It can be difficult to find, but Lalibela is worth a few minutes wandering around the dirt roads of Kimihurura. As the only Ethiopian place in Kigali, it is a great way of taking a break from all the pizza and pasta, and with its outdoor fireplace and tranquil ambiance it’s a perfect place for a laid-back date or a relaxed night out. And hey, with Papyrus a short walk away, Lalibela is a good spot for a Friday dinner before commencing the partying!

The menu is pretty varied, but unless you are familiar with Ethiopian food, you’ll have to ask the waiters what each dish contains… or just follow my suggestions!

Vegetarian Platter So I know it looks absolutely repulsive, but the vegetable platter is actually really good. Just don’t let them talk you into ordering one each, because it is more than enough for 3 people, especially when you drink a couple of beers with it! As with most dishes, it comes with an unreasonable amount of injira bread (a huge spongy sourdough pancake), so do be careful not to eat too much as it seems to expand once it reaches your stomach. A good option for four people is to order one vegetable platter and one or two additional sauce dishes. They have good lamb there, and some good chicken dishes.

The staff can be inattentive, but this is mostly during the week when they seem to move at a slower pace. Normally, though, the service is fairly fast, the waiters are friendly, and the food is tasty and reasonably priced. What more can you ask for?

Lalibela also offers a quite impressive Ethiopian buffet that’s worth giving a try. For an extra special night out, you can ask them to arrange a traditional Ethiopian coffee ritual. This is only available at the weekends, and costs Rwf 10,000.

Hours: Daily, Noon – 11pm
Phone: 0788 505 293

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11 thoughts on “Lalibela”

  1. I think my esteemed colleague Inga is being a bit generous with the food rating. The food is good but not great, especially if you’ve had injira in Ethiopia. The Lalibela version is slightly squishy and gauze-like which takes some getting used to. Plus, if you’re not into Ethiopian food or trying it for the first time, you might not be too sure what to try and could end up with something scary like the white tubes o’ mystery we found in our goat dish at the buffet.

    But the fire pit is a nice added touch and I have no idea why I don’t spend more evenings sitting staring at it with a beer in hand.

  2. Oh ya, and sorry for that horrible photo of the veggie platter. I realise it looks like various shades of vomit on a pancake (well actually, that’s kind of what it looks like in person too) but it is tasty, I promise!

  3. Love, love, love Lalibela. Celebrated my illustrious 30th birthday there with a lovely group of friends. They could easily accommodate large groups and the food is delicious and perfect for sharing.

  4. I love this restaurant! Just one more tip: Try the buffet on Friday evenings – it costs fair 5000 RWF and you can even refill your plate as often as you want. If you dont leave that place with your stomach close to bursting, you were doing something wrong.

  5. Muireann ni Sheanlaoich

    Great restaurant, brilliant value for money and delicious food. Staff are always friendly and helpful (Rwandan style)

  6. I love this place! Amazing food (although I guess it helps if you like Ethiopian food), decent service, a nice garden, and affordable. Getting the meat or vegetable platter between 3 people makes for a very cheap night! They’ll keep you well stocked with bread and extra sauces. One of my faves in Kigali.

  7. Lalibela – I applaud you.

    We had our first visit there on Friday night. As per the review, it’s not easy to find – Moto drivers gave us blank faces all round, and we got there by heading toward Cadillac, and luckily spotting their little signpost on one of the roundabouts.

    Once in, we went for the 5,000 francs all you can eat buffet – a range of veggie and meat dishes, all different, around a dozen in total. There we a couple of beef dishes, a couple of chicken, and a broad range of veggie. The dal-type dish was particularly good. I had two platefuls, and would have gone back for more except I was fit to burst. Beer is reasonably priced (I think a large Primus is 1,000), a half carafe of wine was 8,000.

    The waiting staff were great, attentive without fussing, and (the man I think is) the manager was chatty, friendly and helped get rid of a huge flying insect that decided it wanted to check out our dinners.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it there, Pual. It’s one of my favourite places. Just a bit of a tip for wine drinkers – given the size of the half carafe compared to the glasses and the prices of each, I think it works out cheaper there to order by the glass. This was the case a few month ago, at least.

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