Imagine Burundi on 99.4 FM CCIB in Bujumbura, Burundi.

  • Next Broadcast

    As our big announcement stated, Imagine Burundi ended its new broadcasts in July 2013. But keep checking back in our Archive - we will be posting new clips of our past episodes there.

    And don't forget to check out our colleague's new project, The Burundian Way, a weekly radio program at the same hour on the same channel - 3 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday on 99.4 FM CCIB.


The Restaurants

On this page, you will find all of our Restaurant Review audio segments conveniently collected on one page, a link to a map with locations of each restaurant and photos of our dining experiences. We hope to add a table of our Banana Scores soon. If you live in Burundi and would like to hear a specific review, please contact us to request a copy.

Why Bananas

The reason we use bananas to rate restaurants is simple: it was the first thing that came to Jeff’s mind during our first Restaurant Review. So each week, we give out scores for the basic criteria of Quality, Service, Ambience and Value on a scale of one to ten bananas. It’s fairly straightforward and the more we thought about it, the more fitting it seemed to us. In Burundi, the banana is ubiquitous. It comes in many varieties, and it is also vital to the diets and commerce of this country. It was a natural choice to represent our food experience.

We are aware that the association of bananas to people of darker complexions or African descent can have negative connotations. You can find two such examples here and here. It’s clear that witnesses and commentators felt outrage toward this kind of behavior. But we sort of roll our eyes at individuals who still act on such prejudices and we don’t think the stupidity of a few individuals should set the tone of this debate. If we are to hold our breaths or feel indignant every time we link bananas to Africa, we would essentially validate that racist connection. The truth is many people do eat bananas here, just like they do in southeast Asia, in North America and all over South America. Why? Because bananas are delicious and nutritious and in total abundance here. In fact, there are so many of varieties of bananas in Burundi that they fulfill specific functions – some are used to make beer, some are low in sugar and used as a potato substitute in stews, many as fruit. It is also worth noting that bananas are not indigenous to this region. They were transplanted here in the last 100 years so the association with this region is a relatively new concept. So in recognition of the wonderful hardy versatile banana, we decided to use it as our mark of excellence. We’re saying more bananas is a good thing.

For a map of the locations of reviewed restaurants, click on this link!

The Bananasized (Audio reviews – Right click and select “Save As…”):

  • Hibiscus – the “McDonald’s of Bujumbura”
  • La Cervoise (closed) – Sports bar and grill, whose burgers we all miss very much.
  • Bon Accueil – Very popular brochette bar in Bwiza
  • Chocolate Desserts – The best good-value chocolate desserts around Bujumbura, part of the 2010 Holiday Special
  • Grand Muraille – Chinese restaurant and the only place in town to buy fresh tofu
  • Aroma – Go here if your name is not Seth Chase
  • Hotel Mombassa – Burundian ‘surf and turf’
  • Botanika – Pure romance, with Jeff and Ben
  • Plaza Restaurant – Best spying place located next to the Central Market
  • Habesha – The only Ethiopian place in town
  • Trianon – Burundian brunch
  • Geny’s Cafe – Coffee, crepes and darn good cakes
  • Enzogu – Kenya away from Kenya
  • Tropicana – The Gold Standard
  • Bouteille d’Or – Specializes in muchopo, a Congolese dish
  • Cafeier – The new Tropicana?
  • Chez Mama Solo – A West African cuisine institution
  • Cappuccino – We can’t figure this place out.
  • Chez Gerard – A brochette almost as legendary as the owner himself
  • Trattoria – That’s Italian, Seth.
  • Belvedere (changed chefs so quality is uncertain) – When it’s good, it’s amongst the best in town.
  • Take Away Food (formerly known as Quick)
  • Jardin Publique – A brochette bar, and we’re going to say this now: this was one of our funniest and most informative reviews.
  • Le Maquis – Chris’ favorite restaurant in the world.
  • Isango
  • Chez Michel II
  • Kaze Country Club
  • Joanna’s Grill
  • Vinotheque Ziliken
  • Cocody
  • La Palmeraie
  • Havana
  • The Market Restaurant – One of the best eats in town. And clean. Seriously.
  • Le Safran
  • Pasta Comedia
  • Le Kasuku
  • Le Cayor
  • Ku Muyange
  • Baobab
  • Ice Cream! – Our favorite ice cream options around town, a part of the 2011 Holiday Special
  • And more coming soon!

Imagine Burundi is an English radio program that airs each week on 99.4 FM CCIB in Bujumbura and many parts of Burundi. New episodes are played on Saturdays and replayed on Wednesdays, both at 3 p.m.

Email us at or send us a SMS at (+257) 79.330.456

Site Contents © 2011 Imagine Burundi

One Response to “The Restaurants”

  1. Seth Chase said

    Man, how do i subscribe to this thing… i’m a producer and i can’t figure out how to subscribe. You’ll be hearing from me on this jeff. Dang it.

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