Compared to the rest of East-Africa, surprisingly few restaurants in Kigali have chosen to name their establishments after the Kiswahili word for ’welcome’. You can therefore imagine my relief when I discovered this adorable and well-run Rwandan restaurant in town.
Despite its central location and increasingly touristy clientele, Karibu maintains their low prices (soda and water for Rwf 500; goat brochette for Rwf 700) and have an impressively attentive staff. With plenty of outdoor seating – admittedly on uneven rocky ground, not a wooden patio – Karibu is a wonderful place to enjoy a sunny lunch or an afternoon drink in the shade.
For lunch buffets, this has to be one of the best places in town! You pay Rwf 2,500 up front (not including drinks), and have as many servings as you want. The salad and vegetable sections are like nothing else I’ve seen for that price group, and on most occasions the meat has been tender, the potatoes crispy, and the sweet plantains sticky and delicious. On most days, they also have deep fried cauliflower, which tastes better than it sounds (and looks).
If you’re not a buffet person, you can chose from a largely Rwandan menu with a selection of brochettes (goat, beef, fish, and liver/kidney), as well as pizzas and hamburgers.
The breakfast menu here is quite impressive as well, with staple American items like waffles with maple syrup, and the more European versions with crêpes and fruit. Karibu opens early in the morning, so if you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely stop by to enjoy a slow pace breakfast before commencing your day.