Via Veneto

Via Veneto has moved. These photos are of the old location but the map below shows their new place.

I started out fairly confused with Via Veneto. Or maybe I was confused with White Horse. One day while ago, the old White Horse restaurant in town beside Ecole Belge was suddenly called Via Veneto. I assumed it was the same place, different name, same menu and, not having ever been too inspired by White Horse, I didn’t take much notice or have any desire to try out the ‘new’ place. Then, maybe about a year ago, Via Veneto was gone and White Horse was back. I have no idea why White Horse went on hiatus, but Via Veneto moved out to Nyarutarama and, seeing that it was indeed a new place, I was suddenly curious to try it.

I finally made it to Via Veneto v2.0 for lunch several months ago (as in 11) and I’m glad I did. My first visit had me placing my usual, boring order of lasagne, but I was really impressed by it so my lack of imagination paid off. In fact, I’m going to make the bold statement that Via Veneto does the best meat lasagna in town. What do you think of that? At Rwf 5,500 it’s about on par with other places as far as price is concerned.

Lasagna - Rwf 5,500

Though I was happy with my lasagna, I was annoyed that they didn’t have mojito ingredients (and they never seem to but it remains on their menu, frustrating me each time). I was placated, however, with a super strong Cuba Libre. Yes, I was drinking at lunch. Don’t judge me. After a stiff drink, my mojito-free life seems good again.

I went again last week for lunch which made me realise that I’ve been bad and still haven’t reviewed this wonderful place. The sandy beach part looks a little worse for wear with some threatening holes, but otherwise things seem the same as before except for the addition of their free pre-meal snack of little doughnut-like things (without the holes). I’m not sure what they are and, at first glance, they seem a bit boring. But let me tell you this! They’re delicious. Plain dough balls… who knew?

The menu is a good mix of starters, pasta, meat dishes, and pizzas plus they do a mean chocolate mousse and have a nice selection of other desserts. They claim to have several cocktails but still no mojito so I’m wary of whether their other drinks actually exist. I just can’t cope with any more empty cocktail promises so I opted for a cold water instead. I have nothing to say about the water. But come on Via Veneto… get some mint! It’s not hard to grow. Or at least take mojitos off the menu and stop breaking my heart.

Delicious Mystery Dough Balls

The service was decent as always. Not super attentive but not a missing person, either. Which brings me to my next point… there only ever seems to be one person working here at any given time. They man the bar and take food orders but it works. True, there never seem to be more than two tables to look after, but things run efficiently and food is generally out within about a half hour.

The reason this review has taken me so long to write is that I really can’t think of much to say. I have a tendency to  to relay stories of frustration and confusion with Kigali’s various restaurants which usually makes writing reviews fun and easy… but with Via Veneto there really isn’t anything frustrating or confusing to report. Yes… that’s a good thing. Things just seem to go smoothly each time I come here. The food is good, the service is better than average, the prices are fine, the drinks are strong. Missing mojitos… that’s my only complaint. Oh and the bathroom taps never seem to have running water. I guess that’s a deal breaker for people less gross than I.

I really like Via Veneto and I’d recommend it to anyone. I think it’s the best Italian in town (although I’m not a big fan of their pizzas – stick with Sol e Luna and even Papyrus impressed me with a decent pizza recently), it’s got a pretty great view of the lake (aka the ‘mosquito breeding death hole’), they host the occasional Friday night events, they’ve got a slightly weird but also slightly cool sandy area with beach chairs, and they even have an outdoor fire pit that looks pretty bad ass. Try it out! I’m sick of being the only person dining there…

Hours: Daily, 9am – 11pm
Phone: 0786 700 372 / 0725 766 511
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/viavenetokigali.viavenetokigali
More Info: Via Veneto on Eating in Kigali

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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.