Top 10 Zambia Street Foods


Zambia, a country known for its vibrant culture and rich culinary heritage, offers a delightful array of street foods that reflect its diverse influences and local flavors. From savory snacks to sweet treats, here are the top 10 street foods in Zambia that every food enthusiast should sample:

  1. Ifisashi
    A staple dish made from vegetables such as pumpkin leaves or spinach, cooked with groundnuts (peanuts) and served with nshima (a maize-based staple). It’s hearty, nutritious, and bursting with flavor.
  2. Vinkubala
    Fried caterpillars, a popular delicacy in Zambia. These protein-rich snacks are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, often seasoned with spices for extra zest.
  3. Chikanda
    Also known as African polony or African sausage, chikanda is a vegetarian sausage made from wild orchid tubers, groundnuts, and spices. It’s steamed and served sliced, offering a unique texture and taste.
  4. Biltong
    Similar to South African biltong, this dried meat snack is widely enjoyed in Zambia. It’s marinated in vinegar, salt, and spices, then air-dried to preserve its flavors. Biltong comes in various meats like beef, venison, or even ostrich.
  5. Kapenta
    Fried or dried small fish, often served with nshima. Kapenta is a favorite among locals for its salty taste and crispy texture, making it a perfect accompaniment to Zambia’s staple foods.
  6. Fried Plantains (Ifisashi)
    Known locally as “Ifisashi,” these fried plantains are a popular street snack in Zambia. They’re usually sliced and deep-fried until golden brown, then seasoned with salt or spices for added flavor.
  7. Maize (Corn) on the Cob
    A simple yet satisfying snack, roasted or boiled maize on the cob is a common sight on Zambian streets. It’s often enjoyed plain or with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice for a refreshing tang.
  8. Bunnychow
    This unique street food has South African origins but is popular in Zambia as well. It consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, typically made with beef or chicken. It’s hearty, filling, and perfect for on-the-go eating.
  9. Doughnuts (Mandazi)
    These deep-fried doughnuts are a sweet treat loved by Zambians. They’re often flavored with coconut milk, cinnamon, or cardamom, and can be enjoyed plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  10. Roasted Groundnuts (Peanuts)
    Simple yet delicious, roasted groundnuts are a popular snack in Zambia. They’re often sold by street vendors in small bags, roasted until crunchy and seasoned with salt or spices.

Exploring Zambia’s street foods offers not only a culinary adventure but also a glimpse into the country’s cultural richness. Whether you’re savoring the spicy flavors of vinkubala or indulging in the sweetness of mandazi, each street food reflects Zambia’s diverse heritage and culinary creativity. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste these top 10 street foods on your next visit to Zambia, where every bite tells a story of tradition and local flavor.