wall… you’d probably have to try very hard to find it by accident. Which makes no sense at all. So just do like the rest of us do and tag along with some friends who are ‘in the know’.
Sadly, for me, I could never quite scrape myself up out of bed for their hugely popular Saturday morning doughnut extravaganzas (where every muzungu child under 12 is rumoured to be on Saturdays so beware!) From what I’ve heard, Saturday mornings at ABC could rival Sol e Luna’s quiz night for the highest concentration of white people in one place in East Africa. I have yet to verify this.
So while I’ve somehow managed to avoid the Saturday morning expat rush, I have been able to make it out there twice and had doughnuts delivered by a very ind friend once. The doughnuts (Rwf 400 each or Rwf 4,000 for a dozen) are legit, my friends, and worth the trek out there on the weekend as they’re available on Saturdays. If you have a big group I’ve heard you can have them prepare them especially for you but otherwise you’ll have to face the crowds for your doughnut fix.
Their regular menu has all sorts of treats both for there or to takeaway including a bunch of things that are either really hard or impossible to find in Kigali like frozen pizzas (Rwf 5,000 for a large one) and cinnamon buns (Rwf 2,500 for a bag of about 10, including icing) that you bake yourself. They obviously do bagels (Rwf 500 each or Rwf 2,500 for six) and have plenty of flavours to choose from and even a choice of spreads including cream cheese, garlic spread, peanut butter, hummus, nutella etc.
You can buy pots of hummus, sweet or spicy salsa or BBQ sauce to go with the tortilla chips that they sell. Hummus is hard to find in Kigali and they do it well! Their hummus and tortilla chips saved us when our car broke down on the way to the Sorwathe Tea Plantation. It’s all we had to eat while we waited and waited and waited (for eight hours!) on the side of the road. So thanks ABC!
There’s a nice garden area to hang out in and some indoor and outdoor seating under cover in case it rains. The inside isn’t huge but it’s their garden that makes a good reason to stick around for awhile. There are a few tables and lots of steps and grass to stretch out on, if you feel like it.
ABC is more than just a place to satisfy your doughnut cravings. It’s also a place that offers skills training (in baking, problem solving, customer service business etc) to vulnerable women so that, eventually, they’re able to take on all of the tasks required to run the business. The goal is to have these women eventually opening their own businesses using their new skills or employing them to teach others. Good food and a good cause!
Be aware that ABC is closed on the last Saturday morning of each month due to umuganda.
Phone: 078 840 8308