Every city has its favourite street snacks, most of them reflecting on the culture and people. Being able to walk around and savoring different kind of street snacks is one of the highlights in attracting tourism, in Mombasa we have different kind of street food that is a must when visiting Mombasa. It is the everyday snacks loved by everyone; some of the snacks are a result of different infusions of cultures. The street foods are reasonable and fulfilling, you will find the vendors at different streets. There 6 snacks you absolutely cannot miss when you visit Mombasa:
Viazi via Karai & Bhajiya
When you walk in the alleys of old town you will find Swahili women selling Viazi karai and Bhajiya. The mouth watering boiled potatoes cooked in garam flour and deep fried is loved by many. Accompanied with chutney or tamaraind sauce makes it an ideal late afternoon snack. Bhajiya, which is made from black eye peas grinded and deep fried in to small balls, is also a favourite. The combination is ideal for a quick street snack, but some hotels sell it for breakfast. At around 50 shillings you can get a whole plate.
Mama Ngina drive is one of the popular destinations in Mombasa, many Mombasa residents flock the area over the weekend to relax and savor some coconut water (Madafu) and cassava snacks. Deep fried cassava with red chili pepper and lime on top makes it a delicious snack while enjoying the sea breeze. You can have cassava crisps in a bag to share with friends and family. Prices start as low as 20 shillings depending on the snack and quantity.
Babu Kachri is a very popular street food in Mombasa. It consists of a thick tangy potato gravy, sprinkled with crushed potato crisps and khara sev (a fried crispy snack made from chickpea flour and spices) and topped with a spicy chutney. It is loved by all ages, from children to adults. The mix is unique because it is a blend of different culture cuisine into one. From Arab influence to Indian inspired snacks. It portrays what Mombasa is, the fusion of cultures. The price goes from thirty shillings per bag or forty shillings. You find the vendors across various streets in Mombasa, they usually operate from a cart. They normally start selling after 4pm till 6:30pm.
Mahamri and Mbaazi
It’s not a Swahili breakfast without Mbaazi and Mahamri (Mahambri), if you have lived in coast you know this is true. A true coastal tradition passed on generation by generation, and still going on up to date. Mbaazi is made of pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk, while Mahamri (Mahambri) is a Swahili delicacy eaten with other meals to compliment the taste. It’s fascinating that in Mombasa, this is a very common around town. You will find food vendors around different areas selling the combo at a reasonable price. A cup of Mbaazi goes from 30 kshs to 50kshs, while a Mahamri (Mahambri) goes for 5 kshs a piece. People on their way to work will stop over these vendors and devour in a coastal breakfast leaving them full for the rest of the day.
Mishkaki is a East African meat delicacy, mostly served in the evening. It is made of beef or chicken cubes, skewered on sticks and grilled over charcoal. Sold by sticks, and accompanied by tamarind sauce and salad. You will find the vendors on various streets around Mombasa, you can either do take away or seat on the chairs and savor in the grilled snack. Some restaurant/ vendors offer with chips, naan bread or chapati. The delicious tender meat is ideal after a long day and share with family and friends. Prices go from 15 shillings to 30 shillings a stick.
Mabuyu & Achari
Mabuyu is a coastal snack enjoyed by the young and old. Cooked in sugar syrup the baobab seeds are then added colour to give it a zest. Mostly enjoyed while watching movies or hanging out with friends. Mabuyu has even been exported to other countries by coastarian to bring home closer to them. The colours range from red to even green can be found sold around Mackinon Market and environs or even at individual homes. Achari is mango cut into pieces and dried to make it easier to eat, sometimes sugar is added to make it sweeter. You will find others with added colour , which is mostly red. Normally sold in sachets the price range for kshs 5 – kshs 20.